Repost from 2015-2016. Edited, updated, and corrected.
A local man by the name of Patrick Holt from Grover Hill, Ohio, responded to my May 25, 2016 letter to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News concerning the transgender bathroom use issue. Holt pastors Bible Baptist Church, an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church in Grover Hill. I featured his church in the On the Road Looking for God’s True Church series. Here’s what Holt had to say (spelling and grammar in the original):
This is a reply to the May 25 letter by Bruce Gerencser.
In his letter he implied that someone, like myself, who objected to a male using the same bathroom that my mother, wife, daughters, and granddaughters were using was hateful. So, basically, if you disagree with someone, then that, according to Bruce, is hateful. Using that same logic, then Bruce Gerencser, must hate Christians, God and the Bible. Would that not be a proper statement?
Patrick Holt, Grover Hill
Holt would like people to think that the transgender bathroom use issue is all about differences of opinion. It’s not. Holt knows that many Evangelicals — himself included — hate LGBTQ people. Many Evangelicals — especially those at the far extreme right of Evangelicalism — want sexual perverts (code for non-heterosexuals) to be punished for their deviance. Some Evangelicals even go so far as to call for the incarceration and execution of such people. I think I am on firm ground then when I say that many Evangelicals HATE, not just the sin, but also the sinner.
Holt, as most people who hold to his version of sexual hysteria, sees the transgender bathroom use issue as one of men using the women’s restroom. He fails to understand that most of the “men” using the women’s restroom are in the process or have completed chemical/surgical gender reassignment. This means that the “men” Holt is so worried about look like women.
Why doesn’t Holt mention “women” using the men’s restroom? I have yet to hear a peep from Holt’s crowd about transgender people using the men’s room. Again, most of the transgender “women” using the men’s restroom look like men. One of the reasons Evangelicals focus on “men” using the women’s restroom is because they view their mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters as weaker vessels (1 Peter 3:7) in need of protection. I suspect if a man actually went into the women’s restroom while women were present, well . . . he would likely run screaming from the room, minus his testicles.
Holt’s attempt to paint me as a hater falls flat on its face. People who know me know that I am not inclined to hate anyone. I hate certain ideas and beliefs. I despise Holt’s Evangelical beliefs because I think they lead to intellectual stagnation and can and do cause psychological harm. And in some instances, these beliefs can cause physical harm. Politically, Evangelical beliefs are the theological currency that drives the move towards establishing a Christian theocracy. Denying the separation of church and state, many Evangelicals will not rest until King Jesus is sitting on a throne in the Oval Office. Socially, Evangelical beliefs lead to cultural stagnation and impede progress. Evangelicals, armed with an ancient religious text they believe is inerrant and infallible, have waged war against women, undocumented workers, abortion doctors, atheists, humanists, secularists, Democrats, non-Evangelicals, liberal Christians, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and those who have sex outside of monogamous heterosexual marriages. Scientifically, many Evangelicals are determined to teach young-earth creationism and Noah’s flood in public school classrooms. You see, there are plenty of Evangelical beliefs to hate, but unlike Holt with LGBTQ people, I don’t hate Evangelicals. While I think people such as Ken Ham, Steven Anderson, the Phelps clan, and a cast of thousands, are first-rate cretins, dolts, morons, halfwits, loons, numbskulls, schmucks, or numb nuts, I don’t hate them. If anything, I pity them, knowing that religious ignorance keeps them chained to the Bible with its fables and contradictions.
Holt — like many Evangelicals — thinks atheists hate God — God being, of course, his peculiar version of the Christian deity. If Holt were sitting across the table from me I would ask him if he hated Harry Potter, Santa Claus, or Darth Vader. Holt would surely reply, Of course not. These characters are fictional. I wonder if Holt would see the irony in his response? Atheists don’t hate the Christian God — or any other deity for that matter — because he is a fictional being. Suppose in 2055, the followers of Harry Potter have turned J.K. Rowling’s books into divine texts read each Monday at Potterite churches. Taken literally, these divine texts lead people to do all sorts of mischief, often leading to physical harm or death. Atheists in 2055 would likely hate the beliefs of the Potterites. Does this mean these atheists think Harry Potter is a real person? Of course not. So it is with the Christian God. I don’t hate God for one simple reason — he doesn’t exist. What I DO hate, however, is what is done in the Christian God’s name.
As far as hating the Bible, Holt surely knows that the King James Version he holds dear is an inanimate object, right? Hating inanimate objects is a waste of time. What I DO hate is what is done with inanimate objects. Guns are used to wage war and murder. Cars are used by drunks and others to kill and maim. And the Bible is used to indoctrinate and enslave. I hate how the Bible is used in our modern world to promote ignorance, often leading to bloodshed and loss of freedom. So, yes, Patrick Holt, I hate God, Christianity, and the Bible, but NOT in the ways you think I do.
Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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