No Room in Politics for Hatred
In the foothills of the Blue Ridge, about 140 miles from Pinehurst, stands the Providence Road Church of Maiden, N.C.
It was just this past Mother’s Day that Pastor Charles Worley told his congregation — and, through the use of social media, the entire world — that homosexuals ought to be gathered up and placed in the equivalent of concentration camps.
Now, I am uniquely unqualified to argue Scripture. I am probably better qualified, but still not expert, to speak on the horrors of concentration camps. But I am the leader of a local conservative political party. And, as such, I can speak for many conservatives who are horrified at such hate no matter from where it comes.
Some conservatives, among whom I include myself, consider homosexuality immoral. Some believe it is a disease for which there is hope for a cure. Still other conservatives, more libertarian than me, believe it is an immutable condition that affects a certain number of people born each year, persons who should have the same sexual freedom as anyone else.
But within that entire spectrum of conservative and libertarian thought, there is no room for hate. Pastor Worley represents hate.
Now, I am a sworn enemy of the “gay agenda.” I do not believe that schools should teach that having two fathers is an acceptable way to raise children. I am against the current homosexual attack on the institution of marriage. But support of a constitutional amendment to protect marriage ought not make hatemongers comfortable when they call for violence against the LGBT community.
The advocacy of placing those with whom we differ into concentration camps, similar to the Nazi persecutions during World War II, actually furthers the gay agenda itself.
Pastor Worley allowed himself to become a national caricature of a hateful Southern preacher, preaching oppression and intolerance as the word of God. He tailored his sermon for “Central Casting” of a Grade B movie about civil rights. He made himself a villain as stereotypical as Snidely Whiplash, allowing liberals to pose as Dudley Do-Right. Far from helping the conservative cause against the gay agenda, he gave the liberals an enemy that popular culture loves to hate.
There are perhaps none among us who do not have a cousin, nephew or just a good friend who has come to be identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Some of us pray for them. Some of us seek psychiatric help for them. For some of us it is just no big deal. However, none of us should ever wish them harm or tolerate those who advocate violence toward them.
The hate of Pastor Worley needs to be placed alongside of the lawlessness that triggered the torture and death of Matthew Shepherd. Moreover, we must point out that what Pastor Worley advocates is exactly the same as the policy of the Ayatollah of Iran. All of this must be condemned in the strongest terms.
Yet, when we hear Pastor Worley speak, as hateful as his words might be, we still must admire the Constitution that both allows him to speak and defends those who publish that speech worldwide, either as an example of righteousness or intolerance.
During protests in the nearby town of Newton, there were those who tried to burn the pastor’s church. Our laws properly characterize those political arsonists as evil, too.
Although I rarely do so, those of my religion more pious than me pray twice a day with a prayer reminding us that only “in love will thou bring a redeemer.”
I personally believe that homosexuality is wrong. But I cannot bring myself to truly hate what God has put on this Earth.
Genesis teaches that “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” I believe that if I show love to even those things contrary to God’s later law, I can find the good that God promised in the beginning of his sacred text.
All of us, regardless of party, seek to build a better nation. I believe that conservative principles will do that best. But, nowhere is there room in those principles for hate.
Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Contact him at Law52@prodigy.net.
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