Monday, August 7, 2023

Is it fair?


Tish Harrison Warren is a New York Times opinion writer focussing on faith and religion. She is a woman of deep convictions and faith in God. She writes about one of the reasons that she is leaving the paper. She said that writing weekly about God is a soul deadening experience.

In particular she finds that constantly writing ABOUT faith actually pulls her out of her faith in general. And I admire her for the honesty in this. (her column)

And, I think I should reiterate why I find religion terrible and horrible. It has very little to do with God. When my father died, the minister at the service insisted my father worried about my being gay. he did not, he just did not want to talk about himself and his multiple wives, crimes, and extramarital affair with another congregant. 

Instead, he threw my gay ass under the God bus. And the bus proceeded to roll over me, back up and do it again. 

First, the church sat me and Ed separately. We both figured that was the way it worked out. It was Zela, me and the woman my father was having an affair with. She was still married because he was a vet in a coma and she wanted his money. She said it was until she finished a few classes, but still - not so Godly.  

Second, the pastor told the congregation that my being gay was horrible for my father. that, he said, was what he wanted to talk about in the last days. This is bullshit. My father was fine with my being gay. He had slept with men, women, married women and who knows what else (actually I know, but that isn't important here).

Finally the pastor explained in these words. "It troubled Jerry that his son would not find the Lord. And no matter how good you are to your Grandmother or your family, if you are gay you are going to hell."

So yeah, my disgust at the way religion treats people is totally based on experience. The hatred that these people showed me to help me find God was palpable. And yes, everyone but my Grandmother heard and understood it. I know this because a decade plus later Zela passed. The church called me repeatedly to go to the service. I did not. They apologized for last time. And apologized for not speaking up. And apologized for trashing me in front of the church. And then asked me to subject myself to that again.

I know there are great church and people. My friend Shelly is a member of a church that is loving and focussed on good works. I wish I had ever been around that type of religion - maybe it would have changed me. But I was exposed to evangelicals that got more bitter, hateful and nasty over time. And I had to go to the Catholic Church, drug by a step-father who was evil incarnate. And did the whole Latin sit down - stand up - kneel rigamoriole with people who were farther from good that it is possible to be.

So, you don't have to agree, but you can now know where it comes from.

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