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Posts Tagged ‘evangelical Christians’

I’ve had to remind myself this week that I still live in the United States of America. I had to check and make sure the Constitution was still in place, and, for good measure, I checked to make sure the Bill of Rights hadn’t been changed. My fear was that rich, white men were the only ones who were now entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

My main thoughts and most of my focus, much to my dismay, has been on religion.  The President was to sign an Executive Order that would grant exemptions for religious believers, schools and businesses, to federal laws they disagree with – mainly LGBT and abortion rights laws.  You know – an Executive Order that would allow people of faith to discriminate based on their beliefs – they called it – “Religious Liberties.” Thankfully, but much to the dismay of the evangelical folks, these exemptions were not included in this Executive Order.

This whole thing has made my head, and my heart hurt.

I do not understand anyone who goes to a church who tells you it’s okay to discriminate. Even if you believe in your heart you don’t agree with discrimination, my thinking is this; if you can sit in that pew and listen to the sermons, there is a part of you that does agree. And even if you say to yourself, I don’t agree with that – If you give them money, you’re supporting discrimination. I’m sorry, but that’s just how I feel.

I’m gay, so perhaps my take on anti-LGBT preaching’s may be different that a straight person, but they shouldn’t be.  I just know I could never support a church that tells me it’s okay to discriminate or that someone is less than simply because of who they are.

Personally, A church that tells anyone they are less than, is not a place I want to be. A church that tells anyone they must pray the gay away to get to heaven, is not a place I want to be. Any church that feeds the hungry, clothes the poor and does good works, and yet discriminates and pickets and marches against LGBT people – well, that’s not a place I want to be either. You either love all people as they are, or you don’t. You either believe God made us all in his image, or you don’t. Period.

This is the reason I no longer attend church. The picking and choosing of who we should vote for, who we should discriminate against, what passages of the Bible we should read…  It’s not for me.

We are all human beings. Every one of us. I want the same respect given the straight woman who lives her life just trying to help people. We’re no different in the eyes of God.

As a nation, we already have “Religious Liberty.”  The Founders made sure of that in The First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What these evangelical people want, is the freedom to discriminate. Against women, against LGBT, against anything and anyone who doesn’t fit into their little religious box.  They not only want it, they want it to be the law of the land.

We are all searching for something. We’re all just trying to make our way in this world as best we can. Personally, I do what I know to be right and just. I write and march and protest for everyone to have an equal shot at this thing we call life. I believe that equal rights are human rights.

I don’t hang with people who are negative and have hate in their heart. I walk away from people who like to tell me I’m bound for hell because of who I am.

I try and spread kindness, and I do what I can to let other gay people know it’s okay to come out. It’s okay to be who you are. It’s okay.

And it is okay. No matter what your family, your church, even your government may throw at you…

It’s okay.

You’re okay.

Your life matters.

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For years now I’ve been writing about tolerance and kindness and how we just need to love one another. I’ve tried to stay focused on the end result which is love and justice and the freedom to simply be whoever we are and live a life of truth as we travel along our journey.

But – I have to tell you – I’m tired.

As tired as Franklin Graham is of … “the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats” – that’s how tired I am of his religious balderdash that’s being crammed down my throat. I’m tired of the Christian religion showing up in my government and my schools and anywhere else they deem it necessary to save humanity. It irritates me that some Christians believe that their religion should dictate the laws of the land that include millions of people who do not follow their religion.

I have nothing against religion – nothing at all. However – We live in a Country that was built on the Freedom of Religion. You know – a Country where we all have the choice to go to a church or synagogue or mosque or meeting hall or a building in a strip mall and worship as we choose.

We also have the choice to not go to any church and not read a Bible or a Koran or any book and simply live our lives doing the best we can trying desperately to do no harm to anyone or anything as we go along.

I’m a lesbian – and the Franklin Grahams, Jerry Farwell’s of this world have decided that my life of “moral decay” is not worthy of their sort of inclusion – unless, of course, I change my ways and do as they say…

Allegedly, Franklin’s Mother instilled in him that he follow the teachings of Jesus, but as far as I know – Jesus never spoke about homosexuals. So – does he follow the teachings of Jesus or does he follow the Bible? And if he follows the Bible – does he believe and follow every word or does he simply pick the parts that suit his gay-bashing agenda?

