Vejay Steede Column: ‘Four Verses & A Comma’

August 29, 2019

Vejay Steede Bermuda August 2019[Opinion column written by Vejay Steede]

It’s Pride Week! What a wonderful time we live in! Seeing the outpouring of support and well wishes for Bermuda’s LGBTQ community recently has been distinctly heartwarming.

We are, it seems, making progress toward true enlightenment. Acceptance of what most heterosexual, cisgender Bermudians would probably, and incorrectly, describe as a “lifestyle” appears to be at an all-time high within these traditionally conservative, staunchly religious shores. It’s a very good thing.

Unfortunately, however, we still live in a world where racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry, hatred and ignorance of all ilk exist, even thrive. Bermuda, as enlightened and accepting as this week happening implies, is not immune to the hatred of the outside world either. The LGBTQ community must still endure threats, mistreatment, condemnation and persecution at the hands of certain segments of this small Mid-Atlantic community.

I honestly don’t get it. I mean, we’re in 2019 and there are still people who condemn others because they were born different. Who has the energy to preach hate against a group of people, which has always comprised just ten percent [or less] of any population, simply because of what they do with other consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes?

It’s really quite sad when you think about it; what is so wrong with your fully socially acceptable existence that you feel the need to, basically, bully that relatively tiny portion of humanity that wanders outside your natural inclinations regarding sex and sexual identity into being JUST … LIKE … YOU? Why is that so important to you?

How does society suffer from the existence of the LGBTQ community? Well, the short answer is, it doesn’t! Those who would have you believe that it is possible to “pray the gay away” routinely point to the Bible as proof positive that homosexuality is unnatural and that homosexuals are deviants that should be condemned and persecuted.

This, my friends, is just an excuse to hate, to judge, and to control the people around them. History can attest to the track record of the Christian Church when it comes to campaigning and making herculean efforts to convert other, different peoples, so we won’t go into that here, but we will open our Bibles.

My response to people who grab their Bible and hold it up as proof that they should hate and persecute is always the same. See there are four verses in the bible that always apply when persecution is promoted. They are simple verses that shape simple rules that would absolutely make the world a better place if all people lived by them. These four verses are easily my favorite Bible verses, and words that I try to live by every day.

I will present my verses with my own daily rendering, followed by the actual [full] verse from the Modern English Version of the King James Interpretation of the Bible, and, finally, how these verses find relevance in the current discussion.

1. Judge not, lest ye be judged,

Luke 6:37 MEV

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.

This is pretty self-explanatory. Judging, condemning, and persecuting other human beings is never a good idea. Who are we to condemn another man because he is naturally inclined to love in a way that we don’t? It’s anti-human, anti-nature, and arrogant. Sexual deviance is a problem, yes, but homosexuality is not a deviation, it’s a condition of birth that is seen throughout nature, and not knowing that at this stage of human development is just irresponsible, ignorant, and intellectually lazy.

2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Luke 6:31 MEV

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

The golden rule! This one is about putting yourself in your sister’s shoes. How would you feel if you were born attracted to human beings who just happen to be the same sex as you? Then you grew up being told that the type of “lifestyle” that people like you partake in is wrong. That you may be evil, unnatural, immoral, unforgivable, and irredeemable; not to mention a spawn of Satan, and all manner of wicked, despicable things.

Imagine now that you couldn’t control your perfectly natural urges no matter how you tried; that you tried to comply to societal norms to the point where you engaged in heterosexual sex, married a member of the opposite sex, even procreated. All because the 90% of humanity who found your sexual orientation unacceptable demanded that you do these things that went against your nature.

Would that not be a nightmare for you? A living, breathing death-walk? Of course it would! So why would you, now, do anything that would make another human being so uncomfortable in their own skin that they resort to denying their own nature to cater to your selfish and arrogant sensibilities? We can all be better than that if we consider how our own judgements feel to other people.

3. Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

Matthew 19:19 MEV

Honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Why does it matter that the couple next door happen to do things in their bedroom that you’ve never done? Or that the grown man who lives on your corner has always felt more like a female than a male? What does hating them achieve? Wouldn’t it be easier and more productive to just accept that they are naturally different from you and treat them like human beings?

Why can you be entertained by Elton John, Frank Ocean, Janelle Monet, Tessa Thompson, Martina Navratilova, Freddie Mercury, RuPaul, Laverne Cox, and hundreds of other ridiculously talented LGBTQ entertainers, but be scornful and disapproving of the men and women who were born differently in your own community? Love your neighbor, because hating based on sexual orientation is draconian and, well, dumb.

LGBTQ people aren’t deviants. They aren’t degenerates, derelicts, or sinners. They are human beings who were born with a distinct trait that makes them naturally different to the vast majority of humanity. There is no other thing happening here. There is no evil, no immorality, no crime against nature. If you are inclined to believe that God created humanity in his own image, then how do you account for the existence of LGBTQ people? And who are you to condemn, persecute, and otherwise judge God’s creation anyway?

I sincerely hope that we wise up as a community. Our LGBTQ citizens have contributed immensely to the society we enjoy in Bermuda today, and they fully deserve the right to express their pride in who they are. Enough is enough. Even Pope Francis has famously declared homosexuality “Not a sin” earlier this year, saying, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about his statement. Indeed, if his Holiness the Pope can recognize that even he has no right to judge the natural orientation of LGBTQ people, why can’t we?

I truly believe that most people living in the Western hemisphere don’t hold an extreme amount of hatred in their hearts for the LGBTQ community at this stage of our collective human development, but ignorance does still exist, which makes even a touch of hatred that much more invidious. The thing is, if that casual hatred was turned into casual love, the issue would vanish; you see, at this point in human evolution, if you count yourself in that number that has an issue with the existence of LGBTQ people, then, unfortunately, you are the one with the problem. You are the one holding on to hate, and you are the only one who can change the persecution, close the chasm that hatred created, and allow healing to occur.

Oh, right, there’s one more Bible verse. This one wraps this discussion up quite nicely I think, as it comes from the mouth of a famously persecuted person, and speaks to the injurious nature of ignorance as well.

4. Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.

Luke 23:34 MEV

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they divided his clothes by casting lots.

Ignorance is a breeding ground for bigotry and hate. Don’t let ignorance continue to manifest unnecessary rifts in our community. Let these people be who they were born to be. We will all be better for it.

I applaud the LGBTQ community for their courage in the face of centuries of judgement, persecution, condemnation, and ignorance, and I wish them all the best this country has to offer on Saturday and beyond.

- Vejay Steede


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Comments (56)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    Thank you Vejay. I agree with everything you said.

    As for the “golden rule”, it appears to me that politicians believe that he or she who controls the gold can make the rules!

  2. Onion Juice says:

    If they consent to have their privacy in their own home is no problem, but to put up with their affection in public …………….

    • Mike Hind says:

      Just turn away. Because they are allowed to show affection in public.

      What’s disgusting is you thinking your opinion of them should force them into hiding.

    • Hey says:

      So now you believe Same Sex Marriage is OK Onion Juice…as long as it is private. Interesting. If a man and a woman engaged in the same acts you allude to in front of you and your family at a family meal in a restaurant would that be OK?

      • Onion Juice says:

        For clarification I am not for SSM.

        • Hey says:

          So It is OK to be gay in privacy of their own home according to you, but not OK to be married in the privacy of their own home. Only difference is civil rights. You don’t believe in equal rights ?

        • Hey says:

          Onion Juice. This heterosexual will be at the parade, so will my family. People have suffered enough. Why do you choose to persecute people?

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      What about straight affection…just as gross bra and NO I’m not for the pride parade either, could care less!

  3. Portia says:

    No Mr Steede, homosexuality is not “a condition of birth seen throughout nature.” Repeating something that is untrue, no matter how often, does not make it the truth. Despite vehement arguments by certain people, there is absolutely no concrete biological evidence to support the assumption that gayness is acquired at birth. No “gay gene” has yet been discovered and even scientists who claim to be close admit that homosexuality is at least partly acquired from environmental or social factors. And no matter how much we claim that two male dolphins or two male apes “mating” to be proof of natural homosexual tendencies in other species, I have yet to hear anything concrete in support of this, as no one can “ask” them if they really feel sexual attraction toward other males (rather than it simply being an act of dominance as suggested by other scientists). Neither is there a shred of sensible reasoning as to why we should look to animals as a marker on which to base some of our sexual behaviours (homosexuality) and not others (incest).

    But regardless of what you and others choose to believe about science, you have no right to twist the Word of God to suit your own agenda. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible which condones or supports homosexuality. While the Bible DOES command us not to judge others,it also teaches to have a discerning spirit, so that we may know right from wrong. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. We must distingush what is good from what is bad, NOT in order to condemn others, but to lovingly help them to keep on the right path. Jesus defended the adulterous woman but he told her to “go and sin no more”. He ate with tax collectors and other “undesirable” people of his time, but he never once condoned their actions, he quite plainly told them the truth about their sins.

    And let me leave you with one other quote from that “famously persecuted person” to illustrate exactly what he thought about same-sex relationships:

    “Have you not read, Jesus replied, that in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

    • Mike Hind says:

      None of this is true.

      No matter how many times you say a lie, it doesn’t make it true.

      All of this has been debunked many times and this “Portia” character is a known and proven liar who spreads the messages and tactics of the foreign hate group, NOM.

      • Portia says:

        What a ridiculous comment. Known and proven liar by whom? And I have no affiliation with any group called NOM. It seems your only response to things that you can’t rebut intelligently is to name call and make false accusations.

        • Meh says:

          Lol- you know you’re also cherry picking verses out of context right?

        • Lol says:

          I’m with you. Scientists have NOT discovered a gay gene as of today. You were spot on with your analysis. It was the gay organizations or should I say mafia that got homosexuality declassified from being a mental illness in the 70s. And for the author of the article to cherry pick versus from a bible that represents a religion that is vehemently against homosexuality is disingenuous, disgusting, disrespectful, and plain old wrong. If you want to be gay and live that LIFESTYLE then fine, but dont go making stuff up, moving the goal post as you see fit and plain old lie about why it should be accepted. If it’s so natural then why all of this feels like it is forced? Mark my words this is just the start.

        • Mike Hind says:

          Nope. I’ve shown you to be a liar MANY times here on this site.

          It’s not namecalling, it’s a description of behaviour.

          You do it constantly. It’s pathetic.

          Nothing you said in that post is true or relevant.

          It doesn’t matter if it’s a choice or not.

          We don’t discriminate against people for choices they made, unless they hurt others…

          For example, religion is a choice and we don’t discriminate against people, societally and legally, because of that.

          Therefore, your point, as usual, is completely irrelevant.

          There. I proved it again. You are a dishonest troll who will say anything to push your hateful, false narrative.

        • Gina Ingham says:

          I have never heard of a “heterosexual gene”…….please enlighten me.

      • Wrong says:

        You are so full of $hit Mike! Can’t wait for this parade to be over and for the Privy Council to our you and your gay friends back in their place! There is nothing natural about homosexuals and that’s a fact! It’s a lifestyle choice and not a right! So enjoy the theatrical demonstration that we know it’s going to be and then go back to your confused lives!

        • Mike Hind says:

          I love how you accuse me of being full of $#!t.. while hiding like a coward behind a fake name… then talk a whole load of it.
          The privy Council case will be lost, as there is absolutely no reason given to deny these folks equal access to rights.
          The “natural” argument has been shown to be garbage many times, as you know, but feel the need to keep pushing lies.
          And it being a choice is irrelevant, as choices are protected. Like the choice to follow a religion.

