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Jun
16

Editorial: “Rick and Bubba” isn’t my fight

A lot of the Alabama LGBT community is up in arms over comments that Rick Burgess made on the air concerning homosexuality and its “level of sin”. Burgess said he disagreed with President Obama’s Proclamation citing June and LGBT Pride month. He also went off,on a rant about his “biblical worldview” and how he was just saying what he believes. Originally, I was upset about his comments. His comments are certainly the seed idea which is at the base of many anti-LGBT hate crimes. It’s the idea that because someone is believed to be less-than by a particular religion, causing them harm is somehow ok.

I posted about the incident on facebook, and joined the “Rick and Bubba must go” facebook group. I even sent tweets to a few sponsors in complaint about the comments.
But as I gathered my thoughts and began to examine the issue through the lens of reason, logic and evidence, I was left with one conclusion.
This isn’t my fight.
Rick made his comments out of his particular religious worldview. He has a right to hold those opinions. He spoke them on his nationally syndicated radio/television show, a platform he and his co-host certainly have control over and rightfully so. Burgess isn’t an elected official. He’s a private citizen using his platform to preach his beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong. Burgess is still an idiot. He’s a common bigot with radio show and those are a dime a dozen these days.
He wouldn’t know what theology is if it bit him in his gigantic ass and he makes wild theological assumptions based on faulty translations of a book of stories and religious rules that wildly contradict each other.
But this isn’t my fight because I don’t believe in his god (or yours for that matter) and I don’t follow his religion. And this debate has simply devolved into what people think their Bible says.
And frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass what the Bible says about anything, including rat’s asses.
I think, too often the gay community in the South wastes so much time trying to prove to the homophobes and religious zealots that they too are as good of a god-follower as anyone else.
But there are those of us who don’t believe in a god.
And I’m one of them. And I’m staying out of it.

Granted, if Burgess spreads lies about the LGBT community, I’ll be there to call him out on his lies. As it stands now, He’s already calling for his “army” to rise up.

Burgess will portray himself as the victim. A poor soldier of God, persecuted for preaching the gospel. He’s already started and as more LGBT southerners call for boycotts and email sponsors, his power will grow as the mindless churchgoers will proclaim him their icon.
LGBT Christians should stand up to Burgess and tell him why his rhetoric is so dangerous. But I cannot argue with a man about whether God loves gays when I believe his first assumption (that there is a God) to be in error.

  • DJDerek

    I agree, and disagree. I can appreciate your stance on it, but I will also explain why I feel differently.

    I can share your views that (1) he is free to preach whatever he likes in this country. We can't be the group that silences people when they are only practicing that right and (2) if you don't believe in God, then you shouldn't be offended when someone calls you out on that God's rules. I get that, I do. I also understand that, it's his JOB as a Christian to spread his gospel – they have a thing about that, to try and “save” others. In his eyes, he is doing no wrong. In a lot of people's eyes, he is a hero.

    But not on my mainstream radio.
    Mainstream radio should be a neutral ground of some sort. At least, that's what most of these stations have led us to believe. It is open to the masses – Christians, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, White, Black, Latin, etc, etc. Rick's “Biblical View” is an intrusion on these airwaves. I understand that there has always been a viewpoint or a joke cracked about politics one way or the other – but 99% of the time, there is a different view offered to challenge it. There is a difference between a comical jab and a sermon. Rick Burgess stepped up on soapbox and preached down to us, on mainstream radio (yes, down, no matter how he tries to liken his own sin to “ours”, he is coming from a “I know better than you” point). He attacked our President using a battle he knew would rally most of the troops. This duo began as a comedy act. They've used mainstream radio as a stepping stone. Now they are pulling the bait-and-switch. That is why I joined the group.
    I could change the station. But I've been listening to “this” or “that” station for longer than I can remember – and certainly a lot longer than this duo have been around. I am not surrendering it.
    They need to take those views over to the Christian stations. It has no place on radio that wants a large number and variety of listeners. Mainstream radio makes it money by appealing to the largest variety of people (and their money) possible. Stances like this only damage how this process works and the station itself. Rick Burgess just split the pie.

