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From the desk of Caster: Justin gives us his gay/anti-gay thoughts

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images  Good As You Images Picture-10-84Over the past few days, there have been some musings in the gay blogosphere about a Califonia-based theatrical actor by the name of Justin Caster. Here, just to get you acquainted with the young man, here's a YouTube video we've found that features Justin:

He seems fun and effervescent, right? We certainly thought so. So we just couldn't believe that the reason Mr. Caster was making gay headlines was because he'd been found to have given a considerable amount of money to California's anti-gay marriage initiative.

We really thought there had to have been some sort of mistake. We thought maybe someone had made the donation to the Prop. 8 campaign in Justin's name, unbeknownst to him. We thought we had to give Justin the benefit of the doubt. So rather than post anything about how bizarre it seemed for a man of theatre to donate thousands of dollars to an initiative that would hurt so many gay people, we decided to wait and hear from Justin himself.

Well this morning we did hear from him. Justin wrote us an explanation of his donation and where he's coming from, and he's agreed to let us post it as a means of getting his own words out to the public. Since he was nice enough to do that, we will now present Justin's letter without any further commentary (for now):

Dear Jeremy,

Thank you for being considerate and taking the time to hear me out. I've been receiving emails from those who don't share your same consideration. I guess that article written about me is leading people to believe I'm a hypocritical bigot...which hurts.

First of all, I am no longer in the cast of Wicked in Chicago. I left the show in December of '07 on my own accord. [
The Tips-Q article] stated that I was currently in the production...which is false. Yes, I do support Prop. 8. That is not a lie. I understand how it may seem ironic that a theatrical performer like myself would support prop. 8, but only to those who assume that all theatrical performs [sic] believe in the same thing.

I am a Christian and when it comes to choosing between what is right and wrong (according to the Bible) versus what a person/s may believe – I must choose the Word of God.

I believe that marriage is an institution created by God, a union He designed for one man and one woman. The Bible is very clear on the boundaries God set on marriage, and I will do all I can to uphold His standards. The world is changing around us (which is written about in detail in the Bible), but Christians are instructed by God not to change our beliefs or try and change what the Bible teaches.

My efforts to support Prop. 8 had nothing to do with keeping anybody from enjoying civil rights. We are free in this country, a privilege I hope I never take for granted. With that freedom, I am free to stand up for what I believe. And because I have made a stand, I am being called a "bigot". I am sure you are aware of what the word bigot means; one who is intolerant of others or others' beliefs. I don't understand how standing up for what I believe makes me a "bigot". I am not intolerant of homosexuals one bit. I have many gay friends and although I don't agree with their lifestyle, I don't let our different beliefs get in the way of our friendship. We are all free to live our lives the way we choose. I choose to follow after God, and therefore will do what I can to maintain His boundaries on the institution of marriage that He created. It seems to me that those who are lashing out against me and my beliefs are the ones who are showing signs of bigotry.

I apologize if my efforts seem to be an act of animosity towards you or anyone else who may disagree with my beliefs. Again, I am not fighting against the homosexual community, however I am fighting to keep sacred the beautiful institution of marriage God created from the beginning.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be fairly represented. I truly appreciate and respect your professionalism.

God bless,

Justin Caster

So again, we're going to just thank Justin for agreeing to let us put his words out there rather than delve into what he has said. But by all means -- you feel free to leave your own comments in the comments section. There is certainly MUCH to say about this.

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Your thoughts

That is BS! - I have more to say but I need to calm down first.

Posted by: Alonzo | Jul 24, 2008 5:20:12 PM

I *hate* it when Christians try to be all nicey-nicey when rationalizing about gay people. "Oh, I have many gay friends"..."I don't hate the sinner, I hate the sin"...blah, blah blah.

It's pathetic to stand behind your "religion" when disallowing gay people to have the same rights and privileges that you have.

He and all other bible-thumpers can shove it.

Posted by: Chris | Jul 24, 2008 5:28:32 PM

“My efforts to support Prop. 8 had nothing to do with keeping anybody from enjoying civil rights.”

