For the last several years as we have continued to make unprecedented progress in our struggle for full equality, there was this nagging concern that deeply disturbed me. Historically as movements have come on the brink of success there have been escalating hate and violence from those dark forces fighting any change. In the civil rights movement in the 1960's, we had to witness killings, bombings and even the death of four young girls attending Sunday school in a church in Birmingham.
That is why the extremely and increasingly violent rhetoric coming out of pulpits should be of grave concern to LGBT Americans - in fact to all Americans. The temptation, of course, is for thinking people to cross these preachers of hate off as right wing religious crazies. Their attempt to be the moral police of America is more like the Taliban than a thoughtful discussion taking place in a democratic setting. Not taking them seriously, however, would be a mistake.
Their power is not limited to their church or diocese but serves like a drug for unstable individuals in society who could be the perpetrators of enormous violence directed toward the community. They hear bishops or ministers proclaim that being gay is a more important issue to their God than poverty, war or destroying our environment. The endless litany of lies, distortions and pure hate coming out of their mouths is like pointing a loaded gun at the community.
Now they have proceeded to a new level in this hysteria with some preachers making direct calls for killing all LGBT Americans and the establishment of concentration camps for us. While we all know that is not going to happen, their reckless and dangerous words give permission to those who truly believe killing LGBT Americans is to work in the grace of God. Don't underestimate the power of these words as they call for our extermination.
Now more than ever our leaders, organizations and community gathering places should be more vigilant. The more successful we become over the next year or two, the more the heated rhetoric of hate will increase. There is no way such inflammatory, out of control hate can't have its consequences.
Most importantly LGBT Americans have to rise above this hate filled speech and reach out to our fellow citizens with our talents, love and being good neighbors. Never should we allow ourselves to be dragged into the sinkhole of anger and hatred. Becoming like them only makes our struggle more difficult and steals our souls