Standard-Examiner editors made the unacceptable decision to print these two sentences from a reader's letter in the Saturday, Feb. 16, edition: "Is there such a thing as a homosexual Christian? If so, then it must be an antichrist."
Why are these words unacceptable for publishing in your newspaper and on your website? First, many Christians consider the concept of an "anti-christ" to be a figure of pure, concentrated evil. The antichrist is as horrible as you can get for many people.
Now, make some substitutions in the original sentences: "Is there such a thing as an African Christian? If so, then it must be an antichrist." "Is there such a thing as an Asian Christian? Is so, then it must be an antichrist." "Is there such a thing as a Jewish (or Muslim, or Indian, or disabled, or any other descriptive word) Christian? If so, then it must be an antichrist."
Would Standard-Examiner editors have printed any of those variations? I argue that it would not. And yet because the letter was about people of varying sexual and affectional identities, it deemed it to be permissible. It deemed it acceptable to question their very humanity and for the letter writer to use the most horrible slur possible for a Christian. It deemed it acceptable to treat gay people as subhuman. After all, the letter writer refers to gay people as "it."
I am a part of the letter writer's "homosexual crowd." I am a "homosexual Christian." I am not the antichrist. While I often fail, I try to live up to the teachings and standards of my spiritual leader, Jesus Christ. I try to hold God in my heart and love all of God's children as Christ loves me. I try to speak for justice and to stand up for those whose voices are drowned out by the hatred and ignorance of our world.
As such, I ask the editors of the Standard-Examiner to be more thoughtful and careful about the words that it prints.
Rev. Gage Church
Congregational United Church of Christ