Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gone with the wind...

The inevitable has happened; I have once again been black-listed at PCC. This time, I don't care; I don't have any interest in developing the relationships that I have at the church anymore. I'm exhausted of being consistently disappointed by the very people that suggest that they love me.

But they only love me on Sunday mornings; and even then, only on the Sunday mornings when I find myself interested in attending church.

So, I am leaving PCC. If I ever find myself in that building again, it will be a mistake.

And note that this isn't a cry out to the church - I don't want to be "loved" by them anymore. I don't want them to pretend that I am a part of their community. I reject them, and all their lies about our relationship.

And I can only admit that this is entirely about me; God cannot be a part of this because it is a breaking of relationship - it is the most basic of sins, and it has been conducted and orchestrated by a church that isn't interested in reconciliation, and by a man that doesn't want to be redeemed.


Today I went to church. I anticipated being frustrated afterwards, but not quite to this degree. I did not anticipate that I would be revoking my membership, by e-mail, today at 1:15 pm.

I walked into church, and none of the pastors and none of the youth to whom I have ministered had any interest in having a conversation with me - even when I have approached them. They avoided me. Particularly the children of the pastors.

Today they commissioned the Elders Board, and pointed out that there was a "portfolio" for specialization in member care. I couldn't help but smirk; how pathetic that relationships are relegated to a person's responsibility rather than another person's responsibility. And how ridiculous that we can expect a Baby Boomer woman to be able to care for the members that are of her children's and grandchildren's generations.

Then they prayed to God thanking him for Unity and for the strong Community at PCC. The only part of the community that is strong is the name of the church, which has PARLIAMENT COMMUNITY CHURCH, written in bold letters on the church sign and in the weekly bulletin.
- the church is currently starting a new ministry, called Beyond the Walls. This group is focused on social justice, and how the church can respond to social justice issues in the local and global community. I conveyed my interest in involvement to members of the committee three times: once to the chairman of the group, and twice to the pastoral leader of the group. Neither of them have attempted to connect with me.
- I have gone to the Associate Pastor of the church several times, explaining how I think there is sufficient interest for a new small group in my age group that is interested less in justifying the church and more in assessing the theology of the Bible on its own terms through a much more academic and studious approach. His response was to contact the leader of my age cohort ministry, and convey that he is concerned about how I may disrupt the College and Careers group because of my willingness to question the authority of scripture. Because searching for truth in scripture is equated with questioning the authority of scripture.

I remember when I left youth ministry, the youth pastor said, "Don't you go running away from me." I should have responded with, "Don't you go running away from me." Because now he can pretend that he had no part in this. He put the ball in my court, and I didn't push back to say that I wanted to play fair with the only member of staff with whom I have had a remotely positive relationship.

And I am sure that the church is now concerned with my retention as a member moreso than ever before - except that nobody is actually concerned. They just don't seem to understand that the crisis is over. I am leaving.

And, with great disappointment, I know that I must return on August 7th 2010 for my friend's wedding. Even now I am thinking of ways that I can get out of being at the ceremony.

And, adding to the frustration is the fact that the sermon today was actually quite good. It actually focused on God. I was thoroughly surprised.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"don't try and get inside of my head, you'll find a nightmare waiting for your arrival."

I have found myself desiring a boyfriend more and more recently. Somebody to be entirely comfortable with.

But I think that somebody trying to get to know me has to deal with a lot of psychological baggage. It will be like going through Hell; finding the hut of my tortured existence, and extracting me. Bringing me to a fulfilling life.

Just as Robin Williams did in What Dreams May Come for his wife.

Is anybody going to do this, though... For me? With me?

I am not a good person.

Monday, September 14, 2009

They don't really care about us.

Have you ever been illegal, for merely being born?

Unfortunately this is a question that far too many people can answer positively, admitting that, at some point and in some cultural landscape, they have been illegal.

Jews are familiar with this - the Shoah is perhaps the greatest reminder to a broken and redemptive nation. African-Americans are reminded everyday that, at some point in relatively recent history, they were illegal. Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and peoples from thousands of other faiths have been purged, burned, and forced from their homes merely for being born into their cultural landscape.

Homosexuals are still aware of this in many, many parts of the world. Unfortunately, the reality is that we are not alone.

But I am self-centered, so for a moment, lets pretend that Homosexuals are the only people who still experience hate.

During the second World War, many different groups were targeted by the Nazis and placed in various camps for work, or for extermination. The physically and mentally handicapped, Muslims, Jews, Africans, the Sinti, the Roma, communists, Catholics, political opposition, and Homosexuals were some of the more directly targeted groups, though this list is far from exhaustive.

By the hundreds of thousands these people were boarded onto cattle cars and carried to unfamiliar lands where they would perish; lose their souls, lose their hope. Become a number and not a name. A tool to build for their oppressors rather than a family member.

