Who we are instead.

Posted: September 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

But you can't be in His club until you fix yourself...fag.

I don’t think our brains are made for bigotry. If anything it’s a thought process we learn to apply to invading ideas. Last night I saw it at work in a friend of mine and it was not just disturbing, but sad to watch.

The first moment came when I told him a secret I’d been keeping from him. The prayer book I’d loaned him, the one that had so inspired the community group, has been written by an unrepentant gay man. He was not just unrepentant, the man, Malcolm Boyd, had committed the newest ultimate sin: He married the man he loved.

“Did you know that?” he said.

“No.” I lied.

I did it on purpose. I did it because I wanted my friend to have the same jarring experience that I once had. How WAS IT that this man, who was so obviously an enemy to the church and the proper Godly Family, had such a clear and present relationship with Jesus? How come HE seemed to be able to talk to God in the kind of open and honest way that Christians never seem able to bring themselves to? How is it possible that this unrepentant gay man knew god in a deeper and more real way than ANY of us?

These are the questions that make church people ask you to leave (ever so politely). It took us a few thousand years, but we seem to have learned that casting people out in a theatrical fashion, or burning them out of their misery in public, just enforces their ideas. (If they’re THAT scary to our leaders…) We’ve certainly got the knack for it now though… If you brainwash the community properly you won’t even have to ask the dangerous influence to leave quietly; the sheep will naturally gravitate away from the doubter.

The second moment came when I pressed the issue.

“I didn’t choose my sexuality. I didn’t choose to be attracted to my wife. I just am. With the way the world is today, I can’t see any gay man choosing to be gay.”

“Yeah but…you know what Paul says in Romans”

“I know…I know. But I also see Paul saying that “obviously long hair on a man is an abomination.”

“Yes, but think about Dueteronomy…”

“Yes, but think about the mixed fabrics you’re wearing, or the shrimp you enjoy, or HOT DOGS! All of these were once thought to be just as abominable as lying with a man as you lay with a woman. THAT is the WORD OF GOD too. How come we get a pass?”

Its was clear that my friend was beaten…but he still had won. Because these thoughts, this bigotry, was so deeply ingrained in his perspective of reality that it didn’t matter what I had to say. This was the WORD OF GOD; not the words on the page, but the interpretation he had been given for them. There’s no breaking through those kinds of defenses. But it still hurt me to see him struggle. I saw how he wanted to take what I had said to heart, but he just would’t let himself. His filter was keeping out all truth that wasn’t being spoon-fed by his pastor.

I should have known that this was not the person to debate with. But how do you tell anyone that what they hold true; what they base their life on, doesn’t make sense to you anymore. How do you say that nicely?

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