Gay pride at SRS is misunderstood

  • Follow Letters

As one of the organizers of the SRS Gay Pride Program, an award-winning diversity advocate in my professional life and a Christian, I feel qualified to comment on some of the misconceptions, fallacies and distortions put forth as facts in recent letters to the editor.

FUNDAMENTALIST and/or evangelical Protestants do not define the breadth of Christian identity or the spectrum of belief on modern-day gay identity. Not long ago, the moral outrage displayed in recent letters was directed against interracial marriage, racial civil rights, women's right to vote and slavery. The Bible was cited in all these instances as justification for continued discrimination. Many Christians consider divorce and remarriage a sin, but Protestants do it routinely without the need to endure social wrath - an advantage of being in the majority.

Being gay does not define a "lifestyle" any more than there is a single "straight lifestyle." I trust most of these writers would not identify their lifestyle with that of a heterosexual prostitute or drug dealer. As a gay couple, my partner and I pay taxes, participate in civic organizations, attend church, work hard at our jobs and care for aging parents just like many people living the "straight lifestyle."

I was aware of being gay at age 10, long before any sexual behavior was even physically possible. I was never sexually abused, recruited or otherwise coerced - I just was gay. The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association all agree that being gay is an innate aspect of one's identity. Sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person; for gay men and women, this is someone of the same sex.

THE SRS program helped explain a common academic and industrial diversity program known as Safe Space or Safe Zone. Additionally, comparisons with the National Day of Prayer, which is not a Department of Energy diversity program, are unfounded.

Diversity programs are most commonly directed at underrepresented, historically marginalized, or other minority groups - Christians do not meet this definition.

(Editor's note: The writer is a research chemist at the Savannah River National Laboratory.)

Comments (65) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GACopperhead
6
Points
GACopperhead 06/24/07 - 03:14 am
0
0
Practicing homosexuals and

Practicing homosexuals and Christianity are not compatable, and there is not a mainstream church other than the Episcopal church that condones it, and the Episcopal church is mistaken in doing so. I treat all people the same, but the practice is an abberation, and a sin.

drcptsr
0
Points
drcptsr 06/24/07 - 06:33 am
0
0
Having different sexual

Having different sexual desires is not sin. Acting on those desires [my partner] is [Rom 1]. Note that HIV/AIDS is prevalent in homosexual circles but not in non-promiscuous, monogamous, heterosexual circles.
No one is born of God whose life is characterized by sin [1 John]. You need to read your Bible and find a church that actually teaches all of it - not just the portions that you like.

naugliberal
0
Points
naugliberal 06/24/07 - 07:08 am
0
0
It is obvious that sexually

It is obvious that sexually transmitted diseases are not prevalent in ANY "circle", homosexual or hererosexual, that is non-promiscuous and monogamous. As a non-christian gay man wno has been gay since my earliest memory, I try to treat all people the same, even intolerant religious ones.

brown
0
Points
brown 06/24/07 - 07:45 am
0
0
Excellent letter, Mr.

Excellent letter, Mr. Bannochie.

jmi2002
0
Points
jmi2002 06/24/07 - 07:51 am
0
0
Homosexuality is a sin.

Homosexuality is a sin. There's no other way to say it, its a sin and the one's who are it's their choice to be that way, but in the end we all have a higher power to answer to, God.

laurak
4
Points
laurak 06/24/07 - 08:06 am
0
0
Would God make some 10 % of

Would God make some 10 % of people gay if being gay was, in fact a sin?

gibzgirl
0
Points
gibzgirl 06/24/07 - 08:11 am
0
0
It amazes me how people who

It amazes me how people who call themselves religious in one sentence can judge someone in the next sentence. It seems to me most of the gay or lesbian people I've met are a whole lot less judgemental and critical of others than the so-called religious ones. Read that bible you are quoting. From my understanding, nobody was forced to participate in the Gay Pride event, why is everyone so worked up about it? In my opinion the response to this diveristy training event only proves how necessary it is. As a heterosexual female with a sister who is a lesbian, I can honestly say that the gay community is a whole lot more tolerant of everyone than you "religious" people are, and the way they are treated should make it the opposite. They don't criticise you for your beliefs and orientation, you have no right to do it to them. Again, read thw whole bible, not just the parts you agree with.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 06/24/07 - 08:27 am
0
0
As a heterosexual male I was

As a heterosexual male I was involved with my heterosexual female wife in a same sex relationship. It was the same sex all the time, it got booooooring.

gailkaitschuck
18
Points
gailkaitschuck 06/24/07 - 08:28 am
0
0
At last! An intelligent

At last! An intelligent letter on the subject! How refreshing and unusual in Augusta.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/24/07 - 08:31 am
0
0
have a talk sometime with a

have a talk sometime with a member of the episcopal clergy. the pauline letters in the Bible really do deserve more skepticism than they receive.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 08:35 am
0
0
If the gay lifestyle isn't a

