A Texan Apology
Keith Haring: Pop Shop Quad III (1989)
I live in Lubbock. As a Texan (a Christ-ian one, at that) I am compelled to apologize to you. The homophobic reaction coming from our conservative state, the foul post of Lt. Governor Patrick and Lubbock’s radio show host, Wilkes’ scathing words disgust me. But it is more than their obviously hateful rhetoric that we as a state have to apologize for.
It’s understandable that the Christian apology, especially via social media, is hard to accept given the constant propaganda that is shared around the internet that villainizes LGTBQ and perpetuates and borders on hate speech. I apologize for this, for not reacting in a bold manner against this onslaught. The definition of radical religious extremism is putting doctrine above the value of human life. I feel ashamed of our state’s leaders (heck, of people I know) for their reactions to the horror that occurred. I pray. I cry at night as I hold my 6 month-old, thinking of the mothers of the victims. I take my gun-owning self online and sign petitions to ban the sales of automatic weaponry in the U.S. But, it is not enough. I have to apologize—and it is not enough still. But, it is my hope that we will do away with the radicalism of hate-mongers and choose political leaders that exemplify love, respecting the lives of others. More than that, I hope all of us refuse to “tolerate” you, as though you, beautiful, compassionate, human souls were a disease. I hope we love and embrace you. I hope we change, for you, for all those affected by the condemnation we’ve cast, and for ourselves whom we damage by continuing.