Editors' Note: Guest blogger Matt R. Salmon is an ASU Graduate with a Bachelor's in Psychology. He works in clinical research and is the chairman of the Arizona Log Cabin Republicans.
Growing up in a political, conservative, religious family instilled in me a sense of respect for the religious right. That respect has steadily declined over the years; however, I still maintained a certain amount until recent events had me questioning the sanity of my youth.
Between George Rekers and his propensity to rent boys like I use the Redbox around the corner and the Mormon Church's failure to appreciate the "worth of every soul" that have been molested by those they place in leadership positions, I can no longer respect those who advocate one thing, or many things, but do another. I am not sure how I rationalized the hypocrisy in the past, but I think it might have something to do with my brain being washed by immersion.
Interestingly, Reverend George is a lot like Saul, from the Good Book. He persecuted the gay community for years, and would it surprise anybody if the blood of self-loathing suicidal teens was on his hands? Then one day, a donkey, we will call him "Lucien", flipped his world completely around. He went from one of the most outspoken anti-gay/ex-gay activists to being caught, almost literally, in bed with his enemy. Reparative therapy seems to be more of a cover up for those afraid of living authentically. Is he a self loathing homophobe or just downright crazy?
Sadly, I cannot find as nice a correlation for the Mormon Church as I could for Rekers. When I think of the Mormon Church a few things come to mind...a great and spacious building, secret combinations and the greatest pyramid scheme this world has ever known. With as hard as the Mormon Church works in opposition to the gay community, you would think that when men "called of God" are molesting young boys, the church might do more than tell the molesters that they need to repent or they might have to spend eternity in the Terrestrial Kingdom. Such was the case with Timur Dykes of Oregon or Brad Stowell of Orange County, both of which were young men/boy scout leaders. Do they reside in the biggest white washed sepulcher of all, or are they just downright crazy?
After an article was published about me in Echo, a gay magazine, my mother called to explain that she had heard about the article from a member of United Families International. The organization is the epitome of the religious right. They fight to defend marriage from the gays, save children from the gays and deny rights to the gays. Oddly enough though, they enjoy reading magazines of the gays. I have a hard time finding a shred of lucid logic in their actions or their causes. Are they soldiers crusading for the glory of their regime, or are they just downright crazy?
To those who would tell me that god disapproves of me and I, therefore, should be treated like less of a person, I say are just downright crazy. If the religious right wants to present rational behavior I would suggest to them that they should stop trying to "cure" the gays, stop trying to cover up sodomy, and stop trying to defeat the gays while supporting gay media outlets.
In a country where "separate but equal" has failed, I find it disheartening that history has taught us nothing. But history does nothing if not repeat itself and soon all men truly might be equal based on their rights to life, liberty and especially happiness. If not, it is because we have yielded control to the downright crazy.