It’s this sort of evangelical, religious craziness that I have grown tired of. I’m a human being – not some sex-crazed, porn-watching, marriage bashing, end of the human race, lesbian.

My life with Susan has absolutely nothing to do with the high divorce rate in the United States. We had nothing to do with it – really.

My life with Susan has nothing to do earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes – and my favorite – September 11.  (Jerry Falwell pointed his finger and his Bible in my face and said the gays and lesbians ‘helped this happen.’)

I understand that people need religion. I understand the need to feel inclusion and acceptance and a purpose to this life that at times feels out-of-control. What I don’t understand is when a religion turns into bashing.

You don’t need a religion to love one another. You don’t need a religion to be kind and thoughtful and polite and gentle. But – if you have a religion and it doesn’t include any of the above – then what is the purpose of said religion?

Religion or no religion – go out into the world and be kind.  That’s it – Just. Be. Kind.

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What is it about the Gay Community that frightens the Straight Community so? What is it about the Gay Community that frightens the Evangelical Community so?  I really don’t understand why there isn’t common ground to be found.  Why is it that gay folks can’t believe in Jesus and live a spiritual life in the eyes of the Evangelical? I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus was a gay-bashing preacher, so where does the gay-bashing anger come from?

I’m not being a smart-ass, I’m really asking.

I don’t understand the whole hatred thing.  I don’t understand how my 30 year relationship with Susan has endangered the world as we know it.  I don’t understand how a parent can love a child beyond all measure until the moment their child declares they are gay – and then, in a blink of an eye, that child no longer has a parent, a sibling, a family.  I don’t understand how people who profess that they live their lives according to the teachings of Jesus can talk and act and vote with so much hate in their heart.

Again – I’m not being a smart-ass, I really don’t understand.

I don’t understand the folks who go to any College or University which only allows certain people to attend. In my mind, if you only surround yourself with people just like you, and learn only the things that fit into what you believe – then I have to wonder how you will ever adjust and grow and succeed in a world that certainly doesn’t fit into any mold.  How does one learn of other cultures, or religions, or politics or history if the only thing you are learning is what you already know?  And how does one learn tolerance and understanding, and compassion when being educated in an environment that discriminates?  I’m aware that there are Universities and Colleges where I would not be permitted to attend, but really, is it a place I would want to go?

Again – I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m simply saying I do not understand.

I don’t understand how, when we all know of the inequities in the world, there are those who continue to do everything in their power to make said inequities almost impossible to overcome. We only seem to want to help people in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, terrorist attacks, etc.  I don’t believe the thought of helping people on a daily basis, just because it’s the humane thing to do, enters the conscious thought of most Americans.  And certainly, this humane thought doesn’t enter the conscious mind of many politicians, who do have the power to make a difference. They don’t seem to want to make a difference that might work for the common good.

Again – I honestly don’t understand.

And finally – I don’t understand these folks who fight with everything power they can buy to stop abortion, and yet… They support the death penalty and sending people to war.  And if they knew the fetus was gay – would they still want the child to be born? And if we drop bombs and kill millions of innocent children – would those deaths be okay? How do these folks determine which life is worth saving? Is there some sort of litmus test for a life worth living?

Again – I really don’t know – I’m asking.

Perhaps there are no answers – I just don’t want to believe that hatred, racism, homophobia are things we really have to live with… If only…

 

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I wish I understood what was really happening here in the United States.  I’ve tried to sit back and not judge – but just read and listen and really try to understand what is going on.  I’ve tried – I really have.

I’m a woman who is going to turn 60 years old this year, and I’m also a Lesbian. What I’ve come to understand is that my life is under attack from my government and from the factions of religion who believe they own the toll booth on the highway to heaven.

I understood that the fight for equal treatment as a homosexual would be ongoing my entire life – When I say I understood that doesn’t mean I understand – it just means I understood that people are ignorant and bigoted about things they do not understand or will not accept, or believe are against the will of this loving God they hide behind.

