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All in the name of a god….
Posted: 13 April 2005 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I have been lurking in this reader forum for a few months now.  I have read Sam's book cover to cover….and probably will several more times.  I have really enjoyed the immense reasoning capabilities of the posters here.  Yes, even Champ reasons in his own twisted way….and it's people like him that finally made me post here…..for what it's worth.

I put this in 'politics and organizational issues' because it is a huge political AND organizational issue….at the moment.

Read this:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/04/13/dueling.days.ap/index.html

I was absolutely dumb-struck to read about this vile, hate-filled attempt, once again, by the so-called 'Christians' to further destroy the self-worth of gay and lesbian kids/students.

I was raised in a strict Baptist home.  Church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night visitation, and Friday youth group.  I went to Christian private schools all the way through grade school, sung in the choir, played piano for church services regularly and was a very outspoken high school student against the 'evils' of christian-rock and rock and roll in general.  Yea, I WAS that sick.

I KNEW from my first memories that I was different from the other boys.  Didn't know why, but it became very clear to me that it was NOT a good thing.

I was 'saved' at an early age, and asked God at least a million times, usually crying, to take away this horrible affliction of HOMOSEXUALITY.  I had always been taught it only takes one time to ask Jesus into your heart for you to be 'saved'.  I did it countless times….just to be 'sure'.

As a teenager, I was desperate, yes, to the point of suicide several times.  I didn't really want to die, I just wanted to be acceptable in the eyes of the God I was raised to worship, and be accepted by my family and friends…..for once.  I dated girls, but even they knew I was 'different'.

At the age of 21, I was thrown out of my church (Assembly of God) for suspicions of being gay.  I was a worship leader, a choir director, a pianist.  I never heard from ANY of those people again….not even a phone call just to see how I was doing.  I was devastated.  The church was my entire life.  How was I going to deal with this, when the people that I thought were 'called by God to minister' had completely abandoned me?!

For the FIRST time in my life, I was able to look at the church objectively.  It was truly the most liberating experience of my life to date.  And you know, I've never gone back.  With the help of Sam's book, I have been able to categorize and prioritize how all this hate came into being.

My adult life is a regular barrage of attacks on my self-worth all in the name of a God.  This article, and any time a so-called 'Christian' opens their mouth about how horrible gay people are, brings back every horrible, defeating, self-destructive moment I have experienced throughout my life for being gay.

I would like, for just a day, for people like Champ and Falwell, and Dobson to experience discrimination for something they cannot change. 

Sure, maybe they could put up with it for a day, but how about a week of it, a month maybe…..how about a LIFETIME of being beaten down….of people telling you that you have no constructive place in society and that you are an abomination?  What might that do to their will to live?

I found an immense amount of strength in "The End of Faith".  It helped me realize that all of the good that religion does, can be done WITHOUT THE RELIGION!

If there are students out there that are reading this, please give this book to your friends and yes, your families.  The response may not be positive.  Built your support group of people who think like you do and who truly are interested in your well-being, and not the dogma of an ancient cult.

Thanx for listening.

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Posted: 13 April 2005 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Just like to say a few quick things. First of all thanks for coming out smile  I’m glad Sam’s book helped you out. It is not at all hard to believe that Christian nutbars abandon their own. Power to you and your cause. I view homosexuality as it should be viewed, as NO BIG THING. You are alive, keep living, it’s your one true purpose. LIVE! Oh, and please continue to not remain silent.

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Posted: 13 April 2005 11:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thank YOU!  I know what that took.  I have been accused by some on this forum of being a “neocon,” what ever that is, because some of my views are on the conservative side.  I have been called a liberal by Champion for some of my other views, and I will risk that again.  But this Isn’t about me, it’s about you and Shawn.

He was my nephew, and I had married his Mother’s sister before he was born, so I was around at the very beginning of his life.  I was no different than most of the guys who grew up in the church that I did, I “knew” that homosexuality was a choice, that is, something that the “faggot” (forgive me) could turn off if he wished.  Female homosexuality was not considered or discussed where I grew up.

Anyhow, that was my mindset when Shawn was born.  He was a wonderful kid, the first baby I was exposed to.  As time went on, we had our own kids, but we always lived close to my ex-wifes sister.  A carefull observer could kind of tell that there was something “different” about Shawn when he was around 6, at least I could.  His father noticed the same things I did, and as time went by, he grew away from the kid.  I don’t think they ever had any kind of a relationship. 

