Matthew Shepherd, Ten Years Ago Sunday

Going to this link, you’ll find an article from Matthew’s mother Judy.  It was 10 years ago Sunday that Matthew’s death made the news.  She updates us on the progress the Matthew Shepherd Foundation has been making:

I understand that the readers who take the time to write in are doing so because they absolutely disagree with the article and those who do agree won’t bother to write comments.  However, it brought home to me how much work is left to do to make the world an accepting place.  The level of ignorance is astounding.  The continuing belief that what happened to Matt was not a hate crime and the notion that ‘special people shouldn’t have special rights’, is beyond my comprehension. The level of ‘hate’ is frightening.

Also includes a video of her interview with The Early Show.

Matthew’s death still haunts me.   And I do think Judy is right; nothing has gotten better.   How do we have the big brass ones to scream and cry and wail about our rights to say what we want as Christians while gay men and women are beaten and killed and no one stands up for them?  Is this how we want gay people to see Jesus?  The story of the woman at the well illustrates, I think, how we’re to look at sin in the face of people who want to stone another for their sinful failings.  I want to see a world where gay people seek Christians out as their first line of defense because they know they’ll be protected, not stoned.

I know.  I’m a dreamer.  Somebody’s got to.


~ by WriterRand on October 10, 2008.

3 Responses to “Matthew Shepherd, Ten Years Ago Sunday”

  1. I have SSA, but one thing I do not understand is this idea that in the U.S. gays are “beaten and killed” frequently. The vast majority of the US is not like this, and I am not sure if gays are any more likely to be killed than blacks are in the South (or rural Idaho).

    Go to Jamaica for a minute, and then you will know what it is like to be beaten and killed.

    It is unlikely Matthew Sheppard would have been so mythologized if this type of thing were common, and that ironically belies the entire argument.

  2. He was 98 lbs. soaking wet, suffered from mild mental retardation, considered work an annoying interruption in his smoking, and ran the mailroom in the law firm I used to work for. Late one night he got caught up on Capitol Hill, the gay section of Seattle, coming out of a gay bar (or too close to one, the memories blur a bit). Three guys jumped him, beat him so badly he had to wear a bike helmet the rest of his days so that the fragments of his skull would knit back together. The painkillers made him fuzzier than normal, and it is to the everlasting credit of the lawyers in that firm that he wasn’t fired so that he had medical coverage. He died shortly thereafter.

    I know others, many others, who have suffered violence on their persons merely for being gay.

    I’m one of them.

    It’s probably not as bad here as many other places, but it’s worse than it needs to be. I feel as Christians we need to step into the breach and defend the gay people who are victims of attack as much as possible. Christians should be the first line of defense and protection, not an additional source of violence.

    And if you haven’t been listening to some of the crowds and their screeds at the McCain/Palin rallys lately, you have no idea how entrenched this hatred is. Race is a huge part of this, but the the fear against gays is seeping out into these rallys as well (“He’ll have gays everywhere in the White House!”) and makes the concern for future physical well-being far more valid today than it has been in a long, long time.

  3. I find it illogical that we, as Christians, would want to defend the straight person, the abstinent person, or the bisexual person any less readily than we would want to defend the homosexual person.

    It is mentioned that “special people should have special rights”…but can we as Christians honestly look ANYONE in the eyes and, in the name of Jesus, tell them that they are not special?

    Should the man who rapes and beats a heterosexual mom of three be punished less than the man who rapes and beats a homosexual man coming out of a bar late at night?

    I’m homosexual, but how can I say that I am of a greater value than other humans who have different issues? I find the whole notion of “hate crimes” silly…..when is someone ever attacked out of fondness?

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