In response to the holier-than-thou Duggars

“Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Interesting to me how quickly the naysayers rush to judgment of others when the very Savior they lay claim to tells them to do otherwise. Frankly, any couple that spawns 19 children is the real perversion in this story. One must wonder, “What are they trying to prove?” As an ordained Christian theologian with a graduate degree from seminary, I often feel a deep inner rage about people such as these. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Yet, I do not deem homosexuality as a sin. Denying what you have been created by God to be is the real sin in this discussion. I often wonder why this is such an obsession with people who claim loudly how they are “good Christians” when they are “Christian” in words only. “Beware the hypocrites and the false prophets.” Many things are best left up to God, if in fact one believes in God under the Mantle of Christ.

Another “Christian” saying he’s sorry for bullying a gay classmate. REALLY?

I really, really hate how people such as this always lift up, ‘I was raised in a Christian [sic] home.” REALLY? Did you or your father actually READ what Jesus says? Or, did you run to Leviticus or Paul’s Letter to the Romans? As an ordained Christian theologian with a graduate degree from seminary, I can safely say you have Holy Scripture’s take on gays all wrong. Scripture is uniformly self-contradicting throughout. If one opts to lean on Leviticus for reasons to stone gays to death, they then must also look at all the other people who should be stoned to death. Yet, Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” In that one passage Jesus declares the stoning codes no longer to be in effect. Read “The Sermon on the Mount”, or The Gospel of Matthew, CH. 19. It once was considered okay to hold blacks as slaves because of Biblical passages on slavery. It is time to free the haters of their mantel of hate.

Email to Face the Nation, April 26th, 2015

Dear Mr. Schieffer:

I am writing to you today to laud your segment on gay marriage. You kept it well-balanced.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has a terribly flawed position on gay marriage along with a misinformed opinion on marriage itself. The origins of marriage included nothing romantic or even egalitarian. Marriages were arranged by the families. Today, in India and Middle Eastern countries this remains in practice. Marriages originated in order to preserve wealth, status, assurances that progeny would not be orphaned into society; and, rights to property and inheritance. The wife was not an equal partner, another fact that remains true in many countries.

Perkins has been a vocal and militant adversary of gays and gay rights for decades. Perkins has a terribly flawed interpretation of Holy Scripture all the while trumpeting how gay marriage will undermine the tenets of Christianity. Perkins pulls every trick out of his bag, including intentional misrepresentation of facts to gird up his hatred and intolerance toward the gay culture. In addition, Perkins has trumpeted some terribly vile and venomous accusations against gay men that are not only heinous and hideous; they are sweepingly invalid.

If those who oppose gay marriage will pull themselves away for a moment from their thoughts on the sex aspect (which some refer to as “icky”), they will come to an understanding about why marriage is so important, even vital, to gays and lesbians. I return to my posits in the second paragraph: It provides protection of the property and inheritance of the gay or lesbian couple, while also providing unrestricted visitation rights when one of the partners is in hospice or hospital. There are many hideous stories about parents who never condoned their son’s or daughter’s homosexual “arrangement” and prevented the rightful heir to property and monetary inheritance. Or, worse yet, preventing a partner access to their mate while dying in a hospital.

Perkins cannot wrap the Mantel of Jesus Christ across his shoulders, because Perkins is a Christian in voice only; not in action. He fabricates and corrupts Holy Scripture to support his hostility toward gay rights. (Many do, in fact!)

As to that “ick” factor some feel toward gay sex: Gays have not come up with any sexual practices or acts that straights have not thought up and tried already.

Again, thank you for a balanced segment about this very contentious subject.

The Reverend M. Vincent Turner

Loving to hate: An Un-Christian Phenomenon In a Nation that claims to be so Christian.

