During a recent interview on Liberty Counsel’s “Liberty Pastors” show, the hate-group’s president Mat Staver explained that Christian schools should ban children with gay parents.
Why go after the kids? Because exposing other students to well-adjusted and kind classmates with gay parents might lead students to think gay people are well-adjusted and kind… and that would be a disaster for the Christian Right.
“If I were running the school, I would not allow that student to come into the school that is from a same-sex household, and I would not allow a student to stay there,” Staver said. “You and I might be able to engage in this cultural war and battle and be biblically grounded, but these kids are not prepared for that. It is a real disservice to put these kids in the situation—particularly in a Christian school that ought to be a safe environment for them—where they can become very confused, and what they experience at that level can be life changing for the rest of their lives.”
“That’s like putting kids in a viper pit,” Staver declared. “They’re not ready for that. So, I would not do anything that jeopardizes the care and the responsibility that you have to protect those kids, with their parents, and put them in a proper biblical environment that is free of undue influences.”
The Christianese isn’t hard to translate here. Conservative Christians have spent decades demonizing LGBTQ people and it’s been a losing battle. That’s largely because more and more people now know someone who’s openly gay and they’ve realized those conservative Christians have been lying to them this whole time. Just as you’re far more likely to see a youth pastor arrested for being a child predator than a drag queen, they know being gay doesn’t make you evil. Gay people aren’t “recruiting” children, they’re not trying to “sexualize” anybody, and they’re not bad people by nature of their orientation. (Obviously, individual exceptions apply, just as they would any group.)
Staver’s entire career has been built on attempting to convince people the sky would fall if gay people have equal rights. He believes “queer” is synonymous with pedophilia, that gay judges would never treat Christians fairly, that permitting marriage equality would open the door for child brides, and that conversion torture is legitimate.
If you know a lot of gay people, though, you know that none of that is accurate. More importantly, even after marriage equality was legalized everywhere, the sky didn’t fall.
Staver must know that the most convincing way to get bigots to change their views is by introducing them to the people they’ve been disparaging. There’s no shortage of politicians (including Barack Obama) who cited a personal connection with a gay couple as a reason for changing their views on same-sex marriage.
So after spending years failing to convince everyone that LGBTQ people are evil, Staver is now targeting the children of gay parents… not because there’s anything wrong with them, but precisely because there’s nothing wrong with them.
“Among Christians, not being grounded in doctrine no matter how the winds blow, but being changed by personal experiences is a problem,” Staver complained. “That is the reason why this Respect for Marriage Act passed in the United States Senate. All of those people that voted for it, they were on record that they were in favor of marriage as a union of a man and woman. All of them. Why did they change? We know from some of their staffers, they changed because either someone in their family or people that they know, they found out are homosexual or in same-sex relationships. So, they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the right thing. They knew what they were supposed to do, but they didn’t do it because of personal experiences.”
Those Republicans who supported a bill to protect marriage equality “knew what they were supposed to do,” he says, but they didn’t because they got to know gay people instead of listening to Christian bigots like Staver.
Personally, I think those Republicans voted for it because it wasn’t a hill to die on anymore and they saw no consequences for supporting an issue the American people already decided years earlier. That’s a very cynical way of putting it, but Staver seems to give them far more credit, suggesting they actually changed their views.
Isn’t that what we should want, though? We want politicians to change their minds when they realize the rhetoric doesn’t represent reality.
Not Staver. His paycheck and his Christian faith rest on the idea that LGBTQ people are evil. No amount of facts will convince him otherwise because he’s not interested in the truth. He’s interested in talking points.
For what it’s worth, there are private religious schools that will reject students for having gay parents. It’s monstrous behavior that they justify by making some statement about Jesus. It’s arguably worse than expelling a child who comes out as gay.
And all of this is unnecessary even under their rubric of Christianity. Plenty of conservative evangelical churches have come to accept gay people under certain conditions (no sex, no relationships, etc). But not Staver. He wants to punish gay people, and he apparently wants to punish their children, too.
Staver would rather see a private Christian school kick out decent children who have gay parents, but he’ll never waste time telling them to expel kids whose straight parents have affairs, drink too much, gamble, etc. He spent so much time pretending gay parents are evil that he almost forgot to demonize gay parents who are wonderful. The only sins that matter to him are the perceived ones involving sex among gay people. He just can’t get that visual out of his head.
That says far more about him than any of the gay people he refuses to accept.
(via Right Wing Watch)