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Dino Drudi’s critique of Mayor Williams’ castigation of Bishop Owens’ anti-gay tirade–cum–sermon (“Bully Pulpit,” 6/2) is blissfully ignorant at best (I suspect another agenda entirely when, in his first paragraph, he points to “the politics of D.C.”). For one thing, he refers to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) sentiment as a basic tenet of “mainstream Christianity.” Such virulent homophobia is almost entirely relegated to fundamentalist Christian sects. Virtually all of my friends and family members who consider themselves “mainstream Christians” found Bishop Owens’ remarks absolutely repugnant.
Furthermore, Drudi misses the point entirely when he asks whether Mayor Williams would similarly denounce an LGBT individual who insulted fundamentalist Christianity. The issue is not simple denunciation. The issue is whether or not an individual calls for the denial of a basic civil right. A fundamentalist Christian obviously has the right to say that I, as a gay man, am an abomination before the Lord, am perverting nature’s design, and am going to fry in hell surrounded by Darwinists and the editors of National Geographic. Just as I have the right to say that fundamentalist Christians are intolerant bigots whose fingers are bruised from pointing at the same selectively chosen out-of-context biblical verses over and over again. The main difference is that I have never suggested that fundamentalist Christians be denied their basic rights as American citizens: the right to marry, the right not to be fired from a job, the right not to be evicted from an apartment or refused service in a restaurant due to their religion. Drudi is right that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion from government interference. However, he would be absolutely naive to think that religion hasn’t already crossed that divide.