Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Confession Of An Anti-Gay Zealot

If God Had Wanted Me To Be Accepting Of Gays, He Would Have Given Me The Warmth And Compassion To Do So

OCTOBER 13, 2009

I don't question God. The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall put none above Him. Which is why I know that if it were part of God's plan for me to stop viciously condemning others based solely on their sexual preference, He would have seen fit—in His infinite wisdom and all—to have given me the tiniest bit of human empathy necessary to do so.

It's a simple matter of logic, really. God made me who I am, and who I am is a cold, anti-gay zealot. Thus, I abhor gay people because God made me that way. Why is that so hard to understand?

Here, let's start with the basic facts: I hate and fear gay people. The way they feel is different from how I feel, and that causes me a lot of confusion and anger. Everyone knows God is all-powerful. He could easily have given me the capacity to investigate what's behind those feelings rather than tell strangers in the park they're going to hell for holding hands. But God clearly has another path for me. And who am I to question His divine will?

Compassion, tolerance, understanding, basic decency, the ability to put myself in another person's position: God could have endowed me with any of those traits and yet—here is the crucial part—He didn't. Why? Because the Creator of the Universe wants me to demonize homosexuals in an effort to strip them of their fundamental human rights.

I'm sorry, but you can't possibly ask me to explain everything God does. He works in mysterious ways, remember?

Try to understand. If I were capable of thinking and acting any other way, then I'm sure I would, but God seems to be quite adamant about this one. He's just not budging at all. So unless our almighty Lord and Savior decides to change His mind about my ability to empathize on even the most basic level—which I find highly unlikely—then everyone is just going to have to accept the fact that I'm going to keep on hating homosexuals. And I know that He will fill me with the strength to remain mindless and hurtful in the face of adversity.

Which isn't to say that my faith hasn't been tested. Believe me, there have been times when I've drifted from the bitter and terrified life God has chosen for me. When my younger brother told me he was gay, it shook my faith to its very core. But here I am, 27 years later, still refusing to take his calls. Just the way God intended.

It's actually pretty astonishing how many complaints to the school board you can make regarding the new band teacher you've never met when you are filled with the Light of Christ and devoid of any real kindness or mercy toward His other children.

At the end of the day, I'm just trying to lead a good Christian life. That means going to church on Sunday, following the Ten Commandments, and fighting what I believe to be a sexual abomination through a series of petty actions and bitter comments made under my breath. Sure, I sometimes wish God would just reach into my heart and give me the ability to treat all people with, at the very least, the decency and respect they deserve as human beings. But unfortunately for that new couple who moved in three houses down, He hasn't yet.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have God's work to do.


Kansas Bob said...

Pretty funny Joe. A nice mirror reflection of Bishop Spong's recent diatribe :)

Joe said...

Thanks for the link to Spong's "diatribe." I not only agree with him about homosexuality and intolerance, in general, I also agree that these matters are no longer debatable. There is no middle ground where intolerance is accepatable.

Kansas Bob said...

I also agree with Spong's position.. just not with his intolerance of intolerance.

Joe said...

If you disapprove of Spong's intolerance of intolerance, are there one or more intolerances that you feel are justifiable? Is Christian intolerance of non-Christian religions one of them?

Kansas Bob said...

I am not against intolerance per se.. just find the hypocrisy of those who preach tolerance to be amusing. I think that many of those who passionately advocate tolerance are anything but tolerant when it comes to people who they think to be intolerant.. but possibly Spong is not all that tolerant?

Joe said...

Intolerant tolerants! Since speaking in the absolute always gets me in trouble I won't say that such a being isn't possible but I don't think I know of a tolerant that is intolerant. There are people who show intolerance for some but do not believe they are intolerant. Using Bishop Spong's example, a conservative Episcopalian and every evangelical that I know is intolerant of a homosexual but they do not think of their disapproval of a homosexual as intolerance because they believe the homosexual is a sinner.

When one of my previous pastors condemned the Mormon church as a satanically-inspired cult, he did not think of himself as intolerant. On the other hand, I believe that he is.

A couple of years ago I was asked by a local Christian ministry to head up a multi-church event called Sharefest. I had been the Sharefest leader for my own church and was glad to take on the new role. During the handoff meeting between me and the prior director, we discussed both the churches that had participated and those that had been invited but did not participate, yet. One of the non-participating churches is near my home, when I asked the director how that church had responded to the invitation to participate, I was told that they decided not to invite the church when they "learned" that the pastor was gay.

The director believes that he is a tolerant person. I disagree and when such intolerance results in the violation of a persons human rights, I think it is criminal.

Kansas Bob said...

I guess my point is that many who preach tolerance, or think themselves to be tolerant, are not tolerant of those they deem to be intolerant.. your comment gives a few examples :)

Joe said...

A "few examples" of my intolerance? Whether you meant me or not, I admit to being intolerant of people that show no compassion or respect for others. I'm intolerant of people that take and return nothing. I'm intolerant of any religion that considers all other religions invalid. I'm intolerant of bigotry and especially intolerant of people that promote bigotry and acts of hatred.

I admit to be intolerant of some people not because their beliefs are different than mine, rather because they do not respect differences in other people.

Kansas Bob said...

Again my issue is not with intolerance Joe.. we are all intolerant in some way. My issue is with those who preach tolerance but are intolerant of intolerant people.

Joe said...

You forgot to add a smiley face to your last comment. Surely you were joking! People who preach tolerance (meaning me) should not be intolerant of intolerant people. Therefore, a truly tolerant person would tolerate intolerance. Would this country have civil rights laws if tolerant people had not demanded them? Would women be able to vote today if they had tolerated the intolerance against women.

Are you really saying, if somebody's religious beliefs or lifestyle conflicts with your religious beliefs, then your intolerance should be tolerated. For example, if an anti-gay church wants to picket the funerals of gay soldiers who died in combat, then I should respect their picket if I am tolerant.

Should the tolerant surrender their civil rights and the civil rights of others to the intolerant?

I'm reminded of the past discussion about whether it is ever acceptable to use name calling in a debate. The conservative commenters did think that it was acceptable and one of the commenters stated that even Jesus used name calling.

Simply stated you believe it is proper when you do it or as Nixon put it, "when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Kansas Bob said...

Maybe there is no such thing as a "tolerant" person.. maybe we are all intolerant to some degree.

Joe said...

I don't disagree with that. I think bias is probably a natural, albeit undesirable, human trait. Perhaps it's an evolutionary tool intended to protect and improve the species.