Book Review: Holy Terror

7 10 2012

For many years the religious Christian “right” has been telling the general population of the United States of America, and their followers that there is a threat to “family values” and will bring down the country from the inside. And it’s NOT the Muslims. No, according to certain groups like Focus on the Family, it’s those “evil” people who are gay.

This is the premises of the book “Holy Terror: Lies The Christian Right Tells Us To Deny Gay Equality” by Mel White.

This year, the far right during this election cycle has not mentioned this “enemy from within” and has poured out all their hate on President Obama and his policies now, but Mel White’s book is so important to understand HOW the conservative minds that put President Bush the 2nd into office and how a sarcastic article written to make fun of the people who fear gays started a terrible rift and change to the message of Jesus that we are seeing the affects today.

“Holy Terror” was published in 2006, G.W. Bush had just been re-elected into the White House. Mel White was about to just give up and not continue his battle with the far right and the lies that have been told to spread hate about our fellow brothers and sisters. But after rediscovering the works Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi, former ghostwriter and film maker to the far right, White discovered that most of what his employers were saying had no connection to the teachings and life of Jesus.

Mel gives plenty of evidence of what happened at a secret meeting of a few people who met in Colorado Springs to “stop this homosexual agenda”. Sometimes we really need to think about what we say or do and what the outcomes might be. Due to a lack of self control by BOTH sides of the religious Christian views, this MESS has happened. BOTH sides are to blame for this mess. Somehow thought, in my opinion, it’s gonna take getting back to Jesus’ Gospel and not the one of the right or left.

Mr. White’s book covers many of the lies that have been told to people to give money to causes to put the gospel of “God hates you unless you repent” and the attempt to put this kind of thinking into building the United States Government into a “Christian Nation” not build on love and forgiveness, but on fear that God will take his blessings away from the country.

I grew up in a Methodist tradition where we were taught that even those who didn’t believe in God, were gay, or even murderers that God STILL loved them no matter what, I find that the stories that Mel tells of the religious Christian right affected the congregation that I grew up in. Even in a tradition that valued it’s own teachings about Jesus, groups like Focus on the Family’s teachings slipped in. I remember some people in the congregation “loved the sinner and hated the sin” but would never sit with a gay or lesbian and get to know what they did to add to the country. So many people fear what they don’t understand. The truth is most churches don’t know the love of Jesus and only the legend of his life, death and resurrection, NONE of his teachings on how to live life in the here and now.

As I read “Holy Terror” I just wanted to puke. I have a sister in law who came out many years ago and she is certainly NOT a threat to our family. In fact she is a nurse! This is what bothers me so much about people who have been raised by a message of a angry god who doesn’t love everyone. In an emergency where your life is on the line, would you really care if a person is attracted to the same body type if they are trained to save your life?

Mel battled himself for many years and accepted that being gay is a gift from a loving Father. Through out his story you find out that he is a man who loves deeply and passionately about equal and just rights not only for his gay brothers and sisters, but also for those who would want him dead.

Mel came off at first to me as a pissed off liberal who just wants to see the other side to disappear just like his counterparts on the right want him to just shut up and go away. But as he gets past all the evidence of the lies that those he points out on the right have done, he gets to the point of non violent resistance. Seeing that his heroes are MLK, Ghandi, and Jesus of Nazareth, and NOT the Bible as his idols, this makes it possible for me to say that if I would ever meet Mel face to face that I would embrace him as a true brother.

So many people who vote for “family values” would do well to read this book. Mel points out that what we consider the family in the USA is NOT what the Bible, which is the “idol” of the right, or even history really states is a family The family became an idol to posse and even more focus on trying to keep our world safe for the family became the only issue that seemed to matter. And now we are seeing that conservative view warped into a fantasy that has not kept up with love. There is a point of view that states only one man and one woman should be considered a married couple. Marriage as become just a social contract and NOT a commitment for all of your life.

I have encountered many wonderful same sex couples, who would have a wedding ceremony if it were only allowed by law, that have shown me what it means to be committed to each other and have only shown ME what it takes to stay that way to the one you are IN love with. Their example of love has made me a better husband to my wife, so you can’t convince me that two people of the same sex can’t live as one man and one woman can. Mel White only confirmed to me what I already knew in my heart. EVERYONE is loved by Jesus and he forgives even the most hateful rhetoric that would deny the rights that are given to everyone just by being here on Earth.

To my fellow conservative believers I would say this: Sit down and read “Holy Terror” even if you don’t agree with what Mel has written. THEN sit at the feet of Jesus. Start with the gospel according to Mark. Read all four gospel accounts. Spend time with the man you claim has “saved” you. Leave the Old Testament for a while. Don’t read the letters of Paul or Peter for a year. Just work on knowing and loving Jesus and let HIM change your heart.

I thank God for those that are gay. I thank God for people like my sister in law. I thank God for @ReverandSue on twitter who is taking a stand there for LGBT people. We all need to forgive more and act more in love. For it is AGAPE that wins and makes us all ONE.

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