Really, now, because although that may be what you believe, the end result is quite the opposite. Denying a whole group of people a basic civil right certainly seems like keeping someone from something. Wouldn’t you agree?

“We are free in this country, a privilege I hope I never take for granted.”
Too late, you already did that when you decided that your heterosexual relationship had intrinsically more value than one shared by a same sex couple. Nice try, though.

“I have many gay friends and although I don't agree with their lifestyle, I don't let our different beliefs get in the way of our friendship.”
(Just don’t get married, or anything, because although we are equal under the law, we are not THAT equal)
“We are all free to live our lives the way we choose. I choose to follow after God, and therefore will do what I can to maintain His boundaries on the institution of marriage that He created.”
Yeah, I can still picture the stamp on my parents wedding, “Made by Yahweh” trademarked.

It seems to me that those who are lashing out against me and my beliefs are the ones who are showing signs of bigotry.”
Gosh, I can’t imagine why anyone would get upset by someone who, professing to be their friend went and used their belief system to excuse bigotry which directly affected said friends. Yeah, bigotry sucks, doesn’t it?

Freaking whackjob….

Posted by: MirrorMan | Jul 24, 2008 5:48:37 PM

He has gay friends? Oh, then he can't possibly be a bigot. My mistake. Boy, I'll sure think twice about labeling people who oppose equal rights.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 24, 2008 5:54:46 PM

Justin, if you're reading this, please, for the love of God, stop saying you "don't agree with their lifestyle," when referring to your friends. Who is asking anyone to agree with anyone else's "lifestyle?"

Your friends are only asking you to understand that they are different than you, and that you respect their differences enough not to try to make the world a much harder place for them to live by giving money to people who want to make it illegal for them to have the right to care for their loved ones.

Posted by: Denis | Jul 24, 2008 5:54:49 PM

"I have many gay friends and although I don't agree with their lifestyle . . ."

That one statement negates everything you sought to say, Justin.

Gay people don't have a life? They have a lifestyle? Isn't prejudging a hallmark of bigotry?

Posted by: a. mcewen | Jul 24, 2008 6:01:24 PM

I support Mr. Caster's right to follow God. I support his right to give contributions to whomever he pleases.

I also support the right of others to identify Mr. Caster efforts to take away civil equalities based on sexual orientation as bigotry, homophobia, or hate-based religiousity, if they so choose.

And I support the right of fellow thespians to bring to the attention of producers, directors, casting agents, and others involved in the entertainment industry that Mr. Caster is taking political positions that are harmful to the lives and livelihoods of others actors and that hiring him in any production is almost certainly going to bring stress on performers to the extent that it would lead to tension, infighting, discomfort and perhaps even production delays and increased costs.

After all, I'm not sure I could show up to work every day and face someone who had spent $18,000 of their own money (or their Daddy's money) on efforts to diminish me and make me a second class citizen. I'm afraid I would take that personally and would find only contempt for someone so selfish that they had to try and coerce me to live according to their religious beliefs about marriage.

Now providing information results in Mr. Caster not getting work, well I wouldn't really worry about that. You see, Mr. Caster has a very wealthy family which gives him the privilege of not having to get along with coworkers. He get's to be arrogant and abusive of his coworkers because he doesn't have to care - he's got A1 Storage money to throw away on oppressive political efforts, he doesn't need an employers.

And as Daddy's storage business is the real money behind Justin's contributions (and probably his real source of income), he'll do just fine sitting at home doing his nails and ranting about the beautiful institution of marriage.

Posted by: Timothy Kincaid | Jul 24, 2008 6:05:42 PM

I'm still going to keep my comments to a minimum, because I really do respect Justin's willingness to let me post his email (sometimes rare in socially conservative circles). But I do want to say that more than anything, I find this very sad.

