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{Colorado Springs Gazette, March 2005}

If you weren’t rallying in Acacia Park Friday morning, you should’ve been.

Friday’s protest was a no-brainer.  When was the last time you exercised your constitutionally protected right to stand for something?  One group did it Friday, and a lot more of us responded.  Why weren’t you there?

Maybe you weren’t there because you didn’t know about it.  Fair enough. But if you drove by, weren’t you just a little curious?  You could’ve parked your car, got out, and asked me what all the fuss was about.

I would’ve told you a Palmer High student wanted to start an officially recognized group called the Gay Straight Alliance.  The administration said no.  The ACLU sued.  A hate-preaching church showed up to protest.  A counter-protest was held across the street in Acacia Park. 

That’s where you should’ve been.

What was the young lady who started the GSA thinking?  Imagine, trying to make her school better by getting people talking.  Didn’t she know that gay teens aren’t supposed to exist?  Didn’t she know that allowing young people to talk about controversial topics makes adults nervous?  Didn’t her math teacher cover the Fundamental Equation of School Boards Everywhere:  Adolescents + Sexuality = Hysteria? 

Maybe none of this was news to you.  Maybe the real reason you didn’t show up is because you believe homosexual behavior is wrong. 

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here.  We both understand that sexual behavior is a choice.  With choices come consequences.  It’s our job as adults to make sure adolescents learn everything that simple idea entails.

The evidence from biology and psychology, however, says that the sex you’re attracted to is not a choice.  Orientation emerges during adolescence, along with the rest of your sexual characteristics.  No surprise there.  Morality, I think, has to be found in how you treat your sex partners.  Not what chromosomes they have.

But even if we disagree on the morality of gay sex, that’s not what the rally was about.  We were there to stand against hate.  Period.  Plenty of people who don’t like homosexuality think hatred is worse.  I bet some were at the rally.  I bet you could’ve been.

Maybe you weren’t there because you’re a conservative Christian, and you didn’t want to give the hate-mongering church any publicity.  All they want is attention, so maybe if you ignore them they’ll go away. 

That’s a very risky position to take.  Do you remember who said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”?  It wasn’t Gandhi, or Martin Luther King.  It was Edmund Burke, a great conservative thinker.

Maybe you weren’t there because the radical left makes you uncomfortable, and you knew all the usual lefty suspects would show up.  You know who I mean:  Angry Atheist Anti-War Activists, Citizens Project,  Ground Zero, the ACLU.  I have to say, you’d have been completely right.  They were all there (except for the first group, I made them up).

But so what if the lefties were out in force?  Why should they have all the fun?  Who gave them the moral high ground?   Isn’t the preaching of hatred in a religious setting something that everybody should take a stand against, regardless of political belief? 

Think of what it would have said about our town if more conservatives had been there.  Imagine signs like “Colorado Springs Republicans Condemn Homophobia!” “New Life Church Thinks These People Are Crazy!” “ Focus On The Family Says: Hate Is Not Christian!”.  Now that would’ve been something.

Actually, we had at least one conservative there in spirit.  He’s a colleague of mine, an evangelical Christian who volunteered to take over at work so I could exercise my right to do right.  He has my gratitude and respect.  Maybe next time we’ll get more of his compatriots out for a little constitutionally protected yelling.

But you should’ve been there.