Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bullies for God

Okay, anyone living in this town knows what is going on. A single person decided to stop living a lie, but because another person decided she didn't have the right to do it quietly and brought it to the media, there was a shitstorm.

Yes, shit flew in a giant storm in my town.

Now, I don't know the person this storm was about. But, all I need to know is that her living her life in the gender that she feels is most appropriate is none of any one's goddamn business. She is not hurting anyone or breaking any laws. She is not being purposely disruptive or attacking anyone else. Therefore, this is no one's business but hers. She gets to make this decision, and should not have to leave town or her long-term job in order to do it.

I just wanted to get that out of the way before I got into what my main beef is. I don't know this woman, and I don't have to. I don't care about her politics, whether they are like mine or the opposite. All I need to know is that she wants to live her life and she not hurting anyone in the way she is doing it. Period. Leave her alone.

This is my problem: deliberately stupid people who don't think they are stupid. You know, the ones that come out of the woodwork whenever matters of the naughty bits come up.

I won't bore you with the details, but here are the highlights from some of the letters that they wrote in:

God's wrath, sin, lies, fantasy world, religious (i.e. Christian) persecution, moral downturn, and the explicit statement that we were allowing evil to happen and doing nothing to stop it (Yeah, they pulled out the Edmund Burke quote). And my personal favorite: what about the children??

Then there were the Facebook comments. Basically along the same lines as the letters. Only now I get to rile myself up chatting with them.

And it always came down to this: God said it's bad.

That's it. That's their whole argument in a nutshell.

You know, I don't care one bit if you believe in a god or not. I don't care what you think God wants you to believe, but the second you start attacking others for living their lives they way they see fit, the moment you start rallying the troops to hurt another person, simply because YOU would not live your life that way, and the instant you bring children into the mix...I am going to go angry mama bear on you. I do not suffer bullies lightly.

Make no mistake. These are bullies. They may hide behind their cross and their freedom of speech, but they are bullies. They are no different than those that yelled at and threw things at children just trying to go to school a generation ago. They are no different than those that attacked women just trying to vote. And, I don't pull this card very often, but someone will have to explain to me how they are different than those that promulgated anti-Semitic ideas and propaganda once upon a time.

They deny science and call it “opinion.” They deny facts and call it “faith.” They deny people and call it “hating the sin and loving the sinner.”

And they do it all with a smile.

I cannot take it anymore. I cannot be nice. I cannot pretend that their words are worthy of discussion. I cannot pretend that their “opinion” matters.

Do they have the right to say it? Of course. But, do I have the right to call them on it? Damn straight.

I am sick of letting them have the offensive position in this “debate.” (In quotation marks, as I do not see this as a debate, but a fight for reality.) I am sick of letting them piously proclaim that they believe the Earth was created in six days, six thousand years ago, that dinosaurs and people co-existed, and that Jesus is coming to take us all home in the Rapture. I am sick of letting them denounce a person's existence and proclaim them as evil.

I am sick of letting them get hate all over everything and then turn around and cry that they are the victim.

Oh, yeah. That's the best part. As soon as you challenge them with science, facts, and reality, they then decide that THEY are being persecuted. I mean, how dare I interfere with their God-given right to hate people? Yes, I am so horribly intolerant that I do not allow them their Christian right to ramp up the bigotry in an already homo/transphobic town to torch and pitchfork level.

Like I said, it's only when it concerns the naughty bits. I mean, where were they when we went to war? Where were they when the banks were robbing us blind? And where were they when protesters were being pepper sprayed while sitting with their arms linked? Where was their God then?

Apparently, God only cares if there is a crotch involved.

Well, I only care if you are hurting people. Believe whatever you want, but if you are going to castigate a person in the public arena, especially when that person didn't do anything to you or anyone else, I am going to care a LOT.

But, the one thing I am not caring much about is being nice to you. If you don't have enough sense to rub two brain cells together and see that you are being deliberately stupid, then I don't have enough patience to argue with you about it. So, grow the fuck up, read a real book, and join the 21st century. It's YOU who are holding the human race back...YOU.

Not a small town science teacher who wants to wear a dress.

Friday, January 17, 2014

An Ecclesiastical Intervention

Dear United Methodist Church,

I think we need to have a talk.

While you are an organization that I respect greatly for your work in hurting areas around the world, I feel you are making some troubling choices lately. As I think that these choices are going to take you down a path that you might not be able to return from, I feel that an intervention is necessary. 

Please sit down.

You are going down the wrong path, UMC.  You are taking what precious little resources you have and using them to fight against a group that has done you no harm:  gay people.  You are hurting people in this futile fight: gay, straight, and everything in between.  You are driving them away.  You are tearing up families.  You are breaking their hearts.  

People trusted you, UMC.  They trusted you to be there for them.  They trusted they could lean on you when times were hard.  They trusted they could depend on you to do the right thing.  They trusted they could bring you their troubles and their joys.  Their births and their deaths.  Their marriages...well, apparently that came with a caveat.

You know, while it's going to sting, these people will eventually be fine.  They will go on to live their lives.  Maybe they will open up enough again to find another church...maybe not.  But, their livelihood does not depend on you.  Yours, however, DOES depend on them.

Do you think there will be an infinite number of people who think it's okay to discriminate against love?  Do you really think that your numbers will grow with every pastor you convict and fire just because they officiated in their child's wedding?  Do you really think that there is not a point where even the most loyal will simply shake their head, walk out that door, and never come back?

Because, there's not.  They won't.  And there is.

Just pack up these bigotries and tear that stupid page out of the book.  Stop putting pastors on trial for love.  Stop firing people for love.  Just tear that page out, burn it, bury the ashes and salt the ground.  It doesn't deserve a place in a house of worship, it doesn't deserve a place in a teaching, and it doesn't deserve a place in your future.  Get rid of it.

We want you to survive, UMC.  And, not just survive, but to thrive.   Put all your energy back into relief and healing.  Put your energy into uniting, not dividing.  Stop diluting it with these petty differences.   You really don't have enough of it to keep doing that.

UMC, you are on a bad path.  Many have given up, and many are considering it.  Even those who love you have limits.  Why would you want to risk everything to find out what they are?  There will be a point of no return.  Is this really what you want to be remembered for?  How many pastors you fired for marrying their children?  How many people you closed the doors on?  How you pointed to the words on a page, written by you, and claimed it was divine policy?

Just tear that page out, UMC.  We can start over, but you have to tear that page out like you mean it.

Also, I have some rainbow wristbands, if you are interested.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” -John Wesley