In memory of Eric James Borges

Once again, another talented, loving young man has taken his life as a result of homophobia inspired and encouraged by people such as Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, and Pope Benedict XVI.

Add to that list of enablers those who dogmatically, ridiculously claim to know “God’s will.” In fact, you could add all those who value Bronze Age edicts and religious dogma predicated upon “Us vs. Them” hostility above twenty-first century reason, rationality, and even their own children . . . as Eric’s mother did when she performed an exorcism on him, and his father who concurred in throwing him out of the house and severing all contact:

“My mother knew I was gay, and performed an exorcism on me in an attempt to cure me.” . . .

His parents told him he was disgusting, perverted, unnatural and damned to Hell. Three months before he died, and two months before he made the “It Gets Better” video, his family had kicked him out of their house and essentially severed all contact.

Before going any further, please read the following and view the videos Eric James left behind:

Eric James Borges was a real human being: a young man with great potential and much to offer civil society, as opposed to the self-serving bigotry and hate promulgated by people such as Fischer, Perkins, LaBarbera, and other so-called “Christian” leaders. Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed gays and marriage equality both “threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.” No doubt Bryan Fischer, Tony Perkins, and Peter LaBarbera would agree. They’re wrong. Fanatical, hate-based religion is the real threat to human dignity and the future of humanity, just as it’s always been.

Just look at history: the Inquisition and wholesale slaughter of indigenous peoples in the New World, the Salem Witch hunts, slavery and segregation, September 11, 2001. Look at the world’s “hot spots” today and you’ll find dogmatic religion behind virtually every conflict. Gays and marriage equality are not a threat to humanity and civilization. Fanatical, dogmatic religion is. In this country, purveyors such as Fischer, Perkins and LaBarbera hide behind the First Amendment in order to spew their venom and inspire other to do their dirty work. In Islamic countries such as Iran, theofascists are more overt in their murder of gay teens: “Shocking New Photo Released in Hanging of Iran Gay Teens.”

It’s no secret that the antigay Christian Right’s most often quoted “psychologist,” discredited Paul Cameron, advocated killing gays decades ago:

At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, [Paul] Cameron announced to the attendees, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.—Mark E. Pietzyk, The News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995

More about Cameron’s “final solution” is available here and here.

Of course, most antigay “faith-based pro-family” leaders distance themselves from such outright murderous statement, preferring instead to run workshop to teach children as young as 14 to target gays:

Cliff Kincaid Added to LaBarbera’s Anti-Gay Hate-Fest
Submitted by Kyle on July 19, 2010

Last month we noted that Peter LaBarbera’s Americans for Truth would be hosting a three-day training conference for anti-gay activists featuring a who’s who of the most hostile voices in the movement, including LaBarbera, Robert Knight, Ryan Sorba, and Matt Barber.

Today Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid, who shares a LaBarbera-level hatred for gays, has now been added to the list of instructors, which explains why he is now writing glowing columns about the conference warning that it is our only hope of save America from its “moral suicide” as gays seek to kill themselves and everyone else . . .

AFTAH is launching a Truth Academy on how to fight the “gay agenda.” . . . Adults and young people alike are encouraged to sign up for this much-needed effort to organize the pro-family forces in America. The issue is just as important as the massive debt and deficits that are threatening to financially bankrupt the nation. The cost to attend the AFTAH Truth Academy is only $99 for students, $199 for adults, and $299 for couples.

Perhaps the kids and other attendees that participated in LaBarbera’s workshop were treated to the “Christian” music of You Can Run But You Can’t Hide, the front man for which is Bradlee Dean:

Target’s Financial Backing of Anti-Gay Politician

Bradlee Dean, the front man of a Christian rock band in Minnesota called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, recently said that Muslim countries that execute LGBTs are “more moral than even the American Christians,” plus some mouth-foaming about gays engaging in abominations and child molestation. . . .

So what’s the Target connection? Well, Bradlee’s ministry received money and support from Tom Emmer, an anti-gay Minnesota Republican running for Governor. And Tom Emmer’s campaign got a boost from Minnesota Forward, a PAC running TV ads on his behalf. And Minnesota Forward got $150,000—which amounts to about a third of all of their donations—from Target.

So, to follow the money: Target gave $150,000 to Minnesota Forward, which bought TV ads for Tom Emmer, who says “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman,” and who hangs out with a guy who thinks killing gays is moral. . . .

Muslim countries that execute gay teens are “more moral than even the American Christians.” How does one respond to American “Christians” who call for—or sanction—the coldblooded murder of fellow citizens? How does one respond to people like Peter LaBarbera and other so-called “pro-family leaders” whose sole purpose in life seems to be to inspire hatred and bigotry?

Click here to see how another “Christian” leader, Larry Adams of Cross Bearer Ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana, thought loving, committed gays should be dealt with. This bible-thumping, “good Christian” wants to get out the nooses and hang gay couples . . . in the name of “God,” of course.

Fischer, Perkins, LaBarbera, Benedict XIV, Dean, Adams, and all those who pervert spirituality to damn and condemn others cannot be held responsible legally for the death of young gay American teens such as Eric James. But morally, they’re as guilty as sin. And they know it . . .

Rest in Peace, Eric James Borges. Your message of equality and love may have been lost on religious dogmatists and those who use religion to foster their own nefarious socio-political agendas (and line their organizational coffers), but more and more Americans are waking up and rejecting the hate and injustices that took your life. You left on January 11, 2011. January 16 is Martin Luther King Day. He also had a dream of equality and that people be judged “by the content of their character,” not their skin color or their sexual preference. Although Dr. King never spoke publicly about homosexuality, deeds do indeed speak louder than words. Dr. King’s close friend, colleague, associate and the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, was an openly gay man.

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