…especially to “A Christian Coming Out”
August 29, 2013.
It might be bad “religion,” but my experience in life has been that the people who are most “Christian” are those with little “religion.”
It might be said that was true of Jesus, and St Paul—one kicked the money changers out of the temple and fussed at the fanatics (Sadducees and Pharisees?), and the other rejected the laws and codes some were trying to force on converts.
At this moment in time, if we accept that most churches now are not racial bigots—as was true when they supported slavery (quoting the Bible) and fought to keep racial segregation—the major issue they (churches/preachers) have on their agenda is preaching hatred of homosexuals. Out of a long list of rules, this is the one issue they concentrate on, even if they claim they are only saying what Jesus said—considering that he said nothing on the issue.
So many, if not most, homosexual/glbt Americans have rejected all churches that are anti-gay, much less the ones that preach that we should be killed.
Many of us just ignored some teachings, as in fact do all “Christians,” especially the ones that claim the Bible is inerrant, worshipping the book more than the Man.
So how do we “read” a book describing the journey of one homosexual person from the dark times under the control of the sexual bigotry of her church/religion?
Some of us wonder why it took her so long. That may be an issue, since she had allowed herself to be led into a heterosexual marriage, settled for less than the best, and brought forth children. Then she faces the old issues of do I do what is best for me, or sacrifice to do what is “best” for my partner and children?
She is proof that faking it does not work. And indirectly she thus harms others she loves. How many books have been written about such a situation? Who wants to read about such a “journey?”
An irony is that most homosexuals today do not share her problem, or even understand it. They wonder why, with all the literature, resources, “out” famous people, end of DADT, DOMA, etc., any person could not know that we are not sick, sinful or criminal?
She tells us the answer: If you are told you are bad, you try not to think about it, you are afraid, and do not seek information that might say otherwise. Until, finally, you have to change or become a zombie.
The problem is that she still considers what members of the church and members of her family will think of her. She has to end a marriage that has not been fulfilling for her or her spouse.
She gives us pages of exchanges of emails with people, family, preachers, etc. She does finally understand the issues of religion and sexuality. For the most part, she gets support, even in a Southern Baptist setting.
But what I get from this is what I have always gotten from people who go to church, ask few questions and manage not to become fanatics. The sad fact is that it is mediocre Christians who are the most Christlike. It is the fanatics, there every time the door opens, debating every word of the text or that the preacher said, that cause more harm than pagans. That may be true of Muslims and of people of other religious groups.
People who have a life, who have a family to support, who enjoy living, do not spend all of their time, energy and money on a church. And they do not support a church or preacher that uses hatred for a racial or sexual group to raise money and gain power.
The author of the biography, A Christian Coming Out, was lucky, but made her own luck. She finally found resources, PFLAG, etc., did the thinking and understood herself, then she was able to tell others what she felt and thought, and she found a partner.
But will other women, and men, still in the dark place, the church/religion of hate rather than love, find her story, learn from her journey? It is there if they seek it. She is proof that you can change and have a better life, and not harm others in the process. And that is the best answer to the bigots who falsely say you can “change” and be other than your true sexual nature.
How ironic that it is those outside the church who are changing the world for the better, making individual’s lives better, and it is “religious” people who lie, use their pulpits to preach hate and use their power for evil.