gay religion

Good Christian/ Bad Christian (Post 43)

My father, as my brother tells it, walked into the kitchen wearing a trench coat and dark glasses.  My mother was at the sink washing dishes.

 

 

“I’ve been born again,” he said.

 

“What?” my mother replied.

 

“I’ve been born again,” my father said.

 

There was a long pause and my mother replied…

 

“OH, KNOCK IT OFF!!!!”

 

And there you had it.  The single, fastest, conversion and de-conversion in the history of man.  My dad is a fairly masculine, old school sort of guy.  He wore the pants – financially, made sure we ate, believed in us – all that good and very necessary stuff.  But, my mom – she wore the pants emotionally.

 

If she said it was off and meant it strongly enough – it was off.

 

My dad, as I remember it, had always been a religious “searcher.”  I don’t know why, but I DO know that it helped him create order in his own world, internally.  For him, I believe, it soothed some sort of anxiety.

 

cross, crucifix, religion

For some, this soothes…

 

He took me, specifically, (because I was old enough and probably because no one else would go) to a variety of different church services.  We went to a Greek Orthodox service, a Russian Orthodox service, a Lutheran service, an Episcopal service, Methodist service, and something called the, “open hand of god.”  “Open hand of god,” as I remember it, was pretty close to Pentecostal or at least what I imagine rattle-snake-taming, spirit-raising services to be like.

 

At the time, I hated it.  I remember thinking, “We’re Roman Catholic.  Why in the feck can’t we just go to our regular Catholic church??”  It makes sense.  I was at that age where kids just want to “fit in.”  What I looked forward to most with my dad were the egg sandwiches afterwards.  We’d go to a service, which I would endure like taking a spoon full of Robitussin and afterwards he’d take me to a diner or coffee shop for a straight up, east coast style, fried egg sandwich on a kaiser roll.  I LOVED those sandwiches.  Still do, even.

 

The truth is my father’s “search” for religion made me even more liberal, which – believe me – was not his intention.  However, he exposed to me to so much that it informed my world view.  Different people worshipped in different ways.  From what I could see, none of the methods seemed any better than any other.

 

So the “born again” incident happens around when I was in college.  Mom tells dad to “knock it off” and I’m not around to drag to any Masonic halls, so he does.  Dad slowly settles back into his roots – traditional Catholicism.  He went (and still goes) to regular services at a Roman Catholic church and rails against anyone worshipping any differently.  It’s church service and Fox News.  Church service and Fox News.  These are the things that make him feel okay in the world.

 

fox news

For some, this is soothing. The channel. Hopefully, NOT the topic.

 

I have a hard time – almost always – reconciling the young man who took me to a variety of different services with the man who is now so fixed in his beliefs.

 

Throw GAY into this cocktail of religious confusion and then my battle lines become even more definitive.  It’s hard enough to find a person to love unconditionally, but then once you do – it must be sanctioned by society or a church?  FECK OFF.  It needs to be sanctioned by me, my own moral code, and my conscience ONLY.  This is NOT 1812.

 

Yet, this firm stance I have taken often does something so unexpected.  There are times when I feel like THEM.  Like him.  Like dad.  I feel like a judger, a fixed thinker, maybe even someone with a prejudice!  And THAT, I so don’t want.

 

Let me explain.  Often, as I stroll through Twitter or right here on WordPress, I read peoples’ bios and “about” pages to decide whether or not I should reach out.  Frequently someone will describe themselves by saying…“devotee of God” or “follower of Jesus” or “All is possible through Christ…”

 

The bare-faced truth is, it makes me cringe.

 

Not because of their faith.  I admire faith in all of its forms.

 

It makes me cringe because I immediately think, “Good Christian or Bad Christian?”  “Gay Hater or Ally?”  “Fixed Pedagogue of the Neocon Variety or Common Sensed Approach?”

 

gay hate signs

For some, it’s this…

 

The issue is…doesn’t that make me just like them?

 

Doesn’t that make me the same as anyone who unfollows my blog after learning that some of the content is lgbt centered or lgbt friendly?  Does my suspicion make me the same as someone who stops reading after I mention my beautiful “Wifesy”?

 

Doesn’t my knee jerk thought of “this-person’s-gonna-suck” make me an exact polar opposite of the same feckin’ thing?

 

I don’t want to cut out someone who could be a “good Christian” or better said, an inclusive Christian because of the hate of the many.  I want to be better.

 

Thoughts?

 

***

Sweet Mother is updated daily-ish.  To follow this blog, click the “join” prompt at the top of the page.

