To Friends of Gays Everywhere, It’s Time for Tough Love


I have been holding off on this post, waiting for the right “feeling” to propel me to post it. Today, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth, his impact on not just equal rights for non-whites but also on human rights weighed heavier on my mind that usual. Then this quote convicted me to step bravely forward with this post.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, here goes:

Dear Straight Friends of Gays (SFoGs):

It’s 2012, an election year, and the cause for equal rights for gays is advancing. As such, I want to be very clear where I stand with respect to our friendship.

First of all thank you for being our friend, publicly. For many of you, you’ll generously say “no thanks necessary” because that’s just how you are; for others, I understand that it’s been a huge step for you—and I respect that. Attitudes and ideals grow and evolve individually. Not everyone not everyone is at the same place at the same time in their own journey—and that’s OK.

That said—and now I’m speaking generally, not just to my circle of gay-friendly friends—it is time for you reconcile the authenticity of your friendship and—to an extent—your character. You claim to love us and our parties and shop with us and have us into your homes and vice versa.  But I have reached my tipping point and it is finally time for me, personally, to take a stand.

I can no longer call you my friend if you go into hate-filled churches that proclaim God’s love while at the same time demonize gays and espouse hatred.

And I can no longer consider you a true friend if you step into the voting booth in your local precinct on Election Day, close the curtain, and then vote for candidates who are against equal rights for all citizens.

If you do, then you are against me, personally. Not some ethereal bunch of gays, but me, someone you know and profess to love. 

I realize it is a risk to mix friendship with either politics or religion–or both. Yes, we can disagree about political parties and certain ideologies, to an extent, but on these two principles, we can no longer disagree and remain friends.

Since I came out in 2006, I have generally tried to not be overly in peoples’ faces with my “lifestyle” and in particular my politics related to being an out, openly gay man.

[Keyword: overly. My outward identity alone has been just about more that many people can take.]

In all honesty, I don’t suppose any of my coming out has been done…lightly.  But over the past couple of years, I have grown increasingly frustrated by what’s going on in the country today when it comes to equal rights for all citizens of our country and by friendships with people whose love appears suspect.

The civil rights movement and the gay rights movement are essentially motivated by the same principle: discrimination and inequality based on human characteristics cannot be tolerated. And just like I’m stunned that “good, Christian people” could have ever presumed to “own” another human being or regard someone as less than deserving of equality because if the color if their skin, it is beyond my comprehension that people think that homosexuals have less rights than the heterosexual majority.

To this day, I cannot imagine people sitting in churches week after week—people who had slaves or later “employees” who they regarded as less that equal (like those portrayed in the recent motion picture The Help)—while a preacher proclaimed  the great message of Christ’s love and yet possessed such un-Christian ideals. I am stunned by the notion of people treating blacks like they did back then or for being eschewed—even vilified—for standing up for the rights of people of another race.  [Can you imagine someone frowning upon you because you have black friends?!]

And yet here we are some 50 years after the fight for civil rights was won—which took the killing of children in a church for many white Christians to finally become convicted by their own hypocrisy—and people are still sitting in churches that preach hate and resemble the body of Pharisees Jesus decried. And we have a group of citizens who are up in arms about their “religion being under attack” by a president who, while not coming out entirely for gay marriage, does support equal rights under the law for all citizens. In the struggle for civil rights, I don’t know if people voted against JFK more because he was Catholic or because they knew he was a proponent for civil rights for all Americans, but history proves JFK’s election was the right decision. I fully believe history will bear out the same verdict for Barack Obama.

Politics is largely a matter of heart.
~R. A. Butler

I understand that many people are voting in the upcoming election based on the economy. We can argue all day about on whose watch this started and about which party has failed to fix it, never arriving at a consensus. But here’s one thing I [actually] agree with the evangelical right on:

This election is about social issues.

It’s time to really understand what the separation of church and state means. The economy will recover—regardless of what party is in control of whatever branch (see also big business, lobbyists) and, as history shows, it will get messed up again. But if you vote for candidates who are against equal rights for all people (this is not a blanket anti-republican statement), I am calling your friendship into question. You simply cannot be friends with someone who you think is less deserving of the same rights that you yourself have.

Moreover, I cannot be friends with you.