April 2015
Hatred runs amok within human culture and society. It is an irreversible and inconvertible condition of the human heart. Quoting from The Gospel of Matthew, 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies.”
Logically, Holy Scripture is not wholly necessary to attest to the fact that evil thoughts – and acts – come from the human. Evil is exacted more by men than women perhaps because men have testosterone, the element of being male that drives men toward to the good and the bad.
The instrument of evil is front and center in the United States today. It is being directed fiercely against gay and lesbian culture and community. While the purveyors of such toxicity form a small population of Americans, they are virulent, vocal and highly visible. If one did not know better from the outside of U.S. culture, one could conclude easily that a majority of Americans are anti-gay and against gay rights.
That gays and lesbians by and large are seeking to enter into the rite of marriage has be-come a central factor energizing the right wing antagonisms toward the gay [LBGTQ] community. Holy Scripture is used and abused to underwrite the palpable hatred being telegraphed across the nation by opponents of gay marriage and gay rights in general.
The “why” of this somewhat isolated tsunami of hate has questionable foundations. Self-defined “Christians” who oppose gay marriage and gay rights are quick to run to Leviticus or Deuteronomy, lifting up and parsing the passages that refer to stoning “men who lie with men”. Those same “Christians” will make a fast track to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, scholars of any worth and merit will explain all too clearly the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has nothing to do with homosexuality.
Again, those very “Christians” fully ignore Jesus’ admonishing, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” In that one passage Jesus of Nazareth tosses out all the stoning codes. Selectively apportioning Holy Scripture to support one’s hate or intolerance commits an injustice and disservice to Scripture. Scripture is not an exact reflection of the human condition or the human activity. Nor is Scripture necessarily an accurate representation of “God”.
The religious foundations used to oppose or undermine gay and lesbian rights are exacted in a way that completely ignore other behavior proscriptions that humans should adhere to and abide by. While Jesus says absolutely nothing about homosexual behavior, Jesus does state that if a man divorces, he is never to remarry. With heterosexual marriages in the United States experiencing a 55% failure rate, one must admit a substantial failure in following Jesus’ instruction on the matter of divorce. Worse, 50% of second marriages fail.
If a heterosexual couple engages in sexual intercourse before marriage, both the man and the woman are to be stoned to death – if one follows the letter of the law of Leviticus. There likely are not enough “stone quarries” in the nation to provide the killing ammunition to carry out that instruction!
Jesus does remark in The Gospel of Matthew, 19, that “not all men are called to marry.” Jesus does not then go on to state those men should not have sex. Perhaps that point is moot, except for the fact Jesus goes on to talk about “eunuchs born from their mothers’ wombs”. Some scholars have written about this particular passage, concluding this to be Jesus’ acknowledgement of men who have sex with men. Eunuchs are not “born”; they are created.
The culture of hate enjoys fertile ground in right wing fundamentalist Christianity. “Love thy neighbor” is applied selectively; very selectively; if at all. Yet, such fervent hatred is not isolated to being against homosexuals. In Ireland, one finds it between Protestants and Catholics. In parts of the United States South, hatred against blacks still thrives with sinister energy. Islamists, at least those who consider themselves conservatively following Mohammad, believe that Christians and Jews should be killed as the “infidels”. In some circles, Jews are hated uniformly.
For all its good intentions, religion has found lucrative applications of hate and intolerance. Hate, it has been written, is a learned behavior. Loving to hate is seen by many as an aberration. Yet, even in Scripture it is stated how evil resides in the hearts of men and women; but, mostly in men.
Hitler convinced his Nazi followers to hate Jews and homosexuals. Yet, there were Jews and homosexuals in the German militaries. The SS and the Brown Shirts were notoriously homosexual. Stalin executed one million of Russia’s most learned intellectuals and military generals. Stalin feared and hated them as his most ardent opponents. The solution: Kill them all.
People hate based on ethnicities; nationalities; races; even family affiliations. The greatest flaw among all humans is the evil that lives within each of us. The greatest challenge for all humans is to override our inner evil and turn toward the consummate good.
In current U.S. culture, hate and intolerance thrive unabated among certain religious leaders who claim to lean on Holy Scripture while leaning only on the passages that support their virulent hatred of homosexuals. The current stable of Republican legislators is brimful of haters. The vile and venomous hatred that flows from their mouths is the most evil form of rhetoric. They incite those with a voracious appetite to “purify” society. That rhetoric represents consummate evil, and inspires those with a limited sense of the boundaries between right and wrong to act out against those they are encouraged to hate. Violent speech attracts fringe elements, elements already poisoned by their own seedbed of hatred and intolerance.
This has become a growing problem within the United States. It has become acceptable, even encouraged among some, to bare one’s soul of evil and to act on it; or to openly celebrate it. The United States has become fertile ground for allowing one’s expressed hate toward others. As a result, U.S. society has become a cesspool of evil. That evil has become palpable in many quarters, some quarters housing our most prominent personalities.
In closing, I am reminded of what my parents taught me from an early age: It you dislike a certain person, or a certain group, leave them alone. It is not your job to try to change them. Seek out and find those you like and those with whom you know you belong. Leave the rest up to God. If only human beings could be and would be so simplistic in our approach to life in general, and “leave it up to God”!

