I met Tal in a gas station parking lot. He was indeed a fast talker and we spent about an hour discussing all kinds of things, like his theories on life and religion. Tal was funny and charismatic and a friend to many who passed by. He was simply giving me his unfiltered opinion, which is a very common one, based on my experience talking to people here in the Bible belt. 

Tal: My name is Tally James. I was born here on Roscoe Road. My daddy’s from Hogansville. Roscoe and Hogansville, I think qualifies me as a country bumpkin. A fast talkin’ country bumpkin at that. In order to talk fast, your brain has to work fast. One thing about me, I put it on front street. I don’t make the news but I will report it. In fact, if you don’t know who you are and what you’re about, give me a minute and I’ll tell ya. Cause, see, in life, very few people get to know who they are and much less have the balls to be that. 

I’ve always been a Southern Baptist. We’re in the Bible belt here. I know for a fact there was a man named God because we have people who bear witness that there was a man named Jesus that walked this place for thirty-three years. 

The only thing that’s unforgivable is if you deny him. Now, they say those others are forgivable but in my opinion he’s not gonna take men who take up with men because see, when two women get together, it’s just two gifts that got together but when man takes up with a man, he’s rebuking the gift that God gave him and denying the design plan. 

BW: So, wait a second… I want to make sure I got this right. You’re saying that you won’t go to hell if you’re two women sleeping together but if you’re two men, you’re going to hell?

Tal: If a guy goes *in a high pitched voice*, “How does God feel about being gay?” Don’t sugar coat, dip it in chocolate, and put a bow on it. Tell the man the truth. If you refer to Deuteronomy it clearly states that it’s an abomination. 

BW: It also states that we shouldn’t eat shellfish and all that other stuff but we don’t pay attention to that…

Tal: Some of that’s old covenant stuff has been changed to where we…

BW: Right, but the gay thing was in the same part of the Bible! Why is it that everything else in that part of the Bible, we don’t pay attention to anymore, except for that one thing, because it threatens people? And, do you think that the lesbian thing doesn’t bother you because that’s a turn on for you?

Tal: Here’s the truth now and this ain’t being a male chauvinist pig now. If my girlfriend wants to go in the backroom with her girlfriend and get naked and play around, that’s fine with me cause ain’t nobody back there doing what I can do to her, with what I have…

BW: So wait, we’re getting off topic. Just to be clear, you’re saying that there are only two things that are unforgivable, one of which is being homosexual. If it was so important, why didn’t Jesus mention it once in his teachings? Could it be, and this is just a theory, that it’s a lot more important to us humans, than it is to God?

Tal: Probably so… cause we humanize the Bible. I’m commanded to love that person. 

Part of these collections: Coming Out