JESUSLAND

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

JESUSLAND



by Max Gordon
Democratic Underground
December 7, 2004

There is a thirteen-year-old boy in America who walks to school this morning. He believes he is a pervert because he is sexually attracted to a boy in his class. Undressing in the locker room for gym, he is terrified he will get an erection or his friends will notice him staring at the other boys and call him a homo.

At night, he lies in bed. He promised God he wouldn't look at pictures of naked men having sex anymore, but he did it again after school. As a punishment, he pinches his penis between his fingernails until he breaks the skin. He believes the pain is good for him. It is only a fraction of the pain that sinners feel when they go to hell, or what Jesus must have felt on the cross.

He sits in church on Sunday and knows the priest is referring to him: deviants whose unnatural desire will keep them from entering the Kingdom of God. When he takes communion, he prays that God will heal the sickness inside him and make him clean and perfect like his Son. He promises to try even harder not to sin than he's ever tried before.

After failing again, he decides he has no more tries left in him. He cannot stop the thoughts or change them. He believes God is disgusted with him and that He refuses to help. He stands looking in the bathroom mirror and wonders if he is what a homo looks like. He thinks of his youngest sister coming home from kindergarten with school papers tucked under her arm, and wonders if the boy from his class is in bed sleeping. He lifts his father's gun and shoots himself in the head.

On January 2, 1997, 14-year-old Robbie Kirkland committed suicide after struggling with his homosexuality for four years. His mother said at the time, "Our family loved, supported and accepted him but could not protect him from the rejection and harassment he experienced at his Catholic schools." On May 8, 1995, Bill Clayton, 17, took a fatal overdose after being hospitalized for depression. He'd been assaulted by a group of boys in his community because of his sexual orientation. Jacob Lawrence Orosco, 17, hanged himself on September 3, 1997, in his mother's home. When Jacob and nine of his friends tried to form a Gay/Straight student alliance at his school, a group of students at a nearby high school formed SAFE-Students against Fags Everywhere.

Anna Wakefield, a lesbian in her 20's from Virginia, hanged herself on February 27, 1997, after being rejected and estranged from her family; Private First Class Barry Winchell, 21, of Kansas City, Missouri, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat on July 5, 1999 after rumors that he was gay spread around his post; Steen Fenrich, 19, was killed and dismembered by his stepfather in a homophobic rage, his body found March 21, 2000; Juana Vega, 36, shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 11, 2001 by her girlfriend's brother, for "turning his sister gay"; Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgender woman from Newark, California, savagely beaten to death on October 3, 2002 by a group of boys at a party; Sakia Gunn, 15, fatally stabbed at a bus stop in Newark, New Jersey, May 11, 2003 after her assailant was told she was a lesbian; Fred Martinez, Jr., a 16-year-old Native American high school student from Cortez, Colorado, found beaten to death, June 21, 2001, his skull crushed with a rock. His 19-year-old killer was heard to have said proudly, "I bug-smashed a fag."

A few days after Kerry's concession, Bill Clinton gave a speech at a conference of the Urban Land Institute in New York. The Daily News quoted him as saying that Kerry could have made more of an impact with small-town voters by emphasizing his opposition to gay marriage. "He said it once or twice, instead of 3,000 times, in rural communities. If we let people believe our party doesn't believe in faith and family, that's our fault." Clinton: our moral authority on marriage and sex. As a gay man in America, perhaps I am responsible for the unraveling of the moral fabric of this country, but I have never used a cigar in bed, and I absolutely draw the line at wearing a dress from GAP.

America listens to its presidents, present and past. The president sets the tone for tolerance in the land. When a president proposes discriminatory legislation or supports it, however unlikely it may seem that it will be voted into law, the message he sends to the rest of the country is clear: these are the people you have my permission to harm. George W. Bush's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is more than just a vindictive president's desire to deprive gay men of bridal registry; it is the legislation of hate, and its direct consequence will be the sanctioned murder of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

I marvel at the vogue of hate today in this country; who you can freely hate these days and who you can't. You can hate women, and gays, and fat people. You can hate poor people, and the homeless. You can't, however, hate black people or Jews anymore, at least not on television or in print. (You can still hate blacks privately, but Jews are harder; some have blonde hair and it isn't easy to tell if they are in the room.)

Black and white Christians have been revitalized by the same-sex ban, agreeing to suspend their hatred for each other in favor of a combined, galvanized hatred for gays. The GOP hates us all year round, but Democrats are "holiday haters," reserving their hate for special occasions - like close elections. Holiday hate never counts as real hate, of course, it's just politics, like little white (water) lies, and promises (fingers crossed) to pass legislation protecting gays in the military once voted into office.

And finally, the passive-aggressive haters know a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage based on religious belief is wrong, not to mention unconstitutional, but since they are not "personally" affected by it, they’ve decided to watch from the sidelines. Newsflash: there are no sidelines in America anymore. Civil liberties in this country are an endangered species. We may not care that the Texas red wolf is almost extinct in North America, but, living in the same ecosystem, it might be worth noting, as we may be next.

Jesusland, can you honestly say, with all that is wrong in the world today, with millions of people infected with HIV and thousands of new infections each year, with record unemployment, families with no healthcare and billions spent on war, that the greatest moral challenge we face in America today is symbolized by a wedding cake figurine of two grooms?

Is homosexuality contagious or reaching epidemic proportions? How else can the sexuality of one section of the American population singly decide the outcome of an entire presidential election? Only one conclusion can be drawn: Gay people in the heartland are doing some serious fucking. I only wish someone had let me in on it. I thought we were supporting Kerry by voting for him. If gay sex is really that powerful, screw the oil in Iraq, Halliburton should be hooking us up to generators.

Is homosexuality so irresistible that straight men and women are leaving their homes, mesmerized and in droves, to join the gay ranks? The few straight friends I tried to seduce in my post-coming-out insecurity remained politely, but resolutely, straight. To all those who tried to manipulate me into being heterosexual to further their agendas (my mother), I remained resolutely, sometimes impolitely, gay. One might conclude from this that people are what they say they are and we can all get on with things.

Not in Jesusland. Three little words, one tiny sentence, and the best friend's face closes forever, the child is lifted from the lap of the favorite aunt, a mother sends her son his baby pictures with a note saying she no longer has a child, a girl runs away from home to escape her parents' attempts to "beat the devil out of her", a boy is forced to see a psychiatrist and take medication to fix his "problem", a transgender teen hangs herself to avoid being ridiculed at a school assembly the next day.

America: you do not have the right to throw your lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the garbage. You have a responsibility to protect us whether you like us or not. If you do not approve of gay marriage, do not attend gay weddings. It is not your prerogative to decide who is worthy of your care, or to deny protection to anyone. As American citizens our protection is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

We are in a holy war, a fundamentalist Christian jihad, where the possibility exists as never before that Jesusland will finally become Jesusworld. (I wonder what the rides will look like.) With a faith-based president who doesn't respect the Constitution as separate from his belief in God, there is no difference between extending democracy and extending Christianity. Once you free a citizen for elections, you have to free a soul for salvation.

