A Homosexual’s Response to a Christians Response to Homosexuality

A Female Bible Warrior talks about homosexuality here.

Well, I had a longer response, but it got eaten somehow and lost in the ether.

Okay, well, I guess I was wrong to think that you were open to a curious and compassionate discussion.

It’s disappointing to me, but as long as you genuinely don’t understand what is so wrong with your slippery slope nonsense and you can’t see what harm that people putting their personal morality above the law and equality of other people and what harms that this causes for living breathing people.

Because you might want to consider, given the global nature of the internet that when you say that you’re a Christian, depending on a person’s experience and understanding of history – you are saying Christian and only you know what that means to you – and I was curious enough by how you wrote to see if there was something to get to know.

Instead of curiosity or compassion, you tell me that I am not equal in your eyes and I never will be. There is no discussion possible between inequal people of what they have in common or what they can learn from each other; because you view me as lesser value than you. Because you are not connected to understanding the natural world or the nature of the public square. That makes me sad that you are living in a nation that started a grand experiment – a society where individuals were and are the social unit of consequence with the freedom to take liberties with whatever makes you happy.

But instead of that discussion, I get compared to someone who has an attraction to animals and that my marriage to my partner of 17 years is less valuable than celebrity or prisoner or game show marriages because at least those are straight people.

That’s how you are coming across to me – and other people will and can be hearing something very different than you mean, ranging from: systemic sexual abuse of Children, Meth off of Hookers, Big Hair and Bigger Embezzlement Schemes and the eternal terror/dread of being caught with a dead girl or an alive boy.

But worst of all, they are more likely hearing isolationist, puritanical, end of days hysteria – like Chicken Little not understanding that it’s acorns and not the sky because Chicken Little got a religious disclaimer instead of science class.

Is that what you want to be seen as?

Or do you just not want to realize that that’s a possibility and go back to a Christian bubble reality where everyone else is just a perpetually rebelling teenager or dedicated to immorality and of no consequence to you.
Because it seems to me that if you want to be a Bible Warrior – then you need to know what you’re up against, it’s an up hill and not a pretty battle.

Unless you are only going to battle with other Christians over the details.

No Interest in Zero Sum

I am very interested in this idea that I have been seeing on Christian Bloggers that a person’s religion is a separate thing than their personal relationship with Jesus/God.

I would like to understand how a Christian or rather a believer within a religion sees that “religion” as separate from the central figure of said religion.

If I am understanding correctly – they are saying that God and you are the real one thing and organized religion is how people in olden days to current day have collectively expressed their personal relationship through an social structure

Which, over time, has become flawed, being operated by imperfect and often self serving people. That god is about you and him – not humans as a collective whole – but god to each individual.

Sort of like the Futurama movie, Beast with a Billion Backs.

if that is right – then why belong to churches when you can access god directly?

because religion is the frontier that sits between god and people – and the religious hierarchy from shamans to nuns – are the proxies through which god and the people interact

organized religion, in a way, is the middleman –

so if that’s the case – why bother going to or belonging to a church at all?

why not live your life fully and express your relationship through your daily interactions with other people and what community service interests you?

if what you have to be concerned about is your particular relationship

then why does it matter to you what other people’s relationship to the same or other gods or none at all, matter?

it’s not like old days when you traveled, people hadn’t heard the word – the word is heard around the world everyday people are killing each other over religious differences

and I think that if people really took the attitude that I am seeing – but I don’t know if I am overstating them – if what matters is you and your relationship with god

then you don’t have any business being concerned with other people’s relationships with god or anyone they chose to love – we have to accept that each of us are the expert of our experiences and we know what’s best and works for ourselves.

I can’t say this enough – in America freedom is the ability to take liberties with whatever makes you happy. Freedom of choice, to chose for your life, for everyone.

That means gays and lesbians get to chose partners who will make them happy – being married and a couple is hard enough without adding the unnecessary layer that one is homosexual and trying to be heterosexual.