I feel like I can relate to Justin on many levels. We're about the same age, I too have a theatre background (which also includes Wicked), and, it seems, we both were raised to not see gay people as worthy of respect. It hurts me to see someone who could potentially be a strong ally being led by the falsely compassionate "pro-family" movement into believing that (a) one should oppose gay equality, and (b) that it's the "nice," "good" thing to do.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 24, 2008 6:12:42 PM

I think you should be banned from the theatre. You see, it isn't because I hate you or that I'm bigoted. You should have every right that everyone else has - except, God obviously created the theatre for the gays and I just think your lifestyle interferes with his plan.

Posted by: Sanfranguns | Jul 24, 2008 6:18:39 PM

Justin is correct that the Bible is clear on marriage. Women are property. A man can have more than one wife plus he can poke his concubines as well. Not only is polygamy allowed but mandated in some cases (if your brother dies, you are required to marry your sisterinlaw). Divorce is the destuction of a sacred institution and strictly forbidden. I could go on with this list, but I will assume Justin is would donate just as much money to see that our laws reflect all of these things.

With regard to civil rights, spare me. Here are a few things that my children's don't have that the children of a straight person would have.
-I cannot file jointly, hence higher taxes, less for college. We're talking thousands of dollars a year.
-I cannot file jointly hence I cannot get the child tax credit. More thousands of dollars a year.
-health insurance costs our family much more since we can't get benefits through spouses
-we spend a lot more in legal fees to approximate the same level of security for my children as come automatically when you get married
-in the unfortunate event of a split up, the children's security is sometimes up in the air.
-the chance of a stay at home parent is much less since both parents need to work to have health insurance.
-gay parents are at higher risk of losing their jobs since they can be fired for being gay in many states.

Justin, you are a bigot. Don't hide behind God. I don't think he agrees with you.

Posted by: Steve - Geneva, IL | Jul 24, 2008 6:42:35 PM

Well, he is right about one thing. He certainly does have the right to support any cause that he feels the need to support. I also think that he wasted his money, but that is his choice as well. It is overly simplistic, though, to suggest that it is not an act of animosity when one actively attempts to codify discrimination into law. However heartfelt it is, discriminatory laws have never been good public policy.

And, I can't understand how some like Justin can say that they believe that everyone has the right to freedom, but then attempt to limit the freedoms of those they don't agree with.

The purpose of laws and legal systems it to protect and defend the citizenry. Protecting an defending an antiquated notion of someone's flawed sense of morality where there is no benefit to the citizens is never a reason to write a law. The only reason for writing a discriminatory law like Prop 8 is to force one's moral opinion onto everyone else.

If morality could be legislated, then I really doubt that those attempting to do it would be happy with the results. My sister constantly copied me on emails which she forwards around that echo her disgust with the supposed removal of "god" and "prayer" from public schools. She did copy me on them until I informed her that if she were successful in her attempt to "re-godify" schools, then it wouldn't be her religion that was represented.

She is not Catholic, and I asked her how she would like it if her children were schooled in Catholicism in public schools - because, as the majority, Catholicism necessarily would win every vote. My intention was to inform her that she (more than most) is the major beneficiary of church/state separation.

I never got a response, but I also haven't been copied on any more of those stupid emails either, so I think I made my point that the majority doesn't, shouldn't and can't force their belief system onto everyone - even as heartfelt as those beliefs might be.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 24, 2008 6:53:25 PM

"I believe that marriage is an institution created by God, a union He designed for one man and one woman."

This is the argument by "pro-family" Christians that always seems to irritate me most. Because Abraham's two wives . . . Or even Jacob's four wives . . . Or David's and Solomon's many, many wives . . .

Posted by: Christian Sorensen | Jul 24, 2008 6:56:03 PM

I find it interesting that Wicked (the book) was written by an out gay man who has since married his partner (now husband) and are raising kids together.

Posted by: tjc | Jul 24, 2008 7:09:09 PM

Don't use your religion to justify your hatred.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jul 24, 2008 7:20:15 PM

One other thing (I know I talk too much, but these voices in my head just keep screaming at me).

Biblical families (which god supposedly ordained at the same time he instituted one man / one-to-many woman marriage) followed a practice of birth-rights. I wonder if Justin Caster (and his siblings and parents for that matter) would be so quick to codify that "family value" into law knowing that only the oldest (surviving) male child of the family would inherit the father's estate (remember, women and mothers were nothing more than cattle back then).