Accosted by Christians on subway cars when I first came to New York City, I never ceased being amazed at the chutzpah of a stranger suddenly asking me about my relationship with God; not to mention being deeply insulted by the lack of subtlety that announced the intrusion. "That chocolate ice cream looks delicious; do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?" I knew that no one would ever have the audacity to say to me, "Excuse me, Sir, how much money is in your bank account?" or "Pardon me for asking, how many times did you make love this week?" Yet somehow just anyone can demand to know on the spot what your relationship is with Jesus, which, if you have one, is arguably the most intimate relationship of them all. I admit it crossed my mind on more than one occasion to reply, "Why yes I do, actually, a pretty good one, and fuck you for asking such a personal question."

The most exasperating religious experience ever may be the attempt to convince a born-again Christian that God will allow someone into heaven that isn't "saved" through Jesus Christ. After a brief exchange, I inform the stranger that while I was “saved”, or at least baptized as a child, and my grandfather was a minister of his own church, I have no intention of being part of a religion that doesn't accept me because of my sexuality. My inquisition on the A-train ends and my Jesus interrogator trots off to his next victim, reminding me that "we’re all sinners." He hasn't achieved a new convert, but he's watered that seed of insecurity in me that maybe homosexuality is evil, that gay people do end up in hell and because of what I am, God doesn't like me anymore. It's a child's fear, like dark closets and monsters under the bed, but it can rule a life and last a lifetime.

During the six months after college that I ran around cracking people over the head with my Bible, I remember the extraordinary relief that came from finally having the Answer to Everything. No longer circling endlessly on the parking ramp of life, I had finally found a space. Trying to forge a gay identity on my own was too rangy and uncertain, and if I didn't succeed, what could be more disheartening than failing at being a pervert? The world was much easier to understand with my new faith and broken down into two distinct groups; those who were wrong, and us. I did exactly what they told me to do: love God, accept Jesus, and, like courting Santa Claus, try not to be naughty and always be nice.

Because my homosexuality, however, is dictated not by fashion or trend, but biology and DNA, I couldn't warp or mutilate myself into the desired new result. My naughtiness eventually outweighed my niceness and I was in deep shit. I wasn't told to leave, exactly, but knew that if I wanted to, I could stick around for a sort of exalted pervert status; the old "God loves you, homosexual, because He loves us all - even child molesters, rapists, and serial killers" line that some Christians think is generous.

Certain minds are vulnerable to fundamentalist thinking. Closet gays, immigrants, poor blacks, rich white women with philandering husbands--it draws so many. It's not easy to talk about why fundamentalism is attractive, why a heart might crave it. There comes a time in a life when the world simply becomes too painful for nuance, when it's freezing out and you just want to come inside and have someone say, Relax, we'll take care of you; in fact, we've been waiting for you. Here is the rulebook, no need to ask any questions: just sign here.

There isn't an oppressed person alive who at one point or another hasn't felt the seductive gravity of capitulation. The decision to resist always means thrusting oneself into the vast, unknown and dangerous wilderness of truly being free. One is tormented, at the same time, by the grim suspicion that while a secure existence may never be found in self-determination, a designated place always awaits one who will succumb to the State.

The violence against gay people, religious, emotional, physical or political, has done what social violence is supposed to; it's driven us underground, afraid to demand our rights or protect them when they are threatened. One good, well-publicized, gay murder can do wonders. Those of us who aren't brutalized or obliterated in elaborate campaigns by strangers or our families, are perpetually trapped in nets of chronic shame; our internalized hatred simplifying the work of the bashers by beating them to it.

I was astonished the day I discovered that I was a gay-killer. Indignant over the nationally publicized murders of Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena, I'd demand a stop to gay bashing, leaving the rally or dinner party for a bashing session of my own with unsafe sex, alcohol and drugs. I had to finally consider the idea that my self-destruction wasn't fabulous or gloriously tragic; it was predictable, and (this hurt the most) not very imaginative. I was complicit with the anti-gay agendas that were aimed at me with the precision of a sniper’s bullet; an accomplice to my own gay assassination. I made a decision that although I wouldn't be able to save every gay life, I could definitely save the one I'd been given. (I'm still saving it; the mistaken assumption being that you only have to save your life once.)

I was a thirteen-year-old boy in East Lansing, Michigan on his way to school in 1983, attracted to a boy in my class, and flooded with the shame and terror that I was gay. My father also kept a Smith & Wesson in his closet. I don't believe I would have used it on myself, but a gun in any house has an aura of potential, waiting for the fatal chemistry of an escalating argument or a very, very bad day. What I did have was a lesbian friend in high school, who, one could say, "died for my sins." She came out of the closet first and when I saw that the coast was clear, I came out after her.

She was humiliated daily by notes shoved in her locker or jokes made as she walked down the hallway. Girls came up to her in groups during lunch and asked, "Are you gay?" to which she replied, "Why, are you interested?" Leaving a gas station one night, a boy, spurned by her refusals, called her a dyke and punched her in the face. She didn't allow the violence to derail her. I don't think Jesusland would have approved of her - a sassy, courageous, I'm-scared-to-death-but-you'll-never-know- it, 17-year-old black lesbian - but Jesus himself might have.

If Jesus is with us, I think he stands beside the black man who faces the lynch mob, the midwife who is brought before the church for being a witch, the bewildered and naked prisoner cowering against his cell wall in Abu Ghraib, the transgender teenager who has decided to dress as herself, no matter what her parents or the kids at school do or say. Jesus stands with all of us, but He especially knows what it's like to be innocent, to be violated and murdered for telling the truth, to face a violent mob and be alone.

America. If only you would purify your hate. When we walk into someone's country and wish to take what they have, let's just take it. Why call it liberating the Iraqi people or Operation Iraqi Freedom? Call it stealing and steal it. If you want to kill someone, don't refer to pre-emptive strikes or wars on terror. Kill them.

And if you want to hate homosexuals, Jesusland, just hate us. But don’t call it a "moral" or "family" issue, or try to legislate it and say, “I still support civil unions." And for Christ's sake, please stop dragging Jesus into it. Hasn't that poor man been through enough? Whether we believe He was the Savior or not, I think we probably all agree that He was a pretty nice guy that loved all kinds of people and never meant harm to anyone.

If He were alive to see this land today, I don't think He'd claim it.


