Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wash it Clean

This weekend I read a blog written by ‘fish on a bicycle’ from London about his adventures in crossing the northern US by automobile. It's titled 'the opiate of the masses'

It was entertaining and well written and gave little hint in its early going that it would tumble headlong into the ‘why can’t gay people be gay abyss’ that plagues and bedevils society and contemporary opinion statements.

I linked the story for you above, wanting you to read it, because I was entertained and impressed by its artistic quality, but also aware that once again the shipwreck of social misunderstanding was hung around a scapegoat target when the final sentences had been composed.

In the post the ‘fundamentalist Christians’ get the boringly typical pro-gay hammering for not allowing a ‘gay to be gay’.

Before I go on you should understand that I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home. I also am not gay. You might quickly jump to the conclusion that ‘no wonder this post has begun this way’, but I would also want you to know that I have spent many years understanding why it is acceptable for me to not embrace the notions and philosophies of the culture I was taught and raised within.

I reject a great deal of the fundamentalist Christian culture. I have had to change much about my agreements with self to actually achieve the beliefs I hold today.

This is similar to the position in which the young girl in the previously mentioned blog found herself. According to the author she had made a phone call to a fundamentalist radio talk show asking for guidance on her inner feelings of homosexuality. As you might expect she was downcast from being told by the Christian radio experts that she would not find heaven unless she became ‘normal’.

I could make this a post so lengthy no one cared to read it if I began to cover all I feel about that isolated incident in the Midwestern US, so I am going to cut to the ‘cliff notes’ or ‘streamlined version’ of my thoughts.

The fundamentalist Christians have no power over this young girl and her feelings. She believes they do. This is the nucleus of the confusion for the girl and the same nucleus of confusion for our society.
I will say it again. The fundamentalist Christians have no power over this girl or her feelings. She believes they do, and this is the problem.

The answer for the girl lies in understanding a higher and far more important concept than anything that involves the expression of her sexuality. Her impression of self, and her understanding of self can be framed by the outer world, but it should not be centrally defined by that world.

This is the art of breaking internal agreements that others have given you and learning to live by your own internal compass with personally forged agreements about who you want to be. Her mistake came in asking permission about how to feel about her own internal voice.

This likely sounds harsh if the girl is young and has not reached the same distance markers on the road as her elders such as me, but nevertheless it is her road to travel.

We can be weak or strong about our internal agreements, those are choices also.

Should we denounce the fundamentalist Christians for telling her she cannot find heaven and be a homosexual simultaneously?

No. That’s intellectually too easy, and it ignores the development of the inner process that ultimately insulates us from the judgment of others. After all, she did call and ask them to judge her, did she not? They have a right to respond based on their own inner agreements. When we judge the opinion giver we simply recycle the insult of judgment.

I believe she will find heaven without question and that her sexuality is a non-issue to God. It is my hope for her that she will reach this belief as well.

The important task at hand for all of us is to find our own inner compass that first, and most importantly, does not arbitrarily judge our inner feelings based on the agreements for life taught us by others, and secondly teaches us that judging others is simply recycling the force against which we diligently struggle.

I will say this to you in a different way if the previous sentence left you massaging your noodle.

When we grant power to the people that deny us what we truly feel, then we have done a disservice to ourselves. When we deny the judge power, in this case the fundamentalist Christian, we tell them in essence, “No thank you, I do not acknowledge any power you might have over the way I feel.” When that process is complete inside you, anger at their opinion is no longer a possible feeling.

The constant ranting on and on and on about ‘fundamentalist Christians’ or ‘idiot Democrats’ or ‘idiot Republicans' or our ‘idiot in-laws’ gives them power over your thinking, feelings and words.

You see, when you have freed yourself from the judgment of anyone other than your internal self, then the judgment so readily offered by the external judges will have to seek long and hard to find an entrance for its intended evil.

I too feel sadness for the girl portrayed in this story. It would be callous to not feel some sadness for her.

This girl can be happily gay. Or she can be gay happily, take your pick. She simply needs to choose it internally and finally acccept it, dismissing the judge within and the judge from without, realizing her choice is a life-style choice and not a choice between good and evil or heaven and hell.