          But you don’t care about that, do you? You just want to spread your lies and hate so you can feel better than someone else.

          That’s a pretty sad way to live.

        • Mike Hind says:

          And “…back in their place…”?

          Do you not hear it?

          • wa says:

            “And “…back in their place…”?

            Do you not hear it?”

            I’ve been hearing that my entire life.

    • Seriously?! says:

      Yes – it is actually seen throughout nature and a condition of birth. Do your research and stop using the bible to justify your hate. Millions of people do not believe in your god.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      So why would someone choose to be gay?

      • PBanks says:

        With all the name calling and verbal abuse they’d be subjected to, why ever would one ‘choose’ to be gay? Would love for that question to be answered by Portia or one of the others against Pride, etc.

      • Lol says:

        The same way a gay man can choose to be straight again it happens all the time. Lesbian women do it too. Yea it’s a choice

        • Mike Hind says:

          None of that is true.
          You’re making things up.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Please , please tell us again where you were and how old you were when you chose to be straight .
          And the people you refer to are known as bi-sexuals a group also honoured under the rainbow flag.

    • question says:

      Who cares what it says in the bible? It is a work of historical fiction. It holds no special place over any other book. It is completely irrelevant when considering whether or not, for example, being gay is a choice.

      I also love the hypocrisy, Portia. On one hand you want concrete scientific proof of certain things before you will begin to believe them. But on the other hand, you quote a fictional book written in the stone age full of supernatural tales to support your own individual position.

      • Portia says:

        “Who cares what it says in the bible?”

        Mr Steede does, it appears. He is quoting Scripture to suggest why Christians should be accepting of homosexuality. I responded to state that those assertions are false and not based on Biblical principle. Whether you choose to accept that is up to you.

        “you quote a fictional book written in the stone age full of supernatural tales to support your own individual position.”

        Nope, not fictional. Historians and archeologists are continually discovering that the Bible is remarkably accurate in its details of events, places, rulers and groups of people that existed. And it is not “my” individual position that I mentioned, only what is set out in Scripture.

        • Question says:

          No, it’s fiction. It’s a book about supernatural myths. And you quote that to support your views, yet you want scientific proof of any other views. You’re a total hypocrite.

        • Jay Bee says:

          Couldn’t have said it better !!

        • bluenose says:

          The Christian bible has been proved factually incorrect in many places. One should only believe the those sections shown to be true, rather than just believing the entire book. Not to do so is a fallacy. Have you any evidence at all that any of the stated supernatural events took place?
          The bible states that ‘god’ condones slavery, see Exodus 21, and ordered genocides, e.g. the Amalekites. If the bible is all true, ‘god’ is an immoral, genocidal, egomaniacal despot.

    • Jevon says:

      Big up ya self Portia….real talk Mr. Hind don’t know nothing about the bible….he still believes in the tooth fairy, and rainbow brite

      • 2woke says:

        How ignorantly closeted of you, Jevon.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Uh… it’s not me that believes in fairytales.

        But, as always, I support your right to believe them.
        I just don’t think anyone else’s life should be negatively affected by that belief.

        It’s a shame you’re to steeped in hatred to actually have an open, honest conversation about it .

  4. Gina says:

    The fact that there are people like you walking around in our community is crazy.

    • bluenose says:

      Yeah. These people quoting a work of fiction as truth, are crazy.

  5. Candace says:

    I think it is to be held very dearly and truly it is just wonderful, how the many shops and places all around Hamilton are displaying their support of Pride with the rainbow flying and in many windows.

    Love is love and intolerance and hate have no place against any form of love we are blessed and lucky to find with any choice.

  6. Ronda says:

    I’m not convinced about born with the gay gene vs a lifestyle ..but for me it really doesn’t matter when it comes to housing employment and personally safety, should be a Hunan right afforded to All…

    But I’m still waiting for the outward public signs and symbols that Blacks are accepted and valued in the Colony..