Americans cannot allow a party overrun with hate-filled, hypocrites on the wrong side of history to take control and undo the progress that’s occurred in the past couple years–despite setbacks and efforts to the contrary. (Thanks Mormon church, et al.) Last election, enough of us finally got behind and elected a man in spite of his color—a man who inspires that we’re all of us equal, regardless of our color, income level, or sexual identity. A stance against gay rights is no different than the sinful, offensive belief that whites were superior than blacks.

For my friends who are Christians but are having trouble reconciling your love for your gay friends with religious dogma over homosexuality, I would encourage you to study that scripture every day—particularly the words of the Christ you follow—and to bear in mind this encouragement:

“To be a Christian is to live dangerously, honestly, freely—to step in the name of love as if you may land on nothing, yet to keep on stepping because the something that sustains you no empire can give you and no empire can take away.”
~ Cornel West

Each one of us needs to err on the side of love not hate. With your witness and your vote—I believe these are precisely the same thing—you have the chance to model authentic love and equality. I’m not asking you to start going to Gay Pride parades but by loving gays and supporting their claim to equal rights, not only do you have access to outstanding styling tips and fabulous parties, you demonstrate true friendship.

In conclusion—and I say this with respect—you can’t have it both ways: claiming to be friends with gays but then supporting beliefs, ideals, and candidates that deny equal rights for us.

Otherwise, we must part ways.

Sincerely

Todd Whitley

And PS: if you are gay and vote Republican, then we seriously need to talk. There’s a whole other post coming for you.

PPS: Does this make me an activist now?

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43 thoughts on “To Friends of Gays Everywhere, It’s Time for Tough Love

  1. My Todd…. you are one sweet man. You are brave to go where many don’t even want to talk or discuss. I praise you my friend for having the balls to call out so many people and stand tall and proud in your beliefs. Ignorance is all around us and I applaud you for going where many are afraid. This country is founded on freedom and and freedom of speech. However, it seems that those with power are willing to take down those who really make this country what it is. Why should we condone to what others believe even if it is uncomfortable. I agree, in many of our friends actions they prefer to fight over a football game than stand behind their friends. There are so many people hurting in this world, many who are molsted, beaten, stolen from and mentally and physically abused. Why should anyone care what we do and who we love. Thank you for being you and NEVER change who you are. I love you my friend, unconditionally!

    • thank you Jim.

      i believe ignorance really is the issue–and I don’t use that word hatefully. in fact much of the tedium associated with writing this post is that I state my position without implying that, although i am no longer willing to extend my friendship in these cases, there is no hate, no absence of love. rather, it is love that has sustained me and propels me forward.

      thanks for your comment.

  2. Very nice and straight to the point….I loved it and I will pass it on…..I’m straight and I don’t treat my gay friends any different then my straight friends…..not my pastor nore congregation would be allowed to treat my FRIENDS differently.

    • I appreciate hearing about your love for your friends and example.

      thanks for reading and taking time to comment.

  3. as i was talking to my students about dr. king today, i was thinking some of these very things………that color is no different from sexual orientation. it is who we are, how we are born. and NO ONE should look down on a person because of either of these. i wanted to tell my students these things. that the disbelief on their faces should apply to gay citizens as well. i know what the fallout would be from that………..

    i am so proud of you! you have stepped to the front of the fray, and you may well lose friends as a result. but they weren’t really friends. you know where i stand on this issue. i love and respect you and i stand beside you, not just behind you.

    • a point that i didn’t exactly make when i wrote this was that–i have lost many friends already, a casualty of coming out. and yet i survived. their friendship was limited, and i accept that.

      but i did not lose every friend and you are on that short list, ever beside me, ever encouraging me, ever being a true friend.

      and while you could not raise the issue per se, i’m certain that the authenticity which you taught your students was evident to each one of them, helping shape a world view that will include respect for all humans.

      because that’s just what kind of person you are.

  4. Once again, I am blown away by your eloquence, passion, candor and tenaciousness. I think you have made an important and brave step by writing, and subsequently publishing this post. You are a champion in so many ways and to so many people. I’m sure that if others take your lead, and like you put their feet down to their circles of family and friends, positive change will gather even more momentum. 

    As this blog’s audience let’s ask ourselves if we truly believe that all men are created equal and should be treated as such. If so, then just like my brother, we should take our stand too. Let’s ask ourselves, what do we believe? Then, how will we demonstrate those beliefs? What choices will we make and what will we stand for and, just as importantly, who will we stand by? Only then will we be standing together hand in hand.

    I believe, my brother, and I will stand by you.