Steal the power from your oppressor, wash it clean and wear it well.


Grant said...

Yes! I agree with you completely. Satanism and lesbian sex rule! Death to the xtians. Or did I miss a subtle part of your point?

Seven said...

Please go take your meds...try to settle down now.....
If lesbian sex rules we will be forced to masturabate silently and sadly for the rest of our lives....

Robert Shapiro said...

Rick, thank you for your courage to comment on these thorny matters that come up in our society and in other cultures as well.
Of course as you say, this is a challenge between knowing the difference between judgement and discernment - something difficult for a youngster and not so easy for an oldster either.
Still, I feel good about your willingness to place the issue before your readers. After all, it is something we must consider - is it not. God has created us all and since homosexuality or lesbianism, as it is called, is part of that creation - it is not meant to be a temptation but rather simply an accepted fact of life - perhaps one that would be beneficial these days when we face the inevitable fact of overpopulation.
Would it not be simpler and more gentle if the population gradually decreased because people who fall in love with each other don't necessarily produce children and it's not a struggle for that to happen. I too my friend am not gay and yet I feel it is important to acknowledge and yes, appreciate the fact that others are. Maybe they are here not only for their own personal fulfillment as are we all but maybe they are here to fulfill the needs of an overpopulated world while still being loving and joyous and sad and yes - human as we all are.
Goodlife my friend.

Seven said...

As always, you have rendered a beautiful articulaton of a complex thought, full with benevolence. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Grant said...

"If lesbian sex rules..."

I understand. Business as usual for me.

Seven said...

Your comment gve me the puch line for a joke that has no 'joke body'(yet)....the punch line goes.....

What, you mean lesbian sex DOESN'T rule?

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I'll reserve comment on the "lesbian sex" thing, okay? ;)

Great post, Rick....very thoughtful and insightful! :)

a fish on a bycicle said...

Hello Rick,

Thank you, you're opening lines are a fair and accurate appraisal of my post.

And I agree in very large part with your argument thereafter.

I hope you will understand that I wasn't bashing fundamentalist christians as a particular group. I agree, that ultimately life choice is an individual choice.

But you and I are of an age, and perhaps an education, where cynicism is a healthy virtue? My horror is of zealots of any discipline who offer their truth, and the associated rewards and penalties, to people who find it a little harder to form their own opinions.

Nice to "meet" you, as it were!

Seven said...

Yes, I could tell easily from the tone of the post that there is a gentleness and maturity in your manner that precludes harsh judgments, but rather only felt compassion for this lost soul seeking guidance. I was not offended in any manner, and I, like you, wish the zealots no success in spreading poison. BTW: I really enjoy your writing.
Peace and Good Cheer

Sandra said...

You're a good writer yourself, Rick! Very good points made. I tend to bash fundamentalists because I was raised as one, so I just know too much...but your rational view is a better one. Very good.

Seven said...

Like myself, did you grip the pews in fear of even going home cuz you might go to Hell if you were killed on the way home!
Thank you for your kind words. I will be off to your blog to read your thoughts; well not like a psychic, but you know what I mean....:-)

Sandra said...

I was actually taught that it was pointless to study at school like I did, because the Rapture was going to happen before I made it to adulthood anyway, and I'd either go up to Jesus, or die here left behind. And, I was told that women didn' need to learn anything, anyway. Hence, my form of rebellion was to get straight A's and focus on achieving as much as I could. Funny how that worked out. I wonder if God had a hand in that?

Seven said...

It appears the 'rapture' of finding yourself foiled their intentions.
You see, 'rature' did come before adulthood in a they were incorrectly accurate....?
Er...I thnk I confused myself

Jenn said...

Rick - nicely done. What an intelligent post on a tricky subject.

Gerbera Daisy said...

Very well written. I have to agree with you.

Shephard said...

Brilliantly put.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it as well: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

And I think your observation about the young girl not having the life experience to realize she doesn't have to give her power away is also appropriate.

Well written.


Jessica said...

Came via Fish and stayed a bit due to your own excellent writing. Thanks for sharing.

Seven said...

Its a pleasure to have you here. I will visit you often and I promise not to call your son a demographic!