W. LaRochelle: Tough night for Taylor

On election night, some two dozen supporters of Protect Marriage Maine, which opposes gay marriage, gathered in the conference room of Lewiston’s Ramada Inn to await the outcome of Question 1. According to a Sun Journal report (Nov. 7), the watch party began high-spiritedly, and as the group was informed of favorable town-by-town voting results by Pastor Bob Emrich, the campaign’s co-chairman, the mood of jubilation redoubled with cheers and applause.

But when results began to trend in favor of the opposition, the group grew quiet and uneasy; and as hopes dwindled, people left. Toward the end of it, only a steadfast few remained — among them, the Bible-toting, ever-sanguine Rev. Doug Taylor, who was, no doubt, hoping against hope for an 11th hour miracle, which never showed.

On the issue of gay marriage, Taylor gave the Sun Journal reporter to understand that “the opposition to traditional marriage are slaves to sin. My sympathy goes out to them and so do my prayers.”

Taylor likes to shoot straight from the lip, and so do I, which is why I want to say in reply that he himself is a slave to obscurantism, offering prayers to the endless reaches of space on behalf of a people who couldn’t care less.

William LaRochelle, Lewiston

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PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Can you feel the tolerance,

Can you feel the tolerance, people?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I find that those on the

I find that those on the left, who frequently talk of tolerance, are some of the least tolerant people that I know. A bit hypocritical don’t you think?

William LaRochelle's picture

Mr. Rimi is correct.

In my letter to the editor, I wasn't remotely suggesting that Taylor's "rights to speech or prayer be abridged." So where's the intolerance? What I stated there is that, in my view, Taylor is an obscurantist, that his prayers have "the endless reaches of space" (not God) as their end, & that gays don't give a tinker's damn about his prayers on their behalf. My observations are hardly an expression of intolerance, but merely of disdain.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You're free to shoot from the

You're free to shoot from the lip, as you put it, and call it anything you want, but it doesn't change any of itl By the way, I did not say intolerance; you did.

William LaRochelle's picture

Excuse me:

In your very first comment posted in reply to my letter, you ask sarcastically, "Can you feel the tolerance, people?" Which obviously implies that I was being intolerant in the expression of my views. The fact that you didn't use the word "intolerance" doesn't matter a whit. You write that my shooting from the lip "doesn't change any of it." Doesn't change it (my letter) from being what, exactly? If not from being intolerant, what then? Be clear or begone.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Apology accepted.

Apology accepted.

William LaRochelle's picture

Hardly a clever rejoinder, but hey:

if you want to be evasive, that's your prerogative. At least don't forget to join in prayer with the Rev. Doug for me & my fellow gays. You wouldn't want to see us roast forever, now, would you??

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I have no interest in getting

I have no interest in getting into a verbal street fight with a gay man, given the hate speech laws as they are.
However, just out of curiosity, I never mentioned to you that I was heterosexual. Why were you so compelled to inform me you were gay. Secondly, what caused you to think I would even care?
You all should be dancing in the streets; you've won a significant victory, but instead, you choose the low road and focus on vilifying a good and decent man who happens to disagree with your cause. Shame on all of you. Rejoice for Heaven's sake; you've won something.

William LaRochelle's picture

You wonder why

I felt compelled to inform you that I'm gay. Compelled? I'm a gay man speaking out in defense of the gay cause; so how is the mention of my sexuality out of line or somewhow objectionable? You ask me, "What caused you to think I would even care?" But what makes you think I cared whether you would care? Your caring or not caring is of no concern to me whatever. My making explicit mention of my sexuality seems to me to be perfectly germane to the discussion.
Yes, Maine gays have won a decisive battle, and, as a Sun Journal reader, you can't possibly have missed the reports on our rejoicing over the fact. Nontheless, the war's not ended. When someone like Taylor states publicly that the winners are the slaves of sin (and not the winners only, but their straight supporters, whom their Xtian enemies regard as participants in that sin through their "benighted" support), that to me signals the start of a new battle. I felt Taylor's words couldn't go unremarked; that's why I decided to write my letter to the editor. And so the war continues.
You accuse me of vilifying Taylor, but that depends on one's frame of reference, doesn't it? To vilify someone means to speak negatively of him or her in disregard of the truth. Taylor's frame of reference is the Bible, a book he believes is God-breathed and therefore inerrant in every iota. On the basis of that book's strictures against homosexuality, he feels justified (indeed, compelled) in publicly stating that gays (and by extension their supporters, or enablers) are the slaves of sin. He believes he's speaking the truth; if, in doing so, he inflicts injury on gays, so be it. Undoubtedly he feels that the pain he causes them is a necessary precondition to their conversion to Xtianity and ultimate salvation.
On the other hand, people such as myself, who deny supernatural revelation across the board and who base their moral judgments on their own experience of the world, on naturalism and on humanism, believe that Taylor is speaking in opposition to the truth. When I say that Taylor is an obscurantist, I believe I'm speaking the truth, though in the eyes of Taylor and you and those of your persuasion, I'm speaking falsely and hurtfully. All depends on one's frame of reference.
You characterize Taylor as being "a good and decent man." I have no quarrel with that. It's just that I view him as wrongheaded in his opposition to gay rights, based as it is on his ironclad biblicism.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"I'm a gay man speaking out

