Many years ago when we debated on Flashpoint and in our few interactions afterwards, I was always very polite with you, believing that kindness and rational discourse are essential for democracy and because of my Christian faith. In my sermons, public speeches, and private conversations with others I always encouraged them to speak kindly of you because you too are a beloved child of God and deserving of our grace and mercy not hatred or cruel speech. Sometimes encouraging folks in this way was more difficult than other times.
Your words all those many years ago that gay people engaged in the democratic process were a bigger threat to the country than Islamic terrorists were reprehensible. I never have understood your failure to comprehend that. I was puzzled by what seemed like a form of irrational relativism in your insistence that the words didn't mean what everyone told you they meant, as if meaning is private instead of objectively created by a language community. I was puzzled by your failure of Christian character--the lack of grace, mercy, and compassion in your stance, as if you had never experienced forgiveness or redemption. For someone who had experienced God's grace and forgiveness would surely comprehend the need to ask for forgiveness for words that hurt and damaged others as your words had done. And I was puzzled that an educator would seem to be so uninterested in learning about others and their perspectives and truly listening.
The truth is that I have pitied you. You seemed so bitter and angry and confused, so closed off from the liberation and joy and hopefulness of God. I have prayed for you so often over these years.
But always to no avail. Watching from afar after my move to Omaha in 2010, your political stances seemed only to worsen, your attempts to harm others became ever more severe.
And today, the world your words and actions helped to create has come into fruition with the largest mass murder in our nation's history committed by a terrorist against LGBT people enjoying and loving life.
We never were the bigger threat. You were always wrong. Your words and actions were always sinful. And this is the evil wind that they have inherited.
May God have mercy on your soul, for I am too much of a sinner to be able to offer you mercy anymore.
Rev. Dr. Scott Jones