I have nothing against organized religion – it is after all protected by the Constitution. The thing I believe that is forgotten by the religious is that those who choose to not have their lives run by any religion are also protected by the Constitution.  It’s not a winner-take-all sort of thing. The Founders gave us the freedom to choose, and because some choose one religion and some choose another and some choose none – the Founders were also clear to keep religion out of government.   That however has gone awry with the current group of Evangelical Christians who believe they know the answer for each and every American.  This Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech that they tout as their right to force their beliefs on the rest of us was supposed to protect those of us who obviously are the sinners from these religious zealots, and from having to follow their religious views. Am I the only one who sees the danger and the ignorance and the arrogance in all of this?

My questions are these:  Why do they get to make the laws and how do we stop them?

And then there is this whole “War on Women” thing…  I cannot believe that I honestly have to march and make placards and write my senators and make phone calls and write blogs about how women are once again taking one for the team – so to speak.

Women who have sex are called sluts – and the men who have sex with them are called a ladies man or a stud.   Are they not just as promiscuous as the women? Should we not be making them out to be lower than the scum in the pond? Should we not be calling them male sluts and male prostitutes? No, we just give them more drugs to keep the penis working properly.

Women take birth control to prevent pregnancy and this is not to be covered by insurance.  Men used Viagra to keep their penis erect to have sex with women which is the reason women get pregnant – and yet – Viagra is covered by Insurance.  In what world does this make any sense? Oh yes – In the Christian – man world.

Abortion – In my mind this is just so simple.  If you don’t believe in abortion and you don’t want to have one – don’t.  Men or women don’t have the right to tell any woman what she can and can’t do with her body. Ask any woman who has had an abortion how she feels about her decision and I can almost guarantee you that there will be a look in her eyes that will tell you all you need to know.

There are so many things in this Country that we really need to be talking about, writing about, marching about, calling our Senators about, and yelling about.  Jobs, the economy, these useless wars, our infrastructure, the homeless, Americans going to bed hungry, the loss of our personal freedoms to name a few.  Important, life-saving things are what we should be hearing from our Presidential candidates.

It shouldn’t just be the women taking one for the team, especially when women aren’t even allowed to play on the team.  Just sayin…

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Yes, I’m going into the fray that is Denver Bronco Quarterback, Tim Tebow.

I have no problem with him being a Christian. That is his right as an American citizen.  My problem arises with him bringing his Christianity into the realm of NFL football.  I wonder; would he be such an icon or hero if you will, if he was a member of the KKK or a part of the Church of Scientology or perhaps a dog killer?  And how about, God forbid, he was a Muslim? Would the stadium be filled with that yell the Muslim’s do to call people to prayer? Oh hell no, he probably wouldn’t be allowed to play the game if he was a Muslim. I’m sure Homeland Security would say he was some sort of terrorist threat to the public, and he wouldn’t be allowed on the field – most certainly he wouldn’t be allowed to turn to Mecca and pray each time his team scored a touchdown.

It’s always the evangelical Christians who believe they can be everywhere and do anything because the founding fathers would want it that way. No other religion has that right – it’s only the Christians that are ordained by God. It’s like everything else these evangelical Christians get involved in, it’s just messed up.  Just like they have stepped in and messed up the government, they now have infiltrated the world of professional football. Is nothing sacred to those of us who simply want to watch the game?

It’s bad enough that we have grown men making millions of dollars acting like petulant little boys most of the time. It’s also bad enough that we make these perfectly human men out to be something they most surely are not – heroes. And now, now we have a man who is being made out to be something he most surely is not – a great quarterback – simply because he prays while he plays.

Again – I don’t care that he’s a Christian – by all means get down on one knee and pray like millions of other Americans, just don’t do it on the football field. If I’m a season ticket holder, I’m not paying thousands of dollars to go to a football game to watch grown men in uniforms pray.

I don’t want to even see them point to the sky after every play – really – these are the same guys pointing to the sky who have been arrested for DUI and domestic abuse or any other number of crimes. Yeah – they believe that Jesus is on their shoulder as they pass over the end zone.  Seriously, they simply want the camera to catch them in that point to Jesus moment – why else would they rip their helmets off so quickly and watch themselves on the Jumbotron?

Let football be football and religion be religion. One does not belong with the other.

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