    • how have i lived my entire life without the open love of my blood-sisters? i know your so busy with your life and that baby girl but thank you for making time to reply to me and encourage me.

      i don’t feel like a champion…i’m just fumbling around in life, trying to find myself, my way, my voice. sometimes i get it right–which hopefully atones for all the times i have not.

      i appreciate the questions your reply asks of the people reading this blog because in very few words, you expressed the gist of what i was trying to say. thank you for getting it.

      and for standing by me.

  5. “a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority” ayn rand
    Bravo! So many things to respond to, but I will keep it to one. It appalls me to believe the role that minorities play in discrimination against gay rights and that several ministers fell free to expound discrimination as God’s law. In 2005, while driving my son (my partner and I adopted his 12 year old nephew because his sister was in prison,) to Celebration, we were listening to the gospel music, as I was driving down 199, a black minister was in a lengthy commercial spot saying that if his patrons didn’t go out and vote for the Texas Marriage Amendment that they were immoral and not doing their duty as Christians. I cried that someone of my race, given the length and totalities of the discrimination that African Americans had suffered, would profess to believe that it was ok to deny another group basic civil liberties. It made me sick, it made me outraged, and I think I felt despair, I had not known as an adult. It is always wrong to subject the rights of minorities to the will of the majority, but alas that is where we are now. We are where the fight must begin with renewed vigor to turn the tide and become the majority. Once such path is by being as vocal and as discerning as possible, a great call to arms Todd. Hopefully the masses will head the beacon.

    • i’m so glad you took time to respond (tho I’d love to hear the other thoughts!)

      i remember waking up the morning after the election. i was married to my black male partner at the time (having been one of those 2008 same sex CA marriages allowed in the interim) and we’d joyously celebrated the election of the first biracial (ok, black) president in history. (to say that we were jubilant is an understatement: he cried, i cried. it was just monumental.) we went to sleep before the final results of the CA vote but it never occurred to us what would be waiting for us when we woke up.

      no, the african american contingency didn’t cause Prop 8 to pass. (It was the MORMONS!!! which is the only way Romney has a chance with the protestant Christians because they do have that in common…) but to know that the churched black community came out so hard against another minority just broke our hearts; in fact, we were stunned.

      closeted my whole life, i used to be a member of a very conservative church and was one of those evangelical grass rooters that loved Reagan, was sad when Bush I lost, tried to defeat Clinton, and yes, even place a “W” sticker on my car. the hypocrisy with which i lived my life is nothing i’m proud of. i think that’s probably why i’m so vocal now.

      i cannot be quiet about it. i will not. and i cannot afford to have relationships with people who do not think i am equal to them. none of us should. love each other, always. but extend confidences and trust? i can’t do it anymore.

      thank you for taking time to post and share your experience.

      • Todd…. I don’t get why some people feel threatened by your blog post. Your words were chosen but you were firm and tough. What many people don’t understand is that if you love me, then you want me to be happy and that means being treated equal, being able to love the person I want to love and being able to marry that person and to be able to see them when in the hospital as a spouse or family member, to be able to grieve publicly at their grave when they die and to enjoy the daily love of a spouse. If one truly loves a friend then this should be implied, regardless of the sexual orientation, and I must say I HATE SAYING SEXUAL ORIENTATION, but it worked here. The world is so full of hate and judgement that why can’t we as friends just support one another. I support my friend who is str8 and married and divorced 6 times, but yet I cannot marry a man. Does that make sense to the world. As always Todd.. I will love you unconditionally and am here anytime you need me my friend. Let’s make this a wonderful world!

      • i don’t know if anyone is threatened by it or not.
        but hoards of people seem to be threatened by the notion of equality. and that, i do not understand.

        yes, let’s make it a wonderful world! 🙂

        thanks for your friendship and, by your comment, helping crystallize what’s at stake.

