(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Holy Gay Soap Box

I had planned to run a silly interview in support of my book REAPERS WITH ISSUES today that featured God and Jesus, but have since changed my mind. Because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a way to write the interview that didn’t come off as offensive. This bothered me more than I had expected it to. For what it’s worth, here’s why.

I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic household that adhered to every dogmatic practice you’ve likely heard of. Naturally that formed some of the rebellious attitude I have adopted in my adult life. Despite all that oppression I did take away some of the good, namely the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Now, before you get all concerned that I am going to show up on your doorstep in a toga, let me explain. Throughout my childhood I was taught that Jesus was delivered to Earth by God because he felt mankind was drifting both morally and spiritually. I was taught that Jesus wanted everyone to love each other, to help each other and to practice tolerance. As I became an adult, I discovered that the name of God, and specifically Jesus, was used as a weapon of moral judgment by some against others. To me, this flies in the face of everything I was taught that Jesus stood for.

When I decided to write REAPERS I knew that I would have to face the obstacle of characterizing Jesus. I did some research and a lot of reading and came to the conclusion through what I’d found that Jesus was either portrayed as completely sinless or terribly flawed. Neither one of those polarized examples fit my image of Christ, so instead I went with “grown home-schooler.” I chose this defining character trait for Jesus because he sees only the good in others, and believes all humans are as capable of love and forgiveness as he is. He soon discovers in my book that he is very, very wrong.

The reason I’ve elected to revamp this post is because my dear friend and blogger (who shall remain anonymous until he gives me permission to update this post with his name) passed along some eloquent words on the topic of Gay Military marriage that I felt compelled to share. I believe his thoughts sum up why I was reluctant to post my tongue-in-cheek interview with the son of God. I am confident, however, that readers will be as moved by his words as I was.

 *****

“I’ve found that rational, sound thinking individuals aren’t threatened by gay marriage or gays in the military. It is people raised on fear and hatred and ashamed of themselves that have the most problem with any other person’s pride, confidence or overt contentment. I wonder how many people realize that the most decorated soldier of the Vietnam War was a gay man.

Being gay and being a good soldier, citizen, or person aren’t mutually exclusive, though the hate mongers make a point of grouping all gays in the same ranks as criminals, pedophiles, and the lower immoral elements of our society. That old saying that “no man is free until all men are free” isn’t just about slavery. The USA consistently touts its greatness and how we who live here are free. This society is no more free and egalitarian then those who actively subjugate their people and it is just as likely to force individuals to perform in ways that are detrimental to themselves as well as their fellow countrymen and women. If the Christian God is so busy protecting the people of America over any others on this planet, why is it our current situation as a country is so fucked up? Allowing same sex couples to have happiness is such a trivial issue it boggles the minds of sane people at how the issue has captured the minds and sick thinking of so many simpletons.

Just as Nazis found scapegoats among Jews, gypsies, intellectuals, and gays our country is now plagued with right wing extremists who strive to thrive by applying ugly pressures to those who are willing to question their radically bigoted agenda. An insidious virus has brainwashed a sizable amount of the American population to accept violence and bigotry as normal and believe that love is to be denied to any but the supposedly chosen.”

46 responses

  1. Offensive to WHO? The people portrayed in the quote in italics? Then, quite frankly, who gives a shit? People gotta blame someone rather than accept responsibility for themselves. Some people seriously think that you can’t have morals or behave morally without God. Tell that to AlterBoy01.

    But if I was you, and I am, I would write whatever the hell popped into my head, and hit ‘publish’, and not think twice about it. Why bother writing the “offensive” book if you’re not going to follow through? People either like you (as I do) or they don’t (like complete morons don’t), and a fun story isn’t going to sway them one way or another – or if it does, they aren’t the people you thought they were.

    I carry a soapbox around with me. What?

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    • Hallelujah!

      Like

      September 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      • Really? Wow.

        You said ‘never fail to forget’ below, by the way.

        Like

        September 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm

        • Did I? Huh. I guess I forgot.

          It’s been a looooong day.

          Like

          September 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm

  2. My goodness, who could have written such a profound diatribe? Talk about Holy Gay Soap Boxes . . .

    I am so flattered you would reprint my didactic spiel. I, too, was raised as a Catholic. You have my sympathies.

    But, HE, I couldn’t agree with Edward Hotspur more. Forget about pussyfooting around the issue of Christ and how he is represented. Trust me, there are legions of small minds who won’t approve of any but the most ridiculously literal interpretation of a man many of us aren’t even sure existed or, if he did, was anything like how he is popularly pictured. My feeling is that, if you believe in the man, then you must believe in the really significant message and, as you have stated, it is one of love and acceptance and calling the bad guys out.

