A Matter of Belief

My sister just went through a difficult time with a local government agency. It is over now, and I thought I’d take her to lunch awhile back just so she could have some time away from home.

Somehow, we got on the subject of evolution. And homosexuality. And the lunch, while not exactly contentious, was on its way to becoming heated.

My sister is very firmly entrenched in the Bible. Six days to create the world, man created out of clay, woman from his side. And that homosexuality is a choice.

I believe in God. And I believe God is the greatest programmer of all time. That evolution is His creation in progress. That we could have evolved from single celled organisms because God is just that cool…and omnipotent. I believe that the Biblical creation echoes an evolutionary process, just over billions of years instead of six days. However, early man couldn’t understand the complex processes, and therefore man relayed it as best he could understand it.

My sister, however, firmly believes in the Adam and Eve story. No evolving from primates, especially no evolving from single cells (even though I mentioned the single-cells of the egg and sperm that create a human). Humans are better than that, apparently. I mentioned the mitochondrial evidence that does seem to indicate that modern humanity came from one woman, an ‘Eve’ if you will, that science IS reflecting the Bible. But she dismissed it entirely, using her rationalization that we couldn’t come from a single cell.

Then…we discussed homosexuality. She firmly believes that it is only a choice, that people aren’t born that way, and it goes against God’s will. I said I believe it happens both ways. I asked her if she believed that God created all life on Earth, and she said ‘yes’. So then I asked her about homosexuality that occurs in animals. She was flabbergasted, and asked for examples. All I could think of at the time was dolphins, primates, and penguins (the male penguins that raised a chick that was in the news awhile back). She just couldn’t believe it. Then I told her that one of my proudest moments of my son (Eraserhead) was when one of his friends chose to ‘come out’ and tell him he was gay. That that young teen had such faith and trust in my son’s friendship with him to reveal his homosexuality. I was almost crying because it moved me so much. I think instead of seeing the beauty of that situation, my sister was more worried that my son was hanging around gay people and might become gay!!!!

I knew we were getting nowhere fast. I really don’t try to ‘change’ the minds of people who believe one way or another. I don’t care what you practice as long as you don’t go Westboro Bap. Church on me (and gays can be as militant as the fundies!)

My sister is very religious. She has ‘faith’ there is a God, that He created the world. She believes in the Bible and in doing God’s work.

Homosexuals also have a belief. They ‘believe’ and have ‘faith’ that they are homosexuals. That belief is just as strong as my sister’s belief in God. How do we prove that one ‘faith’ is right and one is wrong?

You don’t. It just is. Treat each other decently. Don’t be an asshole. That’s pretty much Christianity summed up, right??? Don’t be an asshole. Be nice.

3 Responses to “A Matter of Belief”

  1. diamond dave Says:

    That’s basically where I stand. So long as it don’t involve such abominations like child rapists trying to justify themselves (Jerry Sandusky interview, anyone?) I will, as a rule, leave my personal prejudices on the doorstep and treat everyone with the respect and dignity that they deserve, and agree to disagree. So long as I’m treated likewise.

  2. Bitterroot Says:

    And what do we do with people whose sexuality is created in them by the brutality of others? I knew a gay man who resented like hell that he was how he was, because he didn’t feel he had a choice in the matter. He was terribly… affected (I can think of no other way to put it), but found no other path to open, non-judgmental acceptance. His father was a rapist, a substance abuser (alcohol, IV drugs, prescription – pretty much anything he could get his hands on), and a violent sonofabitch who would routinely beat his wife and kids between bouts in jail or even the pen. When this man was only seven, his father brutally raped him. And again. And again, until he was about twelve or thirteen. He developed a deep hatred for his mother, whom he saw as an enabler who used HIM to pacify and even shield herself from her husband. His older brother suffered much of the same abuse. Today, that brother is serving life in a State penitentiary for murder.

    My friend was very open about his past AND present. He would talk graphically about things that happened and his opinions and current sex life – even to the point I had to ask him to stop or at the very least be not-so-graphic. (Seriously, I could have gone my whole life without knowing what a ‘Prince Albert’ piercing was or how it’s performed!) He was perhaps one of the most brutally honest people I have ever known. “Honesty is the only way I can manage it all,” he would say. “If I make up stories, then I’m lying to others, I’m lying to myself, and the Truth is captive inside me and eats at me… it festers and blooms. Putting it all out there removes its power over me. If other people can’t handle it, that’s THEIR problem. None of it happened to them anyway, it’s MY story. I don’t tell it because I want their pity. FUCK pity. I want to be understood, because sometimes I can’t even understand myself…”

    How can I condemn someone like that? What kind of a god would himself damn someone who was so brutally savaged and broken by Pure Evil, and for whom any intimate relationship with another human being has to contend with that kind of terrible emotional baggage? Further, what kind of god would ask me to condemn such a traumatized soul? Such a god *cough*Allahu Ackbar!*cough* I would not – could not – celebrate nor worship!

    He really did struggle with a lot of issues. He despised militant “I’m here, I’m queer” gays and the “fashion queens” who were maybe experimenting and toying around with “being gay” for attention. “I fuck them hard like my father fucked me! They want to know what it’s like to take a walk on the wild side – I make ‘em fucking bleed!. They’re crying for their mommies when I’m done!”

    Of course he knew exactly how it paralleled his own experience – it was pointless to mention it. He’d only reply, “yeah, I won’t argue – I’m fucked up.”

    What made me so comfortable with him was that he never ‘hit on’ me. He knew I wasn’t interested in sex, and so he never went there. Yet he was unapologetic about his lifestyle, and he naturally found acceptance in the gay community, though he would often joke of his gay friends, “oh my god, they’re such little bitches!” He was hysterical. Long term relationships weren’t for him – he wasn’t the marrying type. “The only bitch that’ll be in my life until the day I die is Barbie.” Yup, he was an avid collector and had a Barbie collection worth certainly many thousands…

    He really was a good friend, and someone whom I can hardly judge for how he finds acceptance, compassion and love in this world. While the lifestyle is obviously not something I would choose or recommend (it seems like a pretty goddamn hard life!), I’m comfortable with facing my Maker in how I have treated one of His children.

  3. Bob Agard Says:

    Mrs. Who, I agree with your understanding of the way things are. And BR, thank you for sharing this man’s story. I could not agree with you more. Let’s all start a new church: “Don’t Be An Asshole!”

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