Please allow me to respond to the homophobic rant of Kenneth Bayer in his Sept. 22 West Hawaii Today viewpoint on gays.
It was a perfect example of phony liberalism, that always starts off with “I’m not prejudiced but allow me to put down this group or that.” He says he does not hate gays but then proceeds to skewer them on a stick through his entire letter.
I am not gay, I just can’t stand to see someone write things that aren’t true.
Most of his statements are false. For instance, he says right off that Hawaii is “redefining an institution that has been against gays for thousands of years.” This is not true.
For thousands of years, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Native America and most all others, including old Hawaii, have accepted homosexuals as a part of the culture. Some cultures, inflamed by an uptight clergy or an insecure machismo, have condemned them but generally worldwide, it is not a big issue.
America is rapidly accepting them. Gay marriage is legal in 15 states. Hawaii making it legal would bring it to 16. That’s almost one-third of our country. There are 18 countries worldwide, including Great Britain, that have legalized it. Even in macho Mexico and Spain homosexuals can marry.
Next, Bayer writes that the gay lifestyle is “destructive and dangerous.” It is here he stumbles furthest from the truth.
Destructive and dangerous? I invite you to choose between walking into a drunken redneck bar on Saturday night with beer bottles flying, or a peaceful gay bar. Trust me, gays are not dangerous, they have never beaten up a cowboy for being straight.
By destructive he might mean depression, alcoholism and drug abuse, but with these problems they are not any worse off than straight people. Gays make up only 15 percent of the population, so of course there are vastly more people with drug and alcohol problems in the other 85 percent, but percentage-wise the lesbian-gay population is about the same as all others.
With all these so-called addictions, they manage to rise to the top in most all professions — musical, acting, business, food — while upping the property values of any area they move into. They keep their houses nicer, there are no gay slums.
Mr. Bayer then negates their claim to equal rights using a ridiculous argument that they may not be gay at birth. So what? They are people, they are citizens, they have rights. Period. The time they turned gay is irrelevant.
Here he says homosexuals are brainwashing and confusing American youth. There is no brainwashing, no confusion.
Like so many other people, Mr. Bayer sees behavior that does not fit into his smallish view of the world so he blindly reacts. Not long ago, women wanting to vote and black people sitting at lunch counters were just as strange and unnatural as gay people are to Mr. Bayer. Fairness moves on.
Lastly, he states that the “Christian religion brought us our great country.” This is false. The Founding Fathers were not Christians but Deists. They believed in an orderly, rational God. Free thought brought us our great country, not religion. They has seen the many wars and disputes caused by Christianity so they wisely chose to keep it out of the peoples’ lives. The separation of church and state has kept this great country together for more than 200 years. This is because a government based on religious principles, especially Christian, is not a good thing, it has always spelled disaster.
From the Crusades to the power-hungry missionaries here, to the destruction of the twin towers, we’ve seen the horrendous results of acting on “religious principles.”
Acceptance and tolerance of others are much higher principles.
And following this acceptance, which forever has been the heart of aloha, is why the people of Hawaii accept gay people and welcome them to marry like everyone else.
Dennis Gregory is a teacher, author, musician and longtime resident of Kona.