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.