Monday, May 21, 2012

Why do some American Christians anoint the lazy and ignorant as their 'heroes?'

I am simultaneously amazed and disappointed in how some American Christians choose their heroes these days.

Mississippi state lawmaker and minister Andy Gipson recently cited a Biblical passage that condemns gays to death as his way of speaking against out President Obama's support of marriage equality. And in the face of criticism, he says that he is not backing down.

To put it succinctly, I hate when these incidents happen. A lawmaker says something homophobic while hiding behind the Bible, our community demands an apology, the lawmaker refuses to back down and finally the lawmaker is looked upon by some as a hero for supposedly standing up for Biblical principal.

Gipson is not a hero. He is lazy.

If you want to talk about true heroes of the Christian faith, then let's talk about those who spent their lives fighting injustice like Desmond Tutu or Mother Teresa. Let's talk about those who gave their lives for the sake of equality like Oscar Romero or Maximilian Kolbe.

All Gipson did was to sit on his ass and repeat Biblical verses in an attempt to bash a group of people who, to my knowledge, has never done him any harm a day of his life.

Just when were the requirements of heroism of the American Christian faith reduced to lip service designed to tear people down based on assumptions of sin?

And Gipson is not the only "Christian" taking the pill of self-righteousness. Recently U.S. Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) told the online site Think Progress that he opposes non-discrimination laws for gays on the grounds that it would give "special protection" for certain sexual behaviors.

When the story initially broke, he accused Think Progress of attacking him because of his "faith."

Rep. Lankford is a coward who hides his ignorance behind his religious beliefs.

We are not talking about sexual behavior. We are talking about sexual orientation. Telling your co-workers that you are gay is not the say thing as describing sexual acts anymore than a straight couple showing off their wedding rings is the same as them talking about their favorite sexual positions. Talking about your partner and family or placing a portrait of them on your desk is not the same thing as going into lurid detail about a Saturday night date.

Congressman Lankford and Gipson are indicative of people who, while they wrap themselves up in their Bible to pump up their ego, are oblivious of the change taking place across the country.

The gay community no longer lurk on the outskirts of the American experience. A vast majority of us no longer confuse our sexual orientation as a sick need that we take care of in dark alleys, parks, public restrooms, or video stores.

A vast majority of us are not listening to the constant beat of those demanding that we hate ourselves as much as they pretend that they don't hate us.

We see our sexual orientation as a God-given blessing. And we have discovered that we have been deceived all of these years by those who seem to think that their religious beliefs entitle them to dictate how we conduct our lives

We have discovered that we have been bamboozled into believing that we are not worthy to sit at the table of the American experience or to taste that sweet nectar known by many as a complete and happy life complete with a partner who loves us and children we will raise if we so desire. We have discovered that we have been unfairly relegated to the floor and  tricked into settling for stale crumbs and lukewarm water thrown at us by folks like Lankford and Gipson as they cast nasty looks while clutching their Bibles  and reciting supposed admonitions against homosexuality and making sure to omit other verses telling them to love their neighbor and not judge their fellow human beings.

After years of being told that there was no place at the table for us by people like Lankford and Gipson, we have not only discovered that not only is there a comfy chair at the table with our names on it, but there is also a bottle of sweet nectar with our names specifically on it.

So I feel safe in speaking for all, if not a majority of the gay community when I say to people like Lankford and Gipson and the rest:

You had better slide aside because we are going to sit at that table and we are going to take a full drink of that nectar because it belongs to us. It's ours. It doesn't belong solely to you.

And nothing you do or say will keep us from it.

You see, we are human beings just like you and our life has value.  Value not to be determined by you but value that exists in spite of you.

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Penny Sautereau-Fife, Shaman Of Hedon said...

Um.... Alvin? Mother Theresa is probably NOT the best person to cite as an example of a "true Christian Hero who fights injustice". That woman's steadfast condemnations of birth control or safe-sex education provably caused huge rates of STD's, ballooning pregnancy rates and death. Then she'd give a sad interview where she lamented all that disease death and unwanted babies and wished she could do something. Well she COULD have, but she didn't. She actively fought to PREVENT the safe-sex educations that could've drastically improved these issues for Calcutta.

Mother Theresa was NO hero. She was just another meddling self-righteous Christian missionary causing untold suffering in her drive to force people to live how the Vatican thinks they should.

BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

The last line made me misty. Thank you for your passion.

BlackTsunami said...

Possibly true, Penny but she did spend her entire life being an advocate for the poor and especially those suffering from AIDS. There are some who agree with her efforts and there are those who call attention to some of her fallacies but in comparison to some of these self-righteous folks claiming to be Christians in America, she gets an "A" in my book.

Erica Cook said...

My comment to the bible beating it this: I'm not a Christian. I don't live by the bible because I follow the Wiccon Reed. We have and have always had same sex unions before the creation of Christianity. So why should my religious beliefs be superseded by yours.

I have yet to have any of them answer me.

Woodstock said...

Amen! Preach it, Brother!! We have as much right to the best things in life as anyone and we won't settle for less any more.

LSD said...

I love this post, as I do all our previous ones I've read. However, I'm with Penny: Mother Teresa was no saint/hero. Despite raising millions of dollars through her "Missionaries of Charity", a large part of patients' "care" in her facility consists of pallets on the floor on which to die. As for her caring for AIDS patients, she did nothing of significance to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, but plenty to hurt. She had a tremendous platform, could get an audience with any leader in the world and her words carried real weight. But she didn't do the one thing that could have made a real difference: insist on safe-sex education. Again, I agree 100% with the bulk of this post, but Mother Teresa is not deserving to be endorsed by a good man like you. Please check this out when you have a chance. It's the tip of the iceberg:

Mary said...

An excellent post. It is a matter of lazy thinkers trying to appeal to a constituency they believe to be just as lazy as themselves. We have unfortunately produced a generation or two of people who want to accept whatever received information they can to reinforce their own bigotry. Only confronting that and naming it for what it is -- cowardice and laziness -- can it be combated. Thanks for doing that.