“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

—Galatians 5:13

The United States is supposed to be the “land of the free,” yet that is in jeopardy as long as conservative politicians pander to right-wing extremism. They want to deny LGBTQ+ people our freedoms, whether it is making drag shows illegal if children are present, banning LGBTQ+ books in libraries to keep them away from kids, or making it illegal for teachers to discuss LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom. They know that the younger generations tend to be more socially liberal and more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community because they have seen us as “normal” people. We are the same as them, we just love or have an attraction to someone of the same sex, or we are at odds with our biological sex. 

In John 8:32, Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In that verse, Jesus is talking about being a follower of His, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) Jesus’s teachings were about love and acceptance. If the truth (reality) of the world is hidden, then we are prejudicing people against those who are different and hiding any differing point of view. It is by telling the truth and teaching children to be honest and loving that we can truly make the United States the “Land of the Free.”

The USA has never been a “land of the free.” It began as a country that allowed slavery, then when slavery was abolished, new forms of slavery were created: sharecropping and Jim Crow laws. LGBTQ+ individuals were always in bondage because they were prevented from living their truth openly and honestly for fear of imprisonment, being committed to a mental institution, or in some areas, death. We are still fighting for our freedom. Coretta Scott King said, “Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.” If conservatives and hate groups get their way, not only will we lose the freedoms we have fought for, but eventually, they, too, will lose the freedoms they have become accustomed to. They just don’t see that yet.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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