Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My final word on the matter (for now)

It’s seems I keep forgetting that I live in the south.  Not that I hate the south or anything.  I actually love it here.  It’s just that the area I live in is somewhat progressive (in ways) and it always manages to shock me when I run across open bigotry.

Not that bigotry doesn’t exist outside the south, it does.  But the genteel southern style of open racism and homophobia just seems to be so bitter.  It is so deeply ingrained, not just from people’s parents but from their religion.  I grew up in a Methodist church but it was not what you would call open.  The one I spent most of my young life in, definitely isn’t open minded and I won’t set foot inside it again while I am living.

You see I saw racism there first hand and have written about it before.  The ugly, evil vile side of southern racism in the sweetest little church you would ever want to attend.  As long as you were white that is.  Now that was racism, and today I really wanted to touch on homophobia.  Maybe that’s not exactly the right term but it is close enough to serve.

It’s about gay rights and gay marriage.  It’s a big issue, not just in the south but everywhere.   Almost all opposition to gay marriage comes from a religious basis.  Either a religious basis or an ignorant whiny “It just aint right” which seems to most to be all the explanation and reason needed.  Some anti-gay rights people want to claim it’s not religious based, but that’s just a sham to try and gain secular support.  It all goes back to “’cause the bible tells me so.” 

Supporters of gay rights like to offer creative reinterpretations of the biblical passages that condemn homosexuality.  I have used those same arguments.  The fact that Jesus Christ never mentions homosexuality, the effeminate nature of David and his relationship with Jonathon, and the fact that homosexuality isn’t mentioned in the Ten Commandments are just some of the arguments.

 Even the book of Deuteronomy, probably the biggest religious weapon of the anti-gay forces, has its interpretations to make it less harsh and unforgiving.   Still it’s pretty clear and I can’t deny it, Deuteronomy calls it an abomination.  At the best we can reinterpret as a kinder, gentler abomination but we can’t really deny it’s there.  It’s there and I’m tired of fighting it.

So here’s my final word, finally.  After almost 500 final words, here it is and it won’t be popular with a lot of people.  I have dodged this final word for a long time because I hate to piss people off.  I hate to be defriended on Facebook in the middle of the night.  A part of me still wants to fit in, to be every ones friend.  Ok I’m stalling again.  Here is my final word on Christianity and homosexuality.

I don’t care what the bible says.  I’m grown and I know right from wrong.  All my life as a religious person I was told that my heart would know right from wrong and it does.  I know murder is wrong, I know rape is wrong, and I know that treating people different because of how they were born is wrong.  I know not allowing two people who honestly love each other to be together is wrong.  I honestly think if Jesus were alive right now, he’d be face palming over the fact that we use his name to justify hate and bigotry, and in the end, that’s all this is, hatred and bigotry mixed with fear.

So defriend me if you like.  Talk about me behind my back in your churches, and pray for me if you must, but I don’t care.  Nothing you can say will change my mind.  Maybe I’ll burn in hell, but I doubt it, at least not for this.  Call me a heretic, an apostate, an antichrist, atheist or whatever you like.  I know I still believe in a man who preached love, not hatred.  A man who would be sickened to see us kill in his name, to see us hate in his name, and just like me, I’d bet he really doesn’t care too much about what Deuteronomy says.  He sure didn’t mention it very much.

So feel free to debate me on the subject.  I’ll listen but just remember, what the bible says about homosexuality means nothing to me.  My friends deserve to live their life to the fullest, just like everyone else.  Who they choose to marry shouldn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter.  I won’t let a 2000 year old book written by superstitious, primitive men won’t change my mind about the subject.  I don’t care.

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