Ogden needs to learn about the homosexual lifestyle he abhors

Rev. Keith Ogden's comments as Asheville City Council discussed providing health-insurance benefits for same-sex partners come from the same ignorance that could have kept this country from electing an African-American president. He said, "I didn't choose my skin color. … But the homosexual lifestyle, that's a lifestyle choice."

My daddy, alongside all the deacons in the fundamentalist Baptist Church in Alabama where I grew up, barred entrance to the church when desegregation laws were passed. Rev. Ogden would not have had the opportunity to celebrate the election of President Obama had that same ignorance prevailed.

If Rev. Ogden chose to learn about the lifestyle he abhors, he might be enlightened. At least he would be informed that not one gay/lesbian person would say they had a choice about their lifestyle.

Instead, his ignorance and fear keep him from living the lesson of "Love thy neighbor as thyself." My daddy never could explain why that didn't really include everybody.

I would have Rev. Ogden line up all of the city's gay/lesbian people and tell them they have two choices: Door No. 1 for heterosexuals or Door No. 2 for homosexuals. If you enter No. 1, you will go to heaven and live a life without harassment, discrimination and fear. If you enter No. 2, you will go to hell and might be beaten up, killed, harassed, know people who killed themselves rather than come out, put in a psychiatric hospital to cure your gayness, have your kids taken away from you, have your kids told you are mentally unstable, lose jobs, not get hired, not be able to get married and certainly not have health benefits for your partner.

As he is offering the choice of a lifetime with Door No. 1, thousands of gay/lesbian people are lining up behind Door No. 2. Shame on you, Rev. Ogden.

That same ignorance would still have you in the chains of slavery if people like my daddy and his fellow deacons were in charge. Your ignorance comes out of the same box.

— Farrell Sylvest

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4 thoughts on “Ogden needs to learn about the homosexual lifestyle he abhors

  1. travelah

    I think Ogden should ignore you and you should ignore Ogden, each of you returning to your hovel.

  2. johncopeland


    Nice letter. I hope that the Rev. Ogden reads and understands what you have written. Rev. Ogden appears to be a “cafeteria” christian who chooses which bible verses he wishes to follow and which ones he does not. Members of his church who divorce, engage in adultery, curse their fathers and mothers and live together before marriage do not seem to be an abomination worthy of rebuke and a “put-down”; it’s only homosexuals who are “not worthy” according to Rev. Ogden’s selective religious interpretations.

  3. Mister Blister

    Funny that it seems when it comes to civil rights and immigration many would like to close the door behind them. Many second generation folks whose parents came to America illegally (but were lucky enough to be born here and thus legally an American) say “now is the time to close the borders”. Likewise it seems some groups who have come upon equality more recently are also ready to say “enough is enough”.

    “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God… hey! What do you two think you are doing?! Get out of here! This isn’t ‘your’ part of town, ‘boys’…”

  4. breathedeep

    I caught Rev. Ogden’s appalling comments on the TV feed of the city council meeting, and I was horrified. I find it hard to believe this man is looked up to by so many. Not to make it about race, but I’m shocked a black person would be so hateful. Bottom line – this is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE.
    And I’m not even gay.

    Good article, though.

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