Christians kind and homophobic

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Preferatory

Response to a well intended comment on one of my other weblogs. Most of my remarks about Christians are flippant and snide but I felt she deserved a less quick and easy reply. I'm wholly secular and a materialist (in the proper, not the pop sense of the word). To me UFO cults, psychics, pagans and followers of any religion that has ever existed are equally grounded incorrect perceptions of actuality. I'd equally trash almost every philosophy and toss in psychology, sociology and anthropology while I'm loading the cultural dumpster. Despite my epistemological and metaphysical close-mindedness I know that individuals vary. Partly I want to acknowledge the variety and to anticipate the stark homophobia queer men like myself will be facing as the 2004 election nears.

As always, the author disavows anything other than an exploration of his own mind.

Me and Christianity

... came across your "Wrestling with Christians" topic and had to read it because I have been a Christian since I was 9 years old, which is 20 years now.

I'm guessing you read Wrestling with Christian customers . I don't know if you noticed my reply at the end: I do distinguish among various kinds of Christians.

You know the one thing that gives Christianity a bad reputation is the way Christian's act toward people.

Growing up I encountered a spectrum of Christians including the beloved maternal grandmother who raised me until I was about six. And I went to many different Christian churches from neutral (United Methodist), self-righteous (Independent Baptist) to kindly (Pentecostal - back then, anyway).

So I never got that opinion "I'm saved now", so I have to be perfect and hate non-Christians and tell them how bad they are.

Actually I did and I converted my father. Clearly my conversion, which I took very seriously, didn't stick.

I have the same struggles everyday of my life to stay focused on God, and I still fail miserably.

I think every Christian who focuses on their relationship with God feels that way. Really, all strongly ethical people find it difficult to live up to their vision of ideal thought and behavior. Not having the onus of sin that a religious person may, it makes my life more interesting.

Christian Intolerance

I guess I wanted to say that I'm sorry claiming Christianity has to hurt so many people when it should be bringing us closer together.

This isn't an easy issue. If someone believes that certain acts will lead a person to eternal punishment that the "sinner's" behavior will cause others to be damned then extreme, terrible earthly actions, like an Inquisition, can seem justified. Thankfully Jefferson and others made sure Constitution has the separation of church and state.

For this reason I have not attended a intuitional church in three years. I could not live up to their picture of a "perfect" Christian. And if they think they are, then they're only fooling themselves and GOD.

Many people, who are as sad as they are evil, find satisfaction in feeling superior to others. Many need an outlet for their own unhappiness in hate. Others are lost in a world that seems complicated, foreign and frightening. Some Christian leaders exploit this for power, if only over their followers or because it makes them feel important; known when otherwise they'd be as obscure as most of us.

Richard, I know you are an Atheist and that's today. You never know when something or someone will change that. All I'm saying is I love everyone and pray that you too will not hate all Christians or christian books because the way people who claim to be Christians act.

I know there are kindly believing Christians. My feelings about Christians are shaped directly by the effect they want to have on my life, my partner's life. If they want to make our life worse than I'd as soon as see them dead. I sell Christian books, even thenomy (belief that the old Mosaic laws are still in effect and should be enforced literally, e.g., stone adulterers). I admire and enjoy many Christian writers.

Focus on the Family is homophobic

I do not believe that "Focus on the Family" is a code-word for "homophobic".

We part company. From their website:

Dr. James C. Dobson, chairman and founder of Focus on the Family, minced no words when he said the state of marriage is threatened by judicial tyranny.

"What you're doing is undermining the whole legal definition, the underpinnings of the institution of the family, and when that goes, everything goes with it, including the stability of the country . . . and the future of Western civilization," Dobson said.

Oh yeah, let me marry the man that I live in a committed, monogamous relationship with and Western Civilization is doomed. Western Civilization isn't a very meaningful term. Depending on what it means to you it is already on its last legs thanks to a rotten public educational system and a national in love with its television. Or it is a heritage of tolerance. I doubt the two millennia of intellectuals and artists who created Western Civ. Would be looking to Dobson for protection.

Now I don't really hanker to 'marry' Charles. But I do want to insure that our joint property and my personal property becomes his if I predecease him. So some relative can't snatch it away in a lawsuit. When he was in a coma and for all I knew brain-dead last year it took me a day to persuade someone to let me see him or tell me his condition. Anyone who doesn't see the essential humane necessity of that is my enemy. Or anyone who supports acts as nasty as Fred Phelps' Leviticus 18:22 monument My own interpretation of Phelps is that he derives a sense of importance, at least gets to be the leader of a small pack of sad folks: that his homophobia is trivial opportunism.

Federal Marriage Amendment

Dobson supports the Federal Marriage Amendment:

The FMA would also forbid giving same-sex couples the "legal incidents" of marriage, thus vitiating the civil-union law in Vermont and any other state that followed suit.

(From Doug Ireland's excellent Republicans Relaunch the Antigay Culture Wars .)

I haven't any tolerance for those who'd deny us or any other gay couple those "legal incidents." Regardless of their intent they harm the one I love. They are guilty of the repression that was once attributed to communists and Nazis. There is no common ground. I'm equally contemptuous of gay men and groups that seek to cozy up to homophobes.

I do believe that we have gotten way to far away from kids respecting their parents and teachers, families having dinner together to discuss their days and that soccer became more important.

