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Permission granted by author for anyone to distribute this
writing free of charge (including translation into any
language)...under condition that no profit is made therefrom,
and that it remain intact and complete, including title and 
credit to the original author.

Ezekiel J. Krahlin


© 1997 by Ezekiel J. Krahlin
(Jehovah's Queer Witness)

                              October 12, 1989

Dear Editor:

     Here is my burning response to Andrew Murray's letter,
"Stop Burning Flags," (S.F. Sentinel, October 12):

     Andrew:  The United States of America has always been a
violently homophobic society...where even murder is justified
in the name of God and the law.  (Homophobia, plain and
simple, is a virulent form of madness.)  Burning the flag is a
form of peaceful demonstration, to express the failure of our
society to end its barbaric cruelty towards those citizens who
choose to love partners of the same sex.  What if someone
murdered your girlfriend, and the courts did not prosecute the
criminal?  And you were helpless to do anything, except burn
her/his pictures in the newspapers?  Well, what better
"picture" for gays to burn, than the American flag...for it
represents not just one murderer, but millions!

     Big deal, so they burned a is only a symbol,
not a human being.  Lesbians and gays are trying every way
possible to defend our rights in non-violent ways.  But if
pushed into a corner, with violent retaliation the only means
of saving one's life, then of course violence is dictated as
the final resort. This is a basic natural law...and human
beings are no exception.

     You made it quite clear that you are "straight," in the
opening line of your letter (quote):  "As I scootered home
from work last (Saturday) night, I stopped to see my
girlfriend in the Castro and heard about the previous night's
gestapo action...etc."

      Well, I have noticed a new wave of "heteros" proclaiming
support of lesbians/gays, and claiming to lay down their
lives, if necessary, to defend us.  Yet when getting close to
some of these people, I discover very bigoted, violent
viewpoints towards homosexuals and other persecuted groups.
This includes the new influx of hustlers, who claim to be
powerfully pro-gay (and potential partners), in order to win
the trust of their victims.

      Andrew, you really seem to have no genuine feelings of
compassion towards the homophile community, for you
immediately jumped to the other side of the fence, just
because you witnessed some protestors burning a piece of
cloth--which symbols you revere far more than human souls.
Your letter merely perpetuates homophobia, for it encourages
further outrage against our struggling lesbian/gay
community...all in the name of "Old Glory" (or should I say
"Old Gory").

      The attempt to criminalize the burning of our nation's
flag is supported by those groups most hateful of
homosexuality: Christian fundamentalists, Nazis, and
Right-wing Republicans (to name a few...all of which are
interconnected one way or another).  In a very sick kind of
way, Andrew, you perpetuate a time-dishonored tradition of the
land of the "free."

      I don't like you one bit, Andrew; and I hope never to
meet you. I feel so sorry for your girlfriend, for I'm sure
she is a victim of whatever other bigotry you espouse...and
may God help any children you breed as a result of your
pathetic need to prove yourself a "man."

      I encourage all truly pro-lesbian/gay supporters to wear
a well-burnt American flag somewhere on their jackets and I have started doing today.  We strive towards
true democracy, an ideal which has yet to fulfill itself...but
which, I believe, will be achieved in the 1990's, by the
revolutionary actions of a more-united, burgeoning lesbian/gay
community, in conjunction with American Indians, Blacks, The
Homeless, and other long-suffering minorities.

      As a final note, I want to express deepest gratitude to
those heterosexuals who really do care about lesbians and
gays, and put their words to action.


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