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Words Matter


When you say homosexuality is an abomination . . . you are saying your gay son and neighbor are abominable.

When you say all non-Christians will go to Hell when they die . . . you are saying your non-Christian mother, son, and neighbor will be tortured by God in the flames of the Hell for eternity.

When you say abortion is evil, sick, and murder . . . you are saying those who are pro-choice are evil, sick murderers.

When you say Christians are idiots . . . you are saying your Christian mother and grandfather are idiots.

When you say people on welfare are lazy, good for nothing bums . . . you are saying your out-of-work cousin with cancer is a lazy, good for nothing bum.

When you say atheism is immoral . . . you are saying that your atheist daughter and cousin are immoral.

You can’t divorce your words from their implications.

Words matter.


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 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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    Good reminder. Sometimes we get so caught up in our cause and we want to prove we are right, but to the detriment of those we truly love.

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    Words do matter. And accusing people of being evil certainly divides us right away. I’ll certainly never forget (yes, I’ve mentioned before) how my friend accused me of wanting her to be exterminated…because I voted for Joe Biden. We still have a relationship, but I can’t trust her with who I really am. And she even “took back” what she said, well, not really, but was in a horrible mood. Makes everything okay…not.

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    Words do matter. I try to choose mine carefully.

    I do make an effort to respect Christians, but those I do respect are very few. But I refuse to respect or be nice to Christians who use nice words to my face, but support politicians, groups, and ministers who would see me and others in the LGBTQ community pushed back into the closet, jailed, eliminated from society or even killed. This includes family members who support people and groups that support my elimination.

    After I escaped christianity I still respected Christians and generally got along. Yes, there were many encounters that were uncomfortable, or clearly hateful, but under Trump the real thoughts that were hidden deep inside came into the light of day. Many Christians began openly showing their true,ugly, bigoted self.

    You only need to look to all the attempts to pass anti trans laws, the refusal to work with or acknowledge gays, the constant bellowing of their rights to misgender people, and the constant drumbeat from christians and the politician lackeys to spread lies and fear about trans people and LGBTQ people in general.

    I agree words to matter, and the harsh words I use on christians are purposeful and direct, and I fully understand they apply to family and past friends. If these words sting, then they need to look inward and determine why. If my blunt rejection of them hurts them, then they can consider that this is the very thing they have done to me.

    I’m completely done with these people who have been hiding behind their facade, pretending to care or offering false support. when in reality they acted this way simply because society expected them to be accepting. Once their bigoted leader opened to door to being openly hateful and bigoted, they all crowded through the door to join him, or if not that bold, held the door for others so they could quietly support those who went out to scream their hatred.

    There is middle ground to my existence, and I will not play nice with anyone until allow me to exist as I am and allow me to live life without restrictions imposed by their ignorant, hateful, bigoted views. They don’t have to like me. They can even think I am a sinner and blather on with their friends about me. They can live however they desire, but they must give me that same right.

    Sage exists.

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      Sage, you do exist! And I can’t understand how others are so cruel. I can’t. Growing up, my mom was the person who welcomed anyone and everyone into our home. Race, religion, mental illnesses, whatever, didn’t matter. She was kind. I try to be kind like her.

      You are right, people have discovered that they can express their bigotry openly in many circles. It’s all out in the open, and I hate it.

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      Sage, you nailed it. You exist – we see you and acknowledge you here.

      I don’t know how they did it, but my niece and her partner (who is a trans person) allowed my father-in-law to attend their wedding earlier this year. This man is a very loving grandfather, but he is a MAGA Let’s Go Brandon Trump supporter who was very vocal about NC’s bathroom bills when he was living there. He has told his granddaughter that she was going to hell for being LGBTQ. He consistently dead names my niece’s partner (who is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and it makes me so angry when he does this, and I correct him every time). He is a staunch Christian nationalist, and every candidate he supports would love to legislate his granddaughter and her partner back into silence and secrecy. His words matter too – for they show who he really is. His adult grandchildren all keep him at arm’s length.


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      Sage, your anger is justified. I made the mistake of mocking those I disagreed with, and I regret it. But, I cannot be silent about the people you just described. I speak up in a more civilized, but still angry way. I saw firsthand how Trump brought out the worst in people. He bought out the worst in me. I vow to never be manipulated like that again.
      You do matter. And you have every right to be angry. And, to exist.

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Bruce Gerencser