07 August 2007

Not a Trip Blog. Walking the Line.

Despite my lack of going to Wittenberg, this trip has managed to be something of a religious pilgrimage for me, both physically and spiritually, with a healthy dose of mentally. It's also given me the opportunity to view things from the other side, literally.

One of the things I have had to deal with in my recently-acquired adult life is walking a line between faith and reason, which I think everyone does to some extent or other. I am in a fairly unique position, I think. I've been previously attacked by people who were previously closer to me than now for taking up a position of being victimised for acknowledging my situation, which is that I am sort of in between two worlds. Previously I felt more as though I was stuck between the mortar and the pestle and there would not be a whole lot left of -me- after all was said and done. But then, Wendy and Dwayne happened, and more recently I met Jen Austin and her wife, Angela, and things brightened up a little bit.

The feeling now is more of being pulled in two directions rather than being crushed between two forces, and it is considerably more comfortable. I think I can handle this one. I think my issue, not so much a problem, now is that my field of study is Religions. Not just mine, but mostly mine. The history of it. The development of it. My religion's relationship with the others around it. And I have begun to form some very important conclusions, academically and spiritually. The problem, really (here is the problem) is how my study is perceived: While my academic pursuits inform my faith (look, here is what I believe and this is why. Here is the entity in which I put my faith, and this is why. It's much more complicated than that, but these parentheses will get long), my faith does not cloud my academic pursuits.

Why is this? Well, I think it is mostly on account of the fact that I chose I while back (after seeing Dogma, perhaps, and mulling that over for a little while, and also mostly the way I was raised and by whom) to put my faith in the -idea- of a God (or a god) that would be willing to suffer for His (Her? God isn't really either, but the creator of gender, so He or she could really be anything) creation. And I think that that is a good idea on which to base a way of life.

The complication lies in the fact that I happen to identify with the Western idea of God, specifically with the God described in the Gospels which are found in the New Testament of the Bible.

In short, I am a Christian, so now I am automatically part of the oppressive majority. The irony is that I am a member of the oppressive majority which is oppressing people like me. And I cannot really un-identify as a Christian, because I really am one, in the strictest sense of the word, for the following longwinded reasons:

-- It happens that I find it plausible that Jesus of Nazareth did in fact exist and was the mortal incarnation of God (God being the omnipotent force that binds the universe together). I also find it plausible that He (Jesus of Nazareth) died and resurrected His bad self, thus putting the smackdown on Evil, and becoming the Christ.
  • Subpoint: I do not believe that it is necessary that all of this actually happened, I just see no reason why it did not. May I stress that the IDEA of a God suffering for the good of His or Her creation and putting the smackdown on Evil is the large point at hand.
-- Aside from the question of whether or not Jesus of Nazareth is God, or an incarnation thereof, the man made some very excellent points on how one should go about interacting with the rest of society. Again, whether or not the man actually existed is not important so much as the motivation behind his speech. I happen to think that He did.
Thus, I am a follower of the teaching of Jesus (Christ) of Nazareth. So now what?

Well, a lot of my fellow homos aren't. Can't imagine why. The problem (and this is a big problem) is that my obvious Christiantasticness (cross pendant, on since I was fourteen) tends to a) put people off or b) make them uncomfortable. And it's not like I can't just not talk about it (which might be akin to "hiding my light under a bushel," but I don't think so because I think it is how you treat people that proclaims love/God than anything else), because not only does it affect my life a lot spiritually, but I happen to study it. So if I start going on about Saint Augustine and blah blah blah, your average homo starts vaguely twitching (and there are those among us who have a weird superstition that they are going to be struck by lightning or burned by my pendant or something, and no I'm not making that up).

And it sucks because really, I don't care what faith anyone does or does not follow, and it does not affect how I am going to treat people. Respect mine and I'll respect yours, no worries. But I still think that I get treated differently on occasion and I do not know how to deal with that properly.

I think that what brought this up is the Duggers of Arkansas, who are the people with the clown-car-uterus. They have a website all about how God has blessed them with 39483743928 children and Every Sperm is Sacred and all that. And in the interim, I am not allowed to adopt children with any spouse I may acquire in the future.

Not that I want children at this time. I have a cat and a fish. Thanks.

But it is the principle of the thing, that these people, who allegedly have faith in the same God that I do, get to behave in a manner which, in my view, is irresponsible, but it is their right to do so by the law; I, however, am not allowed to even adopt the spare children of other people.

So what's that about?

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Blogger Elise said...

yes. interesting thoughts there. and i will vouch for the fact that homosexual christian is not exactly an easy place to be, the two are often in tension. And that even people who aren't christian find homosexuals to be more or less vermin and trouble for the rest of the people, in the west it is christianity, but eastern religions are often no more forgiving. umm, ok, i guess i didn't have anything terribly intellectual to say after all, but that i feel you, and hang in there. hmm.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Elise said...

oh, and then i looked up jen austin, and she looks pretty cool. how did you meet her?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Ivy said...

She wrote a book called "Coming Out Christian" and was doing a Q&A at Bookwoman, where my ex works. Ex calls me and say "SHOW UP NOW!" and I went. She's quite nice, and her wife is great too.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Well, as you said a while back, the main reason that there aren't many homo-Christians is because their pastors ban them from church just for being gay.

As a side note, I was watching the Travel Channel, and there's this restaraunt in London that I think you'd be interested in. It's called the Texas Embassy Cantina. It's in the same place where the Texas embassy used to be. They have Tex-Mex food there as well as a mariachi band, and they might have decent margaritas, as it's a Texan couple that owns the place, I believe.


6:34 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Oh, and Dad said that whatever beer you bring back is fine.

6:50 PM  

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