      • Well since you asked lol. I have always believed – because I was shown though the example of my parents, that no one has the right to deny rights from others. When I married outside of my race I was judged harshly by many but thankfully loved by far more. I developed an attitude that I feel is very healthy although some do not understand. I truly feel ok with someone disagreeing with my choices and thinking I am wrong, I feel no anger toward that. If u believe it is wrong then my advise to you is – don’t make that choice but that doesn’t mean it’s an open door to mistreat me or my children. Denying rights from those who have a different lifestyle is nothing short of criminal. I think the strongest statement you expressed is to err on the side of love.
        And by the way – I wish I had a way with words like you. Just keep in mind – I teach Math lol

      • your words seem pretty good to me. 🙂
        thanks for logging your story alongside mine…it adds far more value than just my ramblings alone.
        i respect you for many reasons, not the least of which is your strength and fortitude.

        and as far as my way with words: i talk a lot. i guess it was those Tolar English teachers who should be held responsible for teaching me to translate the babbling into written thoughts. haha 🙂

  6. Please excuse the rather lengthy and probably rambling response.

    In many ways I support what you are saying. Though in the UK, I think the language of hatred towards gays is nothing like as strident as it appears to be in the USA, prejudice still exists. In the evangelical church I attend, my daughter’s fledgling faith was pretty much stifled by a “straight down the line evangelical” youth pastor’s wife over this issue. My daughter is 100% straight but she had a number of male gay friends at school and recognized that they did not choose to be gay, and that many of them had tremendous struggles in coming to terms with their orientation, and she sees nothing wrong in it, just like me. But the youth pastor’s wife made her feel that she wasn’t good enough to be a Christian because of her views on this matter – told her to go and read the bible on homosexuality and if she didn’t accept it, that it meant she didn’t accept the bible. Though I tried to explain to her that there are many ways of interpreting what the Bible says about homosexuality, she has pretty much abandoned her Christian faith, self-identifying as an agnostic to my great sadness, as you can imagine.

    For a while, I felt that I’d had it with evangelicals and their narrow mindedness. I started attending Quaker meetings, and still do, and have recently taken on a pastoral role in my local meeting. But I never actually walked out on the church. One weekend I was invited to go on a “men’s weekend” away, and did so (somewhat uneasily), and found that I still loved these men I’d had fellowship with on and off for the past twenty years. And I also found that more than one of them shared the same views as I did on homosexuality, even though the church leadership does not (our vicar is very afraid that legislation will be introduced that will force him to marry gays in church – an irrational fear – the only legislation introduced will make it possible for gays to marry in church).

    But because within the church, there seem to be a growing number of people who feel the same way as I do, I feel reluctant to just walk out in protest, as you suggest, but feel that I am better placed to continue to operate within those ranks. It was in that very church that I received the spiritual conviction that I ought to investigate the whole issue of how one can be gay and Christian. It’s a bit of a charismatic church, and we were encouraged to share “pictures” we’d received. I didn’t at the time have the courage to share the image that popped into my mind: it was of a man wrapped in a cocoon, but it wasn’t protecting him – it was suffocating him. I took the cocoon to be a metaphor for homophobia, so determined to read all I could about it. It was during that process that I discovered Pam’s excellent blog, and subsequently subscribed to yours.

    So I hope, after reading this, that you will still be able to consider me a friend, even though I won’t abandon completely the church I’ve been attached to for over twenty years.

    • religion can teach many good things. my 4 sons are good men today because of what they learned from the Bible, taught and in many cases modeled by good Christian people–and in many cases, in spite of what they were taught. (two of my sons were basically BORN and RAISED in that church building and the other two became just as much a part of its fabric as the others.)

      the two older sons and the younger don’t attend a church body to this day in large part because of how the church they grew up in abandoned not only me and their mother (who forgave and accepts me as i am) but also–they feel–them as well. do they still believe in God, absolutely. but have they lost faith in religion: largely. only the next-to-the youngest son went and found a church body to be a part of him where he could belong and work alongside.

      i may have been a bit dramatic with my comments about religion: if people are working within their church bodies to effect change on the issue of “love your neighbor as yourself” then i get the need to stay. but staying when that body takes a stance to NOT love everyone (and don’t even start with that “love the sinner, not the sin” BS! haha)–well, that’s offensive.

      i know many christians who do not share their churches’ view on equality and i find that completely obtuse. that said, i can’t live their life and make their decisions. i just know for me, i will never again find myself in that kind of body nor can i extend trust to people who befriend me with one hand and press the voting button against me with the other. religion and politics: forever intertwined.

      of course i will continue to consider you a friend. you are on a journey of self-discovery and lead a very open life of loving and accepting all of us. your cocoon picture is very touching and if we weren’t friends, and you weren’t where you were at the time you got the vision, then we’d both missed out on a very moving, meaningful experience.

      thank you for taking time to respond and for your bravery to live your life so honestly.