If the gay lifestyle isn't a choice, then why choose it? For the same reason straight people choose their lifestyle? Unanswerable questions, for sure, and off the subject of objection to celebration of lifestyle. When gays like to blow their own horn and celebrate their lifestyle then no one has authority to object, but when money is confiscated to pay for gay celebrations then there is plenty of room for objection.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 06/24/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
laurak....ever heard of

laurak....ever heard of freewill?

travelp
31
Points
travelp 06/24/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
On the contrary gibzgirl, if

On the contrary gibzgirl, if my belief is that being gay is a sin then I would wager that gay people would be critical of my belief. I would be labeled as a bigot and probably be "judged". If you can't establish standards and allow tolerance to be your guide then you can let all the child molesters out of prison on your path to complete acceptance. This is an extreme example obviously as gay people and child molesters are unrelated but the principle of unrestrained tolerance could be extrapolated from that thought process. Just know that the freaks in NAMBLA seek tolerance as well.

gibzgirl
0
Points
gibzgirl 06/24/07 - 08:40 am
0
0
Do you complain about the

Do you complain about the Black History or Prayer events at SRS as well? It is about DIVERSITY, something you apparently could use a little help with. It isn't like they don't have events for other groups as well.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 08:41 am
0
0
gibzgirl, the subculture of

gibzgirl, the subculture of the lawless is much less judgemental then those that believe in the rule of law. Which should we emulate?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 08:45 am
0
0
mgroothand, re: your post of

mgroothand, re: your post of 8:27a, was the boring part a result of choice? Variety doesn't have to be drastic or radical to be spicey.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/24/07 - 08:47 am
0
0
please let's not go there,

please let's not go there, pt...

gibzgirl
0
Points
gibzgirl 06/24/07 - 08:53 am
0
0
Quite a different situation.

Quite a different situation. the gay community isn't hurting or taking anything from anyone. They just ask to either be accepted, or left alone. The are not breaking any laws.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 06/24/07 - 08:55 am
0
0
Patricia: I was merely trying

Patricia: I was merely trying to insert a little humor in these otherwise combative posts.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/24/07 - 08:56 am
0
0
nice try, mgroot.

nice try, mgroot.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/24/07 - 09:22 am
0
0
gibzgirl, I think they should

gibzgirl, I think they should be both accepted and left alone. They could help accomplish thus for themselves by not flaunting their homosexuality. I have known, worked with and had friends who were gay. They never discussed their sexual preferences with me and I never discussed mine with them. We accepted each other for what we were as persons and left the sexual aspects alone.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 09:30 am
0
0
gibzgirl, "I can honestly say

gibzgirl, "I can honestly say the gay community is a whole lot more tolerant then you religious people". Your words. My response was to imply any group would be "more tolerant" when compared to those opposed to them.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 09:31 am
0
0
mgroothand, just trying to

mgroothand, just trying to help.

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 06/24/07 - 09:42 am
0
0
LOL @ mgroothand

LOL @ mgroothand

critter
2
Points
critter 06/24/07 - 09:54 am
0
0
drcptsr, the rate of HIV/AIDS

drcptsr, the rate of HIV/AIDS transmission is lowest among lesbians. So, using your logic, lesbians are obviously God's chosen people. Happy Gay Pride weekend, everyone!

noctur55
1
Points
noctur55 06/24/07 - 09:57 am
0
0
You really can't blame

You really can't blame Augusta for being so backward in their views. This seems to be primarily a place people retire to. Note the prevalence and the grandeur of the local funeral homes. The do a big business here.

noctur55
1
Points
noctur55 06/24/07 - 10:04 am
0
0
Also with regard to religion,

Also with regard to religion, just because you personally believe in what the Bible says, does not make it fact or truth. Please dont spread it as a universal fact.

bone
23
Points
bone 06/24/07 - 10:08 am
0
0
good post, critter.

good post, critter.

Da Voice Inside Your Head
7
Points
Da Voice Inside Your Head 06/24/07 - 10:12 am
0
0
I think we are again missing

I think we are again missing the point. I could care less if you're black, white ,green plaid, gay, straight, lesbian ,tranasexual, monsexual, animinal , vegetable or mineral. My complaint is if you give free time to one group then it should be given to all.That taxpayer money was spent on this Gay Pride whatever really pi**ses me off. I would be just as mad if it was for a religious orginization. You get paid to work. Not socialize or promote diversity, vegitatism, racism or anything else. If you want to promote some lifestyle or the other, DON"T do it on my tax dollar.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 06/24/07 - 10:19 am
0
0
Wouldn't it be nice to just

Wouldn't it be nice to just get rid of all political correctness and go back to just plain ole honesty?

Back to Top

Top headlines

'Do not swim' order lifted for Savannah River

Officials have lifted the "do not swim" order for the Savannah River, but questions still linger on the unknown substance's origin.
Search Augusta jobs