Maybe instead of Christians condemning and demanding conformity at any cost, it’s time that Christians took a hard look at the world and what they are bringing about in it – and see yourselves as we see you – because to be honest, we’re a little tired of the picture that you keep painting of us as immoral perpetual teenagers.

I’m 43 and well beyond my grassroots activist days of kiss-ins to upset the status quo – I’m middle aged and tired of the constant fighting over who’s right.

Can’t we just say that each of us knows what’s right for ourselves and everyone else gets to know what’s right for them? Then we can talk about what works for each of us and totally shift the conversation – and you’d be surprised how much baggage falls away or roadblocks to conversation evaporates, because we open up new avenues of dialog.

It’s not my place to change what you believe or vice versa. It’s just not.

So wouldn’t it be more interesting instead of a zero sum you’re right or wrong – we instead got to talk about why it works for you and how you express it – so I could get to know you

and I talked about what works for me and why and how

and we both get to be not doubted about our life experience and understanding and instead, we get to exchange information and share what’s good and valuable.

Because quite frankly, I am tired of the unresolvable historic debates

I think we should toss that whole conversation and start over – not zero sum but interest driven – and we both have an interest to participate in the world and better understand each other and we can’t do that when we are undermining and de-stablizing the other’s sense of worth and security in a zero-sum going in circles contest.

Because we have serious problems that are global to solve and we can’t solve anything when we are arguing over what shape table and who gets to bring what and who’s right and who’s wrong.

We can’t work that way anymore – we have to deal with what are the facts on the ground that we all agree on and build more consensus and understanding. But we have to proceed from a shared understanding of facts and reality.

We can’t solve environmental problems through religious belief – because that means waiting for a deity to reset the earth to original factory eden settings. And even if we waited, most of us won’t get in anyway.

So we need to focus on identifying the problems, what the human portion of the problem causing factor is – and what can we do to mitigate and prevent?

The same basis of why we get insurance, city planning and the normal coordination of the infrastructure of life. What is the natural reality of the situation and proceed from there.

Because if there a Creator of the universe, then shouldn’t we trust what we learn by studying that creation instead of what people have written down and claimed as the word of god?

Once Adam and Eve left the garden, god didn’t abandon them – he sent them forth to multiply – and we have – we have dominion over the planet.

Look what we’ve done to it –  stressed habitats to the point of species extinction, populated all liveable land and basically poo’ed on everything.

Seriously, I’da kicked us out of the garden too. Campfire rule people – leave things in as good or better condition than when you encounter them.

everything we can know that we know, we know from people

usually it’s you’re not raised religiously

or you have learned and experienced enough about the world, that you see that religion is a means to control the masses and consolidate wealth and power into the religious elite hierarchy.

everything that we know has been invented by people – religion is just another fiction we tell to try to explain the universe

but once the church’s power no longer included being able to execute scientists

we no longer need religion to provide explanations that it is not scalable enough to do. Why the earth shook, why the crop failed or volcano blew – sure, didn’t sacrifice the right number or kind of virgins.

Science explains the world, through an exhaustive body of observation, analysis, testing and experimentation – all peer reviewed.

while religion or so called alternative medicine, is invented by a single person or small group and is untestable and unproven – in fact, when proper scientific methods are used to test – whatever is tested, fails to generate the advertised result.

Because when one person invents something, like homeopathy or chiropractic care, it’s invented from their understanding of the body, of naturalism, of reality – and more often than not, this understanding is faulty or utterly lacking.

The idea that dissolving something in water transfers it’s qualities to the whole of the water, which can then be used as a concentrate to be diluted in more and more water could make sense only if you have no understanding of chemisty and molecular properties.

Because the water molecules do not take on the property of molecules diluted in the water, they just suspend them. The dissolved substance to the naked eye disappears into the water – but at the molecular level, it’s like mixing up different sized and shaped balls – the football does not take on the appearance of basketballs or softballs – they bounce off each other and float around in the liquid medium.

