shame on you, Springfield… my gay flame is ignited…

I read in the news today that the home of my alma mater, Springfield, Missouri, repealed the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) bill, an act protecting rights of the LGBT community. Along with several others in the community, I am thoroughly disappointed with this decision by the people of Springfield. Though the tally at the end of the day was close – 51.43% for to 48.57% against (less than 1,000 votes separate these percentages, Reader) – it’s sad that a community of people who call themselves “Christians” have just sent one of the strongest messages of “hate” to a community of people they claim to want to “love.”

I get a little heated about these sorts of topics, so hold on to your seat, Reader. I’m a little pissed and you’re going to know it. This isn’t the first time I’ve written something about how absurd some people can be when it comes to LGBT rights and basic life excitement, but it’s been about a year so it’s time to reignite the gay flame.

Let’s get into the gritty part of what this ordinance repeal was all about. (You can probably already guess…) Back in October, the city council added to their current anti-discrimination laws: the original ordinance protected LGBT people when it came to housing, work, or public facilities. Based on the repeal (because you’re smart, so you get this), now gay and transgender people can legally be turned down for housing, restricted from public facilities like bathrooms, or even be fired from their job simply because they don’t fit the “mold” the greater Springfield public wants them to fit.

So, how did this happen in this day and age?  you might be wondering. I’m so glad you asked. Springfield is home to the headquarters of the Assemblies of God – a rather conservative, Pentecostal, evangelical Christian denomination. I was raised A/G and now avoid them like the plague for many reasons… We won’t get into that story here because it doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that the city of Springfield is infiltrated with Christian people. Now, I know just as much as anyone that not all Christian people are bad or hateful. Hell, I used to be one and I promise, I had the best intentions (though they were totally wrong). But, unfortunately, many of them are so closed-minded and fighting against issues (like this particular ordinance) that is a complete slap in the face of fellow humans.

I know for a fact that at least one mega-church in the area, James River Assembly, had been using the pulpit to encourage their congregation to vote “yes” to a repeal. I read an article posted by a friend on Facebook from the local newspaper a couple of weeks ago that included some excerpts from a sermon given by the church’s senior pastor, John Lindell. Lindell gets pretty defensive about preaching against the ordinance around 1:15-1:35… But what he fails to mention, based on these excerpts (I confess I haven’t read or listened to the entire message due to time, but hope to this weekend), is why repealing the SOGI bill is so vital to the Christian community.

People like John LIndell – and organizations with similar goals – are preaching that by selling a product or service to someone who identifies as LGBT, they are “supporting” a “behavior” they believe is wrong. They feel businesses should have the right to refuse service to gay or transgender people because the private, personal life concerns and “choices” of LGBT people go against the business owners’ religious beliefs. A local campaign, “Yes on Question 1,” said, “…as a business owner you have no right to refuse service based on your conscience and personal convictions.”

So, this means that these people want to protect their religious freedoms by turning down business to someone who is offering to help their business, ultimately aiding the economy, and has no intention of trying to harm or sway their beliefs in any way?

Um, WHY?????

Let me be clear, Reader: I am not sure I understand the situation here… Because to me, it seems that if someone is willing to support your business and GIVE YOU MONEY, the wise thing to do would be to take the cash and do the job. I mean, right?

And really, if we’re going to side with this community of “nay criers,” don’t we need to look at every angle of their complaint? As I have already mentioned a thousand times, they say that if they cannot deny an LGBT person service, they are supporting a “lifestyle” against their religious views. If that’s truly the case, shouldn’t they also be refusing service to the following groups of people:

  • single, unwed mothers with single or multiple children – God forbid they have multiple baby daddies (CNN’s Anderson Cooper had a heated debate citing this kind of situation with Arizona senator Al Melvin, which you can watch here)
  • people who are divorced
  • people who are obese – because God knows they’re gluttons and shouldn’t be eating that cake/meal/pizza
  • the man or woman who is cheating on their spouse
  • people who irresponsibly uses credit cards and is amassing more and more debt – because the Bible says that debt is bad and buying more stuff is just putting that person into more debt
  • customers that are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Unitarian, or Buddhist
  • non-churchgoers

All of these things are “no-no’s” in the Assemblies of God, and much of the “Christian,” world. So why aren’t they refusing service and simple rights to these people? These groups’ “lifestyle choices” are in violation of what the so-called Christian community believes, aren’t they? By firing an unwed mom, are you telling her that you don’t support her decision to have sex outside of marriage? Or are you telling her that she’s not worth employing? Now she can’t provide for her child simply because she got knocked up and didn’t marry the guy?? By refusing service to someone who is divorced, are you telling them you don’t support their decision to leave their abusive spouse? Or telling them they have no true worth as an individual? Who would even dream of refusing service to an obvious glutton? How would you even begin to justify that?? And the credit cards? People who don’t go to church?

What the hell, people?

If you’re one of those people who support repealing these acts that protect fellow humans, I urge to you really think about what you’re trying to protect. Are you proclaiming a message of love and hope? Or are you preaching from a dilapidated soap box that’s about to collapse against the winds of change?

Here’s what your support is proclaiming: 

If you’re LGBT, you’re not worth shit.

We don’t want you to be able to live comfortably or keep your job.

Unless you’re just like us, you’re not worth protecting.

Is that the message you want to send? Didn’t think so.

To those who are in support of repealing ordinances and protective acts like this around the country: please, please, please consider the message you’re sending. Consider the lives you’re affecting. Consider the bigger picture. No one is asking you to “support” or personally identify as LGBT. So, is it hurting you? Think about it.

To the church community of Springfield – especially the staff at James River Assembly: your pulpit shouldn’t be used as a tool to encourage hate, regardless of whether it’s “against the law” or not. You can spin it however you want, John Lindell, but encouraging your congregation to vote “Yes” to repeal the ordinance from the pulpit was wrong. Shame on you.

End rant.

Happy Wednesday, Reader.

*This post was shared as part of WordPress’s The Daily Post: Ripped From the Headlines.

2 Comments

    • I agree, Judy! We are fighting about the wrong issues when there are other things that need our attention more! I wish the U.S. understood this better, though I think we are [very] slowly making progress!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

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