That birth-right is another antiquated notion of morality. But, I doubt that it is one that they would be strongly in favor of. The patricide and fratricide of that era usually was deeply rooted in greed and directly related to birth-rights - and obviously god's intention for families.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 24, 2008 7:30:24 PM

TJC: As I've mentioned on here before, I worked in a press representation capacity on the original Broadway cast of Wicked. Trust me -- EVERYONE involved in the conception of that show is either gay or extremely pro-gay.

And if he needs an example of how to be both pro-gay and Christian, original Galinda/Glinda Kristin Chenoweth could give him a good model of how this works. She is proudly both.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 24, 2008 7:36:35 PM

How did this a**hole ever think that he had a future in theater? He's worse than a bigot.


Posted by: dave b | Jul 24, 2008 7:56:29 PM

""I have many gay friends and although I don't agree with their lifestyle . . ."

That one statement negates everything you sought to say, Justin."

Thank you Alvin, exactly what I was going to post.

That would be like a gay person claiming "I have lots of Christian friends, although I don't agree with their lifestyle" (which would include handling live snakes, speaking in tongues, kid-fucking, marrying several women, marrying underage girls, "setting up" marriages with an adult and an underage girl, genital mutilation, believing in magical underwear, and the list goes on).

Posted by: Scott | Jul 24, 2008 8:02:31 PM

That's very sad.

I also have an acquaintance from the original cast of Wicked, and I have a theatre background, and anyone who has been involved in theatre should know better.

He may think he has gay friends, but those "gay friends" might suggest he's using the term "friend" a bit loosely.

Posted by: Evan | Jul 24, 2008 8:43:01 PM

"I believe that marriage is an institution created by God, a union He designed for one man and one woman."
Pity that Biblical History doesn't agree with your interpretation. God, through the Bible, tacitly, directly, and completely endorses polygamy, and the keeping of concubines. In no way shape or form does God ever say in the Bible that marriage is only for one man and one woman.

"The Bible is very clear on the boundaries God set on marriage,"
Yet you don't seem to be clear on the Bible. As another poster mentioned, various positive Biblical figures practiced polygamy.
"and I will do all I can to uphold His standards."
I sincerely doubt that unless you refuse to eat shellfish, wear polycotton blend, and we ALL know that Wicked had at least one matinee on Sunday -- a day you are commanded not to work on.

" The world is changing around us (which is written about in detail in the Bible), but Christians are instructed by God not to change our beliefs or try and change what the Bible teaches."
And no one has asked you to do otherwise. Folks who believe that blacks, Jews, christians, athiests, short, tall, fat, smart, dumb, gay or straight people are lesser people are under no obligation to change those beliefs. How the law treats them, however, is different.

"My efforts to support Prop. 8 had nothing to do with keeping anybody from enjoying civil rights."
Sadly, you are mistaken. When the supreme court shot down laws that prohibited interracial marriage, they determined that marriage, the civil contract, is a civil right. Currently, same-sex couples in California are enjoying this right, and all the responsibilities and priviledges that come with it. Prop. 8 seeks to remove those rights. It seeks to undo those marriages and to prevent future marriages. It seeks to harm gays, lesbians, and their families for now and for generations to come. Your support for Prop. 8 has everything to do with keeping an entire class of people from enjoying civil rights.

"We are free in this country, a privilege I hope I never take for granted. With that freedom, I am free to stand up for what I believe."
Absolutely, you are free to make a stand, but your stand is in direct opposition to the founding principles of this country, that all men are created equal, and that we all deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Your stand says that my partner and I are somehow not deserving of the same freedoms you enjoy.
And because I have made a stand, I am being called a "bigot". I am sure you are aware of what the word bigot means; one who is intolerant of others or others' beliefs. I don't understand how standing up for what I believe makes me a "bigot".
Merriam-Website Online defines Bigot as "a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance".
Your stand falls directly into that definition. What, did you think people who opposed freeing the slaves didn't feel they were standing up for deeply held beliefs? Tolerance means live and let live, it doesn't mean you have to agree, but it does mean you have to live and let live. You are supporting a proposition that is intolerant, therefore you, sir, are intolerant.