 

**

You might also like:

Uninspired

 

*

Photo creds:

jesus-two-dads, crosses, fox-news, feature

 

About these ads

74 thoughts on “Good Christian/ Bad Christian (Post 43)

  1. I’ve been unfollowed for having gay and transgender friends, supporting gay marriage, and for talking to fairies and Guides and quoting Buddha in the same blog as I mention prayer and God.

    I don’t even think ‘inclusive christian’ or not anymore. I just want people to be kind.

    Kindness, compassion, understanding. Acceptance of the diversity of humanity, as well as our sameness.

    My God is not a hater. My God welcomes everyone to the table.
    Much love to you, Sweet Mother xx

    1. that is such a good and GREAT comment, cupcakes. in fact, it’s exactly why i read your blog. i think everything you’ve said there comes through in your writing. beautifully, beautifully stated. xoxo, sm

    2. Couldn’t agree with you more! What business is it of ours if someone believes differently? Should I try to convince every vanilla ice cream lover that chocolate is the only true ice cream? (Do you know witchcraft? I need to curse someone I hate. Kidding… kind of.)

  2. Sweet Mama, I actually just blogged about this exact thing the other day. (I also mentioned you in it; I hope you don’t mind.) If you haven’t read it, it’s right here:
    http://soiwentundercover.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/a-recovering-mormon/

    This is so germane in my life right now because my ex wants to baptize my middle son into the LDS church and I can only imagine the kind of brainwashing my son with endure from his hypocritical/fanatical/brainwashing father. I am not giving my permission because I want my son to develop his faith based on experience and not based on what is forced down his throat. If I were in charge of his spiritual development, it would look more like “Do what you want, just remember that something needs to keep you essentially good. Look for what you can learn from others while sharing what you know with them.”

    If my kids aren’t Mormon, that’s cool with me. If my kids aren’t Mormon, their father (my ex, not my current husband) will disown them. It’s pretty messed up, but for my own selfish reasons, I hope my kids aren’t Mormon.

    1. “do what you want, just remember that something needs to keep you essentially good.” oh, lawd, lawed, undercover, do you know how cleanly powerful that statement is? because it is. hugely. and it’s exactly how i feel. i can not believe that a billion hindus and others are all dead wrong. it just doesn’t make SENSE. so, yeah, i hear you completely. as for your ex. ugh. that’s the kind of fixed thinking that really sucks imho. i just don’t totally understand what purpose it serves. i mean disowning a child because of how they worship or don’t worship? i just don’t know… xoxo, sm

  3. Becky this is really great!! I have had issues of acceptance and tolerance my whole life. At some point I realized I was demanding tolerance and acceptance from people that I was not tolerant and accepting of, and that I had zero plans of ever tolerating or accepting them. Even if they gave me what I felt entitled to. I’ve had a long road in life that has eventually shaped me to become one of those people of faith running around… but the thing for me is, I never thought that I could be a person of faith. I didn’t think I was allowed in. Because I was gay. Because I’ve made some bad choices. Because I am in recovery. Blah blah. But I finally realized that it IS for me. Warts and all. And so today when I talk of faith, I do so proudly because I have realized God is for me too. And my hope is, that others just like me who are struggling with these ideas, as I once was, can look at me and see themselves and realize that it is their house too. Thanks for sharing these very personal thoughts. Lots of good stuff to think about. XO

    1. yeah, i’ve never felt that god had a fix on a certain ‘type’ of person. i’ve always believed in my gut that god is inclusive and that spirituality is very personal and essential. the truth is tho – i question when i see ‘person of faith’ because the majority of ppl who label themselves that way behave in a manor that is not inclusive or loving or that is rather very black and white. since none of us can go up there (or down there), prove it, and come back to report on it – then common sense dictates that it is a grey area. regardless, I’m glad you found something that helps you. i think what you’ve gone through is very difficult.

      much love, sm/ beck

  4. >Me being who I am, I (naturally) say my way is the correct one. I’m an atheist. A hardboiled, pity the religious, naturalist, ect, *scientific* atheist. So, the whole “god” thing doesn’t come up for me, unless I feel like pissing feckers off. I usually start that by declaring myself to be god. Heh-heh. It works every time.
    >I don’t have any hangups with lbgt folks. Well, that’s not completely true: I think lesbian sex is hot, and male sex is squick requiring copious amounts of brain bleach. But, that’s my opinion. I usually keep it to myself (I trot it out in cases like this). I don’t care if you love the same sex, or opposite sex. As long as I think that persona A is a decent person, what s/he does with their partners is there business.
    > I don’t understand how the religious can claim their god is a loving one, then turn around and say s/he hates someone because they’re gay. Or, worse: loves the person, but hates the sin. Um, ‘scuze me, but isn’t hate the *opposite* of love?
    > As for you, Rebecca, I’m sure when we meet & introduce each other to our significant others, that I’ll like your Wifesy. The main reason for that is, I know she makes you happy. I’ll love her for that, at the very least.
    > Feck, SM, once again, your post has caused me to write too much. Sorry about that. You’re epic. Just sayen.