    If I still followed a Christian faith I would definitely only pledge allegiance to a Father/Son/Holy Ghost who were nonjudgmental, tolerant, loving, caring and forgiving.

    The Catholic Church of today needs to wake up and learn to preach and teach and follow what Jesus supposedly taught. If they can’t get their act together why torment yourself protecting the fairy tale they espouse?

    Write from your big heart and good humor and let the chips fall where they may.

    It’s a privilege to know you.

    Greg

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    • Thank you, Greg. Your words move me every time I read them. I will never fail to forget that when my born again Christian father turned me out, it was a gay couple who took me in. They were my first real experience with unconditional love, and I will never forget them.

      Like

      September 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm

  3. There are some people who are going to be offended no matter what you say or how you say it-I found that out a long time ago. My choice is to say what I want when I want without worrying about what people might think, but also knowing that I shouldn’t set out to intentionally offend.

    I like to expect good things from people because I think most of us really don’t wish that any harm would come to others. But-in regards to people being taught to be bigots and haters-I don’t think so. I think most of these people truly feel that way deep down and are speaking loudly now because they see others doing it and getting away with it. They can air their true feelings without fear of being rebuked because the rest of us sit on our hands and pretend it isn’t happening.

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    • “All it takes for sin to flourish is for good men to stand by and do nothing.” I am paraphrasing, but I cannot tell you how often I’ve used this very statement. Of course, as a fellow New Hampster, I can completely understand feeling free to state my opinion. :)

      Like

      September 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

  4. I actually agree with Hotspur on this one.

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    • Wow. That’s scary. If I remember my Bible correctly, that’s one of the signs of the apocalypse.

      Like

      September 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      • Now now – just because I’m the second coming, something something sexual prowess humblebrag, something Godlike, something blah blah blah, etc., something a 12 year old would say, and so forth.

        Like

        September 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      • Yep. And I just took Wonderbutt for a walk, and he did not Poop as He Walked – which is another sign. We’re all in trouble.

        Like

        September 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        • Next come the locusts. It’s always the locusts.

          Like

          September 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

          • And they poop AND make noise. That’s why we fear them, right? Or is it because they eat our crops? Gosh, I need to protect my crops… Oh, yeah, I don’t have any crops. HAH. I ain’t afraid of no stinking locusts.

            Like

            September 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

  5. As an outsider, it seems to me the current crop of politicians in America are using fear & religion to divide your country right now. Those who don’t agree with them are “bad” or “other” & it’s to the detriment of your entire country. To me this seems to be a step backward in your country’s evolution. Please don’t misunderstand – no one is perfect, it just seems to be very public in your country right now with the upcoming election.

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    • Sadly, that is exactly what is going on here.

      Like

      September 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

  6. It’s weird, folks. I was raised a Lutheran, now I’m mostly an atheist (I say “mostly” because I wish there was something to look forward to besides absence of life, when we die). I always thought that Catholic practices were a little freaky–the kneeling, the repetitious touching of one bead after another in prayer, the dietary restrictions, the “you’re going to hell if you ever miss church”, the praying to Mary, the idea that a wedding or funeral would ever take more than 20 minutes, etc. But what the heck, everyone has their foibles. But in the last few years I’ve become so TOTALLY disgusted with so much I’ve heard about them–the evil things the Catholic Church did to unmarried mothers, to altar boys, to Jews in WWII, to Native Americans, as well as the idea that Sister Teresa wasn’t so darn great, that many “sister-teachers” in Catholic schools were pure-ass mean, that they are so stupidly inflexible about abortion and contraception, etc, that I finally had to step outside myself and say, “Self, you’re being just as inflexible as the sternest Catholic (or Protestant), just as prejudiced as the morons who wouldn’t vote for JFK not because of his abilities or politics, but because he was Catholic, just as inflexible and stupid as Protestants around here in the 1950s and ’60s who would shun future daughters-in-law because the girl was Catholic.” It’s just mean-ass bigotry, whichever side you bring it in on. It disgusts me that we can barely feed and heal our citizens, but we don’t try to fix that, we try to make sure that people don’t make up their own minds about whether to give birth or who they should have sex with. Hell, if a gay guy can get laid, he’s one-up on me lately. I can’t even find a Catholic girl to put out.
    I’m so old I say what I want, when I want, and damn the consequences. Please write your tongue-in-cheek God or Jesus interview. People with a brain will love it or ignore it.

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  7. Sorry about the verbal diarrhea by the way. It’s this neverending sinus infection or allergy or whatever–I’m out of my head lately. For Christ’s sake.

