magyar_saman: (free speech zone)
I grew up Christian, and I was Christian into my 30s.

What I was taught is not what is apparently being taught these days. I was taught that to be a Christian, one should be forgiving, generous, and help those who need help.

Then I hear about Chick-Fil-A and the controversy surrounding what the owner said about his company being run on "Christian Values" when asked about gays.

Um....

There is a brief statement in the Old Testament that says a man should not lay with another man. That is the entire foundation of the beliefs certain individuals and Churches possess and use against those who are gay, bisexual, transgender, or other-gender. Further research into the time that quote applied to reveals that the Jews were commanded to "go forth and multiply". Well, that can't happen in a gay relationship, can it? There is absolutely NOTHING in the New Testament that condemns other-than-heterosexual people to the fires of Hell. NOTHING. If you're going to take things literally, then take it literally where Jesus tells you that he brought a new Covenant to his people. The Old Testament is nothing more than reference.

We live in the United States of America, whose Founding Fathers laid down the rules that keep religion out of government, and yet, under Bush I and II, the separation of Church and State was eroded. As a result, we have scores of groups claiming to be Christian who are doing their best to influence how our government is run - all the way from the local to the federal. They have succeeded in twisting laws about abortion. They have succeeded in keeping gays and women second-class citizens. They have promulgated hatred against non-Aryan races, under the radar - and, oddly enough - have gotten members of some of those races to go along with them. It's a twisted and sick picture that I see, and one that makes me very glad to have walked away from Christianity, if that's what it means to be Christian these days.

This is the 21st Century and our culture is forever evolving. The way I see it, people like I'm talking about seek to keep things "the way they were" because they're afraid of anything they don't understand.

My "god" wouldn't allow non-hetero people if they weren't meant to be here. Perhaps it is our species' way of cutting down population. Perhaps we're evolving, as a species, into something that isn't so neatly divided as "male" and "female". It sure looks that way, if you turn off the TV, and the radio, and put down the newspaper and just think about it, in your head, by yourself, without other "voices" trying to influence your opinion.

I am of a dying breed; true Free Thinkers are rare these days. I was brought up to question, to research, never to take anything at face value. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that "Christianity" as put forth by "popular culture" is not something I would ever want to be identified with. It teaches that women should be pregnant, barefoot, and chained to the stove, rather than fulfilling their human potential as they see it. It teaches that a woman's reproductive organs are domionion of men, and subject to men's regulation. It teaches that if I am anything but one gender and a heteroseuxal one at that, there's something wrong with me, and I'm going to Hell for it. It does not give any wriggle room for anything outside of Black and White.

It's totally unrealistic, and I refuse to have anything to do with it.
magyar_saman: (usa unraveling)
...is allowed to happen.

It's pretty damned obvious that I am not Christian, though I will say I came from a Christian background. I feel my background gives me plenty of experience to add my two cents' worth here on the Damon Fowler story.

I risk sounding like my mother by saying when I was growing up but I am finally to an age where I can legitimately say that. When I was growing up as a Christian, I was taught that Christianity was about love, forgiveness, and compassion. It was about helping your fellow human being, regardless of their beliefs. It wasn't laced with the rabid invective of today's fundamentalists who insist that if you don't believe as they do, you deserve the worst kind of death imaginable.

There are two churches which I attended, and participated in, during those years that still give me fond memories. One was Evangelical Lutheran, the other, Methodist. Both had leadership who embraced the true meaning of Christianity and shared that meaning with their flocks. In the latter case, they still welcomed me even after I'd moved from Christianity to Baha'i, and looked after me when I was terribly ill. It didn't matter to them that I no longer considered myself a Methodist or a Christian - I was their Sister and I needed help.

That's the kind of Christianity I hold great respect for, and the kind I have fond memories of.

Nowadays you hear about the churches who are led by madmen, who preach that you MUST believe as they do, or you deserve the worst that can happen to you. You MUST tolerate their extremism or you are ostracized and, in many cases, physically threatened. That you MUST keep your mouth shut, even when they transgress the very laws this country was founded upon.

No, no, and no.

I remember very well the saying in the Bible "Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing." These are the wolves, people. These are the people who USE Christianity for their own glory and edification. They aren't teaching love, compassion, and forgiveness...and unfortunately, they're becoming more vocal and prevalent in this country.

When someone's parents are so deluded by such drivel that they cast their son onto the street, literally, without any support or hope, then something has to be said, and something definitely has to be done.

I believe the Spirit embodying Creation is many-faceted, and that each and every belief system sees but a handful of those facets. Even so, they are still seeing the same, the Creatrix at the center of it all, albeit but a small part of Her.

Even Atheists in their steadfast rejection of man-made religion see the Creatrix, though they hold no belief that She needs worship...and frankly, She doesn't. She will go on, creating and destroying, whether a bunch of tiny beings on a giant planet worship Her or not.

I am not Atheist, but at the same time, I believe the hidden meaning of the Bible, and so many other religious texts: Your salvation or damnation is entirely dependent on how you behave, and how you treat the beings and the world around you. We are here to learn and experience in our spiritual journey through the cosmos. Whether we spend that time dwelling in hatred for diversity or whether we embrace it is entirely up to us. We can't blame a god or a goddess for the choices we've made.

I wouldn't say I "worship" a God and Goddess; rather, I Honor Them, I work with Them, and I show my gratefulness, every day, for the good things in my life. I am fully aware that what I view of the Creatrix is but a tiny part, a part I can personally relate to, that allows me to learn and move along my journey.

This country, the United States of America, is slowly becoming the Haves and Have Nots, the Majority and the Minority, the black and the white...only whose "black" and whose "white"? That is the question which faces us all. Are we to sit back on our high horses and point at everyone else and say "bad" - or rather are we going to honor the laws our Founding Fathers crafted, for our good as well as others? Are we going to sit back and let the "wolves" control what goes on in our society or will we be like Damon Fowler and stand up, and say ENOUGH?

I like to think I'm on Damon's side. Everyone in this country has the freedom to believe as they wish - they do NOT have the freedom to condemn someone for not believing as they do. By doing so, they violate yet another part of our laws, the part that guarantees every single person has the right to pursue happiness of their own defining. Pursuing that happiness does NOT give you the right to threaten, bully, beat, ostracize, and otherwise make miserable those who do not believe as you do.

There is far more to life than meets the eye. There are still plenty of people who are so narrowly focused that they miss what's here - hell, they miss what their own Bible counsels about the path to perdition being wide and easy to follow. It takes work to advance a sense of love, forgiveness, and compassion in the world today. It's far easier to be afraid of, and hate, those who are different than you.

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magyar_saman

November 2012

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