Each of these different groups of tools were given different symbols when they entered the camps so that they could be easily identified by the guards according to their crimes against the imperial state of Nazi Germany. The Jews were given the familiar star of David. Political prisoners wore upside-down red triangles. Homosexuals wore upside-down pink triangles.

There are many surviving stories about how, when used uniforms were given to new arrivals at various camps, people would avoid have the pink triangles. It was better to be mistaken for a Jew in one of the camps than to be a homosexual - treatment was no notably better, but the society that developed in the camps was not particularly endeared to homosexuals.

Unfortunately, this perception of homosexuals being the worst identifying factor transfered over the Allies; for this homosexuality may be unique, though I would accept some arguments that being a Jew was equally bad during the war in the Allied countries as it was to be a homosexual.

Here, is the story of one British War Hero - Alan Turing, and the discrimination he experienced in the years following the war because he was born Gay.

I don't think they used chemicals on Jews in Germany to turn them into Christians. I could be wrong though...

Thank God that I was born today rather than 50 years ago - that my fortune is to be a Canadian citizen rather than an American in 2009. Thank God that so much has happened in the last 50 years towards the freedoms of homosexuals in Canada; that I can get married, that I can adopt children, that I can enjoy job security.

That I can be relatively certain that I won't ever be given chemicals that will turn me into another gender or reverse my hormones.

Also, thankfully, governments are starting to realize their mistreatment of homosexuals in the past.

Thankfully progress happens over 50 years.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I want to be born again!

The flying spaghetti monster succeeded in finding a meat-ball mate. And, as a celebration, he told a Bolivian priest to hijack a plane. In other religions, we call these people terrorists. In this one, we point out that he is a former drug addict.

It would also receive a lot more media coverage.

What a fascinating dichotomy.


Every now and then I hear about a friend, or a friend of a friend, who has somehow come to the faith. It happened to me twice this past summer. And neither time did I rejoice; honestly, I experienced a serious degree of regret. For a couple reasons:

Firstly, because I am not certain people represent Christianity very well. Mostly because I don't, but also because I know that the Christianity that these people are attracted to is actually based on a sense of security through Biblical story of the Resurrection of Christ.

Secondly, they quickly adopt the ideas and beliefs of Christianity rather than considering what they truly mean. This is perhaps because the wrong people have brought them to the faith; people who claim faith in Christ and what he has "accomplished" through his death, and are generally conservatives with strong beliefs. That are undeniably oppressive. (On a side note, I know several people who would argue that these views wouldn't reflect Christ today. I have issues with this idea, but I probably agree with them).

Thirdly, the version that they get of Christianity is feel good completeness. It isn't the dismay and despair that Christianity can cause in a person's soul. And, almost certainly, it isn't a life of self-administered hardship, where one refuses to live according to the same values of our culture - where the moral concern is global, and real, and pressing. The Christian lifestyle is entirely uninvolved in oppression. In all of its manifestations. And this is challenging, and frustrating, and necessary.

The two people I know who came to the faith this summer had very different "evangelized" experiences. One was told many times about my third concern by a close friend of mine, and still found something appealing, and is trying to adopt the faith and the worldview. When I heard that this was the story of her evangelizing, I felt more comfortable with her adoption of the spirituality.

The second person missed out on all of the lifestyle stuff, and managed to adopt the views of Christianity that I find most volatile. One of his close friends is a lesbian woman - a friend of mine.

He says that this summer he finally began to understand why homosexuality is bad. My guess is that he was told by somebody, who claims to have more experience, and pretends to have everything sorted out in their head.

They aren't close friends anymore. My lesbian friend is broken up over it, the other friend does not quite understand what he has done that has so negatively affected the relationship other than share his recently adopted beliefs.

I have a friend that is going to a Bible School in New Zealand, and he recently sent me a letter that states that he now understands that his friends in Regina desperately need Jesus. My question is, do they?


I read in a friend's facebook today that he feels religion is for those people who are trying to avoid hell, and that spirituality is for those people who have been to Hell and are fighting their way back.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The last engagement

I hope none of my friends ever get engaged again, and ask me to be a part of the wedding, no matter how small the level of involvement.

My best friend is engaged to a wonderful man. I have mentioned her many times in the past. It was her phone call that caused me enough frustration to post openly about my homosexuality on the internet. On this very blog.

Tonight was her engagement party. I spent the entire night watching her and her fiancee enjoy each others company more than anybody else's, and was entirely charmed by the thought of romance. I listened to them talk about each other as though they knew each other intimately enough to order each other's steak variations. As though they could select a playlist for the other for a long trip home.

This past week, my friend has been in town and I have gone out with her a couple times, each moment with the anticipation that I would let her in on the secret.

But I am beginning to get to the point where I feel like my parents should learn before anybody else gets confirmation. So I have successfully put it off by thinking of ways to tell my mom and dad. I have a plan - and will likely put off using it. It involves taking my mom for a walk - and activity she enjoys. She'll know something is up when I suggest we spend time together.