To taking that “concentrated” water with the substance dissolved doesn’t convert the subsequently added water to a substance charged water – it just further thins out the solution.

Really, if water could absorb properties of what it came in contact with, then water would be all we need – because water touches everything. Like air, water connects all living things and the earth cycles both water and air through weather systems, through watersheds.

So if homeopathy was real, we wouldn’t need to have invented it, because it would be already quietly working away in the background every time we drank water from any source.

The problem is that it was invented in a time where there wasn’t a lot of understanding about chemistry and we are living in a time when even though science can provide an answer – not enough people are conversant in science to put these myths to bed – and more than that – people want to beleive.

And people who want to beleive will not seek out information that is contrary to said belief – especially if it’s dear to them or driven by desperation.

They want to beleive that there’s a quick and no hassle way to fix their personal and social problems; no matter how long the poor behaviours or health has taken to build up.

We want a pill that will take off 20 pounds while we sleep. We don’t want to exercise self discipline to eat 1 cookie instead of 1 row or 1 box. One is One, right? Am I right?

How Coexistance is made possible

The inability or unwillingness to prevent atrocities indicates a god who doesn’t care or who’s caring is of a quality or level that it gives no meaningful comfort or care taking or it indicates that there’s simply no such god and it really is just how terrible that some of us can be – especially when so disconnected to natural reality to actually beleive the justifications for their chosen evil actions.

I think that it’s time that we started considering belief not as an on or off setting, but as being a matter of degree – a ratio of belief to socially capable functioning. Mental wellness, a measure of delusion. There are some ratios at which, people need to be disqualified for public office or any position where they have power over others – especially vulnerable others.

People who beleive that their beliefs are one of many possible answers, but we don’t know or maybe can’t know – agnosticism has a high socially capable functioning.

But people who cannot tolerate that other people are different and have different beliefs – who are claiming or attempting that everyone should adhere to rigid gender roles, disdain for the body of human knowledge, history, other cultures, other possibilities – these people are not socially capable – they live in their own reality bubbles where their religion is real and their energies are directed at squabbling over the details of their religion with people of other versions of the same religion – when both or all versions are predicated on the same unproven claims – so the details don’t matter except to those who have bought into the premise.

Discussing details with people who haven’t bought into the premise, is the wrong discussion for skeptics. We need to stay focussed on the premise, and connect the religion back through it’s cultural evolution and reconnect the beleivers back to the full range of human thinking – pit the religion in the context of history, literature and show how clinging to these outdated and unproven premises are what’s driving much of the conflict and inability to get along with each other now.

If we chose, not to live as if any religion is true but only a possibility, then coexistence is possible.

Because then believers can beleive and non-believers do not have to live their lives dancing on egg shells and having to act as if religions could be true, when we really only have to allow others to have the possibility.

There was a time in Canada and the US that retail stores were not open on Sundays. This was because most people were religious and they beleived that this should be a day of rest and family.

But to people who have not accepted the religion, it’s just another day of the week and our freedoms are being impeded because of other people’s religions.

So the laws were changed and retail could operate 7 days a week – and with the advent of the internet, 24/7.

The problem for believers then, is a battle between the religious beliefs of nomadic tribes with stone age technology and primitive societies where slavery was the norm and women and children where chattel – and the modern secular world that is based not in religion, but in humanism – human rational and the technology we’ve invented to make the quality of our life better.

Because religion is not about the quality of your life – it’s about the quality of your worship and that means your obedience as demonstrated by the time consuming rituals, adherence to rigid gender roles and you aren’t rewarded with your real life, until you reach the after life. Because actual life is a dress rehearsal in religious reality.

People who want to live as if their religion is real, will not be able to do so indefinately while living in a modern world of interconnectivity.

Because exposure to the modern world is what’s causing there to be fewer and fewer bums in pews or knees on floors.

