Letter From the Editor 

Last week, a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Maryland man, Albert Snyder, had to pay the court costs of the Rev. Fred Phelps, who protested at the funeral of Snyder's son, Matthew, a Marine lance corporal killed in Iraq. Phelps is the minister of the Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, whose members picket the funerals of slain soldiers with signs reading "God Hates Fags" and other despicable slogans.

click to enlarge fred_phelps.jpg

Snyder sued Phelps and his church for invasion of privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional harm on his grieving family. A lower court granted him damages of $11 million. The Fourth Circuit Court overruled that decision and ordered Snyder to pay Phelps' court costs. Snyder is appealing the ruling, and the case will go to the Supreme Court this fall.

Phelps is also pushing for a "Matthew Shepard in Hell" monument, and he and his flock of "Christians" have also picketed the funerals of victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. His "logic" is that since the United States allows gay people to exist, those who serve our country in its military should fry in hell. Of course, it's not logical. It's sheer lunacy.

But twisted logic and lunacy abound, and Tennessee isn't immune. Republican state representative Stacey Campfield of Knoxville, for example, has reintroduced his infamous "don't say gay" bill, which would prevent teachers from giving out "any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality" in elementary and middle schools. So, if a seventh-grader asks his science teacher a question about homosexuality, that teacher would be forbidden to answer. Great thinking, Stacey.

It's become a cliche because it happens so often: Those who squawk loudest about the "evils" of homosexuality — fundamentalist preachers, conservative legislators, anti-gay-rights politicians — are "outed" for acting on their repressed desires. I'm not saying Phelps or Campfield is gay. I am saying they are troglodytes who demean their profession with such misguided behavior. They are fighting a losing battle.

Polling shows that younger people are more accepting of homosexuality, and it shows in their popular culture. They are more likely to know and accept friends and acquaintances who are gay. A majority of them don't see gay marriage as a threat to their own lifestyle.

No sane person believes God hates gays. But as long as some people do, we are destined to fight this lunacy.

Comments (24)

Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-24 of 24

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

We Saw You

GRRL FEST celebrates women in music

News Blog

Memphis Pets Alive (May 25-31)

Hungry Memphis

On the Scene at Barbecue Fest

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Twin Peaks and American Gods Bring Surrealism To TV

News Blog

Beale Street Bucks Gets Heated Debate

News Blog

Garner Recovery Fund Surpasses Goal in One Day

From My Seat

Lord Stanley Comes to Tennessee

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • This Land ...

    • Mar 2, 2017
  • Serious Christians

    What is the picture on your computer's desktop screen? Your kids? Your dog? Maybe a memorable vacation photo? Mine is a shot I took one October morning in 2012 as I was about to wade into the Little Red River. A mist is coming off the water, lit golden by a rising sun. The streamside trees are glowing yellow and red and that pale, dry green that says autumn is here. The photo captures everything I like about being on a stream. I put it on my computer so I'd see it each morning when I began to work — a reminder of the beauty that's so easy to lose sight of in the hustle of everyday life ...
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Making Tennessee Great Again!

    I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...

    • Jan 7, 2016
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation