Posted by: joshjasper | October 30, 2011

Letters to the Editor

A recent letter to the editor submitted regarding the billboard campaign I created that advocated for creating a gay friendly community:  (you can see an image of the billboard in the blog entry titled “Angry, Inc.”)

Support for gay marriage misguided compassion

From the Rev. Harold J. Drexler

St. Paul said: “Let love be genuine…hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.”-Romans 12:9-10.  “Speak the truth in love.”-Ephesians 4:15

What are the gay billboards (“Creating Gay Friendly Community”) meant to teach?

  • Does “Gay,” as generally understood mean homosexual behavior?
  • “Friendly,” meaning accepting, encouraging gays in same-sex lifestyle?
  • “Community,” meaning local citizens, most of whom hold that same-sex couples undermine the marriage of man and woman?
In contrast, for those believing in divine revelation, “friendly community” has the meaning of compassion, love for all.  This compassion embraces the man or woman feeling dangerous same-sex attraction.  Same-sex couples misled into counterfeit marriage need our compassion similar to the compassion we have for someone “married” to an alcoholic drink “an alcoholic).  Being an “enabler” is not compassion.
Feeling same-sex attraction is neither sinful nor immoral.  Freely giving into the attraction is.  The friendly community lives the truth that the family is the basic unit of their community.  The community encourages each man and woman toward man-woman marriage as the only fulfilling way for their complementary sexual nature.
We speak with concern that cohabitation, divorce, gay “marriage” and recreational sex undermine true marriage to the detriment of all.  Speaking up for true marriage is not being hateful to anyone.
“Let us speak the truth in love,” truth learned from divine revelation.  Let us guard against misleading anyone by a mistaken compassion.
Here is my response to this letter in a subsequent letter to the editor:
In response to Rev. Drexler’s letter dated 10/18/11, in which it was asked what the gay billboard campaign “creating a gay-friendly community” is meant to teach:

“Gay” is referring to homosexuality, “friendly” refers to kind and pleasant, and “community” refers to a group of people.   Riverview Center’s current advertising campaign that includes billboards, radio commercials and print ads is intended to reinforce our vision statement.  We envision a community free of violence for everyone, gay or straight.  We believe that violence is a learned behavior and that by empowering individuals, fostering empathy, and speaking out against sexism, racism, and homophobia, we as a community will realize an end to violence as we know it.

I also believe that our work is directly in line with the teachings of the church.  According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “the Church teaches that persons with a homosexual inclination must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.  We recognize that these persons have been, and often continue to be, objects of scorn, hatred, and even violence in some sectors of our society.  Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church’s pastors wherever it occurs.”

Gay men and women are assaulted at alarming rates in our society, and in our own community.  I work toward the day that our offices are empty because people (gay or straight) are no longer abused.  Riverview Center should not have to exist.  I believe that as a “community,” we are better than this.



  1. I appreciate your response so much! I love the billboards also. There will always be someone who has something ignorant to say. But it gives me hope to see someone trying to make the world a better place.
    Don’t stop belivin’ ❤

  2. Excellent response, Josh. It’s easy for people to be distracted from the real issue, and your response brought it right back to violence prevention. Sue and I loved your letter.

  3. Thanks, Kelly! We will NEVER stop believing.

  4. Thanks, Jen. I feel like these two letters proved to be a great example of how we as a community can share our respective opinions while collectively working toward the same goal.

  5. Love the sinner- hate the sin.

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