Freelance writer, Christian, and Pittsburgh resident Angelle N. Guyette attended the council meeting during which the extension of rights was discussed. She published her thoughts yesterday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an opinion piece titled, "How do others see you? I'm ashamed of my hate-filled fellow Christians."
Sinner! God himself will judge you," a fellow snarled as I passed. Angry men and women stared me down, posturing, as I made my way through the crowd.i think i like Ms. Guyette! Her story of the adulterous minister reminds me of something from my childhood. i recall overhearing my mother having a conversation with our minister, Rev. Maybelle Johnston. My mom was complaining about another local minister whom she had caught in a blatant and malicious lie. "Oh, Martha. All preachers lie. Didn't you know that?" said Rev. Maybelle.
I was scared.
The Allegheny County Council met two weeks ago to hear testimony about whether to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons among those against whom it would be unlawful to discriminate.
I'm straight but I support the legislation and wore a "Fairness to All" sticker, so some of the opponents made certain assumptions about me.
I've attended hearings on many topics where people angrily voiced their opinions, but the hatred evident at this gathering stunned me -- not only because of its ferocity, but also because of who was expressing it.
"They'll know we are Christians by our love" the song goes.
At this County Council meeting, you could know most of them by the hatred on their faces. The leaders of the religious opponents were the worst, displaying physical revulsion at having to stand near people they figured were gay. They looked like they'd have stoned Mary Magdalene, and her friends, too.
One minister's face contorted as he spoke, "Homosexuality is offensive because it is a sin. People choose to commit this sin. My congregants should not have to hire gays and condone a sinful lifestyle they find offensive."
One of his followers spat out, "I should not have to rent to those people. I don't want them sinning in my properties."
This made me recall a minister I had dated who had cheated on me when I thought we were practicing abstinence. Nice, clean-cut looking fellow. Dirty rat.
A person of faith, I quit wearing a cross around my neck in public some years ago to avoid being identified with a growing "Christian" culture of bigotry and intolerance. After that County Council meeting, though, I'm finding it difficult even to pray: How can God let such hateful evil use His name?Read the rest of Ms. Guyette's article at the Post-Gazette.
I try to remember that "snakes in the garden have their purpose." The only way around hate is with love, so I spoke with a handful of the religious opponents after the council hearing.