In earlier and harsher times, these old time fire and brimstone religions made some cultural sense – but they do not now. Not with everything that we have learned about ourselves and each other.

In order to maintain belief, you have to work very hard to ignore a lot of reality.

And people like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain – who want to be president on the basis of being simple plain folk you can have a beer with – let’s be very real.

These people are not qualified to be mayor of dogtown, never mind president of one of the most powerful nations that this world has ever seen so far.

That tone of simple folk common sense homespun plays well to that crowd because there’s a lot of that crowd – but part of being in that mentality is an undertone of anti-establishment, anti-education, anti-anyone who’s different.

You can have that kind of leadership in small closed communities, like Jonestown.

But that kind of leadership is wholly inadequate when it’s the leader of a complex society within and with complexities on a global scale.

That the Palins and Cains and Bushes and Perries lack the self awareness to have genuine humility in the face of understanding the entire scope of what being a President of a large nation with a huge economy and a bigger arsenel means.

The entire GOP field of candidates seem like a bunch of slaw jawed yokels who can’t wait to go see the sights of a big city and get to push buttons and pull levers. Golly Gee. Country Cousins, you need to learn some reading and writing and arithmetic first. Specifically, reading about world history, writing down a comprehensive platform of how we’re going to coexist in the world we share, and subtract your personal beleifs from your public life.

Because until a person can demonstrate an understanding of the difference between public and private spheres of influence – nothing can change for the better – and we’re doomed until either a leader steps forward to drag the population into the last century or the religious people make their religious reality an actual end of days reality for all of us.

But more than that, until a person who would lead people has an understanding of what it’s like to be lead by someone like they are – whether it’s a manager or a president – without a sense of the worst that’s possible under your leadership – then you aren’t a leader in any meaningful way. Because no true leader should want anyone worse off than any other person.

The Huddled masses can yearn for elsewhere

I understand and support that you get to choose for you life – so the question is, why won’t Christians let other people have that same choice?

Missionaries, modern and historic – took choice away from many people around the globe, displacing their traditional beliefs and practices with Christian ones – for good or bad.

And Christians in America, collectively have taken choice away from people – from trying to assert religious ideas in science classes to making it impossible for anyone to run for office who can’t or won’t wear a religion as a badge of honor.

America was founded on the idea that the individual was the social unit of consequence, and so being, with the freedom to take liberties with whatever happiness you could attain.

That is not compatible with Christianity or any religion, which is a system by which various levels of authority are worshiped and conformity and obedience is rewarded.

So how did something like Christianity become the American Identity to the point that America is no longer tolerant of the poor huddled masses yearning to be free?

With Broken Hearts, Walk a Mile in My Shoes

My pre-christmas blog – The Image Is One Thing and the Human Being is another – sparked an unexpected debate.

Victims and choices.

It’s near and dear to my heart because I am a victim who is desperately seeking choices. So, to Elvis before me.

Elvis -the story is so familiar as to have lost the human sense of what it meant.

Elvis grew up in rurally depressed Tupelo and moved to Memphis as a young teen, made a record at Sun and became the King of Rock n Roll, dying at 42 after a string of hit records and movies and sure, he had a great voice, but he’s not considered an artist or at least an understandable artist who was mismanaged to death.

That’s the concept – but that doesn’t give you a sense of the experience – especially no where near as intense as Elvis – being ground zero – fitting given his early promotion as an atomic powered singer – especially given how unknowingly accurate that title was.

Elvis grew up rural labour class poor. His father was taken away when Elvis was three and he followed his mother going door to door to get a petition for early release. Elvis’s first crime – stealing empty pop bottles was responded with a spanking and a scolding and Elvis never crossed that line again.

Elvis grew up without much and what he had, he shared as a matter of course. Gladys was forever following in his wake, getting back toys and comics that Elvis gave away.

