I’ve been critical of anti-gay folks for a long time. I’ve even been known to call them names (“creep,” for example), but for as long as I’ve been following this column I believe I’ve used real discretion when it comes to, say, comparing people who oppose marriage equality to the Ku Klux Klan. I mean, such a thing might come off as gratuitous and, worse, distract from whatever closeted-conservative-caught-in-gay-sex-scandal joke I’m trying to make.
Thankfully, I don’t have to make the comparison because Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention has made it for me during a February 26, 2013 interview on Istook Live, a radio show hosted by former congressman Ernest Istook. The show begins with, “Warning: this program features civility, celebrates freedom, and is focused squarely on the American Dream.”
Then the show’s intro music begins: Mötley Crüe’s “Dr Feelgood,” a song about cocaine dealing. Later we hear “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a song about socialism. Whoever picks Istook Live’s music has a great sense of humor.
It was against this backdrop that Land discussed the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gays, which he supports.
“Why would you put adult leaders and mentors in places of authority and leadership of a boys’ organization when they have defined themselves as homosexual, meaning they are sexually attracted to males?” Land asks. “It would be the equivalent of allowing heterosexual men to be scout masters for Girl Scout troops. One does not have to assert that one group is more prone to pedophilia than another to say if you put men in mentoring positions of trust and authority in camp out situations with young teens to whom they are sexually attracted either heterosexually or homosexually, human tragedies will follow.”
Apparently Land believes that all men are terrible sex-crimers who can’t keep their hands off of kids. Considering Land is a man, I’m very worried about his personal mental and sexual health. Also, the Girl Scouts do not have a “ban men because they are pervs” rule like the Boy Scouts have for gays.
But don’t get Land wrong. He’s not a gay-hater.
“The Bible has told us to hate the sin and love the sinner,” he says. “We’re not talking about ostracizing people. I have relatives who are homosexual, I have friends who are homosexual and lesbian, and I treat them with dignity and with respect. They know that I do not approve of their lifestyle, they know that I believe the Bible does not approve of their lifestyle. But that does not give me any reason to treat them any differently than I would anyone else when it comes to the workplace or when it comes to social activities.”
It is kind of hard to wrap my brain around such a glaringly contradictory position. Because how’s telling a kid “you can’t be a Boy Scout if you’re gay” and telling gay men, “You can’t be troop leaders because you’ll rape everyone” not ostracizing them? How’s that not treating them “differently?”
And don’t get me started with this “I have gay friends” shit. Friends don’t accuse friends of being child molesters based on nothing but personal prejudice, then turn around and say, “Love the sinner hate the sin.”
Wait, what am I saying? It’s the gays who are intolerant ones.
“They do not believe in a live and let live philosophy. Let’s be very clear about what their agenda is, their agenda is to have the homosexual lifestyle affirmed by society as healthy and normal,” Land complains, “and to have those who disagree with that ostracized to the level of being Ku Klux Klansmen.”
You know why the KKK is so reviled? Because they’re wrong. They’re hateful and disgusting and ignorant. So if Land wants to compare himself to them, be my guest.