We really don’t want to give this any more credibility, but Lynda Eggimann has received a lot of attention with her last letter to the Journal and I’m sure she’ll be talked about with her new one. Eggimann, however terrible and misguided her words might be, is not causing the intolerance, misunderstanding and unfair treatment of the LGBTQ community and doesn’t deserve to bear all the anger. Her every word also doesn’t need to be justified by being reprinted by us or anyone else.
That said, it’s had to ignore her new letter (but this is the last time we’ll respond, we promise). We’ve reprinted the whole thing below, because photos of the thing are hard on the eyes, and maybe you don’t have 75 cents. In it, Eggimann clarifies her point, while simultaneously digging herself into a deeper hole. We’ll keep our response brief.
After seeing her appearance on KIFI and reading her response, we’re convinced that Eggimann is not a hateful woman. For our previous comments that she was vile and dark, we apologize. That doesn’t mean that she isn’t a very misguided and paranoid woman. In her response, Eggimann says her letter “was not an attack on individuals, it came from feelings that there is a growing hate and contempt for those not in your ‘group’ and that acceptance and tolerance are reserved for your ‘group’ only.” Pocatello Pride has never been anything but inclusive and tolerant of anyone and everyone, including you, Lynda.
She goes so far as to blame the entire gay community for bringing down America with some insidious, single-minded agenda. “Homosexuals are not asking to enjoy their lifestyle in peace … they are asking that I change my beliefs, my children be educated in those beliefs and that America rebuild itself in that image. It is an unreasonable and impossible request,” she says. “We are now blacks and whites, Muslims and Christians, gays and straight and a myriad of other opposing forces, all having lost sight of the peace enjoyed within the unity of America.”
Eggimann might believe that these groups must live in opposing worlds, and she is free to think that. But many people, maybe even most people, agree that we should all live in one community. There is no reason why white people can’t go to black culture celebrations, no reason Christians can’t go to Muslim celebrations and no reason why straight people can’t go to gay celebrations. The straight staff of TBA all plan on attending the Pride festival in a few weeks.
Lynda, we suggest you do the same. While you might not be hateful, and we really don’t think you are, you are still confused about the intentions of the gay community. There is no insidious plan to turn your children into perverts or make you gay. The so-called “gay agenda” doesn’t extend beyond teaching tolerance and acceptance of the lifestyle to battle violence and discrimination. Had you ever been legally persecuted for your lifestyle, you might understand. We highly recommend you go to the Pride festival and learn all of this for yourself.
There is only one way to make those in the LGBTQ community not accept you, and that is to continue to publicly blame them for the downfall of America. That said, I’m sure many would still welcome you with open arms at Pride.
–The Bannock Alternative
Her letter originally printed in the August 4, 2011 Idaho State Journal
Since my original letter to the editor expressing my feelings at the idea of a Gay Pride day in Pocatello, I’ve received a great number of vile, filthy and hateful comments, accusations, assertions, and threats. All from those claiming to be most “tolerant.” My intention was not to cause offense or raise the ire of those “tolerant” ones. I would like the opportunity to explain.
It was never their lifestyle that offended me, it was their “in-tolerance” of decency and standards, and violent disdain for anyone not of their group.
I have many friends in the gay community … they would laugh at anyone’s assertion that I do not accept them. What I have a problem with is a growing list of militant groups whose main purpose is to shove their lifestyle down the throats of society. Cultural standards of decency are under attack everywhere we turn.
I come from San Francisco, where the boldness of a few led to magnetizing the many, and the eventual destruction of not only SF but the great state of California. It didn’t happen in a day, it took years. California opened the door (as most of us would) and in came the camel’s nose … and now the whole camel is in and California is out in the cold.
California’s welcome mat led to a state law mandating the teaching of gay history in elementary school and homosexual sex in upper grades. I am troubled by the efforts of the militant few to reshape our culture and thus out future (and even our history). I love our country and I’m fearful for it, but I am not hateful.
To my homosexual friends, I love you just as you are, and I’m grateful you’re my friends. I have befriended each of you personally because of who you are … not what you do. Individually I love each of you, including those who were happy to misunderstand and blindly malign a perfect stranger.
I was harsh in my letter, to which I apologize. I was unkind and that was unnecessary. It was not an attack on individuals, it came from feelings that there is a growing hate and contempt for those not in your “group” and that acceptance and tolerance are reserved for your “group” only.
Individuals may truly seek peace (and I truly hope they find it), but as a group, homosexuals are not asking to enjoy their lifestyle in peace … they are asking that I change my beliefs, my children be educated in those beliefs and that America rebuild itself in that image. It is an unreasonable and impossible request.
Homosexuals are not the only group … we can all think of many groups splintering America. Instead of being Americans, apple pie and baseball … we are now blacks and whites, Muslims and Christians, gays and straight and a myriad of other opposing forces, all having lost sight of the peace enjoyed within the unity of America.
We are polarizing our great country at a time when we should be binding together to make her strong. I believe America was great, because America was good. I believe that is a concept worth returning to.
I apologize publicly for my words. I am not hateful and did not intend my words to be hateful. They were borne of frustration. They came unrestrained from years of watching the country I love crushed as an inevitable outcome of special interest groups with single-minded agendas. Cumulatively we will all be losers.
The value of age is you have seen the actions and the consequences … the actions can be changes .. the consequences cannot.
Lynda Eggimann, Pocatello