Stop pretending

There is a story in the news almost every day about homophobia. People deny tips based solely on the assumption that the person serving them is gay. Homosexuals are beaten and killed in Russia and around the world. Protestors chant “God hates fags!” outside funeral services for members of our nation’s military.

Less news-worthy instances of homophobia affect me personally. After eight years together, there is still no legal recognition of my relationship. And after eight years, most of my family members still don’t acknowledge my partner. My immediate family, in many ways, is fractured.

What’s the common denominator? Religion.

I haven’t been to church in around nine months. While discussing that fact with a friend recently, I was finally able to verbalize my feelings on the matter. What it boils down to is that almost everything negative in my life is a result of religion.

Religion separates my family. Religious zealots threaten my safety and security. Religion makes my world a less welcoming place.

While I still believe in God, I have no desire to associate myself with a denomination. My church might preach equality for everyone, but the people driving by don’t automatically realize that. If I say, “I’m a Christian” or “I go to church,” I worry that many will assume I am just like the other bigots who go around bashing those who are different.

I don’t need religion to be moral. I don’t need church in order to go to heaven (if there is one.)¬†What I need is for people who call themselves “Christian” to at least make an effort to live up to the name. Don’t pretend you love everyone when you are so clearly filled with hate.

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Comments

JimT
Reply

Brian, what’s sad is that many are okay with the fracture. They quote bible passages of Jesus saying he “will set father against son and mother agaisnt daughter” and feel like the fracture is just the necessary result of their “following Jesus”.
If they can find a bible verse that “fits”, they think it justfies their behavior and they’re okay with the fracture. Sad.

Brian
Reply

You are exactly right, Jim. I remember hearing those verses when I was a child, and I realize my family probably believes I am the one creating the division. Sigh.

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