Sunday morning I tweeted that I was overjoyed for the New York couples being married that day. Sunday evening I received a tweet back telling me that I would be "fuel for the fire" in hell. Later that evening I received an email with anti-Islamic content in it from an email address with the user's Twitter name in it that, disturbingly, used my own name in the "from" field.
Monday morning my latest post was published on Bilerico. The piece which, while not an attempt to evangelize or impose my faith on anyone, dealt with religion. Just as every post dealing with religion that I've placed on this site, the comments were immediately not just negative, but filled with hatred and vulgarity directed towards my faith.
This is the reality of what it means to be a queer person of faith. You get slammed from all sides.
I don't really mind. If I lost sleep over every hateful comment I heard in my life I'd be walking around comatose. But what is always ironic to me is how much anti-gay Christians and the rabid anti-faith folks have in common. The narrowness of world views, the inability to tolerate beliefs different than their own, the stereotyping of all members of a given group, the quickness with which both groups resort to name calling all point to a simple truth: they are all fundamentalists.
I'm sure the rabidly anti-faith folks don't think that label applies to them, but it does. The reality is that most atheists do not typically berate people of faith, call them names, or dismiss them as brainless. Most that I know are live and let live types. My atheist friends and I make no attempts to convert one another and are able to discuss our different beliefs in calm, respectful ways.
They are not the people I'm talking about here. Who I am talking about are the LGBT people who engage in behavior that, if it were directed at any other group, would rightfully be identified as bigoted and bullying.
Now I will be the first to admit that horrific acts have been committed in the name of religion. Believe me, I'm a queer minister. Most of the painful experiences in my life have come at the hands of the religious people. But I also understand that not every person of faith is hate filled, and that not every LGBT person is a paragon of tolerance.
I know this is not the reality, but I still believe that a community is at its best when it respects the diversity of all of its members. I was taught both as a young gay activist and a young seminarian that this was the ideal. I'm not naive enough that it shocks me when we fail to live up to our ideals of acceptance, freedom, tolerance, and kindness in our LGBT community, but it always saddens me.
I had thought about cutting and pasting some of the comments I've received in the past in order to make my point, but I'm sure that it won't take very long for commenters to prove it below. I invite you to read their comments, substitute the name of any other group in the place of whichever faith group they choose to attack, and judge for yourself whether its indicative of the equality and respect for diversity our community strives to secure.
In the end, we will secure our own equality not by attempting to drag others down with our bigotry, but instead by rising above hatred and showing those different from us the respect we hope to find.