    -Rob

    1. rob, you are the bomb. seriously. first off, i know A LOT of atheists. a lot of them. and i get it because my comedic instincts (and having participated in that profession for so long) makes me a natural skeptic. BUT, i will say i can’t claim the title ‘atheist’ because the minute the house is on fire, i’m on my knees praying like mary mother of… well, you know what i mean. there’s part of me that has to believe in a something or other somewhere something. but, my common sense says that it’s probably in an utterly different form (if a form at all) than any of us can even fathom. as for the gays, i love ’em all. except the a-holes. as for the straights, i love ’em all. except the a-holes. so, i feel the same about both of them really. cool people – in. sh*tty people – get the feck out. you, my friend, are indeed an awesome person. xoxox, sm

      1. I surely don’t mean to be callous to the situation. I just think you’re bright enough and have your head screwed on straight (no pun intended) enough to find your way through this.

        Best wishes to you and yours, SM.

  5. Sweet Mother you know I love you. You also know I love He-Who. I also love God. This at times causes some confusion in my life.
    I am a Christian, He-Who is not. One of the TV stations I used to work at was a Religious station. It was granted a licence as a “balanced” Religious station. This meant it was supposed to represent all faiths. Unfortunately, it tended to be very heavy handed Christian. I say unfortunately because for the most part the Christians running the place behaved in a very un-Christ-like manner. In my infinite wisdom of always trying to encourage He-Who to have “faith”…any faith… I suggested he work as a researcher for one of the shows during his off season at the racetrack. The whole thing backfired on me and he was more adamant than ever that the kool aide was spiked. He ended up quitting after they demanded he did something he could in all good conscious not do. I was embarrassed by the people who supposedly represented my faith and totally supported his decision. You see, He-Who is a good man. He is a decent man. A lot of the so called “Christians” that I worked with were neither.
    Anyone can claim to be any religion or non-religion but in the end it is their heart and how they behave as a human being that they are measured by. Sometimes very bad people give a religion a bad rep. Sometimes very good people claim to have no faith at all. This remains a great mystery to me.

    1. i am so with you on this, mg. i think often those who label themselves as ‘christian’ act so very ‘unchristian’ and i have the hardest time understanding it. then there’s this other side where i know ppl with absolutely no faith at all. in fact, you could call them – unbelievers. the fact is they believe in their unbelief so much it’s almost like a belief! loool. AND they are some of the best people going. my cousin said to my father once, ‘i know ppl who go to church everyday and they are not the best ppl.’ what he meant was just bc you go to church everyday it doesn’t automatically absolve you of being an a-hole. as for he who, i just like he who and i believe completely in what you said about it. i also bet his reasons for going against the station were dead on due to how you described the place. and it is BECAUSE of people like you, and brother jon, and another friend ginny on my twitter that i have a faith in humanity maybe eventually rising above all this. or at the very least if some ppl can call themselves christian and STILL not judge, then i think there’s hope. xoxo, sm

  6. I am culturally a Catholic, and in my life have ranged from a strong devotee to almost outright hostility. At the moment I am somewhere in between, definitely more on the questioning side.

    My issue with religion, including my own, is mostly it’s divisiveness. Secondly, I disagree with a few profound teachings of my Church, including the views on homosexuality, family planning, and some purely spiritual doctrines.

    But I like to think of myself as a decent person. Good – is to say to much. I aspire to it but am far far away. Yet I am trying to be good for others, and while it’s not enough to shut my Catholic guilt complex up, my strong belief is that religion is not in the least necessary for people to be good.

    I know just as many fantastic believers as atheists.