© Max Gordon
www.maxgordonworks.blogspot.com
www.maxgordonphotography.blogspot.com
maxgordon19@hotmail.com

This article can also be read at
http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/04/12/07_jesusland.html

Read more of Max's work at The New Civil Rights Movement:

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/category/max-gordon

50 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was powerful.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I admire and respect you for your courage. The reasons why we are being chosen as scapegoats are simple. The right wing is all about controlling people, and what better way to control people than to say, if you deviate from our program at all, you are a pervert. This is useful because it can be used to control all racial groups. The real mystery to me is why these ideas have any attractiveness to anyone. Do people really want security that much, that they will agree to support such hatred of others? History tells us the answer, time and again, yes. Unfortunately. I had always hoped that America was the place where the old dictates of history would be overthrown, certainly that's what my parents raised me to believe. Apparently not.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! This was a powerful statement. I applaud your courage in posting it. I have been on the sidelines for 22 years. I just recently came out to myself and my family. I was trying to "Force myself against nature and dna to be something I was not" to paraphrase a paragraph in your post.

My girlfriend and I are facing a lot of opposition, mostely from her family and my sister-in-laws. But we are hanging on.

Thankyou for incouraging me to keep fighting becasue this is what this post has done for me. We must no longer hide in the shadows. We have to get out, make our presence known and show "Jesusland" that they can legislate all they want but we won't just go away.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

==========

The false Jesuslands
(and the false Jesusworlds)

==========


Dear friends:

Below you can read a very poignant blog "Jesusland", written by Max
Gordon on 23 November 2004. I read it several times; many parts of it
were difficult to sustain, because of the awful violence against --
and even the internalized hate within -- glbti persons.

Gordon's blog reveals his perspectives on how homophobic and
especially homodious discrimination and bias have deeply affected not
only glbti people but also those who so inhumanely oppress us (and
how some gays internally oppress themselves). He does indeed mention
that gays are standing up for themselves, along with their straight
allies, in order to extinguish as much homophobia and homodiosity as
possible.

The particularly striking image of a false Jesusland (and a false
Jesusworld) were exceptionally cogent -- not only from the viewpoints
of particular religious denominations (i.e., fundamentalists, whether
Protestant or Roman Catholic or Jewish or Islamic, etc.) but also
from the viewpoints of particular political ideologies (i.e.,
conservatives, whether Republican or Democrat, whether from past or
current presidents or from other elected or appointed officials).

It is taken for granted that certain religions and their leading
hierarchies will frequently try to advance or push their faith-based
agendas, onto their own denominational believers and others; but it
is not so widely recognized that certain political parties and their
leading politicians are likewise trying to press and coerce their
faith-based agendas, onto their own party adherents and others.

However, their own faith-based agendas, whether religiously or
politically organized, are not necessarily aligned with the actual
image and likeness of God, meant for humanity -- hence their own
particular human creations of the false Jesuslands and the false
Jesusworlds!

Sadly, the makers of these false Jesuslands and Jesusworlds are
frequently convinced that they are doing what Jesus would have wanted
them to do, convicted so deeply as they are in their own particular
calling to self-righteousness; perhaps even more sadly, though, some
of these makers are themselves not interested in Jesus at all, but
only in their own selfish interests. I'm not sure who ought to be
considered as the more pitiful: the self-righteous zealots or the
self-interested opportunists.

Moreover, I'm sure that Jesus would not approve of any of these
makers of false Jesuslands and Jesusworlds. Yet, Jesus in his divine
wisdom and compassion would nevertheless guide them toward the true
making of the kingdom of God upon this our Earth. Can we, glbti Roman
Catholics and Christians, become other Christs -- helping to guide
those whose visions have been blinded by their own false Jesuslands
and Jesusworlds, and bring them -- and us -- toward the promised
land, where God's true kingdom will reign, on Earth as in heaven, as
in the Lord's prayer of Jesus himself?

God draws human beings toward God's self, in diverse ways; these
persons need not be Christian per se, but of other religions or of
none. These mystical graces sometimes cannot even be expressed in
mere words, but are somehow certainly sensed by the human soul and
felt by the human heart and comprehended by the human mind. And yet,
God's immense love and peace remains beyond all human understanding.

Let us be makers of Godland and Godworld; and let us be mindful of
those false Jesuslands and false Jesusworlds that some purport to
have created, though in their own images and likenesses.
--- Sal


==========


http://americaforjesusland.blogspot.com/

Blogspot.com
Published on 23 November 2004

"JESUSLAND"
by Max Gordon

-----

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

==========

Thy kingdom come;
Deliver us from Jesuslands (or Jesusworlds)

==========

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses;
As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into Jesuslands (or Jesusworlds),
But deliver us from their evil. Amen.

==========

Question:
What are Jesuslands or Jesusworlds?

Answer:
Jesuslands or Jesusworlds are merely theoretical concepts, at the
present time, although they might be said to be practical realities,
already: they are purportedly certain places (villages, towns,
cities; states and even nations) or specific world-views that some
would make out (or make up) as the lands or the worlds, within
which "only true Christianity" is properly and appropriately
maintained -- made by "only true believers" as individuals, families,
kinships, associations and organizations.

Those, however, are false utopias; those, in fact, are made-up false
creations: they are false Jesuslands and false Jesusworlds; they are
based on the mistaken notions, and on the misguided beliefs and
practices, that some Christians persistently express and stubbornly
insist as the "only right ways" to be the followers of Jesus.

Among those mistaken and misguided "only true followers of Jesus" are
some particular religious denominations and their leading hierarchs
(oftentimes called conservative, as in the Roman Catholic church or
in some "traditional" churches in the USA); and some particular civil
political parties and their elected or appointed officials
(oftentimes called fundamentalist, as in the Republican party mostly
but also in the Democratic party in the USA; although political
parties and personages sworn to uphold the rights of all citizens,
they have not separated the issues of church and state, thereby
creating a theocracy instead of a democracy).

Beware always of those who want to create false Jesuslands and false
Jesusworlds; because they as religious/political zealots may truly be
convinced of their "God-given" missions, or because they as shameless
opportunists may merely be motivated by their own selfishness and
self-interests. Their attitudes and actions frequently evidence
manifestations of exclusion rather than inclusion; of many versions
of "us versus them" rather than "we together" mentalities; of dark
secretiveness and disdainful haughtiness and smug superiority rather
than of open transparency and heartfelt compassion and generous
kindness.

Keep ever in mind that those false Jesuslands and false Jesusworlds
are definitely NOT the Godland and Godworld, which are meant for all
human beings through divine providence, graces and mercies. Those
counterfeit utopias are created in the images and likenesses of those
mistaken and misguiding "traditionalists", so-called conservatives
and fundamentalists, who have blinded themselves and/or who have
forsaken themselves from the true vision of God's kingdom, which
verily represents the image and likeness of God for all humanity.

We must move away from false Jesuslands and false Jesusworlds toward
the true Godland and true Godworld. Such transformations within our
religious and political institutions can happen, slowly or quickly,
incrementally or rapidly, depending on the sense of the faithful
(sensum fidelium) in their religious pursuit of holiness -- and
depending on the voice of the people (vox popoli) in their social
pursuit of happiness -- in order to eventually attain, sequentially
and successfully, the great spiritual blessings of sanctity and the
great societal freedoms of democracy.

