God hates fags.
» Westboro Baptist Church

A faggot is a bundle of sticks used to fuel a fire. How faggot became the term for a gay man is unknown. It may have been a derogatory term for an old women that got applied to gay men, but another derivation suggests that we throw the faggots on the fire. From Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome, and for the next 1,500 years, Christians burned the gay. We think of the Inquisition as burning heretics, but according to records of the trials, more gay people were killed than religious heretics. Joan of Arc, for example was burned alive by the church for the sin of wearing pants, in defiance of the Bible. Who were all those witches but spiritually feisty women in a patriarchal world? The central question in Christendom was not whether it was just to burn gay people or not, but whether it was better to kill them first or to burn them alive.

Venice is beautiful. Modern visitors to Venice arriving from land cross over causeways to the island city, and then make their way down the Grand Canal to the one great open space, the Piazza San Marco, or St. Mark’s Square. The view from that square is immortalized in countless postcards and snapshots, the lagoon framed by two monumental columns, gondolas bobbing in the waves. On one of those columns stands the city’s original patron, Saint Theodore with his crocodile, and on the other a bronze lion with wings, the symbol of Venice itself. More gay people were killed between those two columns than anywhere else in Europe until the holocaust.

Piazza San Marco, Venice

Venice was able to build such an opulent city because it was rich, wealth gained through its fleet’s control of the Adriatic. From there they built a trading empire that sent emissaries like Marco Polo as far as China in search of opportunities. But Venice is vulnerable to the sea. Inundated by annual floods, the Venetians lived in constant fear of worse climatic disasters.

Being Christian, the Venetians believed that the primary story of God destroying a city is the tale of Sodom, where God rained down fire and brimstone because the Sodomites allowed homosexuality to thrive. So the citizens of Venice decided to protect their city and their wealth by killing the gay people, burning them alive between those magnificent pillars. Over the years the screams of gay people burning in Saint Mark’s Square became too much for the bureaucrats working in the surrounding palaces, so in a humanitarian gesture towards those working nearby, the city decided to behead the accused gay person before the burnings. For hundreds of years Venetians pursued and killed gay people to ensure the city’s prosperity and God’s blessings.

Hard as it is to believe, there are modern American Christians who continue to preach the killing of gay people. There are American evangelicals who are unable to kill gays in America, and so are backing “death for gays” legislation across Africa. This legislation got dangerously close to passing in Uganda in 2010, and Christian American money promoting these bills continues to flow. Even here in the States Christians attend rallies with signs advocating death for the gay. Gay people are blamed for 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and pretty much every earthquake or wildfire in California. The medieval views of the Venetians are alive and well to this day.

Of course that is not the norm. Most Christians in America do not believe we should kill gay people. They believe tormenting us is enough. In the name of God, morals, families, righteousness, country, national security, civilization, and the human race, many Americans believe hurting the gay is a Christian duty. Gay people are bad and must be punished for their wrongness, and the pain inflicted must be horrible enough to serve as a message to others who might choose this deviant path. So we end up with what my friend Jathan Gurr calls the “If we just hurt them enough they won’t be gay” attitudes that dominate our political and religious discourse.

Here is my attempt to lay out this conservative view:

According to our most common religious teachings, homosexuals are committing a grievous sin. By choosing to follow their same-sex attraction, those who live the homosexual lifestyle are making a choice that snips a thread from the fabric of society. If too many individuals chose to live the gay lifestyle, society would unravel in an orgy of selfish indulgence, procreation would cease, and human life would come to an abrupt end.

Because this view declares homosexuality to be a choice, the ethics of that choice become central. Societies encourage positive behavior and discourage the detrimental. Because homosexuality damages society and the family, and threatens the human race, we must be against it. As families, and as God-fearing people, we must not allow gay people in our midst, or any discussion of homosexuality outside of condemnation. Whether by taunting the effeminate in the schoolyard, preaching against them from the pulpit, firing them from workplace, or outlawing their relationships in our laws, they must be stopped. Our continued health and very existence are at stake.

Anita Bryant Protect America's ChildrenHomosexuality is a lifestyle that is, at its base, unnatural, going against everything from the design of our genitalia to our need to reproduce. God made male and female to fit together a certain way. As Anita Bryant said while fighting gay rights in the 1970s, “even barnyard animals don’t do what homosexuals do.”

Scientists have never found a gay gene. No one is born gay, no more than one is born a thief or a liar. God has given us free will to choose a righteous path and not give in to sin. It is absurd to think someone could be born with such unnatural desires.

Even with the obvious harm, bad people still live the gay lifestyle. They act out in this detrimental way because they are sick and damaged, and they end up stuck in this deviant lifestyle because of poor parenting, weak moral character, or valuing decadence over propriety. Homosexuals, having strayed, become hooked in the practice through addiction and psychological maladaptation.

Having made sin into a persistent lifestyle, homosexuals are now implementing a direct assault on the foundations of social order. They now seek to join the most exclusive of heterosexual clubs by gaining the right to marry, against all tradition and religious teaching. The purpose of marriage is for a man and a woman to bond and produce children. That is what it means to be human, and the homosexuals would rob us even of that.

In an unraveling modern society, where our social ties are breaking down before our eyes, the last bastion of human connection is the nuclear family. Multigenerational family living is gone. Ties with our neighbors are gone. The idea that “it takes a village” is mocked for being so far from our actual lives. Only the family, the nuclear family of a mother and a father and children, survives to hold society together. By choosing to not fulfill my manly duties and marry a woman, generate a nuclear family, and create children, I am personally a threat to all civilization.

Lot and his family fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah

Fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah, by Charles Foster, 1860

The clearest message that homosexuality is wrong comes from the Bible. Homosexual acts are prohibited by scripture. The Old Testament, in particular, has strict prohibitions on homosexual acts, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah shows God’s anger at sexual decadence. As a predominantly Christian society we must follow the clear commands of the Bible and enforce moral behavior, or else we too shall be destroyed in a rain of fire and brimstone like the people of Sodom.

But it is not just the Bible. A quick glance at the historical record shows the folly of the homosexual lifestyle. Look at the fall of Rome, brought down by the decadence of their homosexual perversions. Centers of sin throughout history have allowed homosexuality to flourish causing the collapse of civilizations.

Finally, the true sickness of homosexuality is seen in the scourge of AIDS. By having unnatural sex, and so much of it, gay men spread a horrific disease. Many innocent victims died because of the irresponsible decadence of gay sexuality. AIDS provides tangible proof of the consequences of sin and God’s punishment for the sick and immoral lifestyles of the gay.

The sickness that pervades modern society is exemplified by the prevalence of homosexuality. Gay people personify a society that is narcissistic, sexualized, sinful, and amoral.

** Remember, this is not anything I agree with. This is my attempt to elucidate the anti-gay position.

And now, some palate-cleansing humor. God’s truth:

God hates figs.
» Jeremiah 29:17

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.”

Sign in crowd saying: God Hates Figs