I believe that many traditional conservative religious people continue to inflict cruel self-hate on innocent gay kids, because they are unwilling to accept the reality that gay people are gay because that is the way God created them.

When Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said he is a gay Christian, Evangelical leader Franklin Graham said he should “repent” for being a homosexual. Graham obviously doesn’t mean that Buttigieg should repent for the way God created him; Graham means that he believes something unfortunate happened to him, so on some level he chose to become a homosexual, and he should repent for that.

Today, 50 years after Stonewall, there is overwhelming evidence that gay people are born that way.

Galileo had overwhelming evidence also. Let’s not forget how the religious leaders treated him.

Today’s religious anti-gay theology isn’t evidence-based; it is faith-based. Faith includes believing the doctrine that was indoctrinated into you when you were a child, even if it has no evidence or has contradictory evidence. Evidence doesn’t change faith; faith changes evidence.

Galileo was accused of damaging the Bible. His response was that his accusers were the ones who were damaging the Bible, because they were attributing to it something that one day will be seen as false. He said that when humans come to an understanding that something is true because of overwhelming evidence and it seems to contradict the Bible, you don’t resolve that apparent conflict by rejecting the evidence; you resolve it by reconsidering the way you understand the Bible.

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Biblical writers never wrote anything about the people who God creates in such a way that they are able to fall in love only with members of the same sex, because they couldn’t write about people they didn’t know existed. Graham still doesn’t know they exist.

We are all created in God’s image. God’s image includes gayness. If you can’t accept that, you can’t accept God. Your faith has failed you.

Mayor Pete doesn’t need to repent for the way God created him. Perhaps Franklin Graham should repent for trying to inflict self-hate on him.

John Rupkey, Winona


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