WWJD? Probably Not Write A Letter To Gay Author Telling Him To Kill Himself
Atheist parents are often told there’s no way to raise moral children without religion. But to me, it doesn’t look like raising them in the church is much of a guarantee of goodness. Take the case of New Zealand’s Pastor Logan Robertson (no relation to Pat), who recently came across a book by Jim Marjoram, documenting Marjoram’s struggles as a gay Christian. WWJD? Probably not write a letter to Marjoram to encourage him to commit suicide, but that’s what Robertson did anyway, as Raw Story reports. If this is what ‘moral’ looks like, I’m not having any of it, thanks.
Marjoram’s book, It’s Life Jim … , deals with his past of struggling to reconcile his faith with his sexuality, and the time he spent in “ex-gay” support groups and conversion ‘therapy‘. His book was written in search of a comfortable space for gay people in the Christian Church, which Robertson responded to in a not-very-Christlike fashion. There’s a long epistolary tradition in Christianity starting with Paul’s letters to the early church, but I don’t remember any of those reading much like this:
“We are not interested in your filthy lifestyle or book. The Bible says you are vile, strange (queer), reprobate, filth, sodomite, natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed. I pray that you will commit suicide, you filthy child molesting fag.â€
Marjoram shrugged off the email, saying that stuff like this is why he wrote his book and created a gay Christian support group in the first place. Getting used to people telling you they hope you die is a depressing thought. As for Robertson, when contacted by reporters, he refused to even own his vile anti-gay sentiments, saying:
“I didnâ€™t tell him to go and commit suicide. I said I prayed that he would. All I did was write what I wrote, and then I prayed about it that he would, and thatâ€™s it. Thereâ€™s nothing more to say.â€
Really? I have a lot more to say about it, and most of the verses I have in mind start with “fuck” and ends with “you”. There’s also a chorus regarding the use of weasel words, and the background track is just a wordless scream of incoherent rage. Somewhere in the middle there are a few lines about bearing false witness and loving thy neighbor, too.
Raw Story uses the word ‘un-Christian’ to describe Robertson’s tirade, and while there are a lot of adjectives I would apply to his statements, that isn’t one of them. I know a lot of wonderful, amazing Christians – but saying that Robertson isn’t a ‘true’ Christian just because he’s a piece of human garbage is fallacious nonsense. I’m an atheist and I think Richard Dawkins is a walking fecal nugget unless he’s writing about biology; that doesn’t mean I get to pretend he doesn’t share my views viz-a-viz the existence of deities. It means it’s my job to say, “Hey, sorry about that idiot, his views on sexual harassment/Islam/child abuse belong in the Paleolithic along with his favorite Australopithecus fossils.”
Whenever someone from a non-Christian religion, especially Islam, makes an act or statement of violence, the bobblehead dolls who anchor Fox News start calling for apologies from the leaders of that religion. Shall we sit back and wait for their condemnations of the silence of Christian leadership now? Better bring drinks and snacks, because somehow I think we’ll be waiting a long time.