The specific roles of respectful and confident glbti persons and of
respectful and confident straight persons, who are supportive and
accepting of each other, are essentially integral to the parallel
processes of true sanctity and of true democracy, as closer congruent
approximations toward the attainment of Godland and Godworld.

In Godland and Godworld, there are no false differentiations based on
the many real attributes of humanity -- male or female (gender and
sex), Jew or Greek (believer or non-believer), master or slave (power
differentials); as the apostle Paul stated two millennia ago. Other
such false differentiations would be: straight or gay, heterosexual
or glbti, gender identity or sexual orientation; indeed, such
attributes within the interconnected diversity of humanity are among
the multi-dimensional core facets that compose sanctity/democracy.

Yes, straights and gays must not only recognize but also fully accept
their unique complementary (not contradictory) roles within the true
diversity of our mutually shared humanity, in the social and
religious spheres.

We can and should and indeed must move together, not separately --
from being divided to becoming united, from being polarized to
becoming harmonized, from being segregated to becoming integrated.
From the many false Jesuslands and the many false Jesusworlds -- to
the one true Godland and the one true Godworld.
--- Sal


==========

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but but but but but.. Jesus/Bush loves you...

http://bushspeaks.com/img/god-speaks-through-bush.gif

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi dear,

I use "Jesuland" in my blog www.simorgheno.persianblog.com.
Fundametalisme is the same all over the world and cause a lot of pain.

Best wishes
Simorgheno

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful commentary.

It brings back bittersweet memories of growing up "born again" in the buckle of the Bible Belt, along with my best friend, who was gay.

He used to pray every night, "God, please make me straight." He considered suicide on several occasions, until he finally decided in his early 20s to quit living a lie. Like you, he wasn't so much disfellowshipped as made to feel so uncomfortable and unwelcome that he left the church.

He died of AIDS about 10 years ago, and I still think of him almost daily. I will love him and miss him for the rest of my life.

Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful/horrible, joyous/painful time when my friend and I were teenagers, so many years ago. And thanks for pointing out so poignantly that the real evil is hatred, not sexual orientation.

--lynette

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found out that a guy I went to school with hung himself after years of being ostracized from his family for being gay. The idea that a family could not love their son simply because of who he is saddens me. I am a heterosexual man with a wife and young son. I could not ever imagine driving my son to kill himself.
I am sick and tired of fellow Christians driving thier friends and family members to the point of suicide. Why everybody conveniently forgets that Christs essage was to love everyone is beyond me. I am sorry. I sincerely apolgize to every gay person who has been beaten, sworn at, look down upon, or called a pervert in the name of Jesus Christ. Its wrong that any person should be subject to such evil. I'm sorry

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max,

As this is from a Christian fundamentalist you are probably the only one who will see it. I read your article as well as the responses and it made me very sad.

Jesusland is where we follow the two great laws; love God as God and love our neighbor as ourselves. I see no room for hate in this.

Why did God make two sexes? I do not pretend to know. Why should one remain celibate outside of marriage, again I do not know. I do know that having a mother and a father and ones who (at least to my knowledge) were faithful to one another was important to me both as a child and as an adult. I would argue that the beliefs of an innocent (a child) are far purer than those of an adult who has become jaded by a fallen world.

How can we stop teenagers from killing themselves over unrequited love? The only solution that makes sense to me, here in Jesusland, is to give them love. How do we stop them from killing each other over sexual impulses, perhaps the solution is not hate of any type but showing them that love has nothing to do sex. Sex is an action, love is an emotion.

1:37 PM  
Blogger BS said...

Nicely Said, Max.

Well Done.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Rick Barnes said...

Dear max
Well said. I have posted the first part of jesusland on my blog, queerthoughts.blogspot.com where I have been writing about homophobia as the biggest risk to the health of lgbtq folks. There is a link back to this blog for the full article.

Thanks for writing this.

Salut and In Pride
Rick Barnes
British Columbia

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Max---

You're an idiot...but that is your right. I am an ultra conservative and I don't hate or fear gays at all. What I hate and fear are people telling me what to do...taking my hard earned dollars and redistributing it to the permanent underclass to buy votes...grabbing my guns...taking the Declaration of Independence and Founding Fathers out of the schools...declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional...telling me who I have to hire and who I cannot fire...it's my money and my business and I will damn well do as I please.

Cowboy up Max...and tell your gay friends to cowboy up too...hate to tell you my friend, it's a harsh world out there and not everyone is going to like or agree with you...some are even going to hate you...not because you are gay but because you have on a red sweater or blue jacket! If you lack the fortitutde to stand up for what you believe...if you lack the courage of your convictions then I guess you take the cheaters' way out and kill yourself...am I supposed to feel guilty about this? Well, I don't....so go ahead and delete this and become part of the censoring world you claim to abhor...just think about the fact that most people could not care less if you are gay or eat bacon or wear nylon or sleep on fur petunias...we just don't feel your private life has to be front page news...you hang it out there expect it to be loved by some and scorned by others...BFD, right?

Quit your whining!

Ted

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted - I think what Max is perhaps trying to suggest is that gays are targeted with hatred to an exceptional degree, and maybe 'cowboying up' won't be the source of any progress in the continuining trend of hatred and indifference which you so lovelily demonstrate.

Max - You wrote fantastically and, more importantly, with complete accuracy. Powerful, persuasive and true. May this change a few minds.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not entitled to any more than my indifference, we don't know each other. You seem to think indifference is a dirty word, it is not. "Indifference" is nothing more than impartial, unbiased, non-concern...thus, if I have demonstrated my indifference to you, I have succeeded in proving I am no threat...

However, you don't want someone who isn't a threat, you apparently want someone who is a convert or perhaps even a passionate missionary for your cause. Well, too bad for you...live and let live...why do you feel entitled to more than that from anyone? Why should I view you as any more special or privileged? Because you are men loving men or women loving women? Balderdash!!! Life is tough all over and the incessant belief that special privilege attaches as a consequence of where you find your sex is one of the biggest non sequitors extant today.

My God, I don't hate you, I don't fear you, I neither shun nor avoid you and you still want more because you are gay and entitled to be carried around on my shoulders and feted for your gayness? How about carry me around on your shoulders and fete me because I go to work every day; love my wife and kids; put a roof over my family's heads; feed my children; love my dogs; pay my taxes and give to charity...oh, wait...that isn't possible because I am a straight white middle aged man with a career and thus, by definition and default...

THE ENEMY!!!! Skip cowboy up...GROW UP!!!

Ted

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, you see, Ted, it's not "my" cause. I'm not gay. I don't even know that many gay people. But I'm not indifferent to it because I'm aware that homosexuality is being persecuted to a sick degree. Indifference IS a dirty word when your only response to a mass of unjust suffering being unnecessarily caused to people is 'cowboy up'.