By the time he noticed girls, he was so girl crazy, so crazy that any girl could be reduced to tears when teased that Elvis liked her. Elvis was Georgie Pordgie.

Elvis grew up in a small world where everyone was the same level of poor – and the middle class, well, being middle class was a pipe dream.

Elvis was a dreamer who didn’t fit in because he wasn’t like other people – he felt music to his core and he knew it’s transformative power – to turn a gawking guy into a girl magnet before he was famous. Suddenly, it was the girls chasing Elvis and he could run or not as he pleased.

Elvis would have been content to stay on Sun records, working the Southern Regions with his band, doing a single and a tour, then coming home to a home he had earned with his singing. Life would be good and compartmenalized – such was his dreams – a celebrity life on the road and a wife at home.

But the problem for Elvis was that other people had other plans and Elvis’ dreams were of the life he could manage and have – but Col Parker saw what Elvis didn’t see – national fame, a TV Appearance to make more money in a night that most would see working 10 or more years – and Elvis was caught in that how much is enough trap?

Parker played on Vernon’s desire to not do any actual work, Glady’s family baggage of Mother as invalid to be care taken – promising that Elvis could make enough money in a few short years to carry them in middle class style for the rest of their lives – and on that score, Parker was right.

Gladys would leap from rural poor to a middle class home on Audobon Drive – a languid tree lined peaceful street with a large lawn. A world away from cramped government warehousing tucked in between a highway and a major throughfare to Graceland – a 14 arce estate with a 20 room mansion and farming buildings.

Gladys only spent one Christmas in Graceland and she couldn’t even enjoy that, with Elvis’ draft notice looming over them – threatening to separate this close knit family more than fame ever took Elvis away from them.

Elvis would put in a pool and redesign the interior, re-making a plantation mansion into a Blingdom Man Cave. Elvis was the original Metrosexual, starting in the Sun days.

Everything Elvis worked for was over. He had more money and fame that he dared to dream in his wildest nightmare – and every time he compromised his dream – by letting Parker move him from the regional Sun label to the national RCA label and made Elvis a household name – be it in worship or a curse – to become the first and last entertainer we could all agree on – no matter what or who we are – Elvis was supremely fuckable – in the sense that he was such pure experience and sheer joy of living that you couldn’t help but get on board with him and how he expressed his creativity.

Elvis inhabited the songs fully and without reserve. This was why he could sing any genre and take over songs that were written as signature songs for other artists.

As long as Elvis was nutured, he brought everything he had to the music – Elvis learned from Sam Phillips how to produce his sessions and when Elvis worked with people who nurtured him as an artist – they got the best work – the Sun Sides, the early New York and Nashville Sessions, the Stax sessions, the early movies and the 68 special.

The problem was, that Elvis was so good that his phoned in work – the mid 60’s to the end of the movies, the 1973 special – well, we loved him so much we didn’t care or we didn’t understand and couldn’t tell the difference.

After a time, Elvis could no longer compartmentalize and separate his life, he wasn’t nutured at home or at work – and everything fell apart.

Because Elvis was not capable, not equipped and not prepared to be as socially capable of navigating the complexity that his world became.

He wanted to make a middle class living with music and divide his life between life on the road and life at home.

But he didn’t get to stay a regional musician, he became an international celebrity and instead of feeding his life to his art, he feed his art and life into a huge industry machine that cares only for making money while it’s possible to make it and then moving to the next fad.

It cares not for legacy or the artistic and human values – it cares only for inserting performers and outputing product for sale.

Without ever understanding and believing that you get better more durable product when you nurture the performers – and the studio’s star system was based on mercurial boxoffice and even moreso studio heads – which is why people’s careers are hot and then not – because we are measuring the wrong things.

Like Henry Fonda was so good that he never made a bad movie, but he didn’t get an Oscar until On Golden Pond and he was dying – because the studios make movies play to actor’s strengths.

