People in the Religious Right involved actively in the fight to prevent true full gay equality, (with the obvious exception of the Fred Phelps mutations), love to swear up and down that they don't hate gay folks. They love us and want us to be happy, and anyone claiming that they're being hateful bigots is just a big meanie persecuting their religious beliefs who doesn't understand their motivation.
I'm sure a lot of them are actually delusional enough to honestly believe this bullshit. Reverand Dave Mapes, who has been dirtying my blog with comments to that effect rather than just answer some simple honest questions, is a perfect example. While actively tweeting anti-gay messages on Twitter every day, (such as the oh so charming "@revdavesmapes #iaintafraidtosay that homosexual marriage is wrong! :D"), and actively preaching to his congregation that gay equality must be fought tooth and nail, repeatedly reassures me he loves me and just wants what's best for me.
Of course to him what's "best" for me is for me to convert to Christianity, divorce my wife, stop daring to question the Bible and live life only according to Bible Principles. This desire on his part blatantly proves his selfish hypocrisy and complete lack of any sense of reality. Why?
Because I'm a lesbian. To convert to HIS version of Christianity, which is certainly very far from being very Christian, I would have to deny myself. And I'm not talking about denying myself lesbian sex, I barely have a sex drive to begin with. No I mean LITERALLY denying MYSELF.
To do what he asks of me would destroy me. First of all, becoming a Christian as HE sees it means divorcing Fran. I would be shunning the woman who takes care of me when I'm sick, comforts me when I'm sad, kisses me when and happy, and gives my life a sense of fulfillment and completeness I never had before. I would be surrendering peace, joy, contentment, happiness and love for the illusion of all those things under God that would foirever feel empty. Despite his belief that ONLY by giving myself over to God and Christ could I ever feel any of those things, he is in fact asking me to give those very things up for a faith I have no faith in.
Secondly, he'd probably expect me to be a good Christian woman and find a husband. Except I'm a lesbian through and through. I've TRIED to have relationships with men in the past and it never worked. I'm sure he would say it was because I'd already made up my mind to "rebel against God" and not give any man a fair chance, but that's simply not the case. I had a male love for over a year that I tried my damnedest to love. He was a good man too. He was kind, gentle, affectionate without being overbearing. He respected my thoughts and feelings and always supported me. And I loved him dearly as a friend. I WANTED to love him more. I was still in denail of a lot of things about myself at the time and I DESPERATELY wanted to be a normal healthy heterosexual woman. I didn't want to be a lesbian, I was terrified of it.
But I just never felt anything romantic for him, or any other man. Because I AM a lesbian. And yes Reverand, I very much WAS born wired that way. Any religious person insisting Gay is a choice is frankly an idiot. Just look at the Uganda Homosexual Death Bill. NO ONE would ever CHOOSE to be gay in this hateful violent world. Rebelling isn't about getting murdered. A kid getting his ear pierced, THAT'S rebelling. A gay person accepting who they truly are and escaping the cycle of self-loathing that comes with denial is not rebellion. It's HONESTY. To convert as Mapes wishes me to would be tantamount to agreeing to spend the rest of my life lying to my friends, family, God, and myself. Reverand Mapes is asking me to become a liar.
Thirdly, since he has made it abundantly clear that in his version of Christianity, (in spite of the fact he blatantly picks and chooses which Bible passages he'll obey while ignoring any rules that would bite him in the ass), the Bible is the infallible unerring word of God. It is NEVER to be questioned and, given his refusal to answer simple honest questions about what the Bible says, apparently neither is he. I'd bet good money any kids who ask uncomfortable questions of him in his flock such as I have asked him are probably told with a smiling face and a cheerful voice that they'll burn in hell if they ever repeat those questions. I'm sure he'd deny this, but I also doubt he'd allow me to ask any children in his flock if such things have happened.
The problem is that I'm by nature a very curious inquisitive girl. I like knowing the reasons of things. I could never be happy in a religion that outright REQUIRES me to bite my tongue. So once again, the Reverand's idea of what's "best" for me involves asking me to lie and be unhappy.
The Reverand could give a flying fuck about what's best for ME, or for any other gay person. He doesn't care in the slightest about what's best for us. He wants what's best for HIM. He clearly hates homosexuality regardless of his protestations to the contrary. You don't actively fight AGAINST something you love. No, he hates homosexuality. And not because the Bible tells him to. I've already proven repeatedly in other blog posts that the parts of the Bible used to justify anti-gay beliefs are NOT about homosexuality and must be intionally misinterpreted to make them so.