    1. “religion is not in the least necessary for people to be good.” so well said, pixie, so well said. i disagree with the catholic church on its views towards homosexuality and women. if you read or hear about how the roman catholic church tried to silence its oldest group of the most devout nuns, well, it’s simply appalling. plus, i’m not sure this ‘celibacy’ idea is good for men. one has to look no further than the pedophile child abuse scandals within the church for reason to question it. what’s interesting is that my father gets so wound up about the sex abuse scandals. it’s like you’re attacking him personally. and i don’t get it. i mean it’s simply a case of abuse by the powerful over the powerless. it’s obvious. i have a hard time discussing anything with people who don’t want to see the obvious whether they are christian or not. anyway, great commentary, pixie. thank you for reading this and stopping by here. xo, sm

  7. Yes, it does make you exactly like them, SM, and not so much, simultaneously. We all need to be defined somehow, that’s the box that we’re constantly attempting to think ourselves out of. We need the boundaries, we need the parameters, they’re comforting. We can always shift them, stretch them, change them, or not. It’s a constant process. It’s a constant choice. The one thing it’s NOT about is judgment. That’s the bit we forget! xoxoM

    1. it’s not easy, let me tell you that. the only way i can address it and not hate myself is to give every relationship a bit of time. in time, i think people reveal themselves one way or another. so, i try not to make the judgement too quickly for clearly, as you’ve stated, i’ll never give it up entirely. ;) xo, sm

      1. The thing to remember, SM, is that we people reveal ourselves one way AND another. As much as we’d like to think we’re able to come down on one side of an issue and stick with it, that’s not true. We experience, we evolve, we stand in a different spot and the view changes. Our natural state is the one we’re always so eager to control: flux. There’s no need to give anything up since that which we don’t need or use will fall away. Remember? Use it or lose it! So as our views evolve, those we use will hang around, those we don’t we’ll lose! ;) xoxoM

      2. evolution. pretty much the key to everything. but, also something severe christians don’t believe in. ;) seriously tho, i hear what you’re saying & it’s sage advice… xo

  8. Hey Sweet Moms, you sure do know how to start a dialogue.

    I think I was the same way as your dad (in a way) for a while. I was raised Roman Catholic. I fell away from that around 21-22, but I really didn’t start searching until I hit close to 25. I knew that I needed to fit in somewhere, but didn’t know where. I searched and settled on Deism. It made sense at the time. A couple of years ago I was in a place where I didn’t believe in much of anything…for angry reasons, not logical. I just happened to fall into the LDS church…and now it all makes perfect sense.

    The thing I don’t like are people touting their beliefs (or non-beliefs) in a “absolute” way. You know….the arguments that start out, Well of course it’s this way – or that way. Open mindedness seems to be leaving the Church (all churches) more and more as time goes on. Sure, there are places in scriptures that speak out against all sorts of things….but the main idea(s) behind those books should be compassion and love and understanding.

    We (Jesus Freaks) need to stop giving you a reason to feel the way you do when you see us out and about. I think it’s safe to say that you don’t think that way when you see me pop up. There is a reason for this. I hate to say but there are more “bad” Christians (or any other religion) than there are “good” ones out there. As long as there is humankind it will be this way. We are imperfect…it is sad sometimes, but the truth. The only thing we can do is try to reach out to one person at a time.

    I don’t think a Christian judging you for being gay is quite the same thing as you judging a person for being religious. A “bad Christian” will look and say “Gay? I’m outa here!” Not “good” or “bad” Gay. Final judgment is wrong, and that’s what I just described. There is righteous judgment, and I think this is what you have described. You aren’t condemning anyone, you are just being leery for good reason. (is that redundant?)

    Anyway, sorry for the length. You moved me SM. I loved this post, and I love you. Thank you.

    1. ohhhh, jon. this is such good commentary for so many reasons. first off, you are right, i do NOT feel that way about you when you pop up. very quickly i put you into my ‘good christian’ category. loool. i hate that i have these categories at all, quite frankly. but it IS for the reasons you have described. and thank you for acknowledging them. i’m not even sure that other people understand them fully. i think the only relatable thing would be what it once was (or still can be) for african americans. altho, of course, a lot of african americans would make the argument that you can’t ‘hide’ your color. however, i feel if you are an authentic human being then eventually even your sexuality will have to be ‘seen’ in one way or another. as for your last point, you are also right and what a nuanced and accurate point you make. when i say, ‘christian’ i do NOT walk away immediately. tho i may depending on the fervor of the ‘pitch’. but, usually i give it some time before i decide. i am also with you on the ‘my way is the right way’ angle. i just don’t agree with it. i have found the most religious and deeply spiritual people that i have encountered don’t really preach about their religion at all. it just is and they just are. in fact, it seems to give them a calm. that i admire. the rest is a bit more difficult. again, thank you for commenting, jon. whenever you do, it makes me think. and for that, i am very grateful. much love, mother

      1. I think it should be easier to relate to then what we allow ourselves to do. (This may not be close…but I think there is a point here, so bear with me.)

