The worst thing to come out of this campaign so far, in my humble opinion, is the dredging up of the contraception controversy. I thought we settled that way back in the 1960's. So did most other Americans. Even the majority of Catholic women use birth control in the United States. Its use is almost universal and has been for decades. I guess the radicals didn't get the newsletter.
To compound the issue, they've renewed the infernal drumbeat concerning those who are radically pro-life and those who are radically pro-choice. Both radical sides on this issue are …., well they're radical. I'll leave it at that. The vast majority of Americans in the middle of the issue, where sane people tend to be on most issues, have made it clear they want abortion to be safe, legally available and rare! That is a pretty simple concept, and its a pretty good place to draw a line in the sand on an issue that will never make everyone happy.
But this blog piece is not really about politics. It's just that the very word "Republican" has become almost inextricably linked to the Christian Right in the collective minds of Americans. Some Americans, I think, actually believe that God Himself is a registered Republican! I'm really surprised that the Reverend (I use the title cynically and in a sense of mockery) Fred Phelps himself has not put down his signs saying "God Hates Fags," and changed them for signs saying, "God Hates Dems."
As a Christian myself (a liberal one) and a Republican (a moderate one), I'm just so tired of being thought a fool because I admit both to being a Christian and a Republican! The country is about to go down the proverbial drain, and we're fighting about reproductive rights and how big the gap (if any) there should be between church and state? The whole damn country was established more than 200 years ago by mostly religious forefathers who, in a wisdom born of great abuse in Europe, saw fit to set forth a constitutional principle that in this country there would never be a theocracy - that Americans would never be compelled to support religion nor would they ever be compelled to deny their religious beliefs.
But it's not just the country that is going down the drain. Likewise, organized religion is going down the drain and Christians, perhaps I should say, right wing Christians, are still trying to pick fights over the very foundations of the Gospel of Christ and over the Constitutional guarantees that have defined America for more than 200 years.
The facts speak for themselves. Over the last decade the percentage of Americans who do not belong to or attend the services of any religious group has almost doubled. I can't say I blame them. If I was not a Christian but just someone looking in at all the fighting and the bickering and the claims that God hates this and God hates that and the demands that you have to do this and you dang well can't do that or God is gonna git you, I'd run for the hills before I'd ever set foot in a church. I don't have to go to church to find such things!
Not many people will say it (they just vote with their feet and stay away from Christians), but the right wing of Christianity is suffering mightily from a bad case of reactionary fear. They've misinterpreted the Gospel so long and so appallingly, they've forgotten God Himself is still in control of the universe - not them. They don't have to make up their minds about what they need to do to save the rest of us from Hell, God had a plan for that two thousand years ago and He still does! And it's not a reactionary plan born out of fear. It is the master work of proactive plans.
In an age where the average person takes in over 100,000 words a day of information, Christian Right Wingers just look foolish when the try to convince everyone that the Bible is inerrant and the literal word of God. Everyone but them knows it's not. People are just too smart for that kind of nonsense any more. Recent statistics point out that only a third of Christian Right Wingers themselves believe it, but dang if they ain't a vocal minority of rabble rousers!
Have you ever read it? Have you studied it? Have you taken the time to find out that the Bible has a known history and it didn't spring from a burning bush? Have you done all this research yourself before you started torturing yourself over the religious implications of your bisexuality or your homosexuality?
For almost all of you in that situation, the answer to those questions is, "No, you haven't." You've just surrendered without even putting up a real fight.
It's time you corrected that mistake. There are many many books written by well educated Christian theologians that can point you to a new way and a new understanding of yourself and your homosexuality or your bisexuality. There are hundreds of guys you can find on the internet who are Christians themselves who have come to see that they are as God Himself made them to be.
For your own sake, if you're going to take some part of the Bible literally, then take it all literally and spend your time working out the resulting mind numbing conflicts that will beset you before you start working on hating yourself. I guarantee you, you will never have time to get around to hating yourself. Remember, even the fundamentalist don't really take the whole Bible literally. They just take literally, the parts they can bash you with.
Two Lives (Cameron) at "If I Do The Right Thing" blog has posted a great letter that was written to Dr. Laura Schlessinger a few years back when she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error."
The letter is still timely. It talks about living up to Leviticus. It points out that even the most devout fundamental Christian does not begin to live up to Leviticus. Yet, they think they are going to heaven and you're not! Somethings wrong with that! You can read it on the "If I Do The Right Thing" blog at: http://ifidotherightthing.blogspot.com/2012/03/reply-to-bible-literalist.html
More recently the letter was parodied on the television show, "West Wing." You can find that You Tube Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1-ip47WYWc
I urge you to read the blog from the link above and watch the video from You Tube as well. Do it for yourself and your peace of mind!
And one last thing. As I said, I've tried to use some gallows humor in this piece. Don't let my poor attempt at humor mislead you. My faith is important to me. It always has been. But as a ten year old boy, I found that the fundamental right wing faith I was being raised in just didn't cut it for me. Nothing about it made sense. Nothing about it ever added up. It always led to me to painting myself into a corner when I tried to take it at face value. It never taught me that God loved me. What it did was make me think if God was really like that, I didn't want anything to do with Him at all.
I struggled for many years with my doubts and fears and sense of self hate. Then in a final bout of desperation, I began to read and study and think for myself. I found dozens of great liberal Christian authors who have written many wonderful books about faith and love. It is so important that you know the Christians who make the news are really a very vocal minority of Christians. Most Christians go about their lives quietly providing for their families and helping others when and where they can. They don't try to rabble rouse about their faith. They just live it day by day. Chances are you know one or more of them. Perhaps they are work in your office. Perhaps one of them is you kids school teacher. Their everywhere. They're just not in your face!
Like me, they don't claim to know all the answers. They don't claim to know the mind of God. They do claim to know the love of God. They do claim to know there are many many paths to God. Some of them even lead through homosexuality. They don't claim that the Bible is the literal word of God. They don't claim it is a science book. They just see it as a good and sufficient guide to faith.
You can know all that for yourself. You can know that, even as a homosexual or bisexual man, you are as God made you to be and that you are loved, not hated. That there is a purpose for your life. Reach out and see.