Letter to Attorney Mapes regarding Dieseltec Gay Hating Owner

Dear Attorney Mapes:

This Email follows my reading your post about Dieseltec and the dust storm/firestorm the owner of Dieseltec has ignited.

First, I doubt that Bryan Klawiter actually received death threats or the like. Even so, if he did, such threats likely came from straight folk. Or, if one chooses to be more pernicious, from select friends who made the phone calls for him to validate his claim.

You will note from my signature block that I am a ‘Reverend’, ordained in the Episcopal Rite of Ordination. You will also note that I am a Veteran, having served honorably with our United States Air Force in classified Intel gathering overseas. I was promoted to “Sergeant” before age 21 and made Controller, Ops Section at age 21.

What you do not see is that I am a senior executive in the private business sector where I have spent the last 45 years of my life. I have held senior management positions for over 30 years. I have dual degrees and various national certifications.

And, oh! I also am gay. Yes, by God I am a homosexual. It would take years upon years before I would make such a statement openly. I grew up on a small farm in Maryland farm community. Church and Sunday school every Sunday. Choir. Youth leadership. Boy Scouts. Holiday fundraising. I knew somewhere around age 5 that I liked men. I just did not understand how or why I liked them; especially looking at their bodies. I “came out” at age 24 with my first partner who then was 19. We had eight wonderful years together and remained closely bonded until he died in 1996.

I share my brief “resume” with you, because I am not a minority in the gay culture. Thousands if not millions of gays and lesbians devote our lives to excellence, achievement and the common good. If “God” made such a huge mistake in creating homosexuals, why then are we in every family, every culture, every nationality, every ethnicity and every religion? The anti-gay religious fanatics have it all wrong, all the while derogating a valuable segment of society and culture.

Back to Klawiter: I really do not know why such vermin exists in the scheme of life. I do not know why there is so much HATE being spewed out against homosexuals in our society; even by men running for election to the highest office in the land. I read the vile excrement that exits the mouths of some of our most hateful opponents and ask, “Why?” Seriously, “Why?”

I suspect Klawiter of creating a scheme, using gays as his launch pad. Why else would anyone, mechanic or otherwise, who lives in a before-now all but unknown town in Michigan make a banner statement about not servicing gays? Worse, why would he suggest he might actually create a mechanical problem in gay client’s car; a problem perhaps that could lead to death? Where does such insidious, vicious full-depth hate come from? The fact is, from a psychological perspective, Klawiter demonstrates behaviors found commonly in men who are in fear and denial of their own homosexual yearnings. Klawiter is among those lunatics who would go out and “kill a queer for Jesus”, while not even coming close to knowing what Jesus actually taught; or, coming to terms with their own inner demons.

I enjoyed reading your letter. However, your closing it with “May God have mercy on your soul” suggests to me that perhaps you are far more gracious than I might be, even while wearing my collar and Cross of the Resurrection.

Email to Ruth Marcus, WashPost

Dear Ms. Marcus,

Good morning!

Your column in last Sunday’s Washington Post caused me to pause and reflect.

My family’s history is rooted in the lower Midwest: Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. My grandfather and great grandfather owned large tobacco farms along the Ohio River. My birth mother was born across the river in Warsaw, Kentucky. I am a Buckeye, the simple result of being born in Cincinnati.