        I can relate…in a way (maybe just a small way) by thinking about the history of my Church. Early Mormons were treated very badly…and especially in Missouri, where I live. I have that history to study and think about and to use to be able to relate to other things. I have that…and I think every other Christian does to. The thing is they choose not to remember it when the time comes. When the time comes to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, someone else’s struggles, they forget what it was like to come out of their own struggles. The take for granted the fact that someone in the past helped them, showed them compassion. They even go as far to completely forget the teachings of Jesus Christ…the very person where the word Christian comes from. Turn the other cheek…cast the first stone…love thy neighbor, above all things.

        I don’t know. Maybe I have a different outlook since I’m a convert. But in a way we are all converts, to one thing or another. Whether it be religion, bigotry, or anything in between. People don’t just happen to grow up good or bad. Now I’m blabbering. I’ve lost steam. I hope there is something in there that is good.

      1. you ALWAYS say something interesting, insightful, and thoughtful, bro j. and you are right, EVERYONE with an open heart can relate to or feel empathy for oppression, if they only care enough to look deeper into their own backgrounds. xo, sm

  9. I don’t think it makes you hypocritical at all to have that kind of reaction to self-proclaimed Christian blogs. Unfortunately, the taste we get in our mouths nowadays when we think of Christianity is often tainted with the Westboro flavor. Even though I identify as a Christian, I still proceed with caution when I come across a blog or a IRL person who claims they follow Christ because so often a real, active love of God is not even remotely present in their life or what they say. As a result, I rarely attend church because I don’t think there’s a church in my town that offers the authentic experience.

    That said, there are “good Christians” out there. Brother Jon is the first one who pops into my mind. There’s no condescension, no hate, and authentic love. I know of another blog written by a Christian, ad she is very socially liberal. I would be happy to give you her link if you’re interested. xoxo

    1. “Unfortunately, the taste we get in our mouths nowadays when we think of Christianity is often tainted with the Westboro flavor.” indeed, ems, indeed. i found it very interesting that you can have the same wariness as well when running up against christian blogs. and yes, of course, i would love a link to that blog. the more tolerant ppl that write well… the better! loool. and i also agree on brother jon. he is a joy. great and thoughtful commentary, thank you, ems. xo, sm

  10. This post has prompted some great comments! Really interesting to read them all. I grew up in a near atheist family I’d say. Both sets of grandparents say ‘God bless’ and my grandfather asked us to say the Lords Prayer as he was on his death bed (although only my Nana knew it). My Nana used her supposed Christianity, (she’s never been to church that my mother remembers), to explain her initial 1 year disowning of me when I came out. But is now okay-ish with us and did attend our wedding and loves my wife. Mum had a similar opinion to the awesomely expressed one of UndercoverL (above). Dad on the other hand was rather strident in his derision of organised Western religions, (more okay about Eastern ones though). One of my main religious related memories I have of him is the following: A Christian Camp had set up at the school that we lived next door to for the Easter holidays. At dawn on Easter Friday they got on the loud speaker system (which was very audible at our house) and announced with chirpy vigour something along the lines of ‘Rise and shine Christian Campers! God blesses you on this beautiful day! etc etc’. Our entire household woke up and were a bit unhappy about being woken in such a way and so early. On the Saturday of Easter, at dawn, we were woken by another rousing version of ‘Rise and shine Christian Campers! God blesses you on this beautiful day! etc etc’. At this point, Dad (luckily) pulled on some pants and marched over to the school office. Barged in and wrenched the microphone out of the shocked man’s hands. He announced to the camp (and surrounding neighbourhood): ‘All you God Botherers should just piss off and stop waking us up at sparrows fart you bunch of wankers!’ Easter Sunday we all slept in.
    So I guess I’ve always had a skepticism about religion, although I have also always had a strong sense of spirtuality.
    Fast forward to meeting Toku (my wife), she was brought up Catholic, and although she chose to stop practising that at age 10, she has learnt about many differerent religions, identifies to some extent as Rastafarian, believes in God and reads and meditates upon the Bible (to my great consternation when we first met). However after our 2 miscarriages and a lot of grief to deal with I have become much more open to faith in all it’s variations, and am beginning to explore mine too.
    I now try and be open-minded when reading blogs as I would have just turned off otherwise, I definitely have always had that ‘once burned’ thing going on about Christians in relation to the gay topic! But now one of my favourite blogs is written a Christian Mom: http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/ (And that is a big leap forward for me!)

