Homophobia runs very deep in some elements of the religious right. In many cases, it can get to the point that basic standards of decency get thrown out of the window in the name of “loving the sinner and hating the sin.”
For instance, Amber Cantorna, now a prominent speaker on the LGBT Christian circuit, was thrown out of her own home after coming out to her family. Her father was an executive with Focus on the Family, and having a lesbian daughter wouldn’t have exactly helped their image. Well, this weekend suggested that the hate may run deeper than that. Apparently when one half of an LGBT couple dies, it’s not Christian to grieve for them.
On Friday, Rosie O’Donnell announced that her second wife, Michelle Rounds, had been found dead at her home in Windermere, Florida of an apparent suicide four days earlier. The first unofficial word that something had happened came on Friday morning, when O’Donnell tweeted a picture from their daughter, Dakota.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) September 15, 2017
Later, O’Donnell issued a statement calling for greater awareness about mental illness. In 2015, Rounds was hospitalized after an apparent overdose.
Now who would have a problem with that? Well, apparently right-wing pastor Jesse Lee Peterson did. Soon after the news of Rounds’ death broke, Peterson tweeted this.
No peace when humans cast aside God's commandments. Rosie O’Donnell’s ex-wife Michelle Rounds dead of suicide | https://t.co/xqZMcwPWB1
— Jesse Lee Peterson (@JLPtalk) September 15, 2017
The message was obvious–since Rounds was a lesbian, she brought her ordeal on herself. Needless to say, Twitter wasn’t pleased.
You know what? I may not agree with homosexuality but they are still people and still hurt. Jesus never talked to or about.people like
— Heidi (@10Kittties) September 15, 2017
Attitudes like this are why LGBT people so often feel despair.
— Jim Stoicheff (@studiostoicheff) September 16, 2017
Brush up on those Commandments. Yours is one of the most insensitive, unChristian posts on Twitter 2day. #repentsinner Condolences.
— Persist Nevertheless (@DanielleThys) September 16, 2017
Love thy neighbor much???
— Tom Donoghue (@tdonoghue2) September 16, 2017
You are no servant of God. I actually feel sorry for someone so bereft of live and compassion. Do better.
— Andrea (@bootydust17) September 15, 2017
In an attempt to inject some decency back into the proceedings, Twitter user Kenneth Williams tried to say the only thing that should have been said in the face of this tragedy.
My condolences to Rosie and her family
— Kenneth H. Williams (@khw3350) September 15, 2017
Peterson hit the ceiling.
WRONG. A family is a married father and mother with their children. Everything else a false imitation. That's not a "family" what Rosie has. https://t.co/Si5aVL2jDN
— Jesse Lee Peterson (@JLPtalk) September 17, 2017
There is so much wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to start. You mean to tell us that despite the love and nurturing that O’Donnell gave Dakota, as well as her four children by her first wife, they weren’t a family? I know of heterosexual couples that don’t have that. And you mean to tell me that single-parent families aren’t real families, Jesse Lee?
There was already ample reason not to think much of Peterson. This is a man who thinks the Fox News sexual harassment scandal is nothing more than an attempted lynching of “white men of power” by liberal “children of the lie.” He also thinks Democratic prayers for Steve Scalise weren’t real because Democrats worship Satan.
But now we know Peterson’s hate runs so deep that he feels he has to kick a grieving family in the teeth. In so doing, he just revealed that he is a small man–both literally and figuratively.
(featured image courtesy Family Equality Council, available under a Creative Commons BY-ND license)