Monday, May 10, 2010

When You Sit In Judgment of God

If there’s something that amazes me about some religious individuals, is their ability to sit in judgment of God. That is, they have more restrictions, more rules and a narrower path to our Lord and Savior than written in the Old and New Testament combined.

Sin (or perceived sin) is sin. There is no bigger, dirtier, nastier or craftier sin in the eyes of God. If you believe in God, hell and the like, there is only ONE hell. In this ONE hell there is one standard heat level, the flames don’t burn hotter for murderers than they do for those who stole a piece of candy…same hell, same flame, same burn.

So I’m having a late night chat with my mom last night – well, with my parents, but dad is deaf so he’s just sitting there watching the building tension between my mom and I – and the issue of homosexuality comes up. It’s actually more the issue of sleeping arrangements that comes up, since my mother seems to think that BD and I should sleep separately when they visit our home. I thought I addressed this many times before – something like every visit for the last 26 years – but like clockwork here was the discussion again. Finally, I calmly said, “Mom, I love you and dad very much and welcome you into my home year-after-year, even though you and dad threw me to the wolves on the street at the tender age of 15; I forgive you for the timeS (that’s right, it was more than once) that I was brutally raped trying to seek shelter; I don’t hold your ignorance under the microscope for the times I was cold or hungry on the streets; I don’t stay awake at night plotting vengeance on you or dad for stealing my teenage years away from me by forcing me to need a full time job while finishing high school while other kids were simply planning their prom, but I will be very honest with you and tell you that you will NOT regulate where my partner and I sleep, how we run this household and my life as it is today.” I felt my chest swelling, but I took a deep breath and kept my voice low…my resolve did not waver when I continued, “You deal with your other children and their many sins as though you don’t see them…you ignore them because it is not your business, but you appear to feel empowered to say things that are inappropriate to me.” This is when my mom probably said the most ignorant thing I have EVER heard her say to me before…she said, “They are sinning, but they are not going against society’s norm…you know, they don’t go against the grain.” My face contorted – a combination of pain and disappointment furled into my brow before I responded, “I would have had an easier time if you were judging me through the narrow minded view of a God fearing woman that sees sin as sin, but you are judging me through the bigoted and homophobic eyes of the very sliver of society that I detest. That is the most ignorant thing you have ever said to me…stupid really. I’m disappointed in you mom. Sin is sin…read your Bible, do some soul-searching prayer.” Then I said what I knew in my heart I meant more than anything I’ve ever said to her, “I have forgiven you two and welcomed you into my home after what I suffered in my life at the hands of your ignorance, but I won’t have you disrespect me, my relationship and my family in my home. You are always welcome here, but you are a guest visiting MY family and NOTHING about MY family will change because you are here. If this is uncomfortable for you, I’m sorry, but you have the option of staying elsewhere…maybe where the sin is more tolerable for you or less against the grain.” With that I marched upstairs, took my shower and went to bed. This morning, I made coffee for my parents and left them with a kiss and a smile. I hold no grudges…life is too short. I know my parents love me and I love them very much, but God judges all sin equally and it is NOT their place to sit in judgment of God. Don’t lose your children and the opportunity to share their lives because of your ignorance. Recognize when you are a homophobe and a bigot. God is NOT a God of ignorance.

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Cocoa Rican said... mom calls me at the office (I think at the prompting of my older sis) and apologizes for the convo last night. She says that she will enjoy a peaceful visit. I agree...she says, I do love you." I simply said, "I love you too mom, so let's just have a great visit."

Such is the life of a PK...

janeblaz71 said...

this may not be something you want to read but I am going to say it anyway...I ask that you read it with a loving heart and calm mind. PLEASE.

I love both of your parents, and you already know how much I love you and Keith and the Mini...well, I love you more because I've known you all my life...

Its very difficult to be with you and your parents. Extremely painful, as a matter of fact. I can feel me tearing away from myself internally because I want to SCREAM and SCREAM and SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!! I want to say "What have you done to my friend!!!! painted a picture of Christian goodness but you threw him to the predatory fiends who had their way with a young boy who was trying desperately to find out WHO he was, why!!! Why would you strip away his innocence and sense of stability!!!" I want to bawl like a baby anytime I am around your parents and you...I love them so, as I love you. But in my eyes, and in the scars left upon my heard when you told me later on in life what you went through...I only see you tied to a post like Matthew Shepherd...left to die of exposure after being beaten. and I just ... it wears me out because I want to shake the shit out of folk. I am sorry. I cannot help myself. I grapple with an overwhelming urge to scream - not obscenities, mind you - just scream until one of them SNAPS OUT OF IT and comes to the awareness that no one...NOT more worthy of the love of God than another.

I feel the bile building up now just thinking about it. I feel the heat in my stomach and the cold in my chest...your light was snuffed out by hate and homophobia for quite some time...and I find it so very telling that the same light, once extinguished, was reignited by something as simple - and pure - as love.

I know I rambled. I am sorry. Its hard for me to say how traumatized I was by your revelations, your history, and how I continue to be traumatized by the judgment of the people responsible for your existence.

I love you bro.


Cocoa Rican said...

Cas...I know you love them and it goes without saying that I love them too. As someone who is my sister, I know you recognize how much soul searching I did to come to a place where I can see my parents for who they are and accept the DAMAGE - yes, damage - that religious beliefs have had on their psyche. The lesson here is simple - NO RELIGION, GOD, SPOUSE, PARTNER - NOTHING - SHOULD TURN A PARENT ON THEIR CHILD WHERE A CHILD'S LIFE AND SOUL IS PUT IN JEOPARDY. The remarkable thing about God's love is that I can look at both my parents and see nothing, but love today. I don't hold any ill will toward them and my past is not a burden on my present. The key to living my best life is treasuring those beliefs and remembering what I lived.

Caspar608 said...

you lived.
you survived.
but my heart and soul grieves for those not built like us...not quite as strong as cursed and blessed we are to be as strong as we are...yet, because of this strength, folk think they can say whatever the f-ck comes to their minds in a fit of ignorance...or, folk think they can re-write history in an attempt to soothe their guilty conscience.

your story is your own, unique and triumphant. I say you tell it all. Not on a blog, but in a novel. Tell it so every young person who struggles with their truth can live through the pain and emerge the personification of love...that even though the light may be snuffed out from time to time, the fire still smolders, waiting to be reignited.