Friday, December 15, 2006


Who Is My Neighbor?

When Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself," one of his listeners didn't quite get the point, and asked, "Lord, who is my neighbor?" Leonard Pitts wouldn't need to ask.

This is for a reader who demands to know why I write about gay issues. His conclusion is that I must secretly be gay myself. [...] I'm not here to argue sexuality. I just find myself intrigued by the idea that if you're not gay, you shouldn't care about gay rights. The most concise answer I can give is cribbed from what a white kid said some 40 or so years ago, as white college students were risking their lives to travel south and register black people to vote. Somebody asked why. He said he acted from an understanding that his freedom was bound up with the freedom of every other man. I know it sounds cornier than Kellogg's, but that's pretty much how I feel. [...] See, I have yet to learn how to segregate my moral concerns. It seems to me if I abhor intolerance, discrimination and hatred when they affect people who look like me, I must also abhor them when they affect people who do not. For that matter, I must abhor them even when they benefit me. Otherwise, what I claim as moral authority is really just self-interest in disguise. [...] I believe in moral coherence. And Rule No. 1 is, you cannot assert your own humanity, then turn right around and deny someone else's. If that makes me gay, fine. As my anonymous correspondent ably demonstrates, there are worse things to be.
Amen, Mr. Pitts.
Indeed. I'm going to send Mr. Pitts an atta-boy right now.
I would love to have Leonard Pitts as my literal next-door neighbor.
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