    • Kristin: i’ve gotten some good reactions but thusfar no one willing to post dissenting ones on my blog. one of my friends shared my blog on her FB wall and had one friend of hers respond negatively; i challenged her and by the end, while not making her sympathetic to my POV, her feathers were less ruffled. I’m posting that today bcz my blog needs debate!

      then one friend FB messaged me privately and we’ve had a pretty serious debate. i have encouraged him to publicly share his comments and his comment is waiting in my to-post list.

      finally! (while i appreciate all the sympathizers, i’m glad to finally see some who have a different view “come out” with them haha)

  7. Todd, I read your blog today and am quite saddened by it to be honest. I think you and I have been friends and faced a lot of tough times together. My friendship has not been conditioned on your martial status, what church you attend or don’t attend, or on whom you love or date.

    You certainly understand the complications and conflicts around attending churches. I currently attend a church, which is part of a large demonomination that is quite divided on its stance regarding gay marriage. But no one espouses hatred at the church I attend. It’s full of compassionate, lovely people. The particular church I attend does not take a particularly vocal stance on gay marriage, though I would suspect it does not approve. Is that enough to get me thrown out from your friendship? Where do you draw the line?

    You say this election is about social issues. In part, sure. Probably even a large part . But it’s also the economy. Look at any poll out there and the largest concern people have (people on both sides of the political fence) and it’s the economy, loss of jobs, etc. I personally will not vote for Pres. Obama for many reasons. But his view on gay marriage (which I found him to be a bit of a fence straddler to be honest) is one of the few things on which I agree with him. However, I won’t vote for him because of all the many other ways I disagree with his policies and politics.

    I’m not going anywhere. But it’s your choice. If you want to defriend me (both symobically and on Facebook), that’s your call. I’d be disappointed, but would respect your decision.

    • Of course it’s about the economy also. But Obama didn’t ruin the economy. Neither he nor Congress has been able to fix it. The GOP house is a joke. And the idiots running for the GOP nomination and their stance on human rights is deplorable and it’s embarrassing to think about any Christian supporting any one of them. It’s downright offensive to imagine reasonable people supporting any one of those–particularly Gingrich, Bachmann, PERRY…and on and on. Imagine if people had voted for the economy over civil rights. Your unwillingness to support gay rights politically is more offensive than your religious choice.

      I won’t go much further into the hypocrisy that I feel is associated with people and their religion. It’s very personal yet when they choose religion over people (Jesus didn’t) then I have no use for them or their religion.

      My quibble isn’t with the loving people in your church. Richie–many churches were “silent” about slavery and as a result, guilty of condoning it. I hope your church isn’t the same.

      The worst thing to me is looking back on the lie I was living and yet the way I fearfully clung to religion and the GOP without voting and attending with my whole heart. Of course my conflict of conscience led me to come out. I guess the litmus would be to find out what your churches’ stance actually is and then ask yourself if they would accept your friends. And then ask yourself why you’re still there. Hard question.

      I’m sorry you took this so seriously and appreciate the friendship through the years.

      I would hope that intelligent, loving people like yourself will continue to evolve into beings that put people over religion and politics.

      best wishes

      todd.

      • Todd , I think you’re seeing things completely binary. I would support gay rights politcally if another amendment (like in 2005? 2006?) was put forward for Texans to amend the Tex Constitution. However I don’t trust Obama as a leader (and as a gay man, I would think you’ve been less than thrilled with him making good in the gay rights’ arena either). If I vote, it will likely be for Ron Paul. Is he perfect, not at all. And I don’t agree with him on 100% of things, but I’ll take him over our current Pres any day.

        I think you avoided the part of my message which touched on being a bit hurt that you put conditions on friendships. My conditions for friendship are people whom I trust and love and love and trust me. But I don’t condition someone’s political or religious views on my ability to be friends.

        I do take it seriously, but if this idea that “you’re not my friend if ….,” was just a metaphor, then forgive me, and all is well.

      • If I’m being binary, then you’re being dogmatic.

        Thrilled with Obama’s “not all the way” endorsement no, but no Republican would ever go this far. (In his 2nd term tho he will go all the way. this is, after all, politics.)

        Ron Paul is about the only one left with credibility and I’m sure he has good ideas about the economy. But he doesn’t support equal rights for all and that is the issue for me.

        I do not trust people who are unwilling to love everyone and show that they don’t by their witness–which includes their vote.

