Monday, April 6, 2009

Bang, Bang - My Pastor Shot Me Down...!

I used to call myself a Christian all of my life, having being born into a loving Christian family and been "born again" when I was 12. I spent all my adult life believing in a loving god - until I saw people say and do things I could not believe came from a heart supposedly changed by the living god - especially against people like me - in the name of this same god. While I do not believe that this God feels the way they do about GLBT, this inexcusable HATE has most certainly set me against this contradictory fundamentalist sector of Christianity - and any religion - that chooses to persecute.

As a result of this I no longer insult myself by calling myself "Christian", and I am no longer concerned with empty religion, but am spiritual and call myself an agnostic instead. At least it is far more honest than claiming to know what some theoretical god said, without evidence or proof, and to persecute others in the name of such a god. How ignorant and backward can you be?

While I am no longer interested in what these folk claim to be true about this God they claim hates his own creation, I support diversity and encourage the right for everyone to believe as they see fit, without fear of persecution and without supporting the right for them to do harm to others in the name of those beliefs. Which means I feel these narrow minded folk can hate us as much as they like in private, as long as they do not make war on us by engaging in persecution and trying to strip us of the same rights they claim to be "god-given" - which is exactly how they have been spending their time of late.

Without right wing interference and bigotry, there would be no issue over gay rights, nor would this so-called "culture war" exist. GLBTI people exist, we always have, we always will. No book can change that, least of all one which has been edited and manipulated as much as the Bible. We do no harm to them - why do they seek to harm us?

Please spare me the sermons - they hold no relevance whatever to the matter at hand - which is about an unjust war on a minority of peaceable human beings, whom "Christian" parties like the ACDP and CDA admit their intentions are to strip of all equality and defences with the intention of destroying them further. With no laws to protect us from their hate they will have carte blanche to recriminalize us and write their persecution into law, just like backwards countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia have already done.

Why do moderate and loving Christians who truly love God and their fellow human beings not stand up against this tidal wave of hate which is hijacking our faith?

It seems clear that no amount of scientific evidence, pleading for the sake of humanity and the decent treatment of fellow people will persuade them from their course - which is I'm sorry to say, just typical of a fundamentalist mindset. They cling to misinterpretations and biblical literalist inaccuracies like a drowning man to a straw. In fact, many who claim the bible tells them to persecute and hate gay people are proud to be called "literalist" and fundamentalists - yet the same pious folk do not tithe 10% of their incomes, do not love their gay neighbors as themselves, nor do they sell all their belongings and "follow Christ", nor do they put rails around the roofs of their houses so nobody falls off - nor do they even demonstrate the grace to turn the other cheek. No, they pick and choose what is convenient or desirable to them to take out of their holy book to use in their lives - and what not. Following this line of thinking, they therefore choose to hurt other people.

To be blunt, I couldn't give a stuff how holier-than-me they think they are - or what they think will 'save' me from my 'sin' or blah, blah, blah. Their problem is that they think my being of a different sexual or gender orientation is somehow "sin". And the most important thing here is - even if it is - IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. GLBT people are born, not made and as such there is nothing in the universe that will change this - nor is there any reason to. We ain't broke honey - so stop trying to fix us.

People are born the way they are - and what truly surprises me is that people CHOOSE to believe otherwise and to disregard scientific proof that it is so, presumably just so that they can go on hating them. They must enjoy it, because they are so adamant to deny the possibility that they could have it all wrong. Is it enjoyable to hurt others and then to pretend you're doing "god's work"?

I oppose the public expression of hate and the current campaign by the religious right to use GLBT people as scapegoats to win votes in order to remove our rights from the SA Constitution. We oppose the prejudice and discrimination with which we are being treated and the relentless attack made by such people on every aspect of our lives, and on every expression of individuality and diversity which some people just don't happen to like or agree with.

I oppose the blatant and public hate being expressed by religious leaders - and their supporters - and their use of gay and trans people as a scapegoat for all their worldly woes - and the claim that all "true Christians" will support this. It is infuriating. I object to the use of a loving God and faith as a weapon against people like me for no reason other than personal bias, political posturing and prejudice which clearly stems from ignorance.

They cannot conceive or accept that people are born GLBT - made so by the same God they worship and whose name they commit perjury in by hating us in his name. In fact, their utter refusal to even consider it shows me how much hate they harbor for us. In other words, they WANT to hate us, they like it so much that they refuse to give it up even when shown how wrong they are.

They can quote vague scriptures till the cows come home, but this is not about their tiny little mustard seed of faith - but about the unfair and unjust persecution of people whom THEY will not see as people equal to THEM. All they see is a book and nothing else - except people to hit over the head with it.

Many religious bigots demonstrate amazing talent at quoting stuff other people thought up. They sure can repeat it and quote it well - but can they explain it - or figure out what it means, without in turn just quoting or repating even more rhetoric? Can they fathom the spirit behind it? Or is Christianity to them just a rule book?

In the hands of children a firearm is a dangerous thing. They know if they point it at somebody and squeeze the trigger, it goes "bang" and the other person falls down - but they do not know the mechanics of the device, the chemical ratio of the powder, the shape and weight of the projectile and the tissue damage and pain it will inflict on its target, or how the loss of that target will affect them afterwards.

In the hands of people such as them, who merely USE the name and word of God as a weapon to destroy, do not understand how it came about, why it was written, what it really meant at the time of writing - the feelings of the authors on matters at the time, or circumstances prompting the author to write it - and they aim it at people they think are their enemies, and empty the magazine into them, not realizing they are going to mourn the loss of their own friends, families and even some of their own colleagues as a result of it.

Without us, the world - including them - will be a much poorer place. And the tragic part is that people like them will not even realize it.

Instead of expressing love towards fellow Christians and friends and family members who are GLBT, they shame them, victimize them and make outcasts of them through their ignorance and intolerance. And when they crawl into a dark lonely hole and pull it in after themselves, you right wingers have the cheek to call homosexuality a "suicidal lifestyle". Fine example of what it means to be Christian indeed.

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