(Bishop Harry Jackson, middle and Ted Haggard, right) How ironic
The NBJC recently responded to the outlandish claims by anti-gay conservative Bishop Harry Jackson regarding the the proposed hate crimes bill S-1105 also know as The Matthew Shepard Act. The bill was written to ensure that crimes commited against LGBT people would be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law and would also provide local law enforcement with the tools necessary to curb the increase of violence against individuals based on gender or sexual orientation.
Bishop Jackson and those who wish to kill the bill would like people to believe if the bill is passed they will be unable to exercise their first amendment rights, which couldn't be any further from the truth. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Sylvia Rhue said it best,"Pastors will remain free to condemn, demean, defame and dehumanize their gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered congregants and neighbors as they feel called by their religious beliefs."
Isn't that what this whole argument is all about? Bishop Jackson says that the current murder laws we have in place should be sufficient and there shouldn't be any "special rights" given to homosexuals. Why is it that when we want justice under the law and the same rights and privileges granted to every other American we're asking for something "special"?
I want Bishop Harry Jackson to sit down with Rashawn Brazell's mother and listen to her tell him how she lost her son because some homophobic murderer decided to take his life and scatter his remains over New York City in trashbags. And how to this day the killer has never been caught and justice has not been served.
There is a need for this bill and it's a shame that Bishop's head is so far up George Bush's behind that he cannot see that for himself. I've never witnessed so much hate in a person that professes to be a christian. I was always taught that being a christian meant a person was christ-like. Bishop's contempt for the gay community , our political success, and visibility in mainstream America runs so deep it's almost impossible to imagine 50 years ago he was faced with the same discrimination and oppression as a minority in this country. I'm convinced that gay is the new black and LGBT people are the last minority it's socially acceptable to hate.
As I was researching Bishop's views on the LGBT community and The Matthew Shepard Act I came across a video that was rather disturbing but not surprising given Bishop's history for being a vocal opponent of equality for gays and lesbians.
In this video he's joined by other ministers white and black as they express their moral outrage over the success of the hate crimes bill in the House. They pray and one commands that gay pastors will come out of the pulpit and another forsees that "a pastor will drop dead in the pulpit" ! If you ask me christianity has been hi-jacked in this country by these people and the real children of God need to take it back. We as LGBT people have every right to a relationship with God and to fellowship with other believers without feeling like lepers.
Bishop Jackson and other ministers like him are doing more harm than good, especially to the members of his church who identify as gay or lesbian, and don't be fooled we're there. It's sad that some of us are so used to the abuse we don't know how to get up and leave, we just sit there Sunday after Sunday and take it.
I'll be praying that Bishop Jackson realizes that he has the power to breathe life and love into everyone he comes in contact with whether they're gay or straight, because that's exactly what Jesus would do.