    1. ok, your dad’s reaction to the christian camp was absolutely hilarious. i mean, i sort of LOOOOOVE that he did that. loool. my mom was the same as your grandmum, for the most part. but, she’s come around a bit. my dad i’m not sure there’s much hope for, in that regard. as for the christian mom blogger, i will check her out. there was one christian blogger, in the beginning of my blogging experience, that i read quite frequently. but, i found she never came to my blog and commented. maybe once. that was it. and even tho it probably was NOT due to my content. she was probably just busy and had a life as we all do. however, i felt it WAS because she was a christian and didn’t want to get too involved with what i was writing, so to speak. again, my bias. and i’m working on it. but, nonetheless, there it is. anyway, pepi, it’s nice to see you here. xoxo, sm

      1. It was a photo credit I gave, which turned out to be on WP’s no-fly list. They took 7 hours to get around to telling me to remove it.

        I did end up posting my Canadica piece on time – thanks for the invite.

      2. feckin’ A! i don’t even think i saw it. i’m a canadica tardo right about now. but, i will check it out and i’m glad it worked out. i would’ve been a mess if that’d happened to me. so, i felt your pain, my friend. i felt your pain! xo, sm

  11. Sweet Sweet Mother…ARE YOU GAY????? I had no idea. (What about the beautiful Wifesy?) Oh well, you have blown in my ear, hot and heavily (metaphorically speaking) and I will follow you anywhere, anyhow. BTW, despite what “M” says to the contrary, I love religion! It is fascinating stuff. I studied Philosophy and Psychology at.Univ. and took every course even hinting about the subject. Philosophy 101 made me think and with the help of a lot of reading and some Transpersonal Psychology I came to the conclusion that I am a passive atheist – or, more precisely, an “I don’t really give a sh*t about it one way or another” person. But I was brought up to be moral and to know the difference between right and wrong. Boy, I love having these little talks with you. .

    1. he-whooooo! yeah, i’m with you on that. i like to read a ton about it. i like to even have discussions about it with…and this is the important part…REASONABLE people. if the person is reasonable then i think things can get quite interesting. if not, blood spills. and i usually don’t like blood in my cocktails. it’s a senseless waste of alcohol. and yes, gay, gay, gay. loooooolllll. but, like i say in my act, “it hasn’t always been this way…i tripped through a forest of sausage before i found that perfect pie.” indeed, i do say that. looooool. xo, sm

  12. This post made me step back for a moment. Whenever I see ‘christian’ I cringe as well, and the gloves go on, mostly because I’ve been judged and re-judged, and been told i’m going to hell multiple times in this life.

    But you’re right. To judge based off that is just the same. Then again, it could just be our natural, primal way of categorizing people. Dammit, Sweet Moms, and your thought provoking posts!

    1. if you’re going to hell… then where am i going? under-hell? sigh, it’s all ridiculous. i hear you. it could be a ‘self-protective’ thing, so maybe it has its purpose. but, then again i don’t want to have anything in common with a closed minded feck. so, i do try and think about these things when i can. great comment, mike and thank you for stopping by. i’m very grateful. xxoo, sm

  13. So many thoughts come to mind, and I loved this post. There are so many churches, religions, spin offs, that I’ve never been able to stand it for long in a church that claims their way is the only way. I keep watching and waiting for the Church of Not Leviticus to be created and then maybe I’ll attend regularly and be a “good/practicing/church going” Christian again. I think your reaction is normal, and the fact that you’ve even considered it to be the same kind of judgement you’ve experienced in reverse just shows how much kindness you have in your heart. I don’t know, I could go on for days on this topic, but I’ll cut it off. Great post, great discussion here in your comments.

    1. “the church of not leviticus…” lmao. so funny, rfl. i hear you, completely. and of course couldn’t agree more. also, thank you for your kind words. sometimes i go, ‘doesn’t everyone think this way?’ but, then of course i know that they don’t. sigh. when you find/ create that church, let me know, and i’ll join. xoxo, sm

  14. My dad did the same thing. He grew up atheist and my mom was very Catholic. He scandalized her by taking communion when he hadn’t had the sacrament! He took me to different churches, and I wonder if that’s part of why I’m so open minded now.

    And…I Christian profile too. I seldom follow blogs if they include that in their bio.

