James Manning, a Pentecostal minister in New York who is no stranger to controversial statements, recently recorded a rant in which he interpreted God’s loving words as follows: “It is time now for those of us who know the truth to stand up and push back against this homosexual lesbianly LGBT agenda, and those are the correct alphabet. It is time for us to stand up and declare that homosexuality is not normal, it is abnormal.”
As many regular readers know, I’m an atheist; therefore, when I say this, please don’t take it lightly. It was after much contemplation that I decided to go public with this very personal moment in my life. Tonight, I spent many hours in the kitchen working on making some candy. It’s a long process and messy – so the clean up often takes as long as the making. Thereafter, I was a bit tired and stepped outside for some fresh air. I began thinking hard about things in the world – the economy, marriage equality, the criminal trial against the cop that beat Duanna Johnson, and other things relevant.
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.
I sat down the other day and penned “Murder of Gay Youths in Tel Aviv: I’m the One to Blame.” Although many have misconstrued the message to be an apology for “blaming religion” for anti-gay attitudes, it was really a call for us each to take personal responsibility in obtaining social and civil equality. We need to answer the call from “God” to ensure social and legal equality for all people.
While writing the post, I remembered, if only briefly, the slogan, “Silence = Death.” For those too young to remember, the slogan was about the HIV/AIDS epidemic sweeping the nation and our government remaining silent on the issue as people died. The slogan was later popularized by the group, ACT UP!
As an atheist, it is surprising to me that the first thought that came to my mind after hearing Bill Maher say, “Someday we all do have to confront the notion that our silly gods cost us too much” was: Bill Maher better be glad he’s wearing a rubber suit ‘cuz God going to strike him down with lightening.
This morning I woke up, sat straight up in bed and began hovering in mid-air; my head spun completely around several times just before I projectile vomited pea soup onto the floor in front of me. The pea soup vomit burned a hole in the floor which opened a gateway to hell – out popped Satan and demanded that henceforth I be his lover. Other than the burn marks around my lips, the “being Satan’s lover” thing isn’t so terribly bad. It comes with many perks. With a little Aloe Vera cream, it’s actually very tolerable.