P-FLAG recently launched a television advertising campaign in the hopes of spreading the idea that hatred toward gays is something that must stop in today's society.
Too many deaths and suicides are caused because of hateful words and actions taken by people who cannot accept the fact that gay people are a part of today's world.
The ad campaign was unfortunately short-lived. The Christian Broadcasting Network sent out letters to the broadcasters where P-FLAG hoped to advertise and let them know they would threaten legal action against any company which aired the 30-second spots.
As a gay teen, it frightens me to see that P-FLAG's simple advertising actions to stop hatred toward the gay community (teens in particular) could receive such a negative reaction. The Christian Broadcasting Network says: "PFLAG's attempts to link CBN's founder and chairman, Pat Robertson, to the senseless violence is wrong and damaging," and, "CBN's opposition to the ads centers on the fact that they grossly distort and misrepresent the views of Mr. Robertson, and injure both the reputation of Mr. Robertson and this ministry." These excuses are simply a clever ruse to injure P-FLAG's noble attempt at making our world a better place.
The television commercials P-FLAG is still attempting to broadcast do a splendid and truthful job of portraying what hurtful words can do to the lives of gay teenagers -- teenagers such as myself who lived for a long time with nonstop feelings of self-hatred and disregard for the enjoyable things life has to offer.
Gay teens commit suicide every day. The CBN continues to say Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Jesse Helms are being "misrepresented" by being "linked" to television advertisements in which their words of hatred toward the gay community are being complemented by images of either a young girl crying and trying to find a gun to kill herself with or a young man being chased by a mob of people who are trying to, and eventually do, murder him.
Maybe the words of those three men do not directly cause gay youth to take their own lives. But the thoughts behind the words -- the negative attitudes toward youth that cause them to be unable to accept themselves -- that does force gay teens to take their own lives.
An estimated 30 percent of teenage suicides are committed by gay teens. I could have (and probably would have) been one of those figures if it had not been for the people who step forward and take a stand for gay rights -- the people who are trying to make a difference in the attitude of our society. P-FLAG's commercials represent the work of those people to dispel violence in our world -- to let gay youth know that they can be accepted and that they deserve a happy and fulfilling life.
Rev. Jerry Falwell says, "Homosexuality is moral perversion and is always wrong. God hates homosexuality." May I ask Rev. Falwell who he thinks he is to put the words of God in his own mouth? Nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly say that God hates homosexuals. Rev. Falwell is ruining the love of God by trying to say that God hates people -- because God "hates" no one.
Rev. Pat Robertson says, "Homosexuality is an abomination. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals. The two things seem to go together." Excuse me, Rev. Robertson? Were you living in Germany during World War II and know for a fact the people involved with Hitler were homosexuals and Satanists? I'm sorry if I missed that part of our lesson in my history class last year. (It's a strange thing that I passed that unit with flying colors when I missed something of that much importance, no?)
Sen. Jesse Helms says, "A lot of us are sick and tired of all the pretenses of injured innocence. They are not innocent." Since when did politicians decide who in our world is innocent and who is not?
These three people are implying we choose to be gay as an act of defiance toward God -- that we are evil, wrong, misguided and unacceptable. I'm sorry to destroy their false truths, but no one chooses to be gay and we are not doing it as an act of defiance toward God.
Homosexuality is a concept not many people in our world readily understand. To me, it is a simple attraction I have to members of my own gender -- just as heterosexuals are attracted to members of the opposite sex.
It's just the way we are, and P-FLAG is trying to show people that hateful words have devastating effects on the lives of gay youth. The Christian Broadcasting Network cannot rightfully say that they are being misrepresented by these television commercials. Why? Because their hateful words bruise the emotional health of gay teens, just as a hateful person can physically bruise someone in an assault. And in both cases, people reach a point where they just can't take it anymore.
I'm sixteen years old, and I'm scared. I'm scared of what I see the CBN doing when an organization such as P-FLAG tries to push violence and hatred just a little further out of the way. I'm scared because my chances at a happy future are being condemned by the CBN. I'm scared because I see a religious organization -- the people who are supposed to be promoting love throughout our world -- threatening legal action against broadcasting companies that choose to run P-FLAG's television commercials to stop hatred.
In the way of loving homosexuals, Pat Robertson says, "You love the person. Grant love. Grant mercy. Don't be condemning, and try by prayer and the administration of the Word to show that one the way of truth." That's just a fancy way of saying that gay people are misguided and that prayer can "heal" them. And it's a fancy way for Robertson to cover up the real hate that those words hold, whether he intended for that hate to be present or not.
I know this article would probably receive a major negative response from the CBN (if they read it, that is), so my thoughts to them are simply this: Don't try to hide the fact that Robertson, Falwell and Helms said the words I've quoted. All you want to do is "cure" us, but don't bother -- there is nothing for you to cure except the deaths caused by your religious admonition toward us.