The following is inspired by the recent gay sex scandal of the Roman Catholic Church – or more specifically, of the papal house. It was recently revealed that a member of the house was actively seeking male prostitutes – not to save their souls, but to lay with them as they say we should lay with woman. You may recognize some of the phrases below from the Book of Job, chosen because that book dealt with Job’s struggles with Satan which I feel has an interesting metaphorical relationship with the LGBTQ’s community struggle with (and within) the Catholic church. For the “story” of the sex scandal, I encourage you to read this post at thenewcivilrightsmovement.com.
Although it is unlikely that the mainstream Assembly of God church will change their view that LGBT people are damned to hell and therefore, not worthy of civil equality (let’s face it, that’s the argument, plan and simple), one church, the Highland Assembly of God near Denver, CO, has opened its doors to openly gay and lesbian attendees. But when Pastor Mark Tidd proclaimed the church a welcoming place, he lost more than just a few members of the church.
But Tidd isn’t phased by the protests from the mainstream Assembly of God church against his inclusive ideas.
I first started begging for death at 14 years old. Oddly, the same thing that led me down the path to pleading for death was the very thing that saved my life – religion. I knew what was considered a “sin” by the church (which in my family amounted to anything other than being miserable): no shorts for men, no haircuts for women, no playing cards, no alcohol, no cigarettes, no sex until marriage, no jewelry other than a wedding ring, no cussing, no taking of one’s own life (or the lives of others) and don’t forget to say your prayers. It seemed there were so many things I wasn’t allowed to do without being damned for all eternity. But there was one thing no one told me – homosexuality is a sin. This oversight was likely due to the fact that sex was never mentioned in church or otherwise.
By the time I was 15 years old, I had already had my first boyfriend, kind of. I had begun to accept that I was “gay,” but I had also experienced the sting of being a “fag.” Society, it seemed, disapproved. The disapproval was so great that I’d often be chased home by groups of boys on bicycles throwing rocks at me and calling me “fag.”
I remember walking home from school one day at 12 years old and coming across the one person in that small Arkansas town I thought I could call friend.
“The View From Here” conference, hosted by Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons, is being held September 18 – 20, 2009 in Salt Lake City. That’s this weekend for my Utah friends that haven’t registered.
Some of the speakers and the lineup at the conference include:
– Clay Essig
– Sarah Jordan
– Joan & Bill Atkinson
– D. Michael Quinn
– (more after the jump)
The Promise Metropolitan Community Church, along with 4 other churches in North Texas are sponsoring a Pro-Gay billboard campaign where they are using snippets of Biblical text to show that Jesus would not discriminate.
The billboards have sparked outrage from many other Christian organizations for their use of the scripture to support love and tolerance rather than spawn more hatred, hostility and murders.
The Southern Baptist convention made no apologies for breaking its 127-year relationship with the Fort Worth Baptist church because the relationship was breached due to the Fort Worth church’s lenient stance on homosexuality.
Apparently, allowing homosexuals to be members of the church is a no-go for the Southern Baptist Convention. Although seminary president, Danny Akin, will readily admit (and in fact has said), “Business as usual is not working” for the Southern Baptists, it looks like it is business as usual for this elitist organization of right-wing conservatives.
When I was young we would play “the telephone game.” Essentially, a large group of people would get together and one person would start with a phrase like, “The portal opened up into a new dimension.” That would be whispered to the next person, who would whisper it to the next and so on and so forth until it gets to the last person. The last person would then say the phrase out loud and it would almost inevitably lead to a huge roar of laughter. What was, “The portal opened up into a new dimension,” would now be, “The turtle suffered from severe dementia.”
In the fight for equal rights for LGBT folks, gay activists are often confronted with religious groups who are anti-gay. Some of these groups are very vocal and have also poured a lot of money into convincing legislators and everyday citizens that our world will be destroyed if we give equal rights to gay people.
Obviously, I don’t believe this or I wouldn’t be here blogging on a gay man’s website. But it does raise the question: Are all religious groups like this?
As a gay man and an atheist I find the above very disturbing. Although I’m well aware that my “religion,” unlike my sexual orientation, is a belief with no foundation in fact, I still feel as though pretending to pray would be as vile as pretending to be heterosexual and it would likely invoke the same nausea.