The rising level of gay hate is a cause for great and grave concern. While Governor Mike Pence’s true colors are out there for the world to see, there is a more nefarious crusade at work. That crusade disturbs me immensely because it could lead to widespread, rampant violence against gays and lesbians.

That crusade is the one now being waged by Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, James Dobson and Pat Robertson; to name just four. (There are more.) The crusade’s herald is that gays are committing “jihad” against Christians. Robertson has mused how gays are going to force straight men into gay sex. One woman pol has declared that gays are recruiting straight men to convert them to homosexuality.

While the better educated and informed among us might discern the absolute absurdity and unreality of such claims, there is a large segment in this nation who are so dumbed down they will believe every word of it. The O’Connor’s in Walkerton IN are a good example of what I am speaking about.

Their hatred is so palpable and its potential for serious violence against gays, I must wonder if that is in fact what Cruz and company want. The hideousness of their words is beyond frightening.

Worse is how these gay haters and hate baiters lean on Holy Scripture to support their pernicious agenda. As an ordained Christian theologian who spent three years in graduate school studying both Christian and Hebrew Bible, I can assure anyone willing to listen those enemies of gay rights are patently wrong. They parse Holy Scripture to find those passages which support their claims to undergird their messages of hate and destruction.

This concern is deeply personal for me. I have been homosexual since the earliest stages of my life. I simply did not understand it, my powerful attraction to other men, until I was in my teens. I ultimately “came out” in 1968 with my first partner; two years after my Honorable Discharge from the United States Air Force. “Coming out” in 1968 meant coming to terms with one’s homosexuality and then going out to find other gay men to socialize with. “Gay” as a term did not come into common use until roughly my last year as a Sergeant in our Air Force.

The fear of discovery was a constant in my life; less of a concern to partner. I was building a career in the private business where I continue as a senior management executive. I was putting myself through the University of Maryland while working full time and using the GI Bill benefits to help me reach my goal of a business degree, which I realized in 1974. I continue to be very close to the vest about my sexual orientation, having felt the stinging insults and intolerance it can bring forth. Gays are considered “lesser” people, some suggesting we are not even “children of God”.

Perhaps “by the Grace of God” I pass as straight. I have all my life. I love all the “guy things”: fast cars, hot cars, football (pro and college), ice hockey, rugby, soccer, martial arts. But, I also love opera, symphony, Country & Western, Celtic and Gospel.

The fact is, I am not unusual when compared with other gay men. The majority of us really do not have a desire to declare to the world our sexual orientation. I feel no more the need to announce my homosexuality to someone than I would expect them to announce their heterosexuality to me. The only caveat to that premise is how some “straight” folk react when they suddenly learn or discover one is gay: They feel they have been deceived; left out. “Why didn’t you tell us? We don’t care.” Yeah, well. One never quite knows how that one might turn out.

So, back to our Christian heretics: They are broadcasting consummate evil with the potential for serious backlash against gays and lesbians. While I never was subjected to full on violence for being gay, I know about those who have been (mostly gay men as opposed to lesbians). Some have been killed; some left in endless comas; others injured for life. Why? Simply because we enjoy our sexual interaction in a manner that is different from heterosexuals? And, come to think about it, “straights” indulge in many of the sexual plays that gays and lesbians enjoy. A word to the queasy: If you don’t like what you think gays do in bed, then don’t think about it. If you do think about it, it suggests to many psychotherapists that you have undisclosed fantasies.

The Ted Cruzes of our world are the equivalent of homegrown terrorists, using lies and hyperbole to ramp up a message simply overloaded with evil purpose and deception. As a Christian Priest, I take great offense and exception to those who would put a target on the back of every gay and lesbian. The Ted Cruzes of our world are vile, narcissistic purveyors of the most vulgar of assertions using their nefarious messages of hate to fill their war chests. It is time for gays and lesbians and our advocates across this land to make battle ready. As much as some want to force us back into the closet, we “ain’t” going. If this turns into an all-out cultural war, then so be it.