Two recent events are at the heart of this post.
First off, as I am recently transplanted to Chicago and jobless, I have some time on my hands in the daytime. I have been known to flip through the channels on a television when I’m bored (for you younger readers, a television, or ‘TV’, is an archaic device with which you could once watch ‘shows’ which were essentially longer versions of YouTube videos). On one particular day, having gotten my fill of Maury (I am not the father!), I switched channels and came across the Tyra Banks show. I find Tyra to be irritating and almost a trainwreck (not as put together as Oprah, not as much of a nutjob as Wendy Williams).
But her topic caught my eye: “Exorcisms on Gay Teens!” As this dealt with my two favorite topics, Sexual Identity and Religious Fundamentalist Gone Wild (coincidentally, the title of the most conflicted porn flick ever), I was hooked. Damn you Tyra!
Instead of trying to get too far into the background, I’ll give you a video of the exorcism, or as it is known among the fundamentalists, ‘Casting out of evil spirits’ – specifically, the Homosexual Demon.
For some of you, this video may be shocking to look at, or just funny. It certainly is quite a display. For some of you, it looks familiar. I know it’s a scene I’m not unfamiliar with, as I was witness to many ‘casting out of demons’ and ‘miraculous healings’. This video shows pretty standard issue stuff for the Zealous Christian Crazy-off.
Flopping on the ground? Check. Praying and singing interspersed with yelling? Check. Stunned/Joyful/Scared/Bemused onlookers? Check.
Tyra had the 16 boy on who claimed to no longer be homosexual, though he said he still had sexual desire for men so I’m not exactly sure what he thinks ‘homosexual’ means. Maybe he thinks it means ‘good at crocheting’? The demon of homosexuality was cast out of him, but getting rid of the thoughts was an ongoing ‘process’. Like how not believing in a homophobic God is a ‘process’.
The ministers who performed the exorcism Casting Out came on the show and defended what they did as God’s will. Later, a woman who helps and consoles homosexual teens came on and admonished the ministers. For reasons that should be obvious to everyone, the audience was not on the side of the ministers. A bunch of bitter fighting went back and forth and in the end no one’s mind was changed. But I commend Tyra for the show because there will be gay teenagers who will see it and they will realize that they don’t have to feel like sinners and evil people because of who they are attracted to.
The second event that led to this post was more personal. I recently hung out with an old friend from my Christian days. Let’s call her, Susan. She is still of the Christian persuasion, but in a good (sane) way. She told me that a few years back she had a conversation with two of our fellow Christian acquaintances, two best friends. Let’s call them Bert and Ernie. Well, Ernie confided to Susan and Bert that he was gay. Susan, being a human being, wanted to encourage Ernie to accept himself and live his life. Bert on the other hand did not agree. Homosexuality is a sin, after all.
Now, I wasn’t there for this conversation so I won’t speculate what exactly was said. But Susan told me that Ernie was essentially convinced to live a life of suppression, denying his homosexuality. Since I never heard that Ernie came out, I can feel pretty confident that this is still the case and Ernie is living a life of denial.
A trillion words have been written about whether or not the Bible says homosexuality is a sin (it does, but it calls all kinds of shit sin; the New Testament is just as guilty of ridiculous prohibitions as the Old Testament thanks to Paul). Just as many words have been written about whether Christians should condemn or accept homosexuals. I would say the vast majority of non-Fundamentalist Christians fall nicely in the middle ground where they acknowledge that homosexuality is not high on God’s Favorite Things list (what is high on that list: Paul Rudd movies), but they don’t want to condemn or banish gay people. They probably don’t even mind sitting next to or sharing a Cherry Coke with a gay person.
In my lifetime (admittedly not that long, certainly not in the cosmic sense), I have seen quite a shifting in views towards homosexuals. Other than Michael Schwartz, the general views of homosexuality have shifted greatly from disgust and hatred to acceptance and respect. Granted, I just moved from San Francisco, so my perspective may be a bit skewed, but I know plenty of Christians who would say Homosexuality is not a sin and would even say that homosexuals should have the right to marry (no brainer).
But the backwards thinking exhibited by the ‘ministers’ of Manifested Glory Ministries and my acquaintances, Bert and Ernie, show that certain beliefs just will not go away. Arguing the point will never help because it is not a logical argument, it’s a question of ‘faith’ and religion. More importantly, it’s rooted in an interpretation of the Bible. As anyone who has had any dealings with biblical teachings knows, the Bible offers up a million different interpretations (some Christians say this is because it’s a ‘Living Word’; this sounds profound, but you can get a million different interpretations of the Matrix movies and that shit ain’t even 15 years old).
No, debating this topic is pointless. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good pointless debate, but there’s a lot at stake in this one.
Instead of getting bogged down in the prattle of morons, focus on the true victims of this fight. While I think homosexuals should have a right to marry and it’s a worthy cause, I think an even more important cause is helping teenage (and younger) homosexuals accept themselves and know that they are not ‘wrong’ for being themselves. The more and more the younger generation is taught that sexual orientation is not a choice or a sin, but rather one of the many facets that make up an individual, the less this crazy religious rhetoric will be able to take hold.
(Christians will call that ‘indoctrinating’ the youth without even batting an ironic eye at Vacation Bible School and Jesus Camps.)
Believe minds can be changed. Mine was. There was true freedom when I came to understand being gay no longer as an insult but as just one of the many possibilities across the spectrum of sexual orientation.
Religion has historically been the means by which people found peace from their oppressive lives (even if it was the religion oppressing them), but there is hope in our current times that as people better understand nature and our reality, the sorts of divisions and objectifications that have been used as tools of oppression will die off. Personal peace will be the product of knowledge, not belief in something unseen.
