Only my Facebook friends from my small high school in Connecticut know the abuse I suffered as a teenager.
I was called a “faggot” and a “queer” more times than anyone born 10 years after me I can assure you of that.
It was the late 1980’s and I had dyed black hair, a weird hairstyle, and wore a trench coat. I looked different and some hated me instantly for it. I never understood it.
Once on the subway in Boston I had a small group of baseball-hat thugs threaten to “beat my face in” once I exited the train.
I can’t even count the number of times I felt seriously threatened.
So the first time someone said I was anti-gay because I was a conservative, you can imagine how surprised I was.
I’ve never in my life called a gay person a name or thrown a slur towards anyone, I never thought to do so.
And if I’m being completely honest, I get quite upset if I see someone else doing it, because I remember those days very clearly when I was being called names because of how I looked.
So why do some think that living your life as a freedom loving conservative Christian means that you hate gay people?
I don’t particularly like the color purple. None of my clothes are purple and I’ve never owned anything purple.
But I’ve never been called anti-purple before.
This is because there’s no one who has been able to make money by attacking someone for not liking the color purple.
Forcing the color purple on someone doesn’t pay anyone’s bills or get anyone rich. No one votes because they love purple or because someone else does. So no one cares about that.
There are many of us conservatives in our thirties and forties who grew up as high school rebels that listened to Joy Division and The Cure, smoked cigarettes, and called our teachers by their first names.
Many of us were called gay and some of us probably were gay. I never thought to ask.
I’m not making the case that conservatives champion homosexuality, that’s obviously not true.
I’m making the case that conservatives champion nothing but freedom when it comes to government, and that’s what a conservative is: a person who advocates for the rule of law.
And the law treats everyone equally.
I’m not a pastor and I’m not saying what God tolerates and what God thinks is sinful. That’s why we have the Bible.
Our government is very careful not to govern with God’s law. There are matters of God and then there are matters of man.
On my radio program I always said that “we are a Christian nation because, like God, we allow free will” and that we may disapprove of something and that’s our right to do so. We can even be sinful and do that too.
The brutal reality is that we really don’t have a debate over sexual preference in this country, we have a debate over what the word “equality” means.
Equality is not a controlled substance to be doled out by government. To a conservative, it is applied equally and liberally.
You simply cannot have a freedom of expression that is banned or discouraged by government. That isn’t free!
But that’s what our liberal friends want.
To a conservative, if you don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding ceremony, you shouldn’t have to. Don’t want to bake a cake for a neo-Nazi celebration? You shouldn’t have to do that either. And if you don’t want to bake a cake for a guy because he’s white and straight, that’s fine too.
And if you’re a conservative then you likely don’t care what the guy or girl in the next house is doing, as long as they’re doing it in their own house. This includes being gay, having a gun, smoking, eating a cheeseburger, or all four at the same time.
If more Americans minded their own business then there’d be far less condemnation of people because of their lifestyle… far fewer who are paid to start fights with others, and far more conservatives.
photo credit: Frisch gestylte Fußballergedächtnisfrisur und dufter Zwirn via photopin (license); Steffen Geyer