I have never, ever heard a gay person say they wanted special privileges or to be somehow treated specially. In fact, that's probably the last goddamn thing on any gay person's mind. To be treated with equality, accepted, spared from discrimination, and go unnoticed, would be the ideal. In the meantime, they are a group of people being summarily shat on by people like you, simultaneously for being who they are and for trying to change they way they're viewed.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'll believe it (not that you aren't gay, I have no way of knowing one way or the other) when I read the next "editorial" condemning oppression of fat people; then gun owners; then SUV drivers; then, God forbid, Republicans!! I must have missed your commentary on Rwanda and Darfor and the horrible turmoil caused by the flooding in Haiti...I guess you hate Rwandans and Darforians and Hatians as exhibted by your obvious indifference!!

You may not know that many gay people, I know quite a few...know what they call the protesters in the street with the costumes and signs and antics that call negative attention to gay people...they call them "queers"...odd, I guess they hate gays too would be your answer...to the contrary, they are comfortable with themselves and wish the "queers" of the world would just STFU. My friends that are gay are successful, polished and normal people...who they sleep with is not my concern; anymore than who I sleep with is theirs'...

You cannot accept indifference because you see this as a crusade and that's okay, really it is...just don't expect it to be my crusade. For you to think me the enemy in your crusade is so freaking twisted that it is almost beyond belief...how am I offering anything less than live and let live? Funny, I signed up for a new class last night, just to get some exercise and in a room of 20 people, statistically at least, someone had to be gay...until I sat here typing this I never even thought about that...but, according to you, I am the enemy and I don't care and I am the problem and I hate gays and I make their lives miserable...I never suggested gays should be complacent about crimes against them and their friends...I simply suggested that for the mundane day to day struggles we all face it would be best to get over it, deal with being gay and cowboy up if people do not violently oppose gays...you are simply not going to please all of the people all of the time...right?

I loath people that commit crimes...but I don't limit myself to loathing those who commit crimes against gays...so forgive me if I sit your crusade out...just don't be so provincial in defining your friends in this struggle...

Regards, Ted

PS My apologies for assuming things about you just because of what you wrote...silly of me :)

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It only needs to be said that your words were beautifully put together. Though others may choose to hide behind general admonishment of your word, or your opinion, I believe it is a great one.

It was certainly more well-thought than "just grow up."

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It was certainly more well-thought than 'just grow up.' "I am wounded to the core!!! Why not flex some intellectual muscle and join the fray rather than offering plattitudes...the above will make a very nice slogan for your sign in the next "How Berkeley Can You Be" Day Parade...

How about address the issues I have raised..such as entitlement to more than indifference from someone who may not share your values but offers you no harm or threat. You are certainly capable of indifference as your response to me indicates; why is it anathema when I do it but acceptable for you?

Nevermind, I really don't expect an answer...just know that your scathing attack may leave me unable to perform my daily ablutions for some time to come :)

Ted

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven’t heard anyone campaigning for awareness of flooding in Haiti lately, but if I did I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t tell them to grow up and deal with it.

Your gay acquaintances who would rather stay out of the public eye may feel differently about it when they get beat up for being gay or want to get married to their significant others.

The problem is that people who are indifferent and settle with “You can’t please everyone all the time” don’t seem to mind when violence specifically targeting gays happens; in fact, your callous response to this article is a pretty good sign that you don’t. In the end, even if you’re not the direct cause of the violence, your attitude only helps to perpetuate it.

I’m sure a lot of indifferent people would have framed the black civil rights movement as a “crusade” too and asked why such a fuss was being made, and why they couldn’t just shut up and cowboy up. There’ll always be people who hate blacks, so why do all these stupid marches and protests and speeches and crap - you can’t please everyone!

The fact is, there is a deep-set trend of hatred for gays and it shows itself in such absurd issues as the fact that they cannot legally marry their spouses, and in all the violence Max wrote about. It will not solve itself, and if everyone just tells them to cowboy up, it’ll only worsen.

-David
[forgot to sign the last couple times]

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay David--

You make a couple of interesting points. First of all, let me reiterate I oppose criminality, not just against gays, but all criminality; my point was not about the violence. My point was about the "hate" or "fear"...

Do you honestly believe that a full frontal gay assault on the psyche of America is the answer? I see it creating more resentment and hostility...I truly do...I see the answer to the struggle being just the opposite in fact...go about your business and show that you are a good friend, a good neighbor, a good co-worker; suffer the indignity if you must, until the time is right to make your point that hey, I am a good friend, a good neighbor, a good co-worker and, by the way, I would appreciate it if you would not tell gay jokes (illustrative, of course) as I am gay...I believe the affect of that would be stunning to the vast majority of antis and would cause them to think more than shoving your gayness in their face and saying acknowledge my gayness before you acknowledge my worth. Hence, my point about indifference...over time, 9 out of 10 people may well come to view you with indifference (unbiased, non-concern)....the tenth person, that's why they say Sam Colt made all men equal!

John, David, Bob, Robin...I had no idea these guys were gay (well, okay Robin I suspected :) ) when I met them. They were just guys, nice hard working guys...the fact they turned out to be gay, by the time they mentioned it, was simply a non-issue! I maintain, you will not change the world by getting in people's faces...the only thing you will do is get them back in your face. You know why, in my opinion of course, Rosa Parks won? Not because she got on the bus every day and said I am a black woman and I will damn well sit where I please and if you don't like I will will label you a hater and question your humanity and blame you for all the ills of the world...nope, it's because with the quiet dignity she possessed she simply got on that bus and sat in the front and suffered the humiliation until enough people finally said WTF is the difference where this nice old lady rides?

As to your point about the civil rights movement...it is somewhat well taken; I might well have told Dr. King to cowboy up...I was only 12 when he died and never had the chance :) My thoughts on self-determination can wait for another day...suffice it to say you've made your point and I shall think on it...and you didn't even have to show me your nipple ring and secret lambda decoder watch :)

Regards, Ted

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much for writing this.

- heather

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see your point too, Ted; but I worry that placid inaction is not enough to solve the issues facing gays. I can't imagine people suddenly going 'By george, let's let gays marry, they've been so quiet lately!', y'know?

Thanks for keeping it relatively civil, anyways.

Regards,
David

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was an astouding article. I borrowed it so that people on my livejournal friendslist could read it but I gave a link back to you. :)

-Shane

http://www.livejournal.com/~kyregan/

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is of course easy for me, a straight British atheist, to say this. But please hold onto hope and don't give up! I grew up to admire the USA and its freedoms, but seeing the reality has just made me so glad that I live in a country in which, at least, outright prejudice is not tolerated.

I hope for the sake of everyone hurt by prejudice and irrational hate that the USA as a whole will one day open its eyes to the light of tolerance.

Pete

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Please Pete...spare us the "USA as the sole woeful oppressor of gays" routine...

Any of this ring a bell ???

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4055801.stm

There are no travel restrictions to "Merry Olde" and I don't see a mass exodus of our gay community to the "welcoming shores" of Great Britain!

