Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Letter to the Governor of Arizona

Fortunately, the article I read is not real, and was written for a satirical news source that is not The Onion (to which I am familiar and subscribe!).  However, I did not realize this until after I angrily, but calmly wrote the following blog and email.  So, for your viewing pleasure, if you are ever concerned that you live in a society where this sort of atrocity could actually take place (and let's be honest, we totally do - remember Arizona's non-satirical, completely legit, immigration policy?!), here's your strongly worded email...

August 22, 2013

To Gov. Brewer of Arizona and "Lynn" of People Can Change in Virginia,

I recently read an article stating that classes that will be offered in schools across Arizona teaching homosexual children and teens how to become straight/heterosexual.

I am concerned about this and wanted to let you know why.

When individuals, groups of people, or even governments put money and programming into organizations or acts that try to make people something they aren't, it is the responsibility of the people to speak up and protect the innocent people who are being bullied.  In this case, the victims are children and teens.

I believe the programming you are trying to institute in November is a hate crime.  Here's why. 

Doing horrific things to children to turn them into something or away from something is wrong.  Performing female circumcision on girls to prevent them from enjoying sex is wrong.  Raping women to turn them straight is wrong.  Stoning unmarried women to death after they are raped because they are now "used goods" is wrong.  And I sign petitions against these acts and send those petitions to the governments of foreign countries.

You can imagine how disappointed I am that I am now sending a letter to politicians in my own beloved America.

Just because you the government of Arizona and you the “Christians” of People Can Change live here in America and aren’t raping women to turn them straight, I’m not sure that sending teenagers to classes where they are indoctrinated and brainwashed to find people of the opposite gender sexually attractive is much better. 

Furthermore, you cannot impose your narrow (and arguably unChristian) religious dogma on all the children and teens in your schools.  It's illegal, and quite frankly, unAmerican.  

Let’s turn the table.  Let’s pretend like you both (Lynn from People Can Change and Gov. Brewer) are “Muslim” instead of “Christian.”  Let’s say that you create a class that all students must take that teaches them that women are of lesser value than men, that their purpose in life is to remain pure until their wedding night and support their husband through obedience and child-rearing, and at the end of the class all the females undergo the ritual of circumcision.  Would it be right to oppress these children with your narrow (and arguably unMuslim) religious dogma?  No, it obviously wouldn't.  

Yet, that's what you're doing with this new program to be instituted in November.

You must consider what you do and how it affects the people around you.  I implore you as Christians and as Americans.

I thank God that I live in America where the government can’t force me to shop at a certain store or wear certain clothes or eat certain food.  Neither can the government tell me where to go to church or how to practice my faith or how many times a day I should pray.  And because the government is to remain separate from the church, neither Christians, Muslims, Jews, or atheists can tell me whether I should fall in love with men or women.

Being a person of faith means that it matters how you treat people.  And it matters a lot to me because I do call myself a Christian.  In fact, I am an ordained Baptist minister.  And I don’t believe there is a biblical definition on family, and if there is, I’m not interested in living by it.  I’ve never been a fan of levirate marriage, polygamy, or arranged marriages.  And if you want to play the New Testament card, Jesus never once mentions homosexuality.  You can read about my thoughts on that here. 

P.S. I imagine if I were a Muslim Iman, I would believe similarly to what I currently belive as a minister about Christianity, that Islam promotes the notion of absolute equality of all humanity.  Female circumcision is in no way shape or form the norm for Islam - let me be clear - I was just trying to use a different sexist, religious atrocity in our culture today.

Thank you for your consideration of this issue.

Rev. Ann Catherine Pittman

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