    1. “christian profile” loooolllll. she-sus! (like jesus, but a lady) that was an awesome term, kylie. yep, i do think that ‘exposure’ is what led to my open mindedness, at least to an extent. xoxo, sm

  15. You know SM – the concerns you have are precisely why I shy away from that kind of language that might put someone off – even thought I know that most people use those phrases to indicate how loving they perceive themselves to be. I had a pretty interesting childhood. My mom was the granddaughter of a hard-shell Baptist minister in the deep south. She married my pop who hated anything that he wasn’t in charge of so church and God were out. Mom was a wardrobe mistress and seamstress at the Follies Bergere in Las Vegas – she worked there for over 20 years. She was beloved by the performers she took care of – they all called her mom. None loved her more than her boys – the male dancers and acrobats in the show, and most of them were gay. So from a young age I knew that my mom would not tolerate anyone saying anything negative about her boys. Even with her conservative upbringing, she never indicated to me or my brothers that there was anything wrong with being gay. She loved those boys just like Jesus did. She gave of her time and care and concern and she made it clear to us that they were just very talented people. This was in the 70s. So when I started high school and met my first gay classmate he was nothing unusual to me. My mom would have been so embarrassed for me to ever assume that I was better in the eyes of God than anyone else for any reason. Her tolerance and love informed my views. Now in my faith community I know that a lot of people don’t see things in the same way I do, but if I truly believe that God is Love, then my mamma was right. BTW – she made the best fried egg sandwiches.

    1. it’s a lot about “knowing” a gay, a lot of the time, isn’t it? and this would apply to many other minorities, muslims, even. once you know one and they become either a friend or someone you like, it’s very hard to hate. and your moms sounds AWESOME. i also agree with your first point that ppl often used the term ‘christian’ to try and indicate how loving they are or a philosophy that they have. it’s for this reason that i don’t want to dismiss them immediately. better to give someone time to show their true selves. great comment. xoxox, sm

      1. I think you are right about “knowing” anyone. It’s hard to hate something when there is a face on it. I wrote a post about my Pops transition away from racism and that was the key – he could hate the idea of someone because of race – but he couldn’t do it once he was acquainted with someone. I was hanging out with mom on curtain call days and met a lot of her boys when I was a tween so it never seemed like anything odd to me. When I moved away and ended up in a more conservative community it always concerned me to the church put more importance on sexual orientation than on sharing God’s love – for me at that point it was foreign to even think that way. I’m glad Mom showed me that before I had a chance to “learn” any other way of thinking. She wasn’t perfect but she was pretty open for a child of the 50s.

  16. Like calls to like Mum.
    I may not be gay but I like people who have the courage of their convictions, think outside the box and question everything. If someone questions their faith honestly and decides they still believe then great, this is someone I can talk to. Sadly, few deeply religious people take that path. And the ones who define themselves by their faith are the ones least likely to have questioned that faith. They may be the best people on earth but… they’re not going to be kindred spirits.

    1. i tend to agree on this, meeks. i find i like the ‘questioners’ – better to think and question all, in my pov. doesn’t mean you can’t land somewhere, but questioning to me means thinking… xoxo

  17. I have a TON of thoughts on this as someone who spent YEARS of my life trying to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. However, I do not have the emotional strength to engage the conversation right now after being pummeled yesterday for my view on women in combat. Maybe I’ll come back and share later LOL.

    1. oh man, soph, i’m gonna have to read that. is it your most current post your blog? remember, you can always unapprove a comment if the convo exhausts you. blogging is hard enough… and you do it so well. xoxox, sm

      1. None of the comments were actually on the blog itself – they were on friends pages who shared it and on the Small Wars Journal that posted the original article that was a load of crap. So I had no control over it. I don’t mind dissenting opinions, but really, some people are just assholes. :) The comments on the blog itself were nice and appropriate.

        Also, thanks for saying that I blog well :) Happy dance!

  18. Strange, this made me think about other things. Introspection is never bad, never something we should avoid. I follow some blogs written by ‘Christians’, I am careful in my following of them. Careful in my introduction, I am not Christian but enjoy their views of their faith, their perspective of life within their faith. I can read them with an open heart. I read others who are not of my political bent, but they are also not raging idiots with closed minds incapable of seeing the world beyond their own position, I enjoy reading their positions and even a friendly debate.

    Are you just like them? I don’t think so, you are reacting to what you know, what you have experienced. We all do this, it is a normal human response. You are a bright, humane and compassionate woman. You respond to the world you know.

