His quip came to mind recently when reading an article on the Huffington Post by Rev. Stephen V. Sprinkle, Ph.D., whose graduate education includes: M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, and Ph.D., Duke University Graduate School. Read the article here.
Sprinkle chastises the “xenophobic” and “anti-human rights” people of Laramie Wyoming for waiting 17 years to pass an anti-discrimination bill warranted by the grisly murder of Matthew Shepard.
Shepard became a household name 17 years ago when the news broke that he had been a torture-murder victim in Laramie. Galvanized by the play, The Laramie Project, consistent reports made it clear that Shepard, a 21-year-old college student, suffered martyrdom at the hands of some heartless homophobes, simply because he happened to be born gay. It was no different than if he had been tortured because of the color of his hair. From that point on he was enshrined among GLBT activists as the paragon of homosexual hate crime victims.
The problem with Reverend Doctor Sprinkle’s assessment of the situation in Laramie is that his zeal to liberate America from all vestiges of homophobia and xenophobia and perversity-aphobia outruns his concern for other things, like facts. For example, in all his righteous tirade, not a syllable is given to the fact that the Shepard murder was thoroughly researched by writer, Stephen Jimenez, who explained in his book, The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, that Matthew Shepard was heavily involved in dealing methamphetamine, and that he had a sexual relationship with one of his attackers. Not that this suggests it wasn’t a profound tragedy, but it does suggest a tragedy that took place in the midst of criminal activity rather than one of injustice against an innocent victim. Click here for Marvin Olasky’s article in WORLD magazine from a couple of years ago.
And by the way, Jimenez also identifies himself as gay.
On another note, after spending the entire article admonishing his readers of the goodness of being gay and lesbian and transgender, Sprinkle then closes with an allusion to Jesus’ words to those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery in John 8, exhorting us to "Drop the stones in your hand, America. Laramie has shown us how to do it.”
If I were a gay rights activist I’d be almost as angry with Dr. Sprinkle as I would be with one of those hateful perverts who still think marriage is only for one man and one woman. His allusion undermines almost everything he says before it. If the parable is an analogy for gay rights, then victimized homosexuals are represented by the woman caught in adultery, and the down-home homophobes are the hypocritical Pharisees. Jesus has mercy on the woman while refusing to equivocate about her sin. He doesn’t say, “...neither do I condemn you. Go now and live out your orientation with no constraint on your sexual urges.” He refuses to condemn her and then tells her to “Go now and leave your life of sin,” which should be the precise message that all Christians have for those who practice homosexuality.