A Letter to Rick Perry

Dear Governor Perry,

You don’t have to be ashamed to be a Christian. We live in a country where you are afforded the right to believe in whatever you want – be that magic, flying dolphins, or that a man can be nailed to a cross, die and come back a few days later without scaring anyone. These are the rights afforded to us by our forefathers.

We also have the right to exist freely. You can wake up and believe that homosexuality is a choice if you want, and you can believe that choice is immoral. The righteousness of your specific brand of Christianity is completely within the canons of The Constitution of The United States.

You recently referred to homosexuality as a “lifestyle,” implying that you do, in fact, think it’s a choice. If that were the case (it isn’t) you would have to afford to homosexuals the same rights you allow yourself to have – because, after all, it is your choice to be a Christian. You can piss and moan all you want about how homosexuality is destroying family values. But, when is the last time a homosexual came into your home and said, “I’m here to destroy your family values?” My guess is never, but I don’t want to assume anything about your life. For all I know there are homosexuals in your home right now, calling you dirty names and forcing you to watch the Style Channel while they rape your male family members. White people problems, am I right?

On the other hand, if you don’t think homosexuality is a choice, then you might consider it a “condition,” or a “flaw in nature.” Would your all-knowing, righteous God create such an abhorrent state of being without good reason? If there is any logic or consistency to your belief system, then I’d have to think you believe that God knows what he’s doing. Of course, maybe you think homosexuals – just as the dinosaurs were – are here to test your faith in God. To that I can only say this: Oh, grow up.

The bottom line is the things you say hurt people; they hurt Americans. You cannot pretend to know that all homosexuals are indecent people, just as you cannot know that all Christians are righteous. Making blanket statements about an entire demographic of human beings is the root of organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and a key tenet for belief systems such as Fascism. When you judge any person without having firsthand knowledge of who they are as an individual you rob them of liberty.

The American court system teaches us to not make a decision about another human being until we know the facts. It is not an easy thing to do, of course, because we live in a world of stereotypes and stigmas. It makes things manageable to be able to group everyone into a neat little pile and love them or burn them. It is something that even decent people struggle with every day – because it is all around us. But as someone who wants to be the leader of the Free World, shouldn’t you try even harder? Shouldn’t you have the wisdom and wherewithal to see and preach that we are all Americans, despite our varying sexual orientations and religions?

I know when I believe in something strongly I don’t require a villain to make my point. So, why, when you stand up for religion – arguably the most powerful force in the world – do you need to villainize homosexuals to prove its worth? No one has taken away your right to be a Christian. No one has forced you to live a life without the values you want to impart to your family. At the end of the day you are simply being cruel. And, you’re right: you shouldn’t be ashamed to be a Christian – but maybe you should be ashamed of some of the things you’ve said.


Jeff Payne


  1. I think there's a dichotomy between what some Christians view as an expression of freedom and where they end up just drawing the line and saying, "Not in my country". It's a section, though, obviously not the whole lot.

    The point I'd like to make here is that many Christians feel that US policy functions, at least in part, in order to reflect their own beliefs. So when liberal policies get pushed or passed, they react as if they are losing power, and in a sense losing religious right, because their country is shedding policies that they feel embodied their own beliefs.

    "Fight and win back the country for Jesus!" is a quote I've seen a few times from different ads and mail. It's worrisome to me that many Christians feel threatened by so many external forces, be it Muslim influence, homosexuals, atheists, whatever. So when a politician comes along and wants to garner their support, they need only bring up those issues and exploit them a bit to get their attention.

  2. Nathan, I agree: it isn't so much about the homosexuality (or atheism or what have you), so much as it is about what those things represent to the future of Christian mores, and how their very existence may "influence" a change in the Christian canon. No one ever wants to change because that means you'd have to admit to having made a mistake, or that what you believe may not be entirely moral or just.