An Exorcism of Hate
Posted on July 2, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
A recently posted YouTube video shows church members in southern Connecticut performing an exorcism on a 16-year-old boy in order to remove the “homosexual demons” from his body. The video is horrifying to watch — the church audience screams at the supposed evil spirits as the boy convulses on the ground.
The logic and belief set behind this act are so far beyond my comprehension that it defies comment. What I do find compelling, however, is the church’s response to the uproar that the video created. “We have nothing against homosexuals,” protested the Reverend Patricia McKinney. “I just don’t agree with their lifestyle.” I frequently hear comments such as this from those who oppose equality for homosexuals. These people say they love gay people — they even have gay friends and family! — but it’s unfortunately “against their beliefs” to treat homosexuals equally. This video, however, is a perfect example of how this explanation is a blatant lie.
The phrase “I just don’t agree with,” connotes a mild dislike. I don’t agree with mustard, but I can still enjoy my dinner to the fullest when it’s present at the table. What people such as Reverend McKinney feel toward homosexuals is nothing short of loathing. It is impossible for her to argue she respects gays when she believes that demonic spirits live inside their bodies. She could preach tolerance to her parish every Sunday, but her actions unambiguously declare that being gay is a sinful, satanic state that must be cured. McKinney clearly has something very big against homosexuals, and it’s insulting for her to suggest otherwise.
Politicians are guilty of similar dishonesty, but they tend to be more subtle. A senator who opposes gay marriage shouldn’t be able to say that he’s protecting “family values.” He should say that he believes that gay couples are incapable of raising the kinds of families that our society accepts. A congresswoman who disqualifies a lesbian couple from adopting children should proclaim that two women will irreparably damage a child should their adoption request succeed. It’s the typical political non-speak, but it’s even more damaging when those who say it can claim that they aren’t prejudiced.
Outright homophobia has become socially unacceptable in most circumstances. This is momentous progress from a hatred that had until now been painfully public. But, ironically, this political correctness is now hurting the gay rights movement.
Homophobic people, such as Reverend McKinney, should have to state their beliefs openly, without duplicitous assertions that they “have nothing against homosexuals.” What they should really be saying is that homosexuality is disgusting and perverted — that any person practicing it is a sinner who needs to be saved now before suffering an eternity in Hell. Judging from their comments and actions, that’s what they believe, and they should own up to those principles.
Polls have shown that young people as a whole have a more liberal view regarding homosexuality than their parents. It stands to reason that, as a society, we’re marching on a path towards equality and tolerance for gay people. But I hope this liberalization permeates far deeper than the blatant dishonesty of people such as Reverend McKinney and her congregation. Those of us who actually have nothing against homosexuals — who feel no need to cast the ‘homosexual demons’ from their body— should reject such flagrant duplicity.
See An Exorcism of Hate The Dartmouth
Study: Gays not ‘godless Christian bashers’
Gay rights mean different things to different generations of community
Gay Exorcism Mania
Gay Pride in Moscow: Report from a Chicago Activist