        This is NOT a post about Obama. This is personal.

  8. I agree. Its time for our straight friends (and our gay conservative friends) to fully support us by opposing those who would do us harm.

    Its not enough to say we are BFFs or that you love us because we’re so much fun. If you truly love us and are not just amused by us, stand with us in opposing people who see us as second class citizens.

  9. We are all created (equally) and loved (equally) by God! Why do so many people feel the need to be a “god” and decide who is more important or less important or who is loved more than another? It is my prayer that we will all one day be able to truly embrace the fact that our very lives are a miraculous gift! Thank you, my friend, for being who you were created to be and thank you for encouraging the rest of us to do the same! Your friendship is a blessing much greater than you will ever know!

    • thanks sweet friend for modeling authentic love to me all these years and for blessing me–and anyone who reads this thread–with your words.

  10. Hey Dude, Just because I dont agree with you doesn’t mean I don’t love you brother. If we threw away all the friends that didn’t see our way and kept ourselves surrounded by only those who agreed with us, life would be a bore! Not to mention we might just find ourselves alone.(or in politics. Ha! I kill me!) Anyway… we should talk more. Just love your neighbor man.

    Paul

    • dude:

      this post is not about love, whatsoever. there was not one thing said about hating anyone or not loving anyone who doesn’t share this opinion. it is once and for all about refusing to extend my friendship to anyone who does not think that i have equal rights as a citizen of the United States as they have. it is this two-faced attitude that i am taking a stand against that makes friendship unsavory.

      “christians” who think that they are somehow endowed to have greater rights than me cannot possibly be a true friend to me.
      “christians” who use religion and/or “economic policy” to continue to discriminate instead of stepping up and voting for civil rights are not the kind of people i want to be friends with.

      can you imagine, ever, refusing to speak to someone whose church body would not welcome them because they were black, insisting they go to their own church, use their own water fountain, sit in the back of the bus? just letting them go off into the void, “wishing them the best” but doing nothing to correct the offense?

      well, since you brought up the whole “just love your neighbor man,” thing, i should point out that you have done this very thing to me. after i came out, you did not ever, once, reach out to me and instead, you and so many others like you, chose to turn your back in favor of your dogma, even allowing church leadership to insult me and my legacy of love by reminding everyone that i “was never left alone with your children.” you consider yourself my friend, really? to choose to “love your neighbor” in this manner is wholly your choice and i do not hate you for it. but for you to call yourself my friend at this point is offensive to me.

      i will state it again:

      if you think you deserve more rights than me because you are a heterosexual, i cannot be your friend.
      if you think that my identity as a homosexual damns me to hell, i will not be your friend.
      and if you think we’re friends but you vote against my equal civil rights, we are not friends.

      • Todd
        I have never felt that I have more rights than you or anyone else for that matter. As for me not reaching out to you, I wasn’t even living there when you “came out”. I had known you were gay long before that anyway and I thought we were friends then. Was I wrong? I also haven’t said that you were never alone with my children, because that simply isn’t true. I can remember my kids staying at your house many times and I had no worries. I also knew how much you care for children and that you were no pedophile. If you’re mad at me for something I may have done or said talk to me. I’ve always been a straightforward guy. I won’t lie to you.

      • no, my coming out wasn’t a surprise to anyone, really–except to those who couldn’t believe i finally did it. and yes, you were always awesome toward me then. but after i came out and left, i can count on one hand the number of people who purposefully came to me to extend relationship with me. or used their cel phones to text or call me. or who emailed me. actually, it was less than 5.

        the point about me “not being left alone with the kids” was not about YOU saying anything; it was what the church leadership said at a parent’s meeting, in my absence, within 2 weeks of my coming out. it was not a secret and word got around about what was said to those who didn’t attend. (i got a phone call from one outraged mother that night.) excluding her, i am unaware of anyone defending me against that implied association or addressed it with me. actions–or in this case, lack of–speak louder than words.

        but that was the past. the point of this particular blog post is going forward. it’s not about Obama or the economy or anything else. it’s about people who either say as a homosexual i am entitled to less rights or act like i AM equal but politically or religiously hold a different view. those attitudes make for an unrealistic friendship.

  11. Sorry – wasn’t trying to make it about Obama. I was just trying to answer your points. I’m honestly not looking for a debate.

    I don’t know what else to say. I’m always a big fan of agreeing to disagree in the realms of politics and religion, but it does not sound like you’re so inclined.

