Jemima said, “I cannot for the life of me understand how people can term themselves Christians
and use the language of hate and oppression.”
Because that is not how it feels from inside. I have been Evangelical, I was wildly homophobic when I was in denial of myself. Mindy gives her own explanation, which makes sense to me.
I was Christian because my mother was Christian, and took me to church before I could walk. My kirk, growing up, gave me community and common purpose. I liked being asked to read the lessons because I like to show off. It made me one of the good people, despite all that talk of sin: I never really felt conscious of sin, apart from the cross-dressing. I did become aware, though, that on Sunday morning when the family went to the Kirk, that I could niggle at my sister in a particularly nasty way, to wind her up and claim moral high ground.
In a strange world, it was good to feel that there were Rules, and we knew them. We (Piskies) were right, the Presbies were 90% right, the rest- Baptists, Wee Frees, Catholics etc- had their hearts in the right place. God was the benevolent policeman in the Sky, enforcing the rules.
Gay sex was disgusting. We had to love the homosexual, but when an extremely feminine man with a boyfriend came to St Andrew’s Cathedral, I strongly objected to him joining the servers at the altar. The couple did not stay with us. When I confessed to the Provost that I cross-dressed, and showed how upset and ashamed I was, he gave laying on of hands to drive it out of me. And, well, all sex was disgusting. I was utterly ashamed of my sexual instincts. I mocked the word “homophobia” for its etymology: how can one be afraid of the Same? Well-
I joined the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship, and was published in their journal, and joined intense, forensic bible studies at lunchtime. We were learning The Truth. So, yes, Love your Neighbour, and Judge Not that ye be not Judged, but I knew what was right and what was wrong and you should not do the wrong stuff, and associating with people who did (at least if they were not properly ashamed) was condoning it.
I believed in Original Sin and human Depravity. Now, I believe in Original Blessing, which I think is Biblical too-
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
And I loved the singing. The singing was wonderful. I still ten years later have many hymns memorised.
Hatred of gay people, in a Christian. I think it is wrong, I think it comes from an inadequate view of Christ, God, Christianity, the Bible, the whole thing- and, I was there. It seemed right to me at the time. And- I was constantly exposed to those strange, troubling words of Jesus. No, I was not going to sell all I have and give the money to the poor. “Be perfect as your Father is perfect”. Forgive your neighbour seventy times seven (Right, that is 489, just one more to go…). “Love one another, for Love is of God”.