By Tim Wildmon
I remember when I was a kid, my momma would correct any of us children if we got really upset and blurted out that we “hated” someone. She would say it was okay to strongly “dislike,” but she would not let us get away with using the word “hate.” I don’t even think I could use the word to describe my feelings for asparagus.
The word “hate” is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Although we could not use it at all in our home, there is a place for the word hate. It belongs when we show pictures of Adolf Hitler. It belongs when we show pictures of men wearing the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. When we talk about such people it is appropriate to use the word hate.
A group will be in Tupelo tomorrow to protest the American Family Association with an event they call “Give Hate a Holiday.” According to this group, AFA hates gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.
As president of AFA, I totally and completely reject this slanderous charge.
AFA does believe that homosexual behavior is sinful. The Bible clearly says so. This has been the teaching in all branches of the Christian church for 2,000 years. Only recently have some liberal Protestant denominations begun to reject that teaching.
In the book of Romans, chapter one, Paul is writing about the wrath of God “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” In verses 24-26 the Scripture reads: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator …
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another ….”
This is where Christians get the idea that homosexuality is sinful. The New Testament goes on to nail every single one us as sinners. Homosexual behavior may not be yours, but the sins that condemn you are in there and the sins that condemn me are in there.
What has happened the last 30 years in America is that homosexual groups have tried to force changes on society that have been met with resistance. They have tried to convince people that civil rights should be based on someone’s sexual behavior (a choice) in the same way civil rights should be based on someone’s skin color (not a choice). And if you are one who does not publicly affirm their lifestyle then you are by their definition someone who “hates.” This is unfair, but this is how they frame the issue.
I believe most Americans agree with AFA. We do not believe in changing the legal definition of marriage to support two men getting “married.” Thirty one states have voted on this and 31 states, including such liberal states as California, Oregon and Maine, have said marriage should remain legally defined as one man and one woman. As a candidate for president, Barack Obama was publicly opposed to homosexual marriage.
As far as the military is concerned, there is a good reason why there has always been a policy disallowing homosexuals. Where do you put them? The reason men and women don’t share showers or sleeping quarters is to avoid sexual temptation and tension which could break down discipline, order and morale. Men and women are rightly separated. Again, what do you with men who are open about their sexual attraction to other men? It is not right to force straight men to shower and bunk with gay men anymore than it is right to force women to shower and bunk with heterosexual men.
Disagreement with the LGB&T movement on theological or public policy issues does not constitute hate. Reasonable people understand that.
Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.