By High School, it was obvious to even a casual observer that Shawn was gay.  He was shunned by the entire family, including me, I’m afraid.  My son, however, remained friends with Shawn, and it was he who was responsible for Shawn and I kind of having at least a nephew/uncle relationship, if not a father/son relationship for many years.

I was close to the kid for most of the last 10 years of his life, ‘till he died of AIDS about 15 years ago.  I miss him!  I don’t see his family anymore, I divorced my first wife about 14 years ago and moved to NC from CT.

To get back on message, tell your story- as loud as you can!  I hate what the right is doing to this country, but I don’t think it is going to last much longer, so keep up the fight!  You are a worthwhile human being, and don’t you forget it!

Pete

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Posted: 13 April 2005 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Hello NoMoreSilence ...

I am right with you that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a choice.  I understand homosexuality is a function of who you are rather than what you do.  Even if you lead a life of celibacy, you’d still be homosexual, as I would still be heterosexual if I abstained from sex.  It’s part of your biological make-up, not a personality disorder. 

I admire you candidness at relating your story.  You will no doubt help some of us understand something more of what it is to be gay, or for others, who might have lived a similar experience, your story will help them understand something new about themselves.

Your experience with the church, though more intense than my own, made me think about a book I bought on controlling parents.  One of the ways we can be overcontrolled as children is by religiosity and its attempt to control our thoughts, telling us what is and is not acceptable to think.  Though I wouldn’t count my family as one of the more ‘damaged’ ones as my parents were both open-minded moderates rather than fundamentalists, I see that much of the harmful ideas they brought home and used as parents they learned at church.  The book on overcontrol made me realize that control isn’t where the answers lie either as a parent or out in the world.  If you’re looking to simply overpower either your kids, employees, neighbouring countries, whomever, you’ll eventually hit a wall and nothing you can do to them will provide the wanted behaviour.  For me it’s all about relating.  If you work on the relationship, whether with your kids, employees, customers, neighbouring countries ... it is much easier to get positive results.  Respect, true respect, not respect out of fear, from both parties involved is key. 

I’m sorry to hear you had such a difficult childhood and youth.  My mother has a favorite quote (more than one ...).  Who said it, I couldn’t tell you, but here it is:

“That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

You oughtta be one of the strongest among us for what you have been through.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts ...

Susan

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Posted: 13 April 2005 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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My mother has a favorite quote (more than one ...).  Who said it, I couldn’t tell you, but here it is:

“That which doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

Was that not Nietzsche?

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Posted: 13 April 2005 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Rasmussen said:

I am right with you that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a choice. I understand homosexuality is a function of who you are rather than what you do. Even if you lead a life of celibacy, you’d still be homosexual, as I would still be heterosexual if I abstained from sex. It’s part of your biological make-up, not a personality disorder.

Hello NoMoreSilence,

Rasmussen’s thoughts reflect my own, so I will simply say “ditto”.  I hope there are many people who read this forum who will perhaps turn toward a little deeper intospection after reading your post.  I wouldn’t expect to change the opinions of religious zealots, but there are many other people who have dismissed their ethical responsibility far too easily.  It’s too easy for them to simply say it’s wrong or it’s unnatural, and turn away, often because they have not been personally affected by the injustice of discrimination.  It’s these people with their heads in the sand that need to be awakened from their indifference and their lack of knowledge.  Hopefully, through candid and sincere stories such as yours more detached people will open their minds to simple realities.  Silence on your part or my part accomplishes nothing.  I commend hampsteadpete for his candid and encouraging post, and hope that anyone else with unfounded prejudices will rethink their ideas of human dignity.

Even though it may not seem so at the moment, we are making progress in acceptance of the biological differences in human beings.  Not so many years ago, homosexuality was one of those things that was sometimes whispered about by polite society.  Now, it is going through a great deal of turmoil primarily because of religious bigotry and ignorance, but is gaining acceptance on a much larger social scale.  Great social changes come with great sacrifices and take time to accomplish, so be encouraged. 

But most of all, know that your feeling of isolation is not unique.  You are a misrepresented minority, but you have much support.  You are obviously an intelligent and articulate man, and a talented one at that.  Your self worth should be intrinsically greater than those feeble minded people who condemn their fellow men out of fear and ignorance.  I congratulate you on your growth and your efforts to make a difference. 

