I replied to the editor, but my response wasn't published. So here it is.
I’ve written previously on how bigotry is alive and well in the town where I reside, Peachtree City, GA. We’ve got a fair amount of notoriety here, given the propensity for television and movies that are filmed in the area. The movie “Joyful Noise” was filmed here, as well as “Drop Dead Diva,” and the town is often used as a backdrop for “The Walking Dead” and other shows. In fact, Margaret Cho has had a few things to say about the area. While I generally get along fine with my neighbors, the local paper has not been kind to me, or any unbelievers, for that matter. A few are particularly annoyed that the Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., lives in town. And that includes some from our own camp. Recently, though, an article was posted that was particularly disturbing.
Introducing, Dr. Bigot…
Last week, Dr. David L. Chancey, Pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, GA, penned an article referring to Same-Sex Marriage in the local paper that made my eyes bleed. Of course, I have no way to respond to this, as the Editor of the paper (The Citizen), Cal Beverly, refuses to grant me access to their comment forums. In fact, Mr. Beverly refuses to grant access to most unbelievers, and has also deactivated several accounts of individuals who have posted comments that are contrary to the right-wing, tea partyesque slant of this particular periodical.
But I digress. Back to Dr. Chancey. The article he wrote was titled, “God’s Heart Breaks Over Our Moral Demise,” and as you can imagine, most of the comments are of the ilk that you might find on Faux News. Copyright laws prevent me from posting the entirety of the article here, but fair use does allow me to post excerpts.
Here are a few:
“One foundational problem with the effort to legitimize homosexuality is the blatant ignoring of biblical authority. In Genesis 2, God instituted His design for marriage and the family. God created male and female and put them together as husband and wife. He created the gift of sexual intimacy and clearly designed that intimacy to take place in the context of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.”
“In addition, the Bible clearly forbids homosexuality (Lev. 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:25-27; I Cor. 6:9, 10; I Timothy1:8-11). This is not a grey area open to interpretation. Homosexual behavior is seen as deviant, sinful, and outside the will of God. God calls it an ‘abomination.'”
“Deliberately stepping beyond God’s plan for marriage and venturing into what He clearly prohibits is a slap in the face of a Holy God.”
“All the while, God’s heart breaks as we continue this moral slide. I’m afraid eventually our nation will reap what it sows.”
Then the good Doctor quotes Rev. Bill Owens:
“I marched for civil rights and I can tell you: I did not march one inch, one foot, one yard, one mile for same-sex marriage. No right is a civil right if it’s not square with God.”
The one and only time I have given this venue to another writer named Lucas Oliver, who addressed another case of local bigotry and discrimination against by this same local conservative newspaper that had been publishing very unflattering, dangerous stories and editorials that denigrate non-Christians, including atheists, humanists, secularists, Jews and Pagans as, among other things, worshiping Satan, destroying the country and being unfit for public service.
Lucas has once again penned a reply, which has not seen the light of day and probably never would if I did not post it here. Which I am more than happy to do. So here’s Mr. Oliver’s reply:
“God’s heart breaks over our moral demise.”
I just can’t figure out how to respond to this. I want it to be a joke. I’m embarrassed to live in a county where this kind of prejudice is supported.
I want to write a rebuttal, but I can’t figure out a way that would get through their thick skulls just how hypocritical they are being. I thought about just writing a parody of this Onion style. I think they would actually take it as support somehow. I thought about just railing at him for how stupid, hateful, and contradictory he is line by line. I thought about explaining, line by line, how each and every statement makes the human race look worthy of the destruction his god has prophesied.
Honestly I couldn’t even make myself read a full paragraph without losing focus on what he was trying to say. I don’t even have a dog in this fight, don’t even really care what he is saying. I know that the inbred bastard stereotype will never be taken seriously. The best chance he has at repairing our morals is to start in his own house anyway.
It’s the fact that it’s such a bold statement by Cal Beverly printing something that blatantly inappropriate. It just pisses me off.
Fifty years ago he would have been the guy with a camera under his sheet taking pictures of someone lighting a cross on fire. Over a hundred years ago he was trading diseased blankets for land. Across the pond he bartered between the church and crown when King James decided he didn’t like some parts of their book. I won’t keep going because I’ll eventually get to Judas, and that would just be an insult to Judas.
That kind of obsessed rhetoric is meant to be spewed from the pulpit. Not in public, and not printed for someone to make money from. It would be more appropriate to print a steaming pile of fecal matter and call it our mascot.
With hypocritical zealotry like that being preached and printed by the followers of a “loving god” it’s no surprise the rest of the world will be happy when America is a footnote. Everyone in the middle east lives in a cave because that’s all we ever see from over there, but we fail to think about what people see when they look at our media. We just keep putting more out there too. Showing just how horrible we are, all to make a buck.
Parents complain and whine about kid’s games being to violent, the kids know it’s all make-believe! They grow up reading excrement like this is acceptable to print just because sensationalism makes money. What do you think makes them a worse person?
Censorship is not the answer, responsibility by those with the power to hand down our history and spread our culture should be enough. Responsibility to understand the impact what they publish has on the world, close to home and around the globe.”
Veteran and Fayette Native since ’78
I will leave you with these words, which I have spoken and written many times before. Fundamentalism is a destructive virus that causes division and is responsible for countless broken families, ruined lives and destroyed friendships.
Fundamental believers have absolutely no problem violating the basic human rights of others because their form of religion grows, develops and cultivates ignorance. Fundamentalism only serves to add more narrow-minded, ignorant, bigoted, discriminatory and hateful people to the world.
In the words of Bertrand Russell:
“You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”
The claims that these people make of their righteousness, compassion, love and kindness is complete and utter bullshit. Never in my life have I encountered a group of people who are more willfully ignorant, intellectually blind, hateful or morally bankrupt. They know not what love is. They have no clue about what it is to be compassionate and their milk of human kindness has soured .