Mega-Church Senior Pastor Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church
Originally seen on SeanSala.com
It was almost nine years ago that I left the Dallas metropolis to join the Military. Shortly thereafter I was thrust into the Naval campaign of the Iraq war, guarding the Iraqi oil platforms just off the coast of the nation. At that time I was closeted, still hiding from myself. Also the unconstitutional law known as DADT (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) was in full affect – ruining the lives of many gay and lesbian servicemembers who were laying down their lives for our Country. When I returned from the war I was so broken physically and mentally. Not just because of the stress of being in a combat theater, but because DADT had caused me to be emotionally paranoid every day while under combat stress. The Dallas, Texas area as well had done it’s number on me. I was kicked out of Churches for admitting that I simply “struggled” with being gay. I was singled out, demonized and I underwent what is known as “Gay conversion therapy.” In the past I shared my story on “Our America with Lisa Ling.” This story is just one of the many stories of the horrible persecution of growing up gay in the South. Months before I exited the Military I began my “righteous revenge” on the DADT policy. I began to fight the very system that demonized us. To this day I am still fighting on national level for the LGBT community – fighting for the rights that so many of us were denied, but so many of us laid our lives down for.
For many reasons I have returned to the Dallas area after almost nine years. One of the key reasons I have returned is so I can fight, advocate and speak out against the atrocities the “Christian Church” committed against me and many others for simply being born gay. I vowed to get settled down, then began to work to build a coalition to reach out to the Evangelical community. Seeking to bring more LGBT freedom to the State of Texas. Sadly to my surprise though I have to immediately address a grandly horrible, unethical and unchristian action that is currently being committed, targeting gay people in the area of Plano, Texas.
Dr. Jack Graham Pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church (a Church I used to attend,) has decided that in his position of Evangelical authority, instead of preaching a message about advocating for the poor, instead of preaching a message of reaching out to the widows and orphans of this world, instead of embracing the heart of Jesus (who never denied service to any person) – he has begun to lead a coalition to REPEAL a LGBT protection ordinance that was recently approved by the Plano City Council. This ordinance for the first time would embrace the full Constitutional body of our founding principles and it would protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Much like it has been done time and time again for other groups such as African Americans, Women and even Christians. These groups currently enjoy Constitutionally protected laws that specifically lets them not be denied freedom and public services based on their race, gender or belief. What is purely disgusting about all of this is Graham has used the phrase “darkness” to portray gay people. He agrees that “Christianity” has been “criminalized” in Plano and other absolutely adolescent, ridiculous and unfounded claims. So for a man who helps head the Baptist National Convention and uses the phrase “Doctor” in this title, for a man who preaches the “grace” of God – let me address him as such:
I know that being the Senior Pastor of such a large Church that fully funds your every need you must live “such a painful” life. I know that someone who uses the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring in millions to live like a “Christian King,” building a grandeur huge building that uplifts your social platform you must be “so aware” of what painful persecution is. You live in the United States of America. Apparently though Plano, Texas with its sea of wealthy and well off white people (many of whom attend your Church,) to you it has literally become a “brutal dictatorship” against you personally. I mean, you can’t eat in restaurants because you are a Baptist right? You can’t get promoted in certain workplaces because you are Baptist right? You can’t fully know that you will keep your job simply because of the way you were born right? I am sure the money you rake in from book sales etc. are “in jeopardy” because you are “so discriminated against?” – WRONG.
I don’t know if you need a refresher course on US History, or the basics of a functioning Constitutional Republic, but allow me to educate you since you have forgotten what actual discrimination is. Actual discrimination is you actually being DENIED a right, service or equal protection as cited under the 14th Amendment. This is the same clause that deemed DADT, DOMA (The “so called” Defense of Marriage Act) and now only roughly thirty seven States’ gay marriage bans to be unconstitutional. These laws were struck down not by “crazy gay liberals.” You know the gays that you profile as Nazis who are coming to force you to actually (Gasp! Serve them food.) Many of these were Bush and Reagan era appointed Judges who are staunchly conservative figures. Because they unlike you, actually give a damn about full Constitutional protection for all people – not just your exclusive Baptist resort. They, unlike you actually practice this “magical” philosophy that you profess to practice yourself. I don’t know if you have heard about this man named Jesus? Have you heard of Him? Well, if not please allow me “Doctor” to fill you in on His way of life, philosophy and doctrine.
Now, I would like you to take out a pen from your nice office fully funded by your congregation. I know it must be very hard to attain basic office supplies, since you go out to Office Max and a attendant screams “Get that disgusting fag Baptist out of this store!” That has happened to you right? You have had a lifetime of hateful slurs thrown at you simply for being Baptist? You agree that Christianity has been criminalized. So when are you getting arrested? Back to my point, please carefully write down this phrase that Jesus defined. I’m sorry I asked you to use a sheet of paper. I know supplies must be scarce in the prison you’ve been thrown in. Are you ready?
“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” – Jesus
“Judge not lest ye be judged.” – Jesus
You may be in utter shock that actual Christianity calls for these “crazy” and ludicrous things like treating people with actual dignity and respect. I am happy to inform you though that now you actually have a chance to live out your faith! You have the opportunity to actually lead people to the same Christ who offered water to a Samaritan woman. Someone who in Jesus’ day was deemed less than and filthy, simply because of her social status and gender. Yes! Jesus actually reached out to social minorities and social rejects of his day! Insane right?! The Jesus that you “claim” to serve actually demands that you treat people equally and you never deny them any sort of service.
I also want to take some time to explain to you some simple concepts that even a child can understand. Imagine this as your “School House Rock” moment. You can follow along and hum the repetitious beat if you get lost. It goes like this:
– You are a registered business with the State and with the National Government
– You pay taxes to operate as a business to the public, therefore you have to do this thing called “providing a service” to the public.
- BREAKING NEWS: LGBT people are part of the public!
Ludicrous isn’t it? I know I thought the same thing! Sadly for you and your “dazzling” Baptist palace, the truth of the matter is there are billions of people in the world. There are thousands of religions, many genders, many sexual orientations and many races. I regret to inform you that the World is not all heterosexual white males. I imagine you just fell out of your leather office chair but don’t worry! Pick yourself up and dust off your brand new tailored suit! After all, it must be hard to get your suit tailored because of all the Baptist discrimination you suffer. After getting beat up in all those hate crimes, you must be famished. Embrace the good news though! You live in the United States of America. You esteem to be a follower of Jesus and you actually are asked, nay demanded by Him to treat people equally.
Since you have been discriminated against so fervently, you have a chance to right a wrong in this world. The real “darkness” – a hypocritical Christianity that uses liturgical and religious dogma to demonize a group of people and shut out God’s Kingdom to them. So since you lead a congregation of thousands, I am hoping you have the balls as a man, as a Christian and as an American to actually tell them that discrimination is wrong. I hope you have the bravery to tell them that purposely trying to repeal a law that protects a minority, is the farthest thing from the Christian faith. I hope you realize that when you deny service to someone who is LGBT you are denying service to a mother, a father, a professional, a Veteran, a Active Duty Military member, a brother, a sister a police officer, a firefighter and yes to a gay Christian – and so on. You also are denying service to Jesus Himself:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
– The Book of Matthew
Until then, I am so sorry for your “horrific Baptist persecution.” Remember, you don’t choose to be gay but you do choose your religious belief. So let your hair down out of your ivory tower and allow some sense to climb into your space.