In an epic failure of judgment and character, The Augusta Chronicle published a letter to the editor June 15 (“America is godless nation”) that equated gay people to mules. My objection to the letter’s publishing will undoubtedly brand me a member of Oceania’s Thought Police, but what should be more troubling is that The Chronicle apparently deleted all 84 online comments on the letter sometime Saturday afternoon. Why? Is it because, as one commenter mentioned, The Chronicle would not dare print a letter equating black people to gorillas or Hispanic people to rats, and perhaps its editors realized their error? Did the exposure of their hypocrisy make them uncomfortable?
As the largest publication in the region, The Chronicle is a public forum as well as a public service. It sets the tone and topic of discussion in our community, and I would hope its editors feel that debate can be lively without being slanderous. They obviously don’t, as they have chosen to publish letters that clearly are ignorant and hateful toward gay people. But why stop there? Why not publish letters about how the Holocaust didn’t happen or how women shouldn’t vote? What’s the difference?
Is it because gay people comprise a relatively small fraction of The Chronicle’s readership, and offending them wouldn’t have much impact on revenue? Is it because The Chronicle actually agrees with the letter and is willing to sacrifice a profit to make a point? Why else would any journalistic institution promulgate a hypothesis that people whom we know and love are actually, as the letter hypothesized, members of a vast gay Nazi conspiracy?
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus – who said absolutely nothing about homosexuality, mind you – proclaimed, “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” Apparently The Chronicle thinks otherwise.