In writing yesterday's blog in my head, as is my way, I started another blog at the same time. Similar theme, different time in my life, different outcome. So I thought I would share it as well.
I am having a hard time starting this one, there is a specific story I want to tell, but it ties in with a cultural phenomenon that I have noticed that I don't particularly enjoy, though I understand the drive behind it. So forgive me for the rambling opening.
Do you remember Ted Haggard? He was the minister with Focus on the Family who had a very active and vociferous anti-gay campaign with the church backing him....up until the gay male prostitute he was seeing in Denver on his time off ratted him out to the media. How about Larry Craig who voted against gay rights over and over again and then was arrested for a lewd act (his infamous wide stance) in an airport bathroom? When their double lives hit the news there was a lot of eye rolling and it figures and feelings of schadenfreude while reading the stories of their downfall.
For me the response is always a little different. I am angry. I am angry with people who know who and what they are and have such a high level of self loathing that they want to deny other people who are like them their rights. I am angry with people like Reverend Ted especially because he spent his life (and is at it again, now that he's "Cured") teaching people that God doesn't like gay people to act like gay people. While KNOWING that he was born that way, knowing that he could not deny who he was but expecting others to live a life he couldn't. So tell me Ted, did God make the mistake when he made you gay or did man make the mistake when they wrote in your book that God said you couldn't be gay? Because you are telling me through your actions that a mistake was made on one of these levels, so choose. If I believed in your version of God I know which one I would choose. Oh wait...I did.
But this story is to back up to why it makes me angry. Why I have such a strong reaction to these particular stories. Especially the Evangelical Preacher is Busted Have Gay Sex scandals. Behind each of those preachers is a congregation. A congregation that believes, wait scratch that, BELIEVES in what is being preached to them. They believe the Bible is a divine written book. They believe that God speaks to them and sets out rules and ways they have to live their lives. They believe that those that choose the path to lead are aspirational figures. It's the way the system works. And when they screw up. When they break one of the most basic of rules it shatters the faith of those around them. And to take someone else's faith from them, even for a little bit, is a horrible thing to do.
Shocked to hear that from me? Well it's true. Many times people get confused over my stance on religion. I am not a fan of organized religion. I do not believe in an omnipotent God who then needs you to pray a certain way in a certain place to be able to hear you. That makes no sense to me. I do not believe in a perfect being who made us in their own image who then made some of us heterosexual and some homosexual but then came back in later and said the homosexual ones were a mistake. Either God is omnipotent, perfect, all knowing, all being, or God isn't.
I do not have the vision of a man in white robes with the long beard dictating our moves, but I do believe that there is a spark, an energy, a connection that pulls us all together, that brings us all up, that is who we are at the most basic level. That to me is God. But I made that choice. I came to that conclusion over many years, much study of other religions and a lot of self examination. I would no more deny my family their belief (in the robed and bearded guy) then I would deny my friends their belief in the God or Gods that they worship and also in the belief of many of my friends that there is no God or Gods at all. We all make our choices, my choices are just that mine. But this is a story about what happens when you are firmly in one belief system and that shatters around you.
And now I have done so much rambling that the rest of the blog will have to wait for another posting. Don't you just hate it when I do that?