" I am not intolerant of homosexuals one bit. I have many gay friends and although I don't agree with their lifestyle, I don't let our different beliefs get in the way of our friendship."
You actions prove otherwise. Referring to their lives as a "lifestyle" a singular way of living is completely ignorant, bigoted, and absolutely intolerant. There is no such thing as "the gay lifestyle" there are as many different ways of living as a gay person as there are gay people.
As to your second point. You have decided that your beliefs are more important than your friendship. You have decided that forcing compliance with your beliefs via legislation, taking a civil right away from your friends somehow does not get in the way of your friendship? Your friends must be forever turning their cheeks whenever you are around.

"We are all free to live our lives the way we choose. I choose to follow after God, and therefore will do what I can to maintain His boundaries on the institution of marriage that He created."
By all means do so, but do not force that on others. By all means, find some girl and marry her, and make her happy. I, and other homosexuals have another path, do not stand in our way, we do not seek to stand in yours. By supporting Prop. 8 you are going beyond merely maintaining His boundaries, you are forcing those boundaries upon others. What has happened in California has brought joy, happiness, and fairness to all of the people of that state. You seek to take those things away from them.

" It seems to me that those who are lashing out against me and my beliefs are the ones who are showing signs of bigotry." Perhaps, but you, sir, or no better.

I forgot to mention, the word bigot comes from the French for "hypocrite". I cannot think of a more worthy way to describe you.

Posted by: Jason D | Jul 24, 2008 8:57:40 PM

Mr. Caster, I appreciate that you have chosen to put down your thoughts in a straightforward matter for this audience. It's not something that one often sees from those who support measures such as Proposition Eight. However, you state that opposing the legalization of gay marriage has, "nothing to do with keeping anybody from enjoying civil rights." Just about every adult citizen in the United States enjoys the right to marry the person the person they love, regardless of almost every factor except for age. If you tried to do something such as re-instate anti-miscegenation laws, which prevented an African American person from marrying a Caucasian person, that action would spark very profound protests across the country, at best. The right to marry is a civil right, and by denying it to loving couples simply because your faith tells you that it is "wrong" keeps those couples from enjoying their civil rights.

Step back, for a moment. Take yourself out of whatever position you have yourself in right now, as a Christian or whatever, and think for a moment. Imagine that you love someone so deeply that you want nothing more in the world than to spend the rest of your life with them. Now, imagine that someone else comes along and says that your love, this love that you feel is more important to you than breathing, is worth less than this other persons love because what they believe says that that's the way it is, and that they want to make it so that your love is officially, in every social and legal sense, not as meaningful and important as theirs, denying you the right to express your love based on their opinion, in short. If you still feel that what you are doing is justified, than my heart goes out to you, and I hope that you will someday be able to see through your selfishness, even if it isn't at this moment in history.

Posted by: Baldran | Jul 24, 2008 9:13:06 PM

Seriously, Justin, by supporting Prop. 8 you are telling your friends.

"I love you, but I don't believe you should be equal to me. I do not believe your relationships, no matter how loving or deep, should be recognized by our government. I don't believe that whatever bond you have with your beloved, and the family you create together should have any protections should the unfortunate happen to either of you. I believe that upon your death, your mother and or father should be able to come in and claim the house you've shared with your partner for decades. I believe they should be thrown out on the street. I believe you should pay higher taxes because your partner is the same gender. I believe that if called upon, you should have to testify against one another in a court of law. I believe that you can spend the rest of your lives devoted to each other, sticking by each other through thick and thin, caring for each other, sacrificing to keep each other safe, that you can be in every way spouses to each other, but that our government should treat you as legal strangers. I believe that no matter who you love, or how many times you fall in love in your lifetime, it should never, ever, ever be legally equal to my love."