Regards, Ted

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indifference is a convenient excuse for disengagement, to wait for others to intervene is simply to admit one's powerlessness. The world is a dangerous place. So what? Now what? Never be neutral. Those who "couldn't care less" force each of us to care more. Worse than evil -indifference to evil.
Instead of being neutral to gays, accept them. This doesn't mean give them special privileges, if you really accept them then you'll treat them just like you treat everybody else. Hell, you could even crack a gay joke around them (long as you're not trying to be mean on purpose), if they're so uncomfortable with themselves that they simply don't laugh it off or let it pass then it's their fault they feel persecuted at that moment. Because you accept them how they are, they're like everybody else and people make jokes about everything. It's not nice making jokes about such things, but I think it's okay if meant in good humor. But if you see a hate crime try to stop it. It may require you to be brave, but that's life. You'll be sticking your neck out during it all the time, like when you decide to care about something. So I say, if gays aren't getting their rights let's get them their rights, not walk down a street with them while beating people over the head with their gayness. We know you're gay, showing us how gay you are won't change our minds, we don't want to hear about it. What we want to hear about is somebody not getting their rights. After all, you can't make people accept you, but you can make the law accept you because the law is something constant, something solid. If it loses consistency then it loses its authority. So naturally, everyone should be allowed those rights. To gays I say: Patience. And to the anti-gay people: Read this article, it's a different view on this whole mess and worth your time

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max, thank you for writing this.

Ted, I understand and agree with a great deal of what you wrote. Sitting around whining isn't going to help anybody or make life better. But there's just one thing you forgot. American Families are murdering their children because they ARE gay. I know this; mine tried and failed. So, yeah, you are right, we have an agenda, and yeah, you are right, a lot of people are not gonna like "a full-frontal assault", but you know what, fuck those people, they murder their own kids. What kind of people ARE they, anyways ?

See, it's like this. You can talk the talk, the "Family Values" and the geatness of America, but when it comes down to walking the walk, and actually MAKING those things MEAN something, you just leave it to somebody else, 'cus you are too busy telling 13 year old suicidal kids to "Cowboy Up". America IS what you make of it. Congratulations, you made it a great place for kids to commit suicide, the #1 killer of gay kids. I guess it's better than being stoned to death or burried alive like in some other places. But really, is marginally better good enough for you, for YOUR America ?

I'm not telling you what to do, and I don't wanna come get your guns or make you stop driving your S.U.V., or tell you how to live your life. Really, I'm like most gay guys, in that all I really want is to be left the fuck alone. There's a difference between being left alone, though, and being attacked crossing the street leaving a bar that somebody doesn't like. And if you are OK with that happening to people, repeatedly, as a matter of daily course, well, then, you have the blood on your hands, too. Just a little, just a few dots here and there, just rinse it off, nothing to worry about.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much as a woman who speaks occasionally on the Queer female experiance I found this to be a very powerful reading.

It also reminded me of an Article by Debora Britzman (you may be interested in reading some of her work).

It's good to know that I'm not alone.

Ash.

12:55 AM  
Blogger C. said...

That was eloquent and well thought out. As the child of a lesbian, I have experienced that sort of descrimination all my life, albeit from the outside, and while I can't neccesarily identify with your pain, I can see and sympathise with where it comes from.

I was beaten as a child, laughed at, shunned, dragged into DES to find out if my mommy or her lover had ever, and I quote, "touched you, y'know, down there." Our house was egged, pelted with bbs disguised in the center of snowballs, and vandalized. Our car was tampered with on several occasions. All by one young man, whose parents, when my mother went to them to complain said "Oh no, not MY little Levi, he's been inside all day."

The fact that my mother and Virginia, who have had a commitment ceremony and are as in love, as kind, as Christian and as functional as anyone I have ever met cannot legally be joined pains me every time it effects their lives. My mother can't even reliably make a doctors appointment for her life partner. They have a medical power of attorney, but the doctor's assistant has to be looking at a copy when she tries to make an appointment, or they don't care. It makes me sick with rage, and my mother also.

I am praying for the day that this injustice, this inequality, this travesty against freedom can be repaired.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a few thoughts here.

First, I largely believe that Homosexuality is a choice and a wrong one at that. This is not to say that I am intolerant. If a person is gay, I have no problem with that, as long as It is not forced down my throat and not discussed among my VERY young children.

It is not that I am trying to hide anything from them, it is because at their young age, it would raise awkward questions that I am not yet prepared to answer.

Now, on to the tragedy of coming to terms with homosexuality in one's self. This would, Ironically, be easier if discovered later in life than as a child. In my opinion. Adults are generally more accepting and tolerant than children and tend to receive, and many actually applaud, one's 'Coming Out'.

Children are the cruelest of all. They are, unfortunately, less tolerant (And this is NOT necessarily a product of their upbringing). They tend to cave to peer pressure, a need to feel accepted etc. They look for a reason to shift their own awkwardness on someone else.

As a result, it is harder for a child (Particularly a Teen) to admit that they are Gay. My friend Joel had a royal bitch of a time admitting to me that he was bi. He was afraid (And probably, regrettably justly afraid) that I would no longer wish to be his friend.

In high school, a friend of mine was a lesbian. It was no secret and although I did not approve, I kept this to myself and did not let it interfere with my friendship with her. She was, surprisingly open and secure with her sexuality. However, the occasional comment made by the insensitive or unthinking still stung.

Anyway, an ex of mine and I were quarrelling and she, knowing full well my particular trigger, walks up to Kristy (my lesbian friend) and says, 'Don't you just hate fags?'

The result was me spending 20 minuites trying to convince Kristy not to kill my ex (Whom I really could have cared less for at the time) and explain to my ex the seriousness of her social fuck up.

See, a mature adult would not have made this mistake.

Although, as a Christian, my faith tells me that homosexuality is wrong, My faith also dictates tolerance and love...NOT hate. To be Christian, one MUST follow the teachings of Christ. Chief among them is this, 'Love thy neighbor as I have so loved you...'

This means, to me, that I must love all people, regardless of their faults, regardless of their sins, and accepting of those same. That is, after all, what Jesus did for me and all of mankind.

Although I am charged with teaching the word of Jesus, and guiding others to his everlasting love, I can not FORCE them to accept the word or to believe. I can only tell them of my belief and trust them to make the same decision as I have. If they refuse, that is their choice, and although I would hope that they would accept, should they not, I can only hope that they understand and accept my beliefs and allow me to have them as I allow them to have theirs.

Christians are not ignorant. Their are those among us who are bordering on the fanatic and tend to (in my belief) misconstrue the word and they, in turn, give the rest of us a bad name.

The Bible, does in fact, say that homosexuality is wrong. Now, as Karl in the Movie Sling Blade said, "I don't recon the lord'll send you to hades for it...'