    Like

    September 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

  8. TomEliasWriter

    Coming in late here – literally (damn flights)… I was surprised to see this since I was looking forward to the interviews, but I think this is better and illustrates the intelligence and insight that makes you a great writer. You can show up on my doorstep in toga anytime.

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 1:23 am

  9. If they can think, they’ll read and appreciate the interview and the book(s). If they can’t think, they’ll read the Bible, and not acknowledge your compelling prose. Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke…. and they can’t.

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 4:02 am

    • Said the wisest man alive. Thanks, Archon. You’ve always got my back. :)

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 5:52 am

  10. Maybe I am the only one who thinks you were right to be hesitant. England is very secular, not like pockets of America at all. But what you have said is what you have said forever. The question who gives a shit is not something you can judge from behind a computer.

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 4:23 am

    • I agree with you completely. The saddest part is that I grew up loving the stories I learned about Jesus. It infuriates me when others use his teachings as a way to bash people they personally do not approve of.

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 5:53 am

      • If you take the teaching of the bible with a pitch of salt they are good morals to live by. I mean like you say some people take it too far and use the words of God and Jesus to say other people are wrong which I don’t think is the word of God at all. What Religion needs to do not is adapt to society and only people in strong positions can do that like the Pope. The Pope however is too old to understand modern day society and that wont change anything. A lot of things have changed since the 1927.

        Like

        September 11, 2012 at 6:27 am

        • I am no closer to understanding what it is the Pope actually does today than when I was a kid.

          Like

          September 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

  11. It seems pretty simple to me. If you want to be offended, if your goal is to be offended, it’s very easy to find something at which you can take offense. What is mystifying is why people seek out reasons to get pissed off at people whose lives don’t affect (effect? I always screw those up.) them.

    We could all quote dozens of passages from the Bible about tolerance, but that apparently doesn’t register with the same people who spout hatred and bigotry on one hand while admonishing those with different lifestyles for their personal choices on the other. Okay, I’m not going to the Bible, but I am pulling out a quote from Paul McCartney who succinctly noted, “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Some folks just need to open their arms and embrace rather than keep them folded tight across their chest. I know, I’m a crazy dreamer.

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

    • You’re not the only one. :)

      I agree with you completely. I still have yet to figure out why who someone loves is a topic of great personal interest to people who wish to govern a town, city, state, country, etc.

      The day my sexuality is factored into a vote for my town’s Mill rate is the day I join Archon in the Great White North.

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    • “A” is coming. “E” is going. Others Affect you, but you Effect changes in others.

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  12. Anonymous

    I don’t know what all your sexuality entails, H.E., but if you have some video of it, I’m sure that I would find it VERY offensive. ;) ;)

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    • Oh I’m sure I can dig something up. ;);)

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

  13. Oh my Estrada, computers are dumb. It’s okay that it disappeared my latest comment, because it was silly, but why doesn’t it know I’m me? If you got an anonymous comment with 2 winks on it, that was me. You have cool blogging friends.

    Like

    September 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    • “Oh my Estrada” is so going to be my new catch phrase.

      So Mr. Two Winks is you, huh? How sad is it that I responded the way I did without knowing who that was?

      Sure…portraying Jesus as gay in my book is the reason I’m going to Hell.

      Like

      September 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm

  14. I’m late to the party here, but I kinda don’t see what the fuss is about. You obviously are very talented and any interview that you have done is done well. No exception with this one too…I have no doubts about that. People get offended by the most inane things. I was raised Catholic as well and have no bones about someone who has opposing views ( I married a guy who grew up Salvation Army. We’re still married. Our kids were baptized/christened in three different denominations…damned league of nations at my house!) Love is love…God is who/what you want to believe, post the interview. I would LOVE to read it!

    Like

    September 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

    • I am laughing so hard at this comment I can hardly type!!!

      Like

      September 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  15. Sadly, anyone against what you were going to write isn’t going to be moved by what you did write.
    I say offend them until they’re apoplectic, then make sure their donor cards are filled out before the heart attack.

    And while I’m generally a little more tolerant than that, in this case, I’m more than happy to demonstrate the callous mercilesness they embrace.

    Like

    September 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    • You, El Guapo, are my hero.

      I love the word, “apoplectic.” You rarely see it used anymore. You do know, of course, that if I indeed were rendered apoplectic the Paramedics would respond with tacos.

      Damn self-inscribed donor bracelets.

      Like

      September 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      • Oh god, I need to go rewrite my living will!!!

        Like

        September 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Lay The Awesome On Me

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,117 other followers