"I'm a gay man speaking out in defense of the gay cause; so how is the mention of my sexuality out of line or somehow objectionable?"
Great question. Answer: Because straight people don't walk up to people they don't know or barely know, and inform them that they are heterosexual, whereas, for some hard to understand reason, homosexuals can't seem to tell non-gays quickly enough that they're gay. Most people don't care; I don't care. If it's your badge of honor, have at it. I don't allow my sexuality to define who I am.
I'm not even going to address your crusade against Doug Taylor. I just expect a little more tolerance from people who constantly preach it but seldom practice it.

William LaRochelle's picture

Come now, Mr. Jean:

I've written exactly one letter to the editor criticizing Taylor for his opposition to gay marriage, and I'm conducting a crusade against him? And yet, Taylor has spoken out a number of times over the last several years against that cause, and he's not conducting a crusade against its proponents? Don't be obtuse.

As for the tolerance/intolerance business, I'm not going there again with you. You've merely ASSERTED that my letter displays a want of tolerance toward Taylor; no explanation whatever exactly how it does. If you've failed to offer such an explanation, it's only because you have no basis for doing so, and I dare say you know it.

Reply to this comment if you want, Mr. Jean. As for me, I'm done here.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Rave on, Mr. Rochelle. Nice

Rave on, Mr. Rochelle. Nice to see you've seen the light.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Paul, I tend to agree with


I tend to agree with you on this topic. The majority of the 95%-97% straight population doesn’t discuss or care about sexuality as they make their way through the day. I’m more concerned about more basic issues, such as food, clothing, shelter, not dying in an automobile accident on the way home, etc.

I find individuals that must assert their sexuality during unrelated discussions a bit strange. I don’t care; neither do I understand the need to behavior that way. I actually see it as being somewhat confrontational - challenging someone to disapprove. I just don't understand the need for that behavior.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well stated; we are in total

Well stated; we are in total agreement.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Just as the U.S. government

Just as the U.S. government failed to change the hearts and minds of all Afghans about the concept of democracy, the gay cause will not change the hearts and minds of all people about gays.

In that context, the US won many battles, but lost the war. So too will the gay cause.

It was often written here that some individuals of the gay cause are more concerned with force acceptance rather than the right to marry. In my opinion, you are fulfilling that assumption.

At some point, you need to realize that you will not get the 100% acceptance you are searching, so you need to let go, enjoy your life, and not worry what others think.

This is just my opinion. Of course, you have the right to make your own choices.

William LaRochelle's picture

I won't speak for other gays

but only for myself in stating that I don't expect and have never expected the gay cause to change the hearts and minds of ALL people about gays. Certainly not. That would be totally unrealistic. You're mistaken in assuming I'm in search of such total acceptance.

It may well be that the gay cause will, as you say, win many battles, but not the war. But that possibility doesn't in the least deter me from joining battle with gay lib's opponents. Nor does this ongoing war stand in the way of my enjoying life.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps one should consider

Perhaps one should consider now long someone continues to write letters to the editor on any topic if they get zero response.

A little like throwing a party and no one shows up….!

JOANNE MOORE's picture

"those on the left"..........

..........do not advocate burning books such as the Harry potter series.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No, but I recall those on the

No, but I recall those on the left burning bras, cars, and vandalizing buildings. Not to mention calling people bigots and homophobes at the drop of a hat (by the way whatever happened to Dan?) .

A walnut and an almond are both nuts from a different tree, but they are still nuts. We can keep going tit for tat!

JOANNE MOORE's picture


Who is Dan?

As far as us both being nuts, you are probably right.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan Berton from Auburn who

Dan Berton from Auburn who used to comment here in the manner that I mentioned.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Self-imposed exile, I

Self-imposed exile, I believe, but there is no proof of that.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Extremely. Paradoxically,

Extremely. Paradoxically, they have an intolerance for tolerance, but they preach tolerance. Just another piece of the enigma that is the left.

RONALD RIML's picture

So he didn't cheer for Rev. Taylor....

Nor did he advocate his rights to speech nor prayer be abridged.

How many cheeses with all your post election whines there, Mark???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Maybe he wasn't referring to

Maybe he wasn't referring to Larochelle.

RONALD RIML's picture

'Maybe' he could speak for himself - rather than......

RONALD RIML's picture

Then you and he should tell us who's silencing the Reverend

No 'maybe' to it......

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Gravel didn't say the Rev.

Gravel didn't say the Rev. was being silenced and neither did I, so why don't you tell US who is silencing the Reverend.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Great letter!

The so-called rev. Taylor had better not throw any stones, it seems to me. His narrow minded idea of morality is laughable and inconsequential.


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