[trigger warning: anti gay bigotry, fire, dead horses. please visit this joyfully living otter instead.]
(ETA: trigger warning)
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
I used to hate that little ditty. I still do, but as a child, as a victim of bullying, I knew that was not true. Words hurt. Words hurt as much, if not more, than fists and weapons. Words are powerful. Words have power.
No, words are power.
Which is why I spend so much of my time talking about the use of words. Why is it important to discuss that atheist have morals, too? Because every time someone says that morals come from god, the idea is planted in another person's mind that atheists are immoral, dangerous perhaps. Maybe shouldn't be suffered to live. I mean, who knows what they might do to the children?
Why is it important to confront it, each and every time, when someone says that a man "cried/threw/whatever like a girl"? Because any time you compare undesirable behavior to being female you spread the belief that to be female is to be lesser. And people who believe that women are lesser have no problem raping women, taking away their rights, paying them less and generally oppressing them. And women who believe that they themselves are less have more trouble fighting against that.
It is important to hold people responsible for the words that they say because words are power. We should hold people as accountable for their words as we do for how they use their guns. If a person randomly fires off a gun into a crowd and kills someone, we do not accept the excuse that well, I wasn't really aiming for anyone in particular, I just wanted to see what people would do.
Which is why I'm holding accountable every single Christian who spreads hatred against gays for the deaths of 8 horses. If you stood up online, at a church, among your friends and spewed hatred and lies and vitriol against gays, then you may as well have held the torch. You may as well have slit the throats of these 8 horses because that would have been kinder than what did happen.
You. You did it. You spread hatred and fear. It's your fault. Oh, I know, you didn't tell anyone to go torch a barn with 8 horses in it, but don't think that makes you innocent. You put the idea in a person's mind that gays are evil and wrong and will harm your children. You're responsible for that idea. It's that idea that led to 8 horses desperately trying to escape a raging fire and failing. Your idea. Your words.
Your fucking fault.