Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I am going to climb up on my soap box.

I watched the movie "Milk" starring Sean Penn a couple of weeks ago... and CRIED my eyeballs out. In case you haven't seen it, the story is about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco.
It's common knowledge that I am very emotional, in fact anyone who went to the weddings of Dana Webb Walters or Carla Forehand Baker saw me cry in front of crowds of people, but this movie really, really moved me.
A lot of people may not know that my dad's oldest brother, Kenneth Lang Harrell, died of AIDS when I was around 3 years old. Uncle Kenny was gay.
In fact, the week before I watched "Milk" I was going through some boxes of Mema Kay's and found a box of letters, cards, and wedding invitations that had belonged to Uncle Kenny and a box of letters that he had sent Mema and Papa while he was in NY (he lived there in the late 80's and early 90's). I read each thing he had thought to keep/send and was pleasantly surprised by how much he reminded me of myself. He was catty, dry, obviously had no idea when to filter his thoughts from his brain to his mouth, and totally open about who he was. He was also a writer.
As I watched "Milk" I couldn't get over how ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE people were to the gay community, then I realized it really isn't that much different here and now.
One thing I want to make VERY clear is that judging someone is never right. I don't understand how religious groups can honestly say "God hates gay people." Horrible. I am Southern Baptist, which I am ashamed to say is a denomination that is very well known for condemning homosexuality.
I know that the bible says in Leviticus 18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." However, the bible also says in Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". So if we are ALL sinners, what gives us the right to judge another and if you are condemning one of God's children, you are also condemning yourself. We have a few gay and lesbian people at Webbs Chapel, they are god-fearing, honest, and good people, but supposedly God hates them? I think not. One of the most knowledge people at our church that knows more about the bible, its history, and God than anyone I know and she is gay. So, what?
I hear preachers say that people who leave a gay lifestyle aren't allowed to be official church members or hold titles/teach sunday school classes in the church. Once again, we ARE ALL SINNERS, so those currently holding positions are also sinners, who are we to say one person's sin is great than another?

My Uncle Kenny was a brilliant man, remind me one day to tell you about how he fooled my grandparents into thinking he actually graduated from UNC instead of dropping out . And I love him, as does the rest of our family.
Try to utter the word "faggot" or judge another person around me, I dare you.

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