Every Christian I know is instructed to hate the sin and love the sinner. Every Christian I know is instructed to run from pornography. Every Christian I know believes it is a sin to confess others’ sins. And so Westboro Baptist Church is being held up as the straw man against which all Christians must defend their attempts to go about their business respectfully.

I’m trapped in a game I did not want to play. The rules of engagement are stacked against me. Anything I say will be called “hatred,” “bigotry,” or “racist.” The thought police know my labels and will throw the kitchen sink of Westboro weirdness against me should I utter half a sentence. I am told I must believe what my self-proclaimed superiors say is true, even when it contradicts empiricism and requires them to define what I cannot see. If my religion teaches it is odious, disgusting, and wrong to talk about human reproduction publicly, that is just tough. Perps want to rub my nose in their privacy and demand I talk about it and every perversion thereof. They can lie. They can say boys are girls and girls are boys and everybody must talk about their private parts that may or may not exist with children at the dinner table, and add that is just the beginning of needed equality reforms. They can forbid me from all but tolerating, embracing, and celebrating. So shall I watch porn three hours a night to celebrate? I am lectured about love, but the love I know is quiet and personal; not forced for public spectacle. But my rights are wrong.

I’m talking about Tuesday’s Asheville City Council meeting. (The pertinent video constitutes the first hour here.) Two of the seven members of council had to read their statements declaring HB2 hateful and oppressive, which I am assuming they needed help writing. Future County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara told council they must advance opposition to the next stages. Several speakers got all fluttery and cried. Some of these people are extremely intelligent, and I dare say they are too intelligent not to know HB2 was designed to keep molesters, flashers, and rapists – not transgenders TCB – out of restrooms, showers, and locker rooms.

I don’t know how to hate. I was never wired that way. With many, my religion teaches chastity in speech, etc., so in honor of my God, I cannot speak what is now considered mainstream for government meetings. I was trained in the scientific method, but I now hear it is hate speech to say what one sees, as that might offend the unverifiable perception of somebody a protected class higher in the pecking order. My current state of exasperation comes from being denied access to my brain – my perceptions, the scientific method, my conscience’s guidance for how I choose to conduct my own affairs which includes keeping others’ affairs out of my thoughts, and a desire not to be silenced by expressing my sincere conclusion that opposition to non-universal perception is not insane. I don’t know what Beach-Ferrara’s next steps are, but as a lifelong seeker of truth, I am afraid.

In case you have not read these documents yet, or if you want to teach me some new definitions or whatever, here are HB2 and Executive Order 93.