of my past girlfriends was Jewish and used to laugh at the contradiction
between my unbridled regard for Jesus and my utter disdain for southern
Christianity. I’d be carrying on about how embarrassed Christ must
be for the actions of those damned Christians and she’d say, “There
she goes again, trying to save Christ from the Christians!” I’d
really like to make a bumper sticker, “Save Christ from the Christians,” but
I don’t want my car keyed.
In April at Passover and Easter time, lots of us went home for family get-togethers
and many of us were encouraged to attend churches or synagogues that denigrate
us. Beth and I refused to join the rest of the family at Mom’s Sanctimonious
Temple of Homophobia and went to a neighboring and supportive church. There
was no fight about it because this war had ended and a negotiated peace
reached several years ago.
But those damned Christians, they do aggravate the hell out of me and sometimes
keep me up at night. Last night for instance. At 1:38 a.m. I awakened apparently
unfinished with the Leonard Pitts article I read yesterday (scequality.org/resources/
newsroom). Paraphrased, Pitt said:
“I’ve had it up to here with the moral hypocrisy and intellectual
constipation of Bible literalists. By which I mean people … who
dress their homophobia up in Scripture, insisting with sanctimonious sincerity
that it’s not homophobia at all … Yours is a literalism of
convenience, a literalism that is literal only so long as it allows you
to condemn what you’d be condemning anyway and takes no skin off
your personal backside.
“Meantime, people are ignorant in Appalachia, strung out in Miami,
starving in Niger, sex slaves in India, mass murdered in Darfur. Where
is the Christian outrage about that? Just once, I’d like to read
a headline that said a Christian group was boycotting to feed the hungry;
or pushing Congress to provide the poor with health care worthy of the
Amen Leonard! How in the world can such hateful and judgmental people lay
claim to the world’s greatest social activist? They’ve perverted
every remarkable thing about Christ; and, they’ve similarly perverted
The entire Bible mentions homosexuality maybe seven times (I say maybe
because some of the translations have been challenged) … but it
mentions greed, quite specifically, over 200 times. So, if you really were
a biblical literalist, that would make God’s priorities pretty clear,
wouldn’t it? You’d pay 30 times more attention to greed than
to us “maybe-mentioned-and not-at-all-by-Jesus or Moses” gays
and lesbians?! Right?
If Pat, Fred, Jerry and friends really are led by God’s priorities,
shouldn’t they be unleashing hurricanes, terrorism and a giant meteor
on the greedy?! Wouldn’t they warn America about those greedy gerts
who unashamedly flaunt their perversion and are a menace to this nation?
Wouldn’t they attend funerals of the greedy and wave placards, shouting “God
Hates The Greedy”? Now, that’s something that might respond
to conversion therapy!
Hyperbolic? Well sure. But, sometimes you just gotta laugh!
Growing up in the traditional church, though, it hurt too much to laugh.
We heard and heard and heard how despicable we were, and we were alone
with that. It’s hard to find God when the “anointed” among
you tell you that “God is not for you.” It’s hard to
grow up feeling the love of God if you’re gay because you get no
help. No help from family, no help from friends, no help from school and
no help from religion.
It’s transforming, difficult, more complex, richer and deeper. For
the very reason that traditional sources to find God aren’t available
to LGBT people, when we do seek God, God often touches us directly. Religion
isn’t the unquestioned, social thing that it is for so many of our
straight brothers and sisters. It’s a real and living thing when
we find God, a soul thing, a spirit thing, a particularly beautiful thing.
It’s unfortunately all too rare because few in our religious traditions
will nurture our spirit as LGBT people.
Why must most religious people try to keep us from one another, delude
our families and separate us from the God that made us? It’s positively
evil, shameful, unbiblical and nothing less than a sham for good old unvarnished
bigotry. It’s time for all truly spiritual people to stand up and
against the hypocrisy of it all.