Monday, April 20, 2009

Americans for Truth Attacks 17-Year Old James Neiley

Back in late March, I recommended to Bilgrimage readers (here) a video clip of 17-year old James Neiley speaking at the Vermont Senate hearing that preceded the vote of the Vermont legislature to permit same-sex marriage.

The Good As You website reports today (here) that Neiley is now being targeted by the odious Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality. Characterizing this courageous young man as “effeminate,” LaBarbera invites readers to send letters to Americans for Truth reminding James Neiley of his need for repentance and conversion.

Good As You is suggesting that readers of its posting send notes to Americans for Truth with a cc to Good as You. This strikes me as a good idea, so I just sent my own note to Americans for Truth. It reads:

Dear James Neiley,

I saw a video clip of your presentation to the Vermont legislature. I was moved by your intelligence, strength, and passion for what is right.

Because you have spoken out in public, you will, unfortunately, find yourself targeted by people interested in doing everything in their power to harm their fellow human beings who happen to be gay. Even more disgusting, many of these people will quote the bible as they seek to harm you, and will tell you they are acting in love and for your own good.

I feel sure you have long since learned to recognize these tactics as lies, and that you are aware that the pretensions of these moral crusaders to have the moral high road are completely unfounded. Still, it takes strength to resist powerful social currents, especially when one is young.

I feel sure you are capable of resisting, and will continue to recognize that who you are is very precious to the God who made you as you are. Thank you for your courage in speaking out in the Vermont hearings. Please know that in the days ahead, when you may be attacked by ugly political operatives claiming to be moral agents, you have many, many supporters across the globe.

To which I immediately got the following two replies from Mr. LaBarbera:

Sorry Mr. Lindsay, you can try to publish this on one of the thousands of pro-homosexuality sites.

William, I forgot to tell you: it’s never too late to repent. You too are on that same dangerous path, but forgiveness through Christ – a free gift – is always available to you. I suggest you read the Gospel of John as a starter. Truth is not dictated by your “feelings,” otherwise each of us would simply declare that our besetting sin is “who we are.” God bless you.—Peter L.

I’d like to encourage readers to take up Good As You’s suggestion and send Americans for Truth your letters of support for James Neiley. It is contemptible that this courageous, well-spoken, morally admirable young man is being targeted by a “Christian” group whose appraisal of him revolves around characterizing him as effeminate.

I have no doubt that James Neiley is more than equal to the assault. Even so, it doesn’t hurt, when we’re being attacked, to know that others care and are watching, and will intervene to defend us from wrongful assault.

Here are the two email addresses Good As You offers for letters:

If you send an email letter to the first (Americans for Truth) of these two addresses, telling James Neiley that you support him, please cc the second (Good As You) of the two addresses. I feel sure James Neiley will appreciate the expression of solidarity.