No, judging by his own words and behavior, Mapes is uncomfortable with gayness. It bothers him. When he pictures gay people he probably thinks only of our disgusting unnatural sex lives and never thinks of anything else about us, just like all (not a) Christian bullies. We're all more than just the sex we have. My wife and I have sex MAYBE once a month, and rarely longer than a half hour. The rest of the time we're being just like everyone else. We talk, we do stuff, we clean the house, we pay the bills, we watch TV. But bullies like Mapes never think about any of that, because to do so would be to acknowledge that how we love is the ONLY real difference between gays and straight. And when you admit that we're pretty much no different than you are except for what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms, it becomes harder to personally justify fighting against gay equality. That's why Porn Peter LaBarbera and his ilk actually encourage their sheep to talk about "the grossness" of gay sex as much as possible to make sex what people think about when thinking of gay people. The hatemongers do NOT want you thinking of us as normal boring everyday people with jobs and hobbies and likers and dislikes, they want you to think of us SOLELY as sex fiends with absolutely no other facets to us.
So basically, what David is asking of me is selfish and cruel. To make HIM feel comfortable, so HE doesn't have to think about sinful lesbian sex, he would have me agree to be a miserable unhappy self-loathing liar. And he would tell himself I was happy and at peace because I accepted his version of God, and would never think about MY feelings at all. He would have me suffer to make himself feel better and would tell me it's God's will. And I refuse to believe it is God's will that I lie and be miserable to make small minded people feel better.
And that leads me to the titular simple unerring fact of which this blog is about.
Religion IS very much a choice. Even Judaism. Isreali is a race, Jewish is a religion. Irish is a race, Catholocism is a religion. Iraqi is a race, Islam is a religion. And while SO many people ARE born into a religion, by virtue of their parents' faith, and often forced to accept that faith as their own according to parents' wishes, religion is not innate, or unalterable. This is an inarguable fact. Every single day, hundreds of people who WERE Christian reject Christianity. Some become Aethiests, some convert to a different religion that felt right to them in ways Christianity didn't. Some people who never WERE Christians BECOME Christians because they find something in the faith that speaks to them deeply. Some Christians convert to Islam. Some Muslims convert to Judaism. Some Jews even convert to Wicca. Religion BECOMES about who you are and what you believe, but it is NOT innate.
Homosexuality, like race, IS however, innate. Contrary to the ever popular (and repeatedly refuted) distortions by Religious Right groups, science HAS in fact proven that gay or straight is wired into the brain. Yes, the Family Research Council will tell you no such study exists and that more studies prove the opposite, but it's been repeatedly proven that the studies that prove Gay is a choice are either the studies of Paul Cameron whose work has been repeatedly discredited and proven to be falsified, or distortions of legitimate studies wherein the actual authors of those studies have publicly denounced the religious Right's intentional misrepresentation of them.
For example, a study showed that lesbian are more prone to alcoholism because the pressure and hatred they get from anti-gay bias and religion based bullying drives them to seek coping tools. In the hands of the Right, that study becomes "Lesbians are more likely to be alcoholics". A blatant distortion that works because the people the Right tells these lies to are easily frightened gullible people who rarely if ever look up the relevant information themselves and instead just take these "respectable Christian folks" telling the lies at face value.
So no matter that we all know Reverand Mapes would insist I chose to be a lesbian and that God would NEVER make me one intentionally, we know he's lying.
So the Simple And Unerring Fact of which this blog is about is simply thus;
You CANNOT devote time, money and energy to telling someone that who they are is evil and wrong and not be a hatemonger.
You CANNOT devote time money and energy to actively fighting to keep an entire group of people second=class and subhuman under the law solely because you don't like something about them they cannot change and NOT be a bigot.
YOU CANNOT EVER tell someone you love them and want what's best for them and then treat them as inferior and fight actively to PREVENT what is best for them.
THAT is an unerring fact.
Reverend Mapes, you ARE a bigot because you teach that my life is evil and wrong. You ARE a bully because you try to pressure, force and coerce me into accepting an unhappy life for YOUR comfort. You ARE a hatemonger because you call upon your flock to fight against equality. And you very much ARE committing evil by preaching these things, and BY preaching them you very much ARE being homophobic.
Because it has been inarguably proven that anti-gay preaching directly leads to violence and abuse against gay people. Gay teenagers commit suicide because of anti-gay bullying encouraged by homophobic preaching. Gay folks get beaten up and murdered by people who were taught that being gay is evil in God's eyes. In South Africa 1 in 4 men has admitted proudly to having committed what they're calling "Corrective rape", wherein they RAPE LESBIANS to make them straight, because it's what people like you have taught them God wants. And you can try to protest "But I never told anyone to go out and rape lesbians", and still be guilty, because these men are doing this deplorable thing only because their religious leaders, such as you, tell them God is angered by gayness and wants it stamped out, and these men decide that if God hates gayness then it must be okay with him to hurt gay people. And so no matter how you try to rationalize it, THERE IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS.
