COMMENTARY | I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a follower of the teachings of Jesus. I am ashamed today to admit that I'm a Christian. That's because, according to some "Christians" I've heard from recently, there is a "vast secret majority of Americans who hate faggots and love God." That's a direct quote, sent to my personal email, by a reader whose dirty secret I will not expose. My "Goodbye Rick Perry" commentary upset him.
Where does it say in the Bible to "hate faggots"?
The very essence of the teaching of Jesus is to love thy neighbor. Who is my neighbor? Is my neighbor the one whose skin looks like mine, who loves the same way I do, whose parents went to the same Ivy League school mine did?
I believe that Perry has put himself out of the presidential race with his ad "Strong," which has been widely ridiculed. I stand by my conviction that not allowing gays to serve openly in the military is cruel. Does that mean that I condone a gay lifestyle? I neither condone nor reject, because that is not my job. Our soldiers are doing their job. Let them be open about the loved ones they are fighting for, not alone on foreign soil hiding in shame and secrecy. Let us not dishonor their sacrifice. There is something terribly wrong with hateful attacks towards anyone in the name of Jesus.
I don't care if a candidate is a Christian, Mormon, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else as long as he understands that my spirituality is my business. Forced religion is bigotry, and to forget that is to forget the very foundation of our history. The first immigrants to the New World came to escape religious persecution. Persecution is making a comeback, in the name of Perry's brand of Christianity.
I care that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, because he thinks his religion is relevant to the job of president, and lacks compassion, according to Elizabeth Tenety of the Washington Post.
I don't mind that Jon Huntsman is a Mormon. He supported the rights of gay people to form domestic partnerships, and respects the perspective of others, according to Dan Gilgoff, CNN religious editor on BeliefBlog. President Barack Obama's Christianity is the kind I trust. All Americans should have the right to determine for ourselves what is acceptable or not in our own lives.
Mark from Texas wrote to me, "Democracy should represent the people, and if our founders were Christian, why it is taboo to practice Christianity in a Government setting (schools)? I am not advocating forcing prayer upon those unwilling. However I am advocating morality, justice, and many other things found in Christianity." Well said, Mark, and I agree.
Morality, justice, and other excellent qualities can be found among Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and people of integrity in every faith. Let us pray in schools and include all our neighbors.
Hate is not Christian. Candidates who support hate do not belong in the White House.