I am writing this letter after months and months of frustration while reading the “Wright to the Point” column every week in the Mountain Messenger. Whether the column is about pointless topics like glass Christmas tree decorations or more inflammatory ones like why LGBT people are the bane of conservative Christianity’s existence, I’m just exhausted from the negative and harsh words coming from Jonathan Wright.
I don’t understand how this person has a weekly column in a fairly widely circulated newspaper in 2015. His grating spewings have more than once made me look up from reading the paper to make sure there wasn’t an actual old man yelling at me to get off of his front lawn. Sometimes, the absurdity of his columns have made me laugh out loud at their sheer nonsense (how does someone actually complain about TRAFFIC in LEWISBURG, WEST VIRGINIA? God forbid people have to wait an extra 30 seconds at a stoplight), while other times, his articles have made me shake in anger at their willfully unaware ignorance (see his homophobic and sexist article from after last year’s election). I get that Jonathan Wright feels that he has to protect the values of 1950’s America, he is certainly not the only one who feels this call. I am just done reading anti-LGBT rhetoric in a newspaper that is, in every other way, very informative and supportive of people living in the Greenbrier Valley. The fact that Wright most recently complained about the actually very positive statement that “there was no significant pushback to last year’s inaugural Appalachian Queer Film Festival” blows my mind. We get it, you don’t like gay people and according to your religion “there are eternal consequences for various behavior and lifestyles, that these can be a very affront to God himself.” But I would like to make the bold statement to counter your bigoted (yes, I said it, bigoted) mindset. I support the Appalachian Queer Film Festival. I support the LGBTQ people who live in West Virginia, even if you don’t. And I especially support all of the men and women who have been hurt when they read your articles. So let me just get “Wright to the Point” here: writing hateful things to spite your neighbors is surely not what God wants. Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, all of them, not just the ones we agree with. Can’t we just start with that?