The true beauty of Christianity is that Jesus tells us that through the faith, and his Holy Name, that ALL sins (Save Blasphemy) are forgiven. Given this knowlege, It is my hope that more folks may understand my Faith and my beliefs and not count me among those who preach hate. I ask not that you believe the way I do, but that you respect my beliefs as what they are and judge me not by the actions of others, but by the actions of myself.

As for the crimes perpetrated against gays....There is NEVER an excuse for this. It is deplorable. Utterly and completely hateful....And against EVERYTHING a good christian believes. The folks who commit these atrocities should face the fullest measure of Justice. (Saving the death penalty. I believe that that is wrong to. I do not believe that it is right to execute anyone. It is simply, to me, state sanctioned murder!)

As for the last part, and the most tragic of all. I find it difficult to sympathize with someone who takes there own life. It is, truly, a selfish act. The damage it causes in it's wake is tragic. Unfortuantely, too many folks who can't come to terms with the reality of their life, choose to exit it.

Although I tend to believe that homosexuality is a choice, conscious or unconscious matters not. The fact is, gays are not something to be either feared or hated. We should, as a society, teach respect and tolerance. Regardless of your religious beliefs, one thing Jesus taught, that we should ALL practice, come down to this one thing: "Love thy neighbor."

That one sentence, that beautiful sentence, is something that if we all practiced, would go a long way toward ending the troubles that we have in this Great Nation as well as the world.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First, I largely believe that Homosexuality is a choice and a wrong one at that."

So when did you choose you were going to be heretosexual?

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max
Thank you for your recent post on the apolitalking.com political forums.

I don't normally respond personally to posts. However, I wanted to say your's was quite remarkable. I followed your link to read the article in it's entirety.

Good luck to you in life, and please feel free to post often. Your message deserves to be heard.

Thank you,

Paul D.
Moderator Apolitalking.com forums

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I finished reading your most moving statement here I could barely remember to breathe. I only wish I could give you a warm hug in between the applause I would be (and am giving you, sitting here at my computer) most furiously giving you. Bravo sir-- bravo!!

*love*
lesa

http://www.hypnomedia.com/fangedfem/

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I deeply feel for all of you. I am moved by the ain you are all going through.

I am heterosexual. However I understand that some people may not be so. Being a homosexual is equally fine as being a heterosexual. If any God or Godhead says that he doesn't like so and so because of his sexual inclination then he is a fraud.
The God we believe in is about universal love and compassion and that encompasses everybody.

The christian faith is particularly oppressive in treatment of humans. It asks people to throw away their logic and blindly believe in some written words. This is definitely not a religion/cult for the intelligent. This is a surefire recipe for hatred and stupidity.

If I have to go through a thousand hells for not believing in a God which says against homosexuals then I would rather go through thousand hells or more. However I would never go pleasing that god, cause he is bs.

All of you gays, lesbians need to stand up and assert yourself. You are doing what you feel is right. There is no need to be ashamed of it. In fact be yourself.

I believe there is a universal truth which is far beyond our sexuality. A truth which explains all and embraces all the reality and takes us beyond that.

I wish all of you the best of luck in the coming years. May you all live your life to the fullest.

Cheers,
M

PS. If you are looking for a religion find one that is logical and doesn't ask you to blindly believe in something. It should resonate with your inner feelings. Go with your soul.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi again, this is Jan.
I just finished reading this and you have me all fired up!
I am an athiest now, after I was raised catholic and saw alot of the hatred that the church supported in alot of ways. When I was around 13, I had planned on becoming a nun, having 2 cousins being nuns already in the family. I started asking deeper questions, that no one had answers to, "just believe" I would hear. I went to catholic school as well, what a mean bigotted bunch of folks there, not wanting to be like them, I started opening my eyes.
I am able to love life and respect others, living as an athiest. For the "believers" that think they have the corner on the ten commandments, hold on to your hats. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to know that it's bad to kill someone, or steal, or any of the other listed commandments.
I am very upset over the last presidential election, I'm still in mourning. To think that the election was based on religious issues, what's up with that?!
To believe that there is an invisible man up in the sky that loves you and wants money (as George Carlin has said). If a person wants to spend their life believing in a god, allah or who-ever, let them, just don't think that I need to believe the same deal. I respect your beliefs, but respect mine. Mine being none, ziltch, nadah. We've been getting all of this nonsense to teach "both" in school, creationism and science. Well folks, there's more out their than just your little religion of creationism. With all of our diverse cultures that we need to include, what about allah, hinduism, buddism, and all of the others that are out there. We have been going back to the dark ages that we fought so hard to get out of, other countries are laughing at us.
My family is still very religious, and feel that they are above some folks because they are so religious and have 'seen the light'. They have been very hateful of gays, and judgemental. When I ask my brother why he's standing in judgement when it should be up to god, he says that he feels that god wants him to speak up for him. With that I felt I couldn't debate with him anymore. I love my family, but; they see themselves as loving people that believe in god, and live the good life. They don't accept anybody different than them which is very sad. I had to move away from them as they were sucking me dry so to speak. Actually I moved away because of a man, but moving was one of the best things that ever happened to me, getting out of a little red neck community in Oregon.
I have always felt that every American citizen should have equal rights, but some religious groups put a damper on that thought. I feel that every person should be allowed to follow their heart, be it gay or straight. Fuck others opinions of how you should live your life. We only have one shot at life, and we should be able to live it in freedom, not having to live in fear or having to explain or defend yourself from others different from each other. Life is too short to get caught up in all of the rules nonsense. But I know the nonsense is out there, I just wish that we could stop it some way, I don't know how to. I just try to educate folks when we start talking about it, I feel that I have made a few folks rethink their position, which has made me feel like I'm making a small difference.
Gays like every other person should be able to marry in order to have health coverage, be able to support each other while sick, and have that special bond of marriage that all folks that marry do. Marriage should be between two people, not have the government tell us what sex the other person needs to be.
I will try to be "tolerent" of these religious folks that think they are so right, NOT!

11:27 AM  
Blogger JOHN said...

Hey I love women..., all types of women. I am usually attracted to most for various reasons. Their kindness, compassion, the way they smile, laugh, appear. It would be nice to live with three or four women... I think. The problem is the principle. I've chosen to submit my "human desires" under a heavenly principle. The principle becomes an objective in living. A very healthy standard which has allowed for stability in my family, with happiness and success in various areas of living. From your letter it appears you once believed in the principle... now the principle has been regulated to another level of importance in order to satisfy your desires. Realize I am not questioning if your feelings are real. I question why you have surrendered to them rather then surrender to a principle of living. Prayer, spiritual living etc. doesn't completely remove desires at all times, but allows me to function without these desires becoming the major focus of my existence. I've found freedom by following a few basic steps. Apparently, you believe... have accepted Jesus. Living in His power will allow you to follow his standard. Accomplishing the right is never easy... but it's the right thing to do.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

O I forgot to ask: can u share where u got the statistics of those who have passed away? ty
peace
Angel

6:44 PM  
Blogger MAX GORDON said...

