Less than Christian and absolutely un-American

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

To the Editor:
With 2012 being a much anticipated election year, we are all inundated with a plethora of political rhetoric. I understand the candidates using catch phrases and much repeated propaganda to further their political agenda, but I was sorely disappointed to read the half-page article submitted Wednesday (March 14) by the well-respected Christian leader, Rev. J. Hubert Street.
These United States of America were founded on the belief that citizens should be allowed to practice their individual religions without the fear of governmental persecution, or experience lesser rights based upon their convictions.There has never been a true separation of church and state, but that is the ideal expressed by our founding fathers and the model our constitution tries to respect.
I am quite sure that Rev. Street’s political affiliation is a far cry from my own, and that is a difference that I am gladly willing to accept. That is why I feel so lucky to be an American and fortunate to live in a place and time where I can express personal views through free speech and a well-informed vote.
My concerns, however, are not based on the fact that Rev. Street believes a certain way, but rather him using his role as a religious leader to the detriment of our society’s progression, and his use of a phrase long used by playground bullies.
It was very alarming to read a Christian leader spewing the propagandist idiom that “(God) created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve…” I remember well the first time I heard this often-repeated phrase. I was a child attending Tryon Elementary, and at recess, encountered several of the older students surrounding one of my classmates for the sole purpose of torment and belittlement.
The admittedly effeminate child was cowered in the corner, enduring a barrage of homosexual slurs and physical abuse, when one of the older boys shoved him to the ground and yelled “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, you filthy (slur).”
That day I learned several words rooted in perpetual hate, and of course asked my parents what they meant. My parents, who share Rev. Street’s view of same sex unions, had the good counsel to tell me that whether right or wrong, none of those terms or phrases were appropriate for my vocabulary, or use toward any other human being.
I grew up and matured in a church where my pastor preached acceptance and respect, and while studying political science at Appalachian State, came to the conclusion that our government is based on equal rights for all, and that our principles should honor that as best we can.
Now, it is time for my own use of political rhetoric. If homosexuals can serve in our military to protect our freedoms, vote, pay taxes and enjoy all the other rights we frequently take for granted, why should we stop them from celebrating a monogamous relationship with whomever they choose?
Where in “The Good Book” does it say that Jesus rejoices in the persecution of anyone for any reason?
– Grant Phillips, Tryon