Maggie

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Posted: 14 April 2005 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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How about I just give you a virtual hug = )

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Posted: 14 April 2005 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“Iisbliss”]How about I just give you a virtual hug = )

That was too predictable

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Posted: 14 April 2005 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“NoMoreSilence”]

>My adult life is a regular barrage of attacks on my self-worth all in the name of a God. 
If there are students out there that are reading this, please give this book to your friends and yes, your families.
==/

NMS, not to dismiss the EoF, but personal stories like yours are a far greater indictment of the church than Sam’s polemic.

It is sad that homosexuals feel a tremendous need to justify their feelings as somehow genetic. To me, it reads like an unneeded justification or a response to irrational criticisms.

Can someone choose to have a homosexual experience without concern for predestination? Does it matter if it’s genetic? Furthermore, what if I’m genetically straight, but I want to please my gay friend?  Does this make it more sinful?

Of course religion is a choice. Or is it a command? I get confused.

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Posted: 14 April 2005 04:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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While on the subject, I was listening to a seemingly self proclaimed prophet who was a gust speaker at the church I was attending. He made a comment that shocked me. During his evangelistic presentation he seemed hell bent on reaching the conclusion that ALL SIN EVENTUALLY LEADS TO HOMOSEXUALITY, as it is the ultimate disgrace to god.
What the f**k?

Could everyone/anyone tell me their thoughts on the reasoning of this seemingly ludicrous idea? thanks

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Posted: 14 April 2005 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“NoMoreSilence”]I would like, for just a day, for people like Champ and Falwell, and Dobson to experience discrimination for something they cannot change. 

Sure, maybe they could put up with it for a day, but how about a week of it, a month maybe…..how about a LIFETIME of being beaten down….of people telling you that you have no constructive place in society and that you are an abomination? What might that do to their will to live?


I see two ironies in that. The first is simply that Falwell, Dobson (et al) actually believe they are discriminated against and oppressed. The second is pretty ugly. In their minds they twist the fact that their overwhelming majority opinion causes homosexuals to act, as a group, as marginalized groups do (higher rates of suicide, for example) into an affirmation that they’re right—that the marginalized people are immoral and therefore should be marginalized (a self-fulfilling prophecy based upon the presumption that immorality is the cause of the “marginal” behaviors rather than being marginalized).

I think it’s bizarre that others’ sexual orientation even rates notice (except of course in cases of romantic or sexual interest). More bizarre is that it’s “normal” to think non-standard sexual orientation is not only important, but everyone’s business. It makes about as much sense to me as expressing great concern over “shoe lace color orientation.”

Of course we all have a pretty good idea of the primary source for this particular affliction (i.e. the perverse fixation on others’ sexuality) . . .

Byron

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Posted: 14 April 2005 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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All of you, thanx so much for the encouraging words!

fencesitter—-Was it you who posted on another thread “what is the meaning of life?  to LIVE!”?  I think about that basic idea everyday since I saw that thread….and you reiterated it again for me. Thank you!  Oh, and on your later post, I actually heard Pat Robertson (700 club wingnut), just last night, condone and encourage the assassination of a rogue leader in Uganda!  Yea, that’s pretty Christ-like…...ugh.  You may be asking ‘why do i watch that pseudo-journalism charlatain?’....eh…...I like to know just how crazy they are every once in a while….good for a laugh or two.

hampsteadpete——You are brilliantly articulate.  I agree with you on a lot of your posts….always very thought provoking.  Putting a face, or a name, or a real story, in front of the blanket condemnation we all receive from the religious fanatics, not just about being gay, but for all of the other so-called ‘sins’ they are so quick to shout about, is what will make people realize just how destructive that mindset really is.

Rasmussen——You hit it right on the head with the ‘control’ issue.  It is soooo clear to me that religion was invented as a control mechanism.  If you only have a select few, or one, that has access to the divine, and people buy into it, that is the ultimate brainwash and human control mechanism…..FEAR.  A message of fear will always win over a message of hope…...look at the last election to see that clearly.  Oh, and my favorite quote…..“Childhood is the thing we spend the rest of our lives trying to get over.”—from “Hope Floats” wink

Peregrine——You should write a ‘thot for the day’ calendar!....I think I could fill a whole year from just this one post from you!  Thank you!

Iisbliss——Hugs are awesome!  Even virtual ones!