Angel, Max here. I would like to respond to your questions, but you didn't leave an e-mail address. I can be reached at star1power@aol.com. Thanks for writing.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max,
you most certainly have an amazing way with words. You have sumed up all my emotions, my rage, my sadness and made it coherent. I'm bi who has struggled many times w/ my cultural and religious beliefs coming in the way of my "sexual orientation". I still have not gathered the courage to come out to my parents.
I noticed that the article has been copyrighted, so I am asking for permission to post it on other sites. These words need to be spread.
I want you to know that what me and you believe in is slowly but surely becoming a reality. Unfortunately the more that I look at history the more I relaize that death is an unfortunate necisity to move forward in society. This is seen a lot w/ the Black movement. Looking back the church regrets how it has wronged the Black community. This is even clearer in the case of Joan of Arc who was condemned as a heretic and burned at the stake only to become canonized a couple of decades later. I fear that bloodshed is needed in order for change. Even others such as Ghandi and Malcolm X had to face similar fates. It's sad but our society does not realize that something is an issue until death occurs.
But don't lose faith, my brothers/sisters/siblings. There is hope yet. A day shall come, when even this we will overcome.

I leave you with a quote by Gore Vidal
"More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world."

peace

3:40 PM  
Blogger erinberry said...

Amazing post, thanks for writing it.

Incidentally, our conservative commenter Ted revealed all we need to know about his character by making a statement like: "What I hate and fear are people telling me what to do...taking my hard earned dollars and redistributing it to the permanent underclass." Spoken like a true neo-con.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

erinberry---

If that was all you took from my comments then you are obviously and seriously intellectually challenged. For your information I am a real Conservative, not a neo-con...but I understand that vapid neo-lib blather is the best you can do.

In light of your scathing attack all I can say is "GO GATORS"

Ted

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good article, i can't help but thinking about how we need to raise visibility on issues like this, especially with a bible-thumping president.

there's a good parody site at www.jesusland.com which has a forum. not exactly serious commentary, but subversive nonetheless.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After a brief exchange, I inform the stranger that while I was “saved”, or at least baptized as a child, and my grandfather was a minister of his own church, I have no intention of being part of a religion that doesn't accept me because of my sexuality. My inquisition on the A-train ends and my Jesus interrogator trots off to his next victim, reminding me that "we’re all sinners." He hasn't achieved a new convert, but he's watered that seed of insecurity in me that maybe homosexuality is evil, that gay people do end up in hell and because of what I am, God doesn't like me anymore."

I think you might have missed the point. It isn't that homosexuals are not accepted as people, but the homosexuality itself is not aprroved of. When the person said "we're all sinners" I fail to understand how you took it the way you did. EVERYONE has faults but EVERYONE is accepted by God according to the Christian fatih. Max, you immediately say that it made some part of you insecure that maybe it was bad and that you and all gays would go to hell, but the entire purpose of that statement is to show you that according to Christianity you DON'T need to go to hell.

As an alltogether different point, I find it somewhat hypocritical that what most people who have commented and certainly the author of this blog want most is tolerance, yet in quite a number of comments are extremely intolerent of the Christian religion and it's followers. It's not that you have to agree with those beliefs, but if you looked at them in their true form they are noble goals, namely peace and love, understanding, discipline, most likely similar to your own. Of course there are cases where people say they are Christians but do very un-Christian things (KKK as an example) but many people here are generalizing and attacking Christians.

With criticisms aside, I do think it is of value to speak out about actual violence committed, because that is very unacceptable.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense but you are wrong when you say that it is wrong to ask about your faith they just want to know if you are saved or not, which leads to believe that they care whether u go to heaven or hell...so when they ask that its just another way of them saying they care about you. And just so everyone is clear, those people that murdered those kids are not Christians, they are far from it even if they claim to be because real Christians like myself love everyone.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this very thoughtful, and, in my opinion, very on-the-mark anlaysis...I really think though that religion as an institution is the worst (most destructive) man-made creation...in the words of one famous actor, "religion has done more to bust up humanity than any other institution." I agree.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Roger The Okcitykid said...

I think the original poster brings up a good point, I do however wish we wouldn't infer that this is any part of Jesus - Christian, yes. In Iran under Islam, homosexuals are hung.

I told the story else where in this forum about how I tried to cut my hand off when I was that age after reading the bible. Its very scary believing in a God who created something, called it sin and then condemned it forever to torture. It is unimaginal how anyone could believe such a thing and I should be ashamed that I ever did and should never talk about it less someone should laugh at me. But its when we don't talk about things that things like this become horrible monsters to some people who will hurt themselves or others because of it. So to the original poster - thanks.

Concerning homosexuals, Paul (not) Jesus preached against it. Did Paul really preach those things or were they made up? Was Paul really an apostle of Jesus or maybe not? or was the world so much different back then that today we would not recognize it or the people who roamed it and should not carry their morals into today (very possible).

Today there will be homosexuals, this is perfectly natural. Whenever a species overpopulates, nature then intercedes to control the population and this is simply one of natures population controls. I suspect we will see more of this, and it's perfectly natural, but back in the days of Paul, it may not have been, I for one wasn't there that I know of, but today I don't believe Jesus would condemn a homosexual but treat such as an equal who having an understanding of nature.

http://www.captaincynic.com/thread/33410/jesusland.htm

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Drew said...

I have just read Jesusland, it is a true piece of horror because it is true.

I’m British and our Fundamentalist Christians are a joke. They are to have television programs banded and fail, they are laughed at by our news anchors, they try to oppose laws protecting Lesbians and Gay Men and they become the ones hated. In Britain we don’t take our religion seriously, hell we have Civil Partnerships (Gay Marriage by another name) and a hold shave of laws protection us, but I also know that British Fundamentalists are backed by American ones. As we’ve seen with the world economy, what American does today the rest of the world is effect with tomorrow.

But always remember, if things get really tough you can come to Europe. Here it’s the opponents of Gay Marriage who are in the political minority. There is a thought though, how would American cope if all her Lesbian and Gay citizens left on the same day, my answer would be “Badly”.

Drew

3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does it not occur to anyone that the only cogent redress to these issues is libertarian in nature? This is America's real founding philosophy, and places all matters of lifestyle and scruple -- be it about straight or homosexual orientation or about religious conviction or dissent -- beyond the reach of legislation. GLBT people apprehend and resist the prospect of "fundamentalist" acts by government seem less chary of the cynical yet palpable manipulations of left-wing victimhood mongering. If all issues of personal contract, rights of association, even rights of private preferment and/or discrimination were left outside of the realm of governmental control, the balanced interests of everyone would be more securely and properly preserved. This is not to say that people of conscience -- at all points of the moral spectrum -- ought to eschew their sincere efforts to persuade or transform the society around them. But looking to government to aid in such programs of morality is always an unwitting cession of liberty, whether left-wing or right-wing in origin.

11:08 AM  

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