From The Record, the Christian Civic League's e-newsletter, Feb. 1:
"The hyper-liberal Maine Womens Lobby was in the halls yesterday with a video camera. This radical group mainlines contraceptives. They work everyday to protect the sanctity of the abortionist's trash can. Their leader is an out lesbian.
Democrats don't rise to leadership without their support.
Jesus loved children. He loves innocence. Clearly this issue transcends politics. Jesus suggests that a watery grave is the appropriate resting place for adults who violate this innocence."
(click here for the entire post)
There has been discussion on some listserves that I belong to about this recent CCL post. And much of it has been about whether the above statement by Michael Heath was a direct threat. Direct threat? Maybe not. But it sure is a shining example of the thinly veiled hostility towards the LGBT community that Mr. Heath seems burdened with.
Mike Heath will tell you that this was not hate language. He will tell you that he was not implying violence. He will certainly tell you that he is not suggesting that LGBT people deserve a watery grave.
If I give him the benefit of the doubt...if I put away my own biases and all my experiences with the CCL and just assume he meant none of this literally, his choice of words was still incredibly irresponsible. As the supposed leader of his Christian community, as someone who others in his community look to for moral guidance and spiritual direction, he should choose his rhetoric with much greater care.
Somewhere out there is a person whose own moral compass is skewed. Somewhere out there is someone who is angry and hateful towards LGBT people, and who will read Heath's words and take them to heart. Who will read those words and, implied or not, see them as permission to perpetuate violence against LGBT people or others who disagree with the CCL's politics. Maybe it's not a likely scenario, but the fact that the possibility exists at all (and of course, it does) should be enough for Mike Heath to stop this kind of rhetoric once and for all.
And I know that I need to heed my own advice. A few months back, I decided to stop writing about Mike Hein and Mike Heath in a tone that might be construed as hateful. I don't hate them, at all. I don't agree with their politics, I don't agree with their version of Christianity, but I also don't need to spend any time ridiculing those beliefs or inciting others to do the same. It's just. not. worth. it. As a leader in my community, I know my time is better spent advocating and serving the LGBT people, not throwing stones at the CCL and those who represent it. I'm better than that. WE'RE better than that.
The question remains: is Mike Heath better than that?