A worry much older than I am (I have an odd memory of Ed McMahon doing a PSA in the 70's where he quoted Socrates on the issue). From what I remember of my childhood and what I see of families that come into my used bookshop most families are doing as well as they ever have. Which is much better than the sensationalizing pop media and the viewers with alarm make it seem.

Michelle, I don't doubt your essential decency. Life as some of us live it isn't that simple.

Comments

Many years ago I wondered why a god would send men like Einstein and Gandhi to Hell for not believing in the Bible.

Eventually I decided that he wouldn’t.

Ouch! I seemed to have deleted the comment I was responding to. James’ words were:

“Good for you dude. I’ve been a Christian for some time now, but for a while there, i was really struggling with the religion and me being gay. I guess it all dawned on me when I finally came out to myself, that God might hate me. And I was quite depressed. But after reading and more reading, I found that God doesn’t hate me, people who are ignorant and scared hate me. I don’t go to church for this reason. I don’t practice. But I do take from the teachings of love and truth.

Oh and Phelps is an asshole. I think he’ll find that where he’s going in the afterlife, won’t be filled with light and goodness. So let him have his little sad parade… “

My apologies to James.

There are so very many aweful things in this world. There are so many types of hatred; there are so many “-ists”. If one is paying attention, one can be brought to tears. It is very easy to instantly take a side, following those whom you hold in high regard. Just remember that history has told similar tales to this one. Arrogent mistakes have been made in the names of ‘right’ or ‘freedom’, because people forget about the most basic thoughts of all men; ethics and nature. This battle of mans duplistic nature has always been fought (as far as I know). Justice or vengence? Healthy releasing of anxiety or blind rage? The point of God, whether you beleive in his actual, physical existance or not, is supposed to be a compas. The compas to ethics or nature? No. He is supposed to be a compas to what is simply right. It is your decision whether you want to be a good samaritan to the world. Just remember, if no one is the good samaritan then society fails. Our society is very fragile in this way. My personel goal is to improve society for my childrens children. I want to try and fix one part of this imperfect world. Also, the word oppression and/or repression came up in the response to anti-homosexual arguments. I agree. people who are homosexual do not deserve to be treated as less than human. No one does. Let me challenge your equal rights set of mid for a moment. There is a group that lives in all the world. This group faces prejudice not because of race, religion, gender, sexual prefrence, or disability, but age. This group has never once been given a voice. This group is attacked by those who are very liberal and who are completly against all of what is widely considered forms of prejudice. This group will never get to live life as is the right of all people. This group is our unborn future. Imagine this: a young girl, maybe 16 or 17 in highschool. A cheerleader and an A student. Gives back to her community every time she can. Dates a really great guy on the football team and in the choir. Very bright. One very romantic night, she and her boyfriend take their relationship to the next level. Because it is unplanned, there is no protection. This is her first and only time. This is his first aswell. She’s late. She tests positive by using one of those drug store tests. She goes to the doctor and it is conclusive: she is very pregnate. “Oh my God” she thinks. She knows this will ruin her life. So she goes out with a note from a passive parent and has an abortion. The life inside of her is beheaded and removed. She always remembers the lesson. Hmmm…. well it seems like a sensible story. Nothing too far fetched. It could and possibly has happened. My question is this: didn’t she know that she could get pregnate? Dont most people understand that the original reason for intercourse is reproduction? So she makes a decision. The same way a cocaine user feels the first time. She knows its wrong, but it feels so good, right? WELL I SAY HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO PUT A VALUE ON HUMAN LIFE IF THE MOST INNOCENT AND DEFENCELESS OF US IS TREATED LIKE A VESTIGAL ORGAN, TOSSED ASIDE AS IF VALUELESS? I say that this is the most vile form of murder. It is wraped up in a veil of ‘oh it isnt a person yet..’-isms. The bottom line is that it is life. It grows, it feeds, it has the most simple self preservation. “But they arn’t sentient!” Well thats true. Neither is your dog/cat. However, if you were to remove your dogs head, you would be brought up on charges. “They don’t have a soul yet!” Wow. This always amazes me. Who are you to say what does or doesn’t have a soul? The arrogance is astonishing. “It wasn’t the mothers fault!” Well sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. There are over 1000 times more cases like I listed above, where the person was being irresponsible, than rape and molestation combined in the abortion world (based on census). If a kid goes out and gets laid, that ius their mistake to live with. Their baby never made any mistake. “The baby doesn’t feel it!” You wouldn’t feel it if your head was blown clean off by a shotgun or rifle, but it’s still quite illegal. “That is a typical ignorant Christian remark!” Wow. Some people who happen to be christians might say stupid things from time to time. Some people who are simply not well educated and happen to be christians make very stereotypical remarks. Don’t forget that it can go both ways. To say a general statement like that for not only one church body, but an entire religion is inexcusable. “Well, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod doesn’t beleive in abortion.” Thats true. Say have you ever bothered asking why? Or did you watch a MSNBC report on a bombing of an abortion clinic? It amazing the mixed messages we can get. Don’t worry, my rambling is coming to an end. My point is that this world is made for living. We have appointed ourselves as the doninate species. Therefore it is our responsibility to live in this world as such. Be responsible, knowledgable, tolerant, and for Gods sake have a sense of humor! Quote of the day “That was Zen. This is Tao.”

I was wrong. Women need to have the right to choose.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Christians kind and homophobic.
Thanks,
Richard

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