    It's his choice and his decision to take his “Biblical View” stance, and more power to him for standing up for something he believes in. But he is about to learn the hard lesson (and not from just homosexuals) that it will damage him as an entertainer. The broader you want your audience to be, the more you have to keep your intimate personal views to yourself. I hope he can sell enough T-shirts and books in his now-limited market to make up for the slice that just tuned out.

    I also find it personally offensive when he uses the alcoholism / homosexuality analogy. I don't appreciate him trying to connect two things that are nothing alike. I am not knocking how dangerous and rooted alcoholism is. And I can't speak for everyone else. But for me, my homosexuality is more ingrained into me than some addiction that has turned into a disease. I don't think any form of rehab or 12-step program at True Directions would even scratch the surface of this. For me, it's not just about my sexuality. It's how I view the world, in the actions I take, in the things that interest me and how I treat people in every moment that I breathe. Unlike an alcoholic, my sitting here on my sofa alone being gay isn't doing any damage to anyone – including myself.
    I hate to pull from Sigourney Weaver, but yes, somewhere a questioning child is listening. And Rick just painted a picture in this kid's head about homosexuals that is neither right nor fair, since Rick knows nothing about homosexuality except for what he has learned under his “Biblical View”.
    Myself, I applaud the President for doing something that tries to unite the country. When we are all treated equally, there won't be a need for any proclamations of this sort, and Rick Burgess won't have to “rise up” against us anymore.

    Lastly, i will end my long-winded tirade on the note that — Until someone came along and told Nazi Germany they couldn't treat people that way, they weren't going to stop. Until someone came along and told slave traders they couldn't treat people that way, they weren't going to stop. Until I ran off those Mormon boys knocking at my door everyday that they couldn't knock on my door every day, they weren't going to stop. At some point these people have to understand they can't treat us this way, and it has to stop — which is why I am following this so closely.

  • http://www.queervoice.net/zcbyrnes ZCByrnes

    I get all of that Derek. I really do. But there isn't a law that says he can't spout his bigotry on his mainstream radio show. I guess the main point i'm trying to make is that Burgess wants to argue religion. I can't do that. Now when he does shit like calling for his “armies” or claims “gay groups” have started targeting him, I'm calling him on his shit. No LGBT advocacy group has made a statement about the Rick and Bubba program. When he says that he's trying to paint himself as the target of some vast leftwing movement against him.
    in actuality, he isn't that important.
    I won't argue religion with the man, but I will argue the facts.

  • http://twitter.com/joebessemer Joe Openshaw

    Zach this fight belongs to all of us.

    http://bessemeropinions.blogspot.com/2010/06/wh

  • DJDerek

    Well, tho, therein lies the rub. He came across on mainstream airwaves and preached from an opinion based on faulty and untrue knowledge, and preached it as fact. It is the same as lying – and we call these people out when they do that, too. It reached a core who agree with him, but it also reached those in disagreement, unsure or questioning. His position as someone on air give people a false sense that he is an authority on the issues. His opinion is not fact and he needs to be corrected in that.
    I am not fighting him under my “American” hat because he has broken no laws. But I sure as hell have my “GLBT” hat on. I hate to say this, but he has the advantage of a large media tool at his disposal, and it was used. His message just reached so many more people than you, I, or any of the Prides in the south. In ten minutes, he just undermined all of that work and belittled our entire community. We have to fight against that.

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  • gorickandbubba

    what happened to free speech? maybe u should all just chill out about this. as a christian he believes gay is wrong. who are u to stifle him?

  • http://www.thebearlebrity.com Zach

    “Free speech” does not give Rick and Bubba carte blanche to say what they want. and just because someone has the right to speech, doesn't mean they are free from the consequences of that speech.
    Who am I to stifle him? I'm the guy who isn't going to buy products or services from the companies and people who advertise with him.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7W2TKRVSMEPFI4YZBIAF7HZIOM Allen

    I believe he has freedom of speech rights to say what he wants but I can’t stand their show anyway. I’m force to listen to their crap thanks to a co-worker in my office. I wish they would be taken off the air just so i can get some piece in the mornings. i just can’t stand funny guys at all. I didn’t care for them in school and sure don’t care for them now.

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