June 1997

Religion Versus Who We Really Are

One of the biggest hurdles facing me, as a gay person, is my religion.

Most religions have a rather anti-gay policy, brought about God-knows-when, but part of their doctrine no doubt. I, myself, am more familiar with the Christian attitude, or tolerance (as it is now called), toward gay people, having been a Christian myself. My mother felt that it was her duty to at least have me baptized, confirmation was an option for me and me alone to consider. Part of the ministry of educations' policy in New South Wales is a Christian religion program, or scripture lessons. This is an attempt to guide us on a morally correct path, or give a reason for the rules imposed on us from home and school.

I had seven years of these dreaded scripture lessons, these did nothing for me, except for help to distance myself from the whole Christian faith. I can remember these dreaded magazines, filled with the "Good-of-God." In the corner of every page I would draw a small devil, coming out of flames, killing the religious figure pictured on the page. This was much to the disgust and anguish of the Uniting Church scripture teacher. When my parents found out, my father laughed. Dad had religion force fed to him by his mother.

Both sides of his family were very strong Anglicans (Church of England). Two of my ancestors were priests, one of which was born on the same day as myself, some 208 years prior (scary). My father saw no real need to religiously educate us, nor did my mother. By my first year at high school, I had asked largely philosophical questions of every scripture teacher that I had. This lead them to the conclusion that I was simply a smart ass of sorts. During my second year of high school, I encountered what I could have become.

One particular child in my grade is a very strong Anglican, to the point where his life ambition is priesthood, and he wears a celibacy ring! I started having fun with him, toying with his ignorant mind. He first told me that I was a false prophet, then it turned to anti-Christ. Although not his only vice, I was his most outspoken opponent, questioning his motives for wanting to bless the entire grade.

That same year, I learned the basic teachings of Buddhism. This lead me off on my own philosophical direction. The main Buddhist principle is being true to yourself, which in turn makes you true to everyone else. Now, being a gay ex-Christian, this was a rather large turnaround. The only Buddhist teaching that deals with sex is not to be promiscuous, so basically, no orgies for me, monogamy only. Again, it basically means that I have to be true to myself, in loving the person that I am with. And so, from that wet day in June, I have been a Buddhist, much to the dismay of my grandmother, of whom when I told of my "conversion", said to me that I should go to Sunday school, and that my mother should have sent me to church long-ago.

When I wrote earlier of the Min. of Ed's Christian scripture policy, I said that it was in place to prevent moral corruption. I believe that the Christian religion in itself (in some respects only) is morally corrupting. I was told the other night on IRC that "...Christians must love Homosexuals, but hate the sin of Homosexuality." Now, I believe, quite strongly, that being homosexual is not what I am, it is who I am. There is a subtle difference between who and what. What infers an object, "What are you? I am a gay".

I don't like being an object, I want to be a person. So "Who are you?" should be the question, and the answer should be "I am gay." Being gay is part of us, it is part of our personality. Our homosexuality plays an integral role in the way that we think about everything and everyone. Homosexuality is not an external force. Gay is humanity. So, getting back to the Christian "hate the sin of homosexuality", the Christian must hate who I am. Now, how can someone hate someone, yet love them? And how can a gay Christian go through life, knowing that everything they do, every thought that they have, is sin, because of who they are?

Now why I might sound anti-Christian, and to an extent I am, there is a founded reason for it. Most of my friends are Christian, and of those who are Christian, most of them hate homosexuals and homosexuality. "It is unnatural. It is immoral." Yet, these are the same people who are meant to love all of God's creations...Just what is love in the Christian gospel, eh?

While endeavoring to explore this rather complex and sensitive area of Christian Philosophy, I can't seem to find the answer anywhere. Did Christ, if he existed, love homosexuals for who they were? If he didn't, then he hated them. If he hated homosexuality, then he hated who those people were. In Christianity, there is not intimate love between two men, or two women, only sodomy. And what a lovely word it is; sodomy, sounds like a cesspool, festering in the night. I can just see it, in court, if I were Christian, in order for me to properly fulfill the oath, when asked about my boyfriend; "And what is your relationship to the accused?" Instead of answering "He is my partner/boyfriend/lover", I would have to answer, "He is my partner in the sin of sodomy."

Seriously, you think about the strict definitions and meanings given in the bible. By the same person, (the IRCer) I was told that homosexuals are able to break the cycle of their sin. My sin, huh? So I am sin, perhaps the Christian Freak I wrote of earlier was right. I don't particularly want to be gay, but I do want to be me and if I am gay, so be it.

Get screwed, your holiness Pope John-Paul. Get a life, Christ. And learn not to be so hypocritical, God.

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