Of course you'll deny all of this, ignore any Biblical proof I might offer you that backs me up while weakening your position, and probably continue to insist on praying for me without my consent, which is frankly spiritual rape in my opinion, and never once will you actually have the spine to directly address any of this honestly. And that above all else is what proves that you are wrong. You don't even have enough faith in your own God to address the hard questions. You disrespect Jesus by praying for me because I challenge your viewpoint, and lie by claiming it's because I'm unfairly attacking you.
For an attack to be unfair it has to lack any basis in truth or fact. And I have offered ONLY truth and fact, both of which you're desperate to ignore. An honest man with moral courage and integrity addresses even the hard questions honestly. A coward does everything in his power to dodge them. And Reverend Mapes has dodged them repeatedly. He makes up tired excuses. He tries to dictate terms that would limit his responses only to what he's comfortable with. He demands I verbally handcuff myself by blindly accepting his argument as God's Word so that he can answer only according to how he interprets that word.
To clarify the cowardice and absurdity of this behavior, that would be like asking Tom Cruise to answer hard questions about Scientology, and Cruise telling you he'll agree to answer your questions BUT ONLY if you first agree to not bring up the lifetime of documented lies L. Ron Hubbard or ever bringing up the people Scientology has murdered or addressing the various and ever increasing fees required to advance through the ranks. If you wanted an honest conversation about Scientology, you'd refuse those ridiculous terms because it would tie your hands by limiting you to questions Mr. Cruise was comfortable answering, questions that didn't challenge his faith.
This is what Reverend Mapes and all hatemongering bullies like him do. They try to bully and cajole anyone asking the hard questions into agreeing to a ridiculously limiting framework for the discussion. That way Mapes only has to give me cookie-cutter answers that affirm and support his glorious faith, and never has to address the hard questions, because he knows he can't give me an honest answer without being forced to admit he doesn't HAVE all the answers, and that the Bible can be wrong. And if he admits to either of these things he loses his ability to co-opt God to justify his bigotry and then he'd have to just come right out and be honest; He doesn't like gay people and wants us to go away or stop being gay. If he's forced by cold hard truth to admit that his excuse for his homophobia doesn't stand up to scrutiny, he'll loses followers, and with the flock dwindling because his lies are laid bare, he loses their donations, and he loses the fight against us.
Here's an example; He still swears the Bible, even the Old Testament, is God's unerring word and MUST be obeyed, but he has yet to address or acknowledge that he willfully diobeys some Old Testament rules. And he will continue to try and distract me from this point by goading me about how he is praying for my eternal soul, because if he actually faces the question and admits that yes, he DOES in fact disobey Bible rulings that would demand he be stoned to death for some of his actions, then he has to acknowledge that Bible passages that order a death sentence for things as harmless as wearing mixed fabrics or working on Sunday are wrong and deplorable and have no place in the modern world. And if he admits to that, then he CANNOT continue to demand that people accept that homosexuality is evil and wrong just because he THINKS the Bible says it is.
And with his whole justification for his hatred gone up in smoke, he cannot claim he is simply acting on God's will anymore. He can't claim he loves Gays but just hates their sin. And he cannot lie and trick gullible people into supporting his bigotry and intolerance.
And that is why I know I will NEVER get a straight honest answer from Mapes, or any other hatemonger. They NEED the lies to thrives, and answering the tough questions honestly would knock down their pretty looking but ultimately still flimsy house of cards.
The Religious Right is in the business of lying. Reverand Mapes IS a liar. And every single time he replies to me in which he bellows about praying God will force me to convert and stop asking questions while refusing to ever ANSWER them just further proves that I am exactly right about him.
And I will NEVER consent to become an unhappy liar to make a bigger liar comfortable.
PS - As I ask all of the Religious Right Bigots I come across, I'll ask Mapes right now; How many homeless American children could you have fed and clothed with all the money you've spent fighting against equality?
I've asked 592 religious bigots that question, icluding folks from Concerned Women For America, The American Family Association, the Family Research Council and more.
To this day, NOT ONE SINGLE ONE OF THEM has EVER even ACKNOWLEDGED that question, let alone tried to answer it.
And I doubt Mapes will be the first to break the trend.
After all, admitting you let children starve in your country so you can keep them nasty gay folks from having equal rights isn't exactly good press for someone pretending to be righteous.