The following is my message to antigay activist Bernie Dehler (email, web) regarding his unrepentant sins, which became the subject of this unrelated discussion of Jerry Falwell’s misrepresentations about exgays.

Dear Bernie,

You point fingers at people whom you assume to be homosexual sinners, but the issue boils down to your unrepentant sin. No one else’s.

But first, let’s address your misrepresentations about marriage.

An allegation of homosexual sin by conservative Christians has nothing to do with the right to civil marriage, because conservative Christians do not own or define civil marriage, nor do they speak for God. Marriage is a civil institution — a good thing, because as recently as the 1980s, conservative Christian publications such as Campus Life sought to prevent interracial marriage. Opposition to civil marriage for gay couples may be valid, but must be based on civil grounds. Marriage is a privilege and not a right, however; support for civil marriage for gay couples must be based on sound civil and social justifications.

If you wish to achieve a moral high ground in your understanding of your perceived opponents, Mr. Dehler, you would be wise to borrow and read a copy of Jonathan Rauch’s book on marriage so that you understand your opponents instead of mischaracterizing them.

Thus far, you have defended your flawed definition of marriage from a moral low ground. Now let’s shift focus to your unrepentant sins. It is, after all, the duty of watchdogs such as Ex-Gay Watch to report and analyze the sins of antigay activists.

You did not merely air a video of subjective religious opinions against homosexuality; that would be defensible under both religious and First Amendment grounds. Instead, you assisted the 24/7 WWJD web site and Google Video in airing a video that is full of deliberate and malicious fabrications: Accusations that you were too lazy to confirm from respected scientific sources. You have chosen, by neglect, to become a pawn of an antigay propagandist, Paul Cameron, and you stand by a video that even Exodus won’t touch because of its falsehoods — and because it was created by sexually unethical individuals including one who, we all later learned, was committing the repugnant acts that he falsely accused gays of committing.

Having aired false information about gay people as a class, and having talked over portions of the video that would have revealed the video’s indecency and malice to your audience, you then declined to substantiate any of the video’s other accusations even as you continue to air them. Instead, you disingenuously invited people to fly to Portland, Ore., to discuss your propaganda.

In your time at Ex-Gay Watch, you have not answered numerous important questions by other commenters. You have also resorted to strawman arguments (putting ridiculous messages in the mouths of your opponent).

In short, little of your conduct is in keeping with what Jesus would do. And some of your actions constitute blatant sin.

I appreciate your willingness to engage people on what you (wrongly) assume to be the other side of an issue. Going forward, please directly answer questions and refrain from strawman arguments.

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