Over the past year, Christian metalcore band For Today has been more known for the homophobic rants from former guitarist Mike Reynolds than their music. As such, it’s not surprising that in the first big interview with singer Mattie Montgomery since Fight the Silence was released, Alternative Press asked about the controversy and the topic of homosexuality at large.
On the subject of Reynolds’ tweets:
It was frustrating, to say the least. That whole thing blindsided me. And it was exasperated by preexisting issues.
The fact that there are people who call themselves Christians but go on the news and picket soldiers’ funerals and say stuff like “God Hates Fags?” These people totally dishonor God, and disrespect God and they dishonor and disrespect people who are made in God’s image.
There is a bitterness and a polarization that has come and a lot of wounds and defensiveness have developed in the homosexual community toward Christians. That has made them very sensitive toward Christians in general, especially when talking about the issue of homosexuality. I hate it.
We’ve been put in a situation where the media has made it an “us vs. them” sorta thing. As a result, we’ve lost our sense of human community.
That is the thing that breaks my heart. Like I mentioned earlier, the guys from Stray From The Path don’t agree with or care about anything I stand for, and they are still some of the best friends we’ve ever had on tour.
I think there’s something to be said there in that we are able to respectfully disagree with each other. There are still plenty of other things where we find common ground. At the end of the day, we’re all in this world together; we’re all in this thing called life together. We’ve got to do what we can to help each other instead of hurting each other and tearing each other down.
So yes, it was a frustrating thing, and it was a difficult situation for me to go through because I really do love gay people. I have a whole bunch of people I’ve been friends with for years who are gay men and women. We have all been forced into this new religious/political paradigm where Christians are pitted against homosexuals in this stupid struggle for political dominance. It’s really a political issue. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.
Because I’m a voice to a lot of Christians, I’ll say it like this: I would like to see Christians come to a place in which they can be respectful of people, regardless of their sexual orientation. No matter what sexual inclinations a person has or what faith they do or do not ascribe to, as Christians we still must believe they are made in the image of God, and because of that, our love and they deserve our respect and honor.
Well, there’s something to be said for Montgomery calling for Christians to be respectful of others beliefs and sexual orientation.
When asked why For Today was “singled out” for their beliefs:
You want me to be totally honest? I’ll say this as kindly as possible, but, I think it’s your fault.
Outlets like AP, Absolute Punk, Lambgoat, Metal Injection, the PRP and all these places that will do anything to anyone to try to get some hits on their website. They saw one comment out of hundreds of thousands of comments collectively that this band have made and they thought, “Oh, that’s going to stir up some drama.” And they were willing to throw our band under the bus and to put our families’ well-being in jeopardy just for the sake of a few more hits on their websites. I think that sucks. I think that’s irresponsible journalism. I think it’s a reflection of a lack of personal responsibility in your community.
If we, as a scene, would take a step back and say, “The things that made this music scene special were that it was a place for rejects, for people who didn’t fit in, a place for all of those people to be accepted and celebrated not even in spite of their diversity, but because of their diversity.” I think we need to remember that and apply it to all walks of life and all faiths.
To be fair, this wasn’t just some random comment; this was your guitar player going on about gays being sinners. But moving on.
On the subject of gay marriage itself:
I’m not a lawmaker. So, really, my opinions on what laws should and should not be don’t matter. But ultimately this is a political issue right now. It seems like homosexual people are seeking, politically, to have equal rights. And I think that’s absolutely fair. So, speaking politically, if I was a lawmaker? I would vote to legalize gay marriage. I don’t think the United States government has the right to tell people who they can and can’t marry. That is my standard across the board. To be completely honest with you, I don’t think the United States government has the right to approve a marriage between me and my wife, as a heterosexual man. It’s not really their business. The fact that they think they can forbid some people from marrying is ridiculous to me.
You don’t really have to be a law maker to support gay marriage, but at least he didn’t say anything about it being wrong.
So, all in all, nothing surprising here from For Today. I wouldn’t say they’ve won back everyone who labels them as a homophobic Christian band, but Montgomery seems to be trying to patch things up at least.
[via Alternative Press]