    • friend:

      not this time. not any more.

      now I have a sliver of understanding what it must be like to have been black during the civil rights struggle.

  12. I applaud your bravery, Todd and as always am blown away with your honest and skillful articulation of your thoughts. It is not often that people are willing to go out on a limb to stand up for who they are. I strongly believe in agreeing to disagree within the realm of politics and religion, BUT there is a huge difference between, disagreeing on fiscal policies, for example, or gun control, and the basic equal rights of individuals. In this area I have to agree with you. There is no excuse for supporting any religious organization or politician who does not support equal rights for all human beings, and still calling oneself a “friend” of homosexuals. There is too much hypocrisy around us, and it’s about time it gets brought out into the open, and you, brother, ARE an activist in your own right, and one of the few people who has the conviction to call it out…nice work!

    • Through the years, I have had so many amazing friends and people to love and help me along the way. Many of them will take offense to my words or at the very least be hurt by them; and yet, I could not go another day without making this statement. Am I, myself, perfect?! ABSOLUTELY NOT! And I have made SO many mistakes and have hurt others in the process. But no amount of wrongdoing on my part nor goodwill on the part of others toward me can possibly justify incompatible messages of “love” and “inequality” spoken by people who claim to call me friend but behave otherwise.

      I don’t know if it’s really bravery or just that I was completely unwilling and unable to swallow my conviction. I guess it’s like my coming out: i’m not sure it was a courage thing at all but rather something I could no longer keep from doing

      Thanks, brother, for your comment. I guess I am becoming an activist, huh? Or perhaps I’ve always been one and just never aware of the voice I possess.

  13. God has told us we should each love all, regardless of their actions or race. He loves us all,and offers us his grace, love and mercy if we turn to Him, and obediently walk in his light as his children. When we read his word, we gain understanding of His love, compassion, and desire for ourobedience to His will for us and withot that we are eternally lost, even though we may have all the freedom and rights we desire from our government. God’s love for us isn’t the equivalent of a free ticket to live our lives as we please or feel or see fit…sadly my friend, the word of God speaks of same sex relationships as not pleasing to God even though He loves all and wishes them to be saved. My love for your compels me to write and pray for you to search all his scriptures. None of us are without fault….we are all sinners black, white, gay, straight and need a relationship.

    But ignorance or denial of Gods desires for how we are to live our lives affects our eternal destiny. God loves us all…we are all sinners, black, white, gay, straight…all deserving of love, freedom & rifts….but unless we have studied and obeyed Gods desires for us, then we are ALL lost. I pray that all readers take time to read God’s word and realize that He is not pleased with ANY sin, by ANY of us, and sadly I am afraid your views regarding sexual orientations are not pleasing to God. I will love you in spite of your belief and pray that you will come to an understanding of God’s will for all sinnersincluding me….it’s not about us and OUR desires, but HIS. None of us are perfect and I don’ t want to throw any stones. We allneed Him.

    • dear “love.all” (instead of using your real name)

      your views on the sinfulness of my orientation are wholly irrelevant to me, as is your condescending expression of love. my Creator (center of the Universe, the core from which all love radiates, the Alpha and the Omega) created me just as I am and did not create sin. i’m publishing your comments, though, because you make some points about loving others the way God intends that people need to hear.

      instead, i suggest that you direct your admonition to the countless hoards of bullying Christians who somehow feel ordained to hate instead of love and who mar the beautiful message of the savior they claim to be disciples of. instead of telling me that i am a sinner (and “oh that you are too”), spend your time letting those people know how divisive and sinful their collective witness is, and how unappealing it makes their brand of religion.

      and for one more time: this blog post is not about whether homosexuality is a sin or about hating the people who disagree with me or about not loving all humanity. it is about no longer extending friendship to people who believe that because i am a homosexual i am less equal and/or to those who embrace me with one hand while voting against my rights with the other. i can still have love and care for those people; i just cannot remain friends with them. [and for more on my views about loving those who persecute me, differ from me, see comments in this thread and other posts on my blog.]

      while one should never pass up the opportunity for good thoughts (or in your words “prayers”) lifted up on their behalf, on yours, i think i’ll take a pass. pray, instead, for those Christians who exploit the weak and downtrodden in the name of their God, who sacrifice loving others on the alter of hypocrisy, and who spend their time doing exactly the opposite of what Mark 12:31 teaches.

      todd whitley

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