Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sherri Shepherd: Don't Apologize Because You're Not Sorry

Looks like Sherri Shepherd, Co-Host on ABC's The View, is doing some backtracking after she stated that while she may not agree with the "homosexual lifestyle", she still loves gays. Because, after all, who you're attracted to and fall in love with is considered a lifestyle... at least for gay people anyway. Now, look, I have long since written off Sherri Shepherd as I have known for a while that her views on things like gay marriage and homosexuality in general are quite archaic. Not to mention, she's also demonstrated a severe lack of scientific knowledge in the past, and damn near seems to reject any desire to absorb current data about the natural world in favor of her bronze-age book of stories written over thousands of years by men who knew next to nothing about the natural world. But, who cares? Those are her beliefs and all the power to her. I would never want to denigrate Sherri Shepherd's character because I feel she is probably a really sweet person. But it doesn't change the fact that she has some very dangerous views, and why I feel her apology is not only insincere, but incredibly condescending and dismissive of the very reason why so many were upset with her comments.

As taken from Gay Voices section of the Huffington Post, here is her apology: "Working on a talk show that's centered in the opinion business, there's been several things that I've shared in the press that have upset people, and typically I don't respond to the criticism. However, I'd like to say I'm truly sorry to anyone I've offended with the viewpoints I expressed on 'Alicia Menendez Tonight' on the Fusion network. My interview was misrepresented, and only a portion of my comments were used as a headline to give the impression that I was condemning members of the LGBT community living in their own truth. In the interview, I express I was raised as a child to have a certain set of beliefs, but my beliefs have evolved significantly as my own personal relationship with Christ has increased."

Seems like a well to do and heartfelt apology, right? Well, here are few of the problems with it. First, she's not apologizing for what she said; she's apologizing if you were offended by it. And while I can respect anyone that sticks to their guns, if you're basing your opinion off of arguments from personal incredulity and the bible, then I'm afraid you're gonna need a little more justification to say that my being gay is a "lifestyle" and a "sin" (Don't even get me started on that arbitrary concept).

Second, the interview was not a misrepresentation of your views because you have stated your opposition to gay marriage in the past and your "struggle" with whether or not LGBT people deserve equal rights. To veer off topic, slightly, for a minute here, one of my biggest pet peeves with individuals like Sherri Shepherd is not so much their weariness and anti-LGBT stances. No, it's more of the justification behind it. She, as a Christian can state that it is her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her lord and savior that lead her to accept the bible as true and that marriage should only be between a man and woman. That, however, leaves me in a bind because I am not only gay, I am a nonbeliever as well, meaning that I don't care what Jesus had to say on the matter any more than I would Pope Francis or the Cookie Monster. When you consider that there is absolutely no evidence that this Jesus person ever existed, nor do the Gospels have him mentioning anything remotely about homosexuality, it seems to me that it is less about justifying their opposition, and more about excusing it. Sorry, but your personal gods and doctrines are irrelevant to the rights of others. 

Now, let's get back on track. The final point I want to address is the part of the statement that pertains to her not condemning the LGBT community for living "their own truth". Exactly what the hell is "their own truth"? The family of gay men and their children in the above picture? That's not "their own truth". The lesbian couple and their daughter pictured to the left? That's not "their own truth". It is the truth, Sherri Shepherd, and the truth is, we in the LGBT community exist and we have jobs, and raise kids and have families and live lives that don't revolve around "carnal lust" (she didn't say that). We also commit unspeakable acts of harm on our fellow man and we contribute great wonders to the world and help our planet continue progressing towards being a great place for our future generations. We are just like you, and come in all shapes and sizes, good and evil, wrong or right. It's not some subjective truth that only we as LGBT people see; it is an objective truth. Just because the truth is not something you want to believe does not make it untrue. 

I can't speak for the rest of the LGBT community, but I can say that I for one am really getting tired of people's bigoted opinions and statements getting sugarcoated with religious expressions. I mean if you want to be confused about why one man would want another man's anus, Phil Robertson, then you go ahead. Don't pretend, though, that you're just expressing your religious views. I am aware the one must be respectful of one's right to worship and serve in whatever religion they please, but I do not have to respect the views of that religion, especially when that religion states that what I am is sick and an abomination. Especially when the individual asserting their beliefs cannot bring up the evidence to prove their beliefs are valid. And especially when I do not follow your religion. Sherri Shepherd, I honestly don't have any ill will towards you, although I will say your comments in the past on evolution and a flat earth lead me to wonder exactly how much of the bible you take into account in your real-world thinking. In any case, it would behoove you to remember, Sherri, that not everyone worships a god or believes in the same god that you do, so if you're not even going to honestly assess the feelings of those involved, don't waste your time and everyone else's making an empty, dismissive apology that changes nothing.

 Okay, I'm done.

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