Guest——Predictable can be good…..keeps my grip on reality. wink

Salerio——This is why I love the brains on this forum!  I think I would like to finally see the genetic link (Xq28 is a good start…google it and you’ll see what I’m talking about) just to maybe, possibly, hopefully, force the religious fanatics into re-evaluating their positions on a lot of things….if they have ANY room for questioning their own belief systems.  If you ever get a chance to watch Discovery Health channel on cable….they have FASCINATING stories about human sexual development….from conception to birth.  I’ve never heard the religious zealots comment on people born with male sexual organs, but their genetic coding (chromosome) is female.  The opposite can be true too.  FASCINATING biology and genetic lessons there!

SkepticX——Yup, I hear you!  I used to be one of those ‘persecuted’ Christians.  The difference is, they can, and DAILY DO, abandon all personal responsibility and throw all of their burdens and problems and worries on SOMEONE ELSE…i.e….their God.  Who DOESN’T want someone to take care of everything for them?  wink  Probably one reason religions are so popular with people who are ‘weak and downtrodden’......can’t tell you how many times the preacher said ‘Jesus came for the poor, the sick and the hungry’......well, i CERTAINLY don’t wanna be one of those!! wink


Now, lest ANY of you think I am some sort of shrinking violet that can’t/won’t stand up for myself, and that I am a spineless jellyfish…...let me assure you the opposite is true!  While the baggage the church has left me with is heavy and awkward at times, it by no means slows me down.

Like I suggested at the end of my first post, I have surrounded myself with other ‘like-minded’ people…gay, straight and somewhere in between.  As a 245# bodybuilder and amateur hockey player, I know how to take care of myself. wink

I have realized that I have absolutely no use for the church.  The good things I do for people are because it IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.  Not because of fear I’ll go burn for eternity if I don’t….but because I WANT TO do those things.

Enough…..for now.

NMS

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Posted: 14 April 2005 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Salerio wrote:

It is sad that homosexuals feel a tremendous need to justify their feelings as somehow genetic. To me, it reads like an unneeded justification or a response to irrational criticisms.
Can someone choose to have a homosexual experience without concern for predestination? Does it matter if it’s genetic? Furthermore, what if I’m genetically straight, but I want to please my gay friend? Does this make it more sinful?

Well said, Salerio.  If we take the hoax of sin out of our relationships with one another, we would be better able to understand unconditional love.  We are sexual beings, and have evolved with an ability to sexually connect with one another for purposes other than procreation.  I have a favorite quote from Rod McKuen which says, “It’s not who you love or how you love, but that you love.”  Sounds very Christ-like, doesn’t it? 

Loving and sexual expression go hand in hand, so we need to drop the sinfulness attitude and adopt one of acceptance of who and what we are.  Each person should be able to care about, love, cherish, and live with anyone of their choosing.  It’s a natural part of evolution and if a creative force does exist, it is obviously part of it’s natural law.

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Posted: 14 April 2005 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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We are most closely related to the Bonobos.  Has anyone taken a look at their sex lives?  Man they live to have sex!!!!

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Posted: 14 April 2005 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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The level of Christian hypocrisy on the subject of homosexuality is truly unconscionable!

It is ironic that; 1) through its teachings that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination, 2) that “safe sex” is equally sinful, 3) its failure to acknowledge the existence of a large gay population among its priests and 4) insisting on priestly celibacy, the Catholic Church is now suffering “God’s wrath” of HIV/AIDS in significant disproportion to its population.

By some estimates, priests are dying of AIDS at somewhere between 7 to 11 times the rate of the general US male population.

http://www.inoohr.org/catholicpriestaidsstatistics.htm

I guess that “What goes around comes around.”

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Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful…..Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman (3 BC - 65 AD)

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Posted: 14 April 2005 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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I don’t think there has been hipocracy on the part of the church. Rather our instruction manual, the bible, is quite clear on the issue of sexual sin. All sexual sin outside of holy matrimony is sin. And all sin is condemned by God whether it is sexual, guttony, love of money (greed), etc. No one sin more than the other, a transgression is a transgression.

If any person purporting to be a representative of the Christianity has not been clear on this issue, then you must disregard that person’s message. A person who loves God will preach against sin, will not tolerate sin, will strive to overcome it, and will be clear about what God says about it.

That being said, I must say that we are all sinners and all have come short of the glory of God. I personally have sinned in word, thought, and deed. I need a savior as desperately as you do. By asking forgiveness of my sins through Christ’s blood, I am forgiven, because God is rich in forgivness and God is not willing that any perish for their sin. All heaven rejoices when even just one sinner repents of his sin and asks Jesus into his heart.

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