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Creep of the Week: Matt Barber

If any of my readers have daddy issues and get off on being told “you’re a bad bad boy,” you’ll love Matt Barber’s new slash fiction open letter to the gays.

Published on Feb. 25 on the WND (Wing-Nut Daily) website, Barber’s “An Open Letter to ‘Gay’ Teens” is a sexy romp through love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin land. That is, if you define “sexy” as demoralizing and belittling.

Barber wastes no time “sticking it” to the gays. In the piece’s very title he puts “gay” in quotation marks because he doesn’t believe in gay.

“I’ve had many people ask me what I’d say to my children if one of them came to me and declared: ‘Dad, I’m gay,’” he writes. “I’d tell them exactly what I’m about to tell you. I love you. I neither judge you nor condemn you. I accept you and I would die for you. But you are not ‘gay.’”

Got that? You aren’t gay. You’re, well, I’ll let Barber explain it: “You are a wonderful, beautiful, precious human being created in the image and likeness of the one righteous and Holy God of the universe.”

Aww, isn’t that sweet? Especially how he considers “wonderful, beautiful, and precious” and “gay” as mutually exclusive categories.

The problem, Barber says, is not that you’re gay, it’s that you’re doing gay stuff. Knock that off and everything will be fine.

“Yes, you may be physically attracted to people of the same sex, but how you act on those attractions is entirely your choice,” Barber explains. “Who you are – your identity – is not defined by your sexual feelings, temptations or behaviors. The difference between who you are and what you feel or do is as the [sic] difference between night and day.”

Which leads to the question:  If who you are = good and what you do = bad, then in this scenario would night = good and day = bad? Damn it, I wish I’d paid more attention to the story problems in grade school. Is it because “gay” rhymes with “day”? Or does it have to do with the moon and the sun? Wouldn’t that be getting into some kind of pagan shit? I am so confused.

Bottom line, says Barber, “you’re a sinner.” Don’t worry, he admits that he’s a sinner, too. But you’re probably a worse one because “Homosexual behavior is always wrong – demonstrably and absolutely wrong. Period.”

And you know a statement is true when even the punctuation is pronounced.

So if “homosexual behavior” is wrong without exception, if you’re a teenager doing or thinking about doing gay stuff and you’re feeling kind of stressed out about the whole thing, it’s totally your fault.

“If you feel such despair, know this: it is not ‘homophobia’ causing it, as adult enablers might tell you, but, rather, it is the sin itself that causes it,” Barber advises gay teens. “You are being used. Adult homosexual activists with a political agenda are using you as a pawn to achieve selfish goals in a dangerous political game.”

Yes, a dangerous political game called equality. Wanting our families treated with respect. Wanting to be treated like full citizens under the law. Boo!

Barber warns, “If you continue down this wide, empty path, make no mistake: it will not ‘get better.’ It gets much, much worse.”

Is it just me, or is this wildly callous thing to say to a group of young people particularly vulnerable to suicide?

According to the Trevor Project, “LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers.”

Not that Barber would ever entertain the idea that this has anything to do with “loving” people like him. A “dangerous political game,” indeed.

DAnne Witkowski

D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.

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