My name is Pamela, and I’m a recovering Christian. Is there a 12-step program?
“Love the sinner; hate the sin.” Perhaps if I were afflicted with multiple personality disorder this would be an easier task. I should love my self because I’m a child of god. I should hate myself for being a lesbian.
I grew up on social assistance. This didn’t prevent my mother from giving my sister and I .50 cents for the collection plate every Sunday. We were doing our part for the church. Yet, fellow parishioners were dismissive and spoke about my fatherless welfare home in my presence. Apparently poverty and hearing impairment were supposed to go hand in hand.
“Their mother keeps them so clean,” a Sunday school teacher said to her colleague, as she looked my way. The only other reference I had to this statement was when my aunt’s dog had puppies. My aunt praised the dog for keeping her babies clean. I was 8 years old. I knew that I was somehow less than kids with normal two parent families. Just one of the many valuable lessons I learned in church.
We lived on the Atlantic Ocean. When the weather was to bad for her small children to make the mile walk to church, our mother sat us in front of the TV to watch a Sunday service. The two preachers who disturbed me most were: Rex Humbard, Mr. “Give. Give till it hurts,” and Jerry Fallwell: The reigning king of liberty mountain and champion of the 80’s Moral Majority. Humbard taught me that God needed money. Fallwell taught me about hypocrisy.
I gave up on organized religion when I was 14 years old (I’m now 38). Jerry Fallwell was denouncing religious heavy metal music. He called religious rockers satin worshipers pretending to love God in order recruit gullible teens. Fallwell knew this was the truth without having listened to the bands or read they’re lyrics. Anybody with long hair and screeching guitars was evil. Period.
I was a rocker chick, the louder the guitar the better. I listened to the positive anti-drug messages these bands sang about. Fallwell was way off base. More troublesome was the fact that the previous Sunday he was speaking about a non-judgmental God. The topic was unwed mothers who were tossed out by their families. They were victims and shouldn’t be judged. Seven days later he was encouraging judgment against positive musicians who handed out bibles at their concerts.
Fallwell blathered on and on. I stood up and announced to my mother that I was finished with religion. I went to my room, put on religious rockers Stryper, and listened to a true message of love and faith. Although my mother often let me know she was displeased with my decision, she never forced me to attend church or watch a service again.
With the exception of Christmas Eve and weddings I don’t attend service. I can’t completely walk away from the church. It’s difficult to give up the traditions I love. The magnificent structures are awe inspiring to the artist in me. The commanding tones of a grand pipe organ are ethereal. These things are ingrained in the fabric of my upbringing.
Loosing faith in religion was much like finding out super heroes lived only in the pages of comic books. However, each time I consider going back to church I’m reminded of the reason I left: unending hypocrisy.
According to Canadian evangelical minister Charles McVety, homosexuals are perverts, and mentally ill. Yet, good Christians must tolerate and love gays as they love all of God’s children.
Somebody fire up the candles and straighten the lectern stole. Homosexuals need saving!
Mr. McVety appeared on CBC’s, The Hour (10/19/06). He was boasting about Ottawa’s upcoming National Marriage Caucus (Tuesday, October 24th). For the first time, leaders from multiple faiths will stand shoulder to shoulder to defend the definition of marriage. Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, Imams, and Sikhs: monotheistic leaders who each claim ownership of the true God agree to band together. It’s almost inspiring.
Sadly, the first time they agree on anything it’s to discriminate against gays and same-sex marriage; a human rights issue, which is already a matter of law. If only they had found this unified passion in the face of poverty, homelessness, and war.
Unity for discrimination is a sad commentary on all faiths.
There’s so much religious hype over gays and we didn’t even make God’s top ten. Show me the commandment condemning us.
My name is Pamela, and I’m a homosexual recovering Christian. I’m in a 12-step program; and every step leads me closer to the bar.
Barkeep, make it a double.
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