You seriously think that all that somehow supports "love they neighbor as theyself"?

Posted by: Jason D | Jul 24, 2008 9:55:55 PM

Justin obviously starts with the basic assumptions that a particular god exists, and that laws governing everyone should be consistent with a book he assumes to be the word of that god.

After many years of thought and reading I have concluded that there are no gods at all. And therefore the Bible has the same level of relevance in my life as any other ancient writings. In my view, for example, the notion that "marriage is an institution created by God" is superstitious nonsense. I expect laws to be based on secular reasoning that considers the tangible impact upon people rather than silly notions of what a god wants. The inscription over the entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court is a pretty good one: "Equal Justice Under Law."

Regarding the marriage amendment issue, Justin might say that he is just trying to influence the outcome to conform with his view, while I am trying to influence it to conform to my view. That may sound balanced on the surface, but it really is not. If our side wins, there is no harm at all to Justin's life, whereas if his side wins, the lives of thousands of people are restricted in tangible ways. If this referendum were truly balanced, our side's win would mean that Justin would be restricted to a same-sex marriage.

Justin actually wrote: "We are all free to live our lives the way we choose." But if the law doesn't allow me to have the same rights/responsibilities in taking care of the person I have loved for 27 years, then I don't have that freedom. He does, but I don't. That is not "Equal Justice Under Law."

There is simply no tangible harm that same-sex marriage could have on Justin's life. But he (and apparently his god) just don't like it. I don't like seeing perfectly good crackers and wine wasted in a religious ritual that helps perpetuate superstitious beliefs that, arguably, are actually harmful to society. But he has no problem banning our marriages, while I have no interest in banning religious rituals. And that is one big difference between us and them.

It took me a long time to understand that the Fundamentalist Christian (FC) notion of "freedom of religion" really includes the freedom to impose their belief system on everyone, through public policy and the force of law, if possible. After every court decision curtailing the promotion of religion in public schools and courthouses, for examples, the FCs cry that their freedom of religion is being trampled.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Jul 24, 2008 10:36:18 PM

Oh, this one is rich (as evidenced by the huge number of lengthy comments).

Justin thinks changing the bible’s teachings is wrong? Interesting that the bible itself changes its own message, all the way through, as the times and the people changed. It doesn’t treat itself as concrete, despite the way people like this heave it at the heads of those they disapprove of.

I’d like to see Justin marry some woman without going to City Hall for a license. It doesn’t matter how many sanctified, be-robed individuals wave a magic wand at them and proclaim them married. As long as it’s called a marriage "license” IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. IT IS A GOVERNMENTAL DOCUMENT, and getting one is a civil right. Civil license in hand, Justin and his bride have the option to augment their marriage with a religious ceremony, but if they didn’t – guess what? They’d still be married!

People like this give Christians a bad name.

Justin, you can wave your bible at anyone you choose, but to those who – what was that word again? Oh yeah – to those who “disagree” with YOUR lifestyle, it looks like The Emperor’s New Clothes all over again.

Grow up. Better yet, evolve.

Posted by: Robin Reardon | Jul 24, 2008 11:08:09 PM

Timothy Kinkaid is right. Don't let this sweet act fool you. His father is the CEO of the Caster Group, who owns A1 Storage. This is all a smoke screen for the Caster Group. The Right Wing family that owns A1 Storage have divided hundreds of thousands of dollars between family members and other "fronts". Do a couple of google searches and you will find all the proof with a couple of keystrokes.

He may have these beliefs. That's fine. I really don't care about what Justin Caster thinks. He is just the tip of the iceberg to a poorly planned corporate cover-up. Boycott A1 Storage!

In the words of Sinead O' Connor "Fight the Real Enemy!"

Posted by: Chip | Jul 24, 2008 11:12:13 PM

I've always hated the "idea" of a 'gay lifestyle'. That's the equivalent to saying "I have many black friends, but I'm just against the black lifestyle".

