I’ve always had this part of me that was conflicted when it comes to religion.
I was raised and baptized Catholic. As I found myself struggling with my sexuality I also found myself exploring other denominations.
See, I’ve always believed in one God. In Jesus Christ. In the crucifixion and the resurrection. But, I also think I’ve been blessed with the ability to reason.
Because of that, at one point in my life, as I was having a crisis of faith, I considered suicide. I knew I was gay and according to my faith, that was an abomination.
I was young. I was probably about 18 or 19.
What made me decide to not take my own life? As screwed up as it may sound; I believed that suicide was an even bigger insult to God than homosexuality.
I always found it interesting how people actually believe that I chose to be gay. Yep, I woke up one morning. Had breakfast with my ultra conservative, Catholic, redneck family and thought, “I would really like to be different. But not in an ‘I’m famous’ kind of way. No! I want to be part of one of the most misunderstood, hated, abused, discriminated against groups in the world. I think I’d like to be physically and verbally harassed for the rest of my life. Oooh! And the idea of alienating my family sounds like a bonus!”
Yeah. That’s exactly the type of life I’d want for myself and my kids.
Even if I didn’t have the social stigma that goes hand in hand with homosexuality, my religion was something that kept pressing on me to be like everyone else.
But, as I stated, I was blessed (or cursed, depending on your position) with the ability to reason. And that very skill made me question a lot of what I was taught in my Sunday School classes.
For example. Deuteronomy, and Acts both tell us that Astrology is a sin. Fortune tellers, psychics, etc. All sinners. And according to them, the punishment is death. Wow! Think about that the next time you flip through the newspaper and check out your daily horoscope.
How about Matthew? It says that I’m guilty of sin if I don’t visit God’s children that are imprisoned. Ok. Hold up a minute. If they’re in prison, doesn’t that most likely mean that they have committed a sin? Or at the very least broken a law. Even Jesus said, “Give to Ceasar what belongs to him. But give to my father what is rightfully his.” in response to the question of wether or not people should have to pay taxes.
Proverbs 13 talks about how I’m guilty of offending God if I fail to discipline my children. In fact, the bible encourages the physical act of corporal punishment. Tell that to CPS when they show up because your kid went to school complaining about a spanking they got.
Mark. Good ol Mark. He tells us that women who dress to attract the attention of men are sinning. So ladies; next time you head out to meet Mr. Right, throw on those old gray sweats. That shirt you shoulda thrown out in college and the flip flops that are now 2 sizes too small. Because according to the bible, you may wind up that crazy cat lady down the street, but at least you’ll have a pure soul.
What about the difference between Gods law and man’s law? According to Romans, I’m guilty of sin if I don’t follow the law of man. That kinda negates the ones where I’m supposed to whoop my kids.
My favorite? Galatians tells me I shouldn’t observe days, months or even time. “Really? I had no idea I was supposed to have been at work at 7am….. 3 days ago. Oops!”
You have the old stand by’s as well. Don’t eat any animal that is considered unclean, don’t wear clothes that are made of more than one material, men shouldn’t round their beards, etc.
I guess the conclusion I’ve come to is this: if you are going to use the bible as your justification for discriminating against me, use all of it. Don’t treat the bible like your local WalMart. You can’t go in, pick out what suits you and then leave the rest on the shelf.
The books of the bible were written 2000 years ago. They needed a different set of standards to live by. They needed something to add structure and order to a life filled with slavery, political corruption and disease.
Use the reasoning skills you were given. If me and Jenny being married doesn’t directly hurt you, then why do you care?
It’s almost a ridiculous to me as being ok with a 14 year old girl marrying a 22 year old man. Hey, at least they’re straight, right?!
Whatever the reasoning, use it.
It’s why you were given the ability to do so.