Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kicked with a boot meant for a big foot.

I get these moments, every now and then, that are kind of like kicks in the ass. Really swift, painful kicks, probably from an oversized boot; and, despite my sexual affinity for asses, they are actually not particularly enjoyable.

Today, I got two.

The first was in reading an article written by Shane Claiborne. This is a man that I feel I was born to hate - he is a radical lover of Christ in a way that I cannot even begin to imagine. He is a humble man, devoted to the service of the most hated and impoverished people that could be found in America, and he is an evangelical. And, he is doing everything that I find absolutely endearing in Christianity, and doing it loudly so that God is glorified and so that people can be liberated from suffering.

This only hours after mocking the very ideals of Christian worship in preparation for one of my music ensemble's participation in an Advent Service next weekend.

I am a bastard. And I have a tendency to get my foot stuck in my mouth. Usually an oversized foot. And, even in considering my sexual affinity for mouths, this is also usually painful.

The second moment came tonight. I often find myself attracted towards gay videos on Youtube - there is an enormous collection of videos composed by people telling their coming-out stories. These videos have been, at time, my only friend. And they really helped me normalize my homosexuality with my identity.

Tonight I watched a speech given by a high school student to his classmates. This student was gay, he was attending a Christian (perhaps Catholic?) school, and he was speaking, in Chapel, about his homosexuality.

And I claim to have a serious identity crisis in trying to reconcile God and Homosexuality! Here is a man speaking from a pulpit about being gay. Being gay in high school. And looking for a boyfriend, as a gay young adult, in high school, in front of all of his peers. During a Chapel service. Supported by staff and students. And being... proud? In high school?

This just seems entirely unimaginable to me.

But it happened.

This student was a good speaker - and presented a competent, well produced speech. He referenced friends, experiences, and moments in his life where he realized his own depravity and his own potential for great things. He talked about family, as though it was his goal in life to have a family. It seemed familiar, somehow.

And he did this all at the religious school. (seriously, this wasn't staged - this actually happened!)

How do I reconcile God with homosexuality? Is it possible? Do I want to? Can I escape this idea that he even might exist, and am I prepared for what the entails? Is anybody out there that knows about God, that isn't a frightening Christian, and that is interested in battling through this with me? I could name a few... but none of them are gay.

I think I need to connect with this gay community a bit. I just don't know how. And I am kind of... scared.


  1. teaches you for reading Clainborne

  2. How do I reconcile God with homosexuality?

    What does God have to do with homosexuality? After all, you were born gay and if you believe that god created you, then he created you gay.

    Can I escape this idea that he even might exist, and am I prepared for what the entails?

    Well, God either does or does not exist, so you have a 50/50 chance either way. I grown not to believe any longer and it has taken me 60 years to do so because of my strict Christian upbringing. Now I can step back and see the whole 'god thing' much more clearly. God exists in the minds of some persons- people who need to have a supreme Deity watching over and guiding them. I no longer need either i my life, so i cut the cord.

    Is anybody out there that knows about God, that isn't a frightening Christian

    As i am no longer a believer, perhaps i don't quality, I never was a 'frightened' Christian because the Jesus I came to understand was not frightening. He told his followers, 'Love one another.'

    Seems to be the basis of human existence. What else is there.

    I hope you are not confusing the fundamentalist [c]hristians with the real Christians. They are two much-different beasts! The former are Mosaic Law followers who usurp Jesus and his name to justify their archaic and mean-spirited ends. Nasty people - the whole lot of them.

    Their lives, actions and words are modeled after the law of Moses and the writing in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Abominations at every turn! Judgmental and oh-so righteous!

    Jesus never spoke of those 'abominations' nor of hate. Rather, he said that he came to offer a new 'law,' a new way of living.

    Sadly, the evangelicals and fundamentalists ignore that statement and focus instead on the old law. They pimp Jesus in the process.

    As an aside, I find the comment of Anthem reprehensible. He touts himself as a 'Christian pastor' but the comment here is nothing but a caustic spit in your face!

    I wish you well, Neal, as you play out these various scenarios that spin around in your head. Know that you are not the only person with doubts and confusion about life and living, especially at you age. Things are never as bad as they seem if you can pull yourself up and away and look at the broad picture, from a different perspective.

    I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and that your family get-together will be pleasant.

  3. Thank you for the post Mud-Rake. I appreciate the encouragement a great deal. I think we have to move away from the separation of Christians into fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist groupings, because I think that they would all claim that they were fundamentally based on something Biblically (even if they are using different passages for their ideals). Really, I don't know if I appreciate the labels at all, even if they do help us organize our world conceptually into two camps. As you are surely aware, the line is always blurred. I quite enjoy some of the readings of the Old Testament - largely prefer it to the new testament, actually. Even some of the Gospels (ok, only John really...).

    Regarding the Claiborne commentary, I think Anthem is right. I shouldn't read articles by him... but I find his message so alluring. In one of his books, Claiborne writes of how he travelled to India and finally met up with a real Christian... that, until then, he had no idea what Christianity was like. This transformed him. When I read Claiborne, I am reminded of my humanity and my enormous desire to be so much more than I already am...

    I think God did create me gay. But the God I encounter in the culture around me is largely not interested... even if individuals seem to be ok with it, I wouldn't mind something more vocal from the larger church body.

  4. mud_rake: if only you knew the profound love and respect I have for Neal you would know that I would never spit or even think about spitting on/at Neal.

    he is a dear friend and if my comment was taken literally, I am sorry.

    and Neal - you're right, we should meet again soon.