    1. i may have this comment printed on a t-shirt somewhere, vl, just for my own personal sanity. ;) there is truth to i’m just responding thru my experience. but, i do like that at least i’m thinking about not just dismissing someone, but giving them time. i’m not surprised that you’re able to read and engage blocks with completely different opinions. i find you highly emotionally intelligent & i think it takes that to do so. xoxo, sm

  19. I also cringe when I read some people pronouncing themselves to be religious – I don’t believe in any god at all and frankly find it hard to understand the need to that so many others have. But that’s beside the point, what I really wanted to say is that I don’t think there is anything wrong with choosing what you want to read and what you don’t, even if you make a snap judgement. If there is anything I have learned over the years is that stereotypes exist for a reason, which is because there are usually large numbers of people who display sets of characteristics in common, especially if they make the effort to declare certain characteristics. I also agree with the primal view, obviously humans have always had to make judgements about whether others are “like” or “unlike” for the sake of safety and survival. So, sorry for a bit of rambling – making quick judgements that characterise people is not such a crime and I don’t think we should beat ourselves up about it. I think that is not the same as judging ourselves as better than others or not, so that is not the type of judging I’m talking about.Most of the time I would really rather not disturb myself with trying to understand things I probably never will, I just don’t want to waste the time that I have on that.

    1. a lot of truth said here, cupcakes. i also believe that we’re given this quick assessment capabilities (we’ll call it) as a tactic for survival. a lot of the time, it works. sometimes it’s completely off tho. i like when it’s off. life would be boring without human surprises. anyhoo, thanks for reading and commenting. it’s a pleasure to have you here. xo, sm

  20. i found this wallpaper somewhere..it read “Dont hate what you dont understand”…while i was trying to relate to it because im different from my friends and family ..Sweet Mom your post made me realize maybe its also for people who are opposite of what im…
    im not religious ..i dont get why people put religion over simple humanity..but maybe i should not judge them because i dont know what its like to be them..like they dont know what its like to be me…

    was i confusing? maybe i was…did any of that make any sense? :p

  21. Found you by way of Harper Faulkner (blame him, not me). Read through this post about religion, and read your About Me page. Sorry, but I don’t have the time today to read the comments, although I’m sure I would enjoy the content. Will come back another day. Just wanted to pop in and say hello.

    I never, in a million and two years, would have believed that the conservative-thinking and devotedly-worshiping person that I was in my early thirties, would some day turn out to be the liberal-thinking and constantly-searching person that I am in my fifties. I especially would have been shocked to discover that my political beliefs would eventually be defined specifically by two things: abortion (my body, my choice, my moral dilemma), and gay rights (otherwise known as equal respect for our fellow humans). My vote follows those two criteria every time, without exception. Even I was shocked at this unexpected turn of events, but it works for me, so I’ve stuck with it.

    As a heterosexual female, who was married for 18 years to a man I respected and loved, I believe that every person has the right to find and share love. Period. End of lengthy and hysterical discussion. Get over it already. Please. Time to open your eyes, and learn something about acceptance.

    Sorry, don’t get me started. (I know, preaching to the choir).

    I have now subscribed to your blog, and will look forward to when I have some time to come back and peruse around a bit, and poke about here and there, and read some of your archives. Even though I’m mostly not blogging very regularly these days, it doesn’t stop me from appreciating when I hear a voice that catches my attention. Thanks for giving me something to appreciate today.

    1. hello there texas, your comment absolutely made my day. thank you for everything you said. it means a lot to hear it. in fact, i even mentioned how much i was affected by your comment in today’s post. anyway, really glad you arrived here. very honored that harper sent you over and can’t wait to read more of your stuff. much love, sm

      1. I once made myself laugh, and then, after a moment of clarity, had to pause to reflect on the duality of the situation, when I realized just how intolerant I am of intolerant people. I tried (as hard as I know how) to see things from their perspective, but inside my head, a voice was screaming the whole time. Of course, I realize they think the exact same thing. The only true difference (IMHO, of course), is that I’m willing to explore their views. Even though after doing so, I may return to my own way of thinking, at least I know that I’ve reviewed the situation from both sides of the equation. My primary complaint about people who are non-supportive is that they are living in a black and white world, where it is either yes or no, and they have no idea that the world contains every shade of gray. Until, of course, their eyes are opened. One way or another, we can only hope that their eyes will be opened. Sooner, rather than later.

        Glad my comment impacted you in a positive way, and I can say, your words did the same to me. I was especially inspired by your “I feel like a judger, a fixed thinker, maybe even someone with a prejudice! And THAT, I so don’t want.” Amen. Let me be more, let me be open, let me be tolerant. A prayer I keep repeating, until it becomes true. I once stood on that other side of the fence, and then, with a passion I didn’t know was in my heart, I firmly jumped to the other side. And I’ve never been more certain that I made the right choice. Never.

        p.s. love what I’ve seen of your blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s