At the very least, we’ll stop telling teenagers they’re going to hell.
Remember, homosexuality isn’t a choice. But religion is. Make the right choice.
9 thoughts on “Better pray for your sins cos the Gay Messiah’s coming”
I’m a believer of Christ and I don’t dislike/hate homosexuals; I respect them for what they believe. It is that while they are fighting for equality, I am also defending what I believe marriage to be, and that is marriage is between one man and one woman.
Again, I respect your beliefs, please do the same for mine!
“Respecting” beliefs always sounds like a nice sentiment, but it’s rubbish. You (royal you) don’t respect the beliefs of countless people every day. You aren’t respecting the beliefs of children when you say Santa Claus isn’t real. You don’t respect the beliefs of billions of people when you say your religion is the true religion. And you certainly (and rightly) don’t respect the beliefs of schizophrenic people who truly believe they are Jesus or Superman or that they were abducted by aliens.
Asking for respect of a person is one thing, asking for respect of a belief is just a cowardly stance, throwing a rock at someone else and then hiding behind a wall and yelling, “Don’t hurt me!”
As far as gay marriage: Absolutely, it’s a matter of opinion and I actually can respect your stance against it. I disagree completely and will happily fight against it, but if you’re fighting to uphold what you believe is the sanctity of marriage, fine by me. I’ll even join on your side when you protest divorce and re-marriages.
I do think it’s funny you ignored the main point of my post to focus on the gay marriage aspect, a point I only made in passing. Your beliefs on marriage aren’t that interesting. I’m only interested in whether you think homosexuality is a sin and a choice.
i think god is a great big looking glass and resembles whoever is looking into it – if you are a small minded bigot then god will be an amplification of that; if you are an open minded, accepting person then your god will follow suit.
the relativistic standpoint aside, if you view god as being all powerful, all knowing, etc, wouldn’t being bothered about whether a couple of people are rubbing the right set of genitals together be bit of a waste of his time?
hitler killed millions but you buggered someone on clapham common, damn, man what were you thinking?
and how does gay marriage really affect heterosexual marriage? it doesn’t because they’re not shopping for the same thing, and are people really convinced you can turn someone? what with? a gay vampire bite? gay marriage being acceptible in society doesn’t mean the straight army is going to lose any of its soldiers and their sacred sperm.
and forcing perfectly normal gay guys to suppress that and enter into loveless marriages doesn’t just have the potential to damage them, but the whole family that is created.
i think god is a great big load of bollocks. But otherwise, we’re in agreement. 😉
Though, “gay vampire bite,” isn’t that what the Twilight serious is about?
Sorry about that, I was just browsing blogs and just posted on something interesting to me. For someone your age, please try and be a bit more mature, I’m only 18 and I can understand this.
Why are you referring to me as royal? Every man was created equal, and the one and only king I would ever have is Christ alone. When I die, I’m not going to become some sort of god/king/priest, just get to spend an eternity with god.
Christmas was the day Christ was born, that is the only thing I would ever teach my kids (If I ever have any). I think as they grow older they would eventually be able to understand by themselves that Santa Claus isn’t real. That doesn’t mean while they are growing up they can’t enjoy Christmas with gifts from ‘Santa Claus’ :]
I respect people’s religions, many of my friends in California are Catholic, Buddhist, Atheist( if that is a religion). But I also believe that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (the only verse I have memorized at this point in time)
If someone found a cure for cancer, he would be happy to tell the whole world about his discovery. (unless he is greedy and only wanted money)Same thing with me, or Christians(which means followers of Christ) The bible teaches us that there is a gift of eternal life, and the only requirement is to realize just how much of a sinner we are, and accept Christ as your Savior!
If someone told me they were Jesus I would ask him what I prayed about that morning, then I would tell him about the Jesus I know.
Why would I protest divorce and re-marriages? The divorce rate (50%) is the same both in Christians and non-Christians alike. What I would be protesting is why are people getting married on how they feel, and also divorcing on how they feel. No marriage is going to be perfect, but if anyone is going into marriage without planning to commit the rest of their life to the marriage, why get married?
For the belief I was talking about why I believe gay marriage is wrong. You probably misread it, that is ok. Typing words to someone is totally different from actually talking to that person, it can be interpreted in many different ways.
I believe homosexuality is not a sin, but it is also a choice. It doesn’t break any of the ten commandments!
Jesus died for each and everyone of us. I don’t know your name, but I’ll be praying for you; that one day you would also come to know God’s love. Until then, enjoy life!
Since English does not appear to be your first language (I’m guessing), I will not get into a prolonged debate with you. “Royal you” is a term meant to be a generally inclusive moniker, in this case, for all people who deem themselves Christian. I ask you, what does it mean to respect someone else’s beliefs? If you find me disagreeing with your beliefs and challenging them to be ‘disrespectful’, then you are right, I am being disrespectful. But again, your assertion that Jesus is a savior and that I need to find God to be saved (and presumably happy) is disrespectful of my beliefs. But I’m a big boy, and I can take being disrespected.
This is unsafe territory for a ‘baby Christian’ to dwell in, as I am far better educated on your faith than you are and I have no interest in debating feelings. If your faith helps you, wonderful, enjoy it, move on. But if your faith requires that you interfere in the lives of perfectly happy people whose desire is to live peacefully and marry, then yes, I will resist you and I will disrespect the hell out of your ‘beliefs’.
Ok, have a nice life then!
my, but i love ‘gay messiah’
I have to say that I like this site. I just wanted drop a comment and say what a awesome job you’ve done. I wish other people would put so much effort into their website. Keep the posts coming.
Comments are closed.