She can tell my dad that grandchildren are going to have to come from my brother.

My friend Brittany would be one of the next though. And I am very concerned. I have spent many hours with her talking about homosexuals and their ability to be moral, and participate in a single relationship for the remainder of their life, and be good people. I am, obviously, on the more positive side.

She, in the past, has not been.

Tonight, somehow the idea of my wedding was brought up into conversation with friends and her family. Awkward. Not only because they managed to bring up many, many embarassing stories, but because I am not sure if Brittany would want to attend it.

Next summer she is getting married. Some time in the next year I have to tell her that I am gay. And then she will associate many judgments with me - or start being challenged in her perception of gay people. Unfortunately, I don't know if it will end well for me. And I am supposed to be the M.C. at her wedding. Which may be revoked, though I doubt it.

The question is, how do I tell her?

Do I ask her, "How would you feel if I brought a boyfriend to your wedding?"

I wonder what it is like to be straight...
I wonder what it is like to have hope...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

In the valley of giants.

So I just discovered that somebody that I worked with for a week at Bible Camp is gay. His facebook profile picture is of him and his boyfriend, having taken a professional photograph together. And I have no idea how it is that he managed to come out of the closet, but I wouldn't mind if he could provide me with some pointers.

He is impressive to me. A giant man. Holding the hand of another, giant man.

His image is a source of torment for me.

Because I wanted to finish this sucker up before school starts. Which was on Tuesday, and was likely impossible to achieve. Once school starts, it cannot happen - I won't have time to deal with the extra frustration, and I will always find some method of rationalizing not completing the process.

Trust me, I can delay. School allows me too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I like the idea of spaghetti.

I almost broke a rule today. A young man who was in my cabin at camp a couple years ago posted the following verse in his Facebook status:

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the... lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

I almost responded with this phrase. "Zephaniah, chapter 1, verses 7-18 . Be comforted." (a fellow blogger, The Unwelcome Guest posted this on his blog recently, I recommend going there and reading it if you are unfamiliar with the passage.)

I detest people who use scripture as a method of lifting themselves out of their self-hatred. There is insufficient evidence in the Bible to suggest that we should trust the will of God. Which side am I on? The Israelites, or the enemy? I don't know - by the miracle of birth this reality is chosen for me. I could be slaughtered tomorrow by a fleet of people that God prefers. I doubt it, but scripture tells me it has happened once already, and there is no promise of a rainbow to prevent it from happening again.

My unwritten rule is this - I cannot step into anybody else's spiritual life, particularly those of youth, when my idea is likely going to be harmful to their worldview. Despite all desire to be harmful to that worldview. The rule becomes even more strictly adhered to particularly when it reveals me, a person who has been of spiritual guidance in that person's life, to be a man with a desperate lacking of faith.

But the reality is that I don't believe in a flying spaghetti monster in the sky. I cannot prove his nonexistence. It could be there, shaking its starch-based arms around and searching the universe for a meatball to mate with. But I don't believe in it. And I don't believe in this God, either.

Kind of.

I am undeniably Christian.

But let me explain this idea a bit, because to many the belief in God is central to being a Christian.

I can't get rid of God, despite my attempts. Because somehow I manage to think of God as a good thing - somehow I manage to think that the idea of God is a good thing - and, particularly, somehow I think the social contract that can potentially develop out of God is a good thing.

When I think of God, I think of how puny I am. How entirely unimportant I am. I don't imagine how he could have envisioned the creation of the world, or how he knit me in my mother's womb, or how he allowed the United States to become one of the most successful military businesses in history. Because God doesn't exist. He didn't do all of these things.

But I don't think bad things come out of the idea that I am puny, expendable, and, ultimately, not of specific import. Because this allows me to realize that the world will go on without me. And also humbles me - God is bigger than me, even if he is just an idea. And being humbled is a good thing - because it places me on equal grounding with the rest of the world, makes me more aware of my excesses and pride, and forces me to invest in my community because it is necessary for the things in life that are most important for others. Because, as a result of the idea of God, I am their equal.

God isn't about grandeur, or glory, or providing a hurt person compassion. God isn't devoted to me as a human being, and if he is, then he is no more devoted to me than to anybody else. God is about being tiny and expendable, and about being equal with everybody else.

But ultimately, God doesn't exist, but the idea of God is enormously powerful and ultimately valuable.

So long as one doesn't start talking on his behalf.
Because he is just an idea - he has no behalf for which one can speak.

My brother, who presented to me the satire of the flying spaghetti monster, doesn't believe in God because he can rationalize his nonexistence.

I can do the same.

Kind of.

But my belief in God is not because I can rationalize his existence, but because I see that the idea of God - the admission that there is something bigger than me out there - is probably actually good. Because I see being humble as being good.

And I know that I am anything but that which is good.

And thus, I am undeniably Christian.

Now come, let me wash your feet before we worship a spaghetti monster searching for a mate.