So we don’t have a Dustin Hoffman situation of when he’s good, he’s sublime, but when he’s bad, well, that’s another kind of sublime.

For for some reason, with Elvis, we look more to the legacy of what could have been, should have been, without really looking at what was there – the good and the bad – and Elvis ends up wearing everyone’s mistakes because he didn’t take the kind of control of his life that most people take for granted and he didn’t exercise the kind of control that other artists now take for granted – BECAUSE of Elvis.

Much like how the Little Rascals children growing up to discover all their money was spent by their parents – so artists now are protected from parents or studios or mangers – because if we don’t’ explicitly say, people will do what they can get away with.

And, when you are dealing with a person like Elvis, who is having all he can to to manage navigating a world that nothing could have prepared him or anyone else for – because remember, all the fame was happening in the here and now to him – he was dazzled and dizzy half the time – and under pressure to maintain the humble country boy don’t get uppity.

I was told, back in my volunteering for a local tv station, to keep your hair short and grow it long when you make it.

But Elvis started with long hair compared to the crew cuts of the day and he made it – but now he had to navigate a crew cut world where people wanted the money he could make for them, but found Elvis himself unsavoury, distasteful, unsophisticated, hillbilly.

And, you are supposed to be doing your best work and maintaining quality and trusting yourself when everyone is telling you contradictory things, and things more in their interest than yours and you just wanted to make music and have a middle class level life.

So, you do what you’re told and they leave you alone to live your life as you want.

But, over time, all that weighs on your mind, how different it turned out than what you imagined, how you can’t keep things separate and all you can do is brood about the compartments that are all merging together.

Elvis was a victim of management, studios, RCA, the various fans – we consumed him without ever understanding what he was really about.

Yes, it was about getting girls and getting to live a life where you made your own rules and set your own hours – and as long as life was fun – Elvis was happy and he made good movies and good records.

And when life wasn’t fun – when the work was a chore and repetitive and you are treated as a record and movie machine instead of being nurtured as an artist – then life wasn’t fun – no matter how fabulous it looked from the outside.

Inside, it was a misery – his mother gone and not getting to enjoy any of the success. And I think it was a family success, not Elvis’ alone.

The establishment making him out to be a sexual deviant drug using corrupter – from the beginning and it never let up – so after a time, what else can it become but true, if only to dull the pain and let you forget or pretend that it’s not there for a while.

Elvis resigned himself to participate in his own destruction by dutifully fulfilling whatever contract Parker signed him to because Elvis needed more money to try to fill that gaping hole where his heart used to be, because maybe, just maybe, one of his spending spree distractions would make him feel life was worth living again. For a while.

Elvis was a straight – he beleived in the American Dream, because he lived it. He beleive in equality of all people because of his life experience and was crushed by being raised up by his fame into levels of society that from the outside seem as advertised – people equal and able to work to their potential.

But, society is not as advertised – in fact, it’s because of those previous decades of people living small and being small – acting as if their preferred reality where what they beleive is real and their normal is normal for everyone, without regard to individual circumstance or their diversity.

Elvis was crushed by the greed and the prejudices of other people. He was an idealist and a visionary – who navigated a more complex world than most people ever experience, rising from the lowest socio-economic status to unrestricted fame, unlimited access to wealth, but who was constantly held back and limited by the smallness of the thinking of the greedy, self serving, bigoted people  who operated the entertainment industry, the government, the society at that time.

Basically, the laws and rules that we establish set out the ideals – and then all the laws and regulations that detail and qualify are to address and prevent the behaviours that fall short of these ideals.

Elvis embodied the ideal, it’s how he inhabited the songs to wring every last drop of emotion from every note and utterance.

Elvis treated everyone he met as an equal – but he was not treated that same way back – he was an authentic straight in an inauthentic world, where bias and bigotry bend the rules to favour the status quo.

Agents of change, if not nurtured, die a slow and agonizing death over their shortened lifetime, crushed by the smallness and meanness of other people.