Monday, December 19, 2011

Brandon McInerney Sentenced to 21 Years for Killing Gay Classmate

Today, Brandon McInerney, who admitted to executing Lawrence King three years ago, will spend the majority of the next 21 years in state prison.  Lawrence King, who was openly gay, was shot 2 times in the head, execution-style by McInerney, who was 14 at the time.  Fourteen.  King was 15 at the time of his death.

McInerney, who is straight, hit a breaking point after King had allegedly  hit on him and a couple other straight boys.  So, instead of confronting King about this, telling him that you disapproved of his advances and wanted him to stop, you aimed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger.  Twice.

This is a tragedy for all parties.  It goes without saying that life will never be the same for the family and friends of Lawrence King.  His life was snuffed out after only 15 years.  Intolerance.  Hatred.  Lack of understanding.  At the same time, Brandon McInerney's family also lost their son on that day.  He will spend a good part of his early adulthood in a prison cell.  When he returns to society, he will not be the same person.  So, in effect, two young lives ended that day.

I'm not suggesting sympathy for Brandon by any stretch of the imagination.  He most certainly deserved to be punished severely for the crime he committed.  Zero tolerance.  What I am suggesting, however, is something I've been saying all along.  The real issue is with the adults in Brandon's life when he was 14 years old.  Where did he learn to hate at that level?  Or, at all!!??  Where were the school administrators when this tension was intensifying?  Where was the intervention?  Where on Earth did 14-year-old Brandon McInerney get a loaded gun from?  Sadly, if these simple questions could've been answered 3 years ago, Lawrence King would be in college right now.  And, Brandon McInerney wouldn't be heading off to a world unlike anything he's ever known.

Religion, Homosexuality, and Suicide

I just finished reading an entry from a fellow blogger that moved me to tears.  And, I strongly suggest that everyone reads this story.  See, religion nearly cost him his son.  Thank God he didn't succeed.  Ironic, huh?

I promised myself from the beginning of this blogging venture that I would do my damnedest to keep religion out of this.  It's hard.  When you see people like Michele Bachmann constantly ranting in the media against gays, (and, today's story is a doozy!!!), it becomes increasingly harder.  People of her ilk are extremely dangerous because they've become so consumed with their belief and ideology that there's no room for anything other than what they believe.  That's a dangerous place to be.  Life is so many shades of gray.  Kept out of the limelight as this woman runs for the highest office in the entire free world is the fact that her husband runs one of those "clinics" that "cures" gays.  Where was he last week when I had a cold?  These "clinics have been known to drive people to suicide.  And, the scary part about that is that "they're" ok with that.  In the eyes, in the heart (sic) and soul of these "believers", if you're gay or lesbian, you SHOULD burn. (did I say she wanted to become our President?)

I relate to this lunacy completely.  I was born into one of those 5-day-a-week church-going families.  I was also born gay.  Once my mother passed away, the rest of the family effectively died, as well.  I have a sister who lives literally 5 minutes away from where I'm sitting this very moment, and 15 minutes away from where I live.  I have not seen my mother's daughter since Thanksgiving 1985!  All of my aunts and uncles and cousins also soundly rejected me, as well.  Orphaned.  HATED, in the name of the Lord.  I survived.

Here's the real deal, and you're free to agree or disagree with me.  Either way, my view here is unflappable.  Today, there are people who disguise themselves as Christians who are as dangerous to the mental and emotional well-being, not to mention safety, of members of our society as any terrorist could ever be.  When you have a pastor ordering his congregation (Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland, TN) to beat a gay couple trying to enter the church; when you have Westboro Baptist Church, pastor and congregation, carrying out their mission of hatred; when you have a Presidential candidate pushing anti-gay rhetoric so fiercely that the rate of gay teen suicides in the district she represents is greatly higher than in any other part of the state, you know that we have a deep problem.  Fruitland?  Heh heh heh.

It's okay if these people don't "accept" me.  I couldn't care less.  I accept me, and I know that God accepts me.  And, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.  Supposedly, that's one of the beauties of living in the United States of America.  Supposedly.  However, when these people start attempting to ram their beliefs down our collective throats, when these people start committing acts of violence against us, when these people start showing up at our funerals as we mourn and say goodbye to our loved ones, the line has to be definitively drawn.  Enough hatred!

The irony here is that God is love.  That's what I was taught.  These people, disguised as Christians, are preaching exactly the opposite.  They're spreading hatred and intolerance in the name of the Lord. (who REALLY needs to fear Judgment Day?)  I'm reminded of a quote from Gandhi:  "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians.  They are so unlike Christ."  Amen.