One of the hottest topics people in my state and around the country are talking (mostly yelling and arguing) about is gay marriage. The Maryland state legislature passed a bill allowing gay marriage. Even though there are provisions in the bill giving clergy that right to refuse to marry gay couples, both the Christian Right and Left joined Republicans getting their panty hose and jock straps all tied in knots over the bill. Now they've joined forces to try to get enough signatures on a petition to put it to a vote in the coming elections. What if this had happened when the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act were passed in the 1960's? What would have happened if those bills were subject to a national referendum after they passed Congress? HELLO!
Christians seem to love fear. They seem to have a need to love to fear and/or despise something. Usually some group. Christians (actually all fundamentalist of the three religions descending from Abraham) also seem preoccupied with sex and abomination. They appear to have holy shit fits at just the mention of sex and abomination. And I use the term Christian rather loosely. I am mainly talking here about Evangelical Christians, Christian Fundamentalists, strict Catholics and most Baptist.
Christians love to despise gays. Always have. It has been the single most bonding issue white and black Evangelicals, strict Catholics, and Baptist can agree on. They have combined to make gays the NEW NIGGERS of AMERICA!
I get the feeling these folks think gays are obsessed with wicked sex practices and can't wait to climb in bed with someone of the same sex. That gay people view all people of the same sex as potential sex partners, and can't wait to find some child to indoctrinate.
I have gay friends and relatives. Most of them behave like everyone else, and you wouldn't even know they were gay unless they told you. As far as I can tell, they do the same thing in bed most of the time as all my heterosexual friends; SLEEP!
I am not a Christian. I am a spiritual Taoist. I personally find organized religion in any form very divisive by nature. Religions are always about US. Not ALL OF US. Organized religions are rooted in the dogma of their holy books, rituals, and clerics. Holy books are written by men from an ancient era taken from an oral tradition. Most people were illiterate during the formative years of the three major religions. The rituals were created by men, and for the majority of history the clerics were men. People are fallible; I don't care how much of what they do, say, or write is "inspired by God". Yet people today take the words of their holy books literally without taking into consideration the historical and cultural context of when they were written. DUH! I am not writing these things to bash Christians or anyone else. I am just giving you my personal viewpoint. Organized religion just doesn't float my spiritual boat. If it works for you, GREAT!
Why Christians are called Christians is a question I asked my very Methodist grandmother (who raised me) when I was about 10 years old. I had learned in church that Jesus was a Jew. I asked her "If Christians are followers of Christ, why aren't we Jews?" To this day, I can't get an answer that makes sense. I figured out the reason Christians use the Old Testament is because most early Christians were also Jews themselves. Almost every time a "Christian" gives me a reason gays should not marry they go to the Old Testament. The most popular reference by far, and the top of the Hit Parade of quotes is Leviticus 20. A part of Leviticus also forbids tattoos, but I don't hear too many Christians getting their knickers all tied up in knots about tattoos (probably not enough sex involved). Leviticus has references to sacrifices also. When I point this out to my Christian friends they usually say, ""Well, that was back then. We don't sacrifice any more. We have different rituals now" And what about Leviticus 11? It says not to eat anything from the sea without fins or scales. Shrimp cocktail anyone? Don't tell me the Bible is the literal word of God and then knit pick what works for you!
Jesus was not a Christian. He was an observant Jew with a lot of good and wise ideas about how we should treat each other. I realize that religiously he was much more than that, but I don't here too many Christians quoting Jesus when it comes to backing their religious views about most things. They quote everything in the Old Testament and some from the New Testament, but not what Jesus said.
I can't seem to find too many sayings by Jesus that are judgmental or hurtful to others. What I do find is a nice concept by Jesus that goes: "You must love your neighbor as yourself." When I say this to my Christian friends that are against gay marriage they usually say, "Oh we love gay people. We just don't like what they do." Let me see, what did these people do that is so awful? Find someone that they love so much they want to spend the rest of their lives with and have a ceremony that gives them the same legal rights as others that did the same thing. OMG! HOW HORRIBLE. Give me a break. Jesus didn't go around teaching people to be hateful or hurtful. And here's another tune from the Jesus TOP TEN FOR THE RIGHTEOUS: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted." They won't admit it, but a lot of these folks have an air of righteous arrogance about them, or at least that's how they come off. Cut it way down quite a few notches.
So, should Christians really be called Christians? Show me a person who follows the words and actions of Christ and does that only, and I would consider that person a Christian. Show me a Bible thumper and I'll show you, for lack of a better term, a Bible Bully. Someone who uses the Old and New Testaments for whatever spiritually rocks their boat, justifies their bigotry, or makes them right whatever the argument.
I served my country twice. Once as a marine in Vietnam and once as a V.I.S.T.A. volunteer in the Alaskan bush, with Inupiat Eskimo youth. I did not do that to make sure that the intolerance and bigotry that consumed the United States in 1969, when I joined the Marine Corps, would perpetuate to this day and age.
As an African American I am appalled that other black people and religious leaders, who have suffered the injustices we did during those dark periods of American history, can have the nerve to issue those same prejudices and injustices to another group of human beings. Hiding behind the veil of religion! Where is our collective memory? Have we as a people forgotten what it felt like so soon? It's shameful. White folks used the Bible to justify slavery too! Think they were right? Show me the difference. Can we as a people justify this because , for once, it's not just US this time?
The National Organization for Marriage is using gay marriage to divide black folks as a major political strategy and many black ministers are falling in line like lemmings going over a cliff. Do these ministers somehow believe they serve a different homophobic God?
A real Christian follows his Christ. A Bible thumper blindly follows his church. No questions asked. Big difference! Faith is one thing. Blind Faith? Keeps you in the dark; and I believe I remember from my Sunday school days hearing something about "Let there be Light!"