November 23, 2010

Is Willow Parroting What She Has Been Taught?

By Francis Nye

Willow Palin, the 16-year-old daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, wrote multiple Facebook posts containing homophobic slurs such as "faggot" just this Saturday, according to TMZ. Could this be an indictment over our society’s religious bigotry toward homosexuals? In my opinion I think it may be.

The web site reports that Palin's teenage daughter wrote the comments on the night, when her mother's television show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" premiered on TLC. According to TMZ, a classmate of one of Palin's children published a Facebook update claiming that the show "is failing so hard right now."

Willow Palin reportedly unloaded on the student, calling him "so gay" and "such a faggot." She also lashed out at multiple others, writing, "Sorry that all you guys are jealous of my families success and you guys aren't goin[g] to go anywhere with your lives."

Rev. Mel White has spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary. He is also fluent in Hebrew and Greek in order to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. He says there is an epidemic of biblical ignorance in the United States. He also states:

“This same kind of biblical ignorance is all too present around the topic of homosexuality. Often people who love and trust God's Word have never given careful and prayerful attention to what the Bible does or doesn't say about homosexuality.”
He goes on to state a few examples:

• Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior.
• The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality.
• Only six or seven of the Bible's one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way -- and none of these verses refer to homosexual orientation as it's understood today.

Over the centuries people who misunderstood or misinterpreted the Bible have done terrible things. The Bible has been misused to defend bloody crusades and tragic inquisitions; to support slavery, apartheid, and segregation; to persecute Jews and other non-Christian people of faith; to support Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust; to oppose medical science; to condemn interracial marriage; to execute women as witches; and to support the Ku Klux Klan. Shakespeare said it this way: "Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."

So it is no wonder that the level of malevolence toward homosexuals is at the level it is today. I am not surprised that this young woman, Willow Palin is using homophobic slurs to beat down a perceived attack from her friends on Facebook. This kind of hate speech is no better than calling an African American a nigger. It is the same kind of tactic that was used a century and a half ago in this county to dehumanize the black population and to justify slavery. Once you dehumanize a group of individuals then you can justify the hate.

A fine example of perceived justified hate was witnessed on September 22, 2000 when a 55-year-old man named Ronald E. Gay, angry for being teased about his last name, entered the Back Street Café in Roanoke, Virginia, a gathering place for lesbians and gays just a few miles from Lynchburg. Confident that God's Word supported his tragic plan of action, Mr. Gay shouted, "I am a Christian soldier, working for my Lord." Claiming that "Jesus does not want these people in his heaven," he shot seven innocent gay and lesbian people. One man, Danny Overstreet, died instantly. Others still suffer from their physical and psychological wounds.

If religious leaders would take more care in understanding their own faith and texts then these acts of needless hate would not have to happen. Religious leaders should teach love, compassion, and acceptance of our fellow man. Not fear, revulsion, and hate. Was it not Jesus that was always found to be in the company of sinners and not that of the righteous? Why are Christians and Muslims today always talking down to sinners anyway? Most have the attitude that they are better than everyone else when in fact they are no different. They are sinners too. No one is perfect.

The type of hate that Willow Palin demonstrated Saturday did not come naturally but was taught. It is the product of Christian and Muslim intolerance towards a perceived dogma of their faith.

One should be more concerned with their sins than the sins of others. God will have the last word on what is right and what is not and not us. Romans 2:6 says, God "will give to each person according to what he has done." Moreover, Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge or you too will be judged” Finally my favorite, John 8:7, “Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone.”

Even the Quran forbids one person from judging another. Also the Quarn instructs that a good Muslims does not initiate violence against others so long as the latter do not provoke hostilities.

No one is perfect but we must all love and respect one another no matter what we perceive to be another’s failings. In the long run maybe our faults are greater than another’s, so who are we to judge? Let’s bury the hate and learn to live together. What do you think?

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