That may sound like an extreme statement but it's hard to deny that attacks against homosexuals by clergy validate bullying in schools and gay bashing on the street. In the past week an 11-year old student at a Springfield, Mass. Charter school committed suicide by hanging himself after being taunted by other students for being effeminate and "gay."
Self-appointed extremist evangelicals have decided that it is their god-given right to carry out a religious crusade against homosexuals from the pulpit knowing that their incendiary speech is exempted from prosecution as hate speech because of the constitutional protection granted to religious hate speech. Mega-church "pastors" like Ted Haggard of Colorado Springs an advisor to President Bush was a crusader against homosexuals until it was found that he was an active homosexual himself - an employer of gay escorts and a user of illegal drugs. Haggard has already arranged for god to forgive him but how many bullies had he inspired, how many gay-bashings had he encouraged, how many suicides had he caused before his hypocrisy was found out.
Haggard and his submissive wife are now on the media circuit attempting to resurrect him in public opinion and in the good graces of his church. But he's finding it difficult to get the congregation he taught to hate homosexuals to put him back in charge of the collection plate which brought in the tax-free millions to support his "lifestyle." Maybe, using his logic, he should have made the heterosexual "lifestyle choice" Like Jimmy Swaggart, he would be back in the pulpit again and enjoying the untaxed, unaudited income that position will bring