    Followed up with laws, practices and policies…. to prove it..

    • PBanks says:

      There are several people, both within and without the LGBT ‘communities’, that would share such a sentiment with regard to eradicating racism, etc., in Bermuda.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Dont hold your breath, they overlook the damage that is caused by living in a racist society (and some of them benefit from it) to advocate an unatural lifestyle.
      Would be nice if they supported Labour protests (which had been majority supported by Black Beemudians) that have been a part of Bermuda’s progress toward equality in the economic and social status in Bermuda.
      Two Bermudas

      • Mike Hind says:

        No. We don’t. In fact, most of us that are fighting this fight are also fighting the fight for racial equality.
        We don’t oppose you based on your skin colour, we oppose you because you are a bigot.

  7. Joe Bloggs says:

    “you have no right to twist the Word of God to suit your own agenda”

    To which God are you referring please? Zeus? Poseidon? Apollo? Brahma? Vishnu? Saraswati? Itzamna? Yum Kaax? Hunab Ku? Some other god?

    • Portia says:

      The same God Mr Steede is referring to obviously, since he is quoting Scripture from the Holy Bible.

  8. Katrina says:

    I just want to comment on two of your statements that you have made. The first – “you are inclined to believe that God created humanity in his own image, then how do you account for the existence of LGBTQ people?”

    To answer your question in one word… Sin. And no this is not to say that these individuals have chosen to be born different. I agree with your comment “LGBTQ people aren’t deviants. They aren’t degenerates, derelicts, or sinners” No, they may not have had a choice to be born the way that they are… but for you to insinuate that it was God’s intention through creation for the existence of gay people is wrong.

    Secondly, you mention “Even Pope Francis has famously declared homosexuality “Not a sin” earlier this year, saying, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about his statement. Indeed, if his Holiness the Pope can recognize that even he has no right to judge the natural orientation of LGBTQ people, why can’t we?”

    The Pope is human just like you and me so I’m not sure why you think his opinion is greater than anyone else’s. Don’t get me wrong, I agree it is not our place to judge, however because it is his opinion that homosexually is not a sin, doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

    It’s unfortunate that so much emphasis must be placed on someone’s sexual preferences, we must learn to separate the sexual orientation from the actual human being. Same goes for race, under our skin color we are all human. No we shouldn’t judge, God is the only judge, but to force people to accept a lifestyle that they don’t agree with just because… only creates discourse and separation in society. No I do not support the lifestyle of the LGBTQ community, however I will not judge or discriminate either. I do not agree with the pride celebrations, therefore I will not support it, however in my day to day living I will never treat anyone different based on their sexual preferences and the color of their skin.

  9. George says:

    What a wonderful article.

    I am now a 70 year old man. As a child I was bullied and called names. I was humiliated and spat upon. I went away to university at 18 and have never lived in Bermuda since. But I’m flying in tomorrow just for the weekend because it’s important to me for Bermudians to see that I have survived and been successful in a variety of careers. Who knows what I might have done for Bermuda, the land of my birth, had I been encouraged to live my life, legally, openly, and without hatred or fear of discrimination.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Please dress appropiately.

      • question says:

        Don’t recall you saying that for Heroes weekend. Might have been a good idea.

    • Wrong says:

      Just another example of someone running away from their problems and returning years later to tell their sorry a$$ story! No one cares! Hug a gay person and move on. So not a success story!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Can you please find me on Saturday? I would like to shake your hand.

    • Millennial says:

      I am so incredibly proud of you and happy you’re back. Welcome back as we make history!

    • Vortex says:

      This is great, welcome home George.

      I hope you see how Bermuda has changed, and the bible spurting minority are now firmly being shown up as the dinosaurs they are.

    • question says:

      Welcome George. Nice post, and I hope you enjoy the weekend.

  10. Jerry says:

    I am gonna dance my gay proud self on saturday

  11. Jus' Askin' says:

    jus’ data ;-) ;-)