Posted by: | Jul 24, 2008 11:19:04 PM

Its not you excepting others beliefs about gay marriage, Its how you handle it.
And the way you are handling it by bashing on this Justin Caster is a sign of weakness.
$18,000 dollars is pennies for what they need to fight against gay marriage.
I dont see a Justin Caster Forum or blog bashing Gays or trying to convince people of his stand.
He gave and there is nothing we can do about it, There are money going both ways.
He Didnt even start Prop 8 so I think your wasting your time with the wrong guy.

If anything its better to love than to hate, As we always say but im sure its hard for them to when we react like this!

Posted by: Todd Stancer | Jul 25, 2008 12:26:52 AM

B.S. - It's just the typical religious fascism. If you don't believe in *my* god, F-you and I'll pass laws to make you abide. Its just American Sharia.

Posted by: Pete | Jul 25, 2008 12:59:46 AM

Is anyone here familiar with George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' and the concept of 'doublethink' (for those not familiar, very simply put it can be characterised as the ability to believe that two contradictory things are true at the same time)? See, I've recently been studying this book in my English Literature class and only last week I wrote a piece on an example of doublethink in modern society. Due to my conservative Christian background I chose to write on this very topic: the ability of modern Christians to (practically within the same breath) say, "We need to be more loving and compassionate," and "Now how can we help to discriminate against this group of people?" and believe the two statements to be in complete accordance with one another, not even being *aware* of any contradiction.

As it were, not more than eight months ago I was in the *exact* frame of mind Mr. Caster is now in; on the surface I had a very love-, kindness- and compassion-central attitude concerning how I was to act towards others (particularly those I disagreed with), but underneath all the blustery rhetoric and professions of quasi-tolerance, I had a harsh, inflexible view of morality -- everything was black and white to me, even if I didn't admit it. The problem with this was that, ultimately, my view of morality dictated how I was to act toward others rather than my pseudo-kindness, and the effect that caused was often very similar in appearance to Mr. Caster's above letter.

Since then, thankfully, I have come a long, long way, and while I'm still a Christian (albeit, one who is considered heretical to the point of no longer even being a Christian in most denominations of organised Christianity), I like to think I've learned (or am learning) how to stop my perceptions of morality from effecting my reactions to both people and social phenomena I disagree with.

Therefore, Mr. Caster (if you are at all reading this), I would encourage you to try and break out of that conservative, 'doublethinking' mindset. I completely respect your views and I see where you're coming from, but hopefully one day you will realise, just as I did, that this mindset is not as tolerant and loving as you think it is. Moreover (while there are many things in your letter I would have a field-day discussing with you) I would like to question your assumption that "The Bible is very clear on the boundaries God set on marriage," as I think you will find with but a little research that the Bible isn't quite as clear on the issue as is often thought (www.gaychristian101.com is a good place to start). If nothing else, it will at least open your mind up a little and maybe you won't see things as being so black and white. :)

God bless,
- WillB

Posted by: WillB | Jul 25, 2008 2:59:20 AM

Labeling someone a bigot after reading one email and never having met him? Come on people. There is a grey space between "gay activist" and anti-gay bigot. Most people will fall somewhere in there, maybe a little lighter grey, maybe a little darker grey.

While I certainly disagree with many things he says, and wholeheartedly and ardently disagree with his theology, I think a few things that have been written are just a bit over the top. He went out on somewhat of a limb by replying and allowing G-A-Y to post it. In return, we could at least refrain from sitting at the bottom of the tree and snarling.

By all means disagree, debate, and discuss, but I think there is a way to do it that isn't unnecessarily hostile in tone. (Stern or terse in tone are other matters.)

As for my two cents to Justin, I think plenty of others have made plenty of valid points (Dick Mills, Jason D's last comment, Baldran, & Richard Rush I agree with particularly), but I would reiterate a strong displeasure with the use of the word "lifestyle" to describe who your gay friends are (and who I am, for that matter). We're gay. It's an inherent characteristic. There isn't some "gay lifestyle" any more than there is a theatrical way of thinking, Justin.

Posted by: PSUdain | Jul 25, 2008 3:21:25 AM

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