Acceptable homophobes

kalb_triptych left kalb_triptych right Among the homophobic churches, there are bad and not-so-bad examples. There was the preacher who wanted gays stuck behind an electrified fence, to die out because we could not breed, and there are those who even accept gay people in their congregations, as long as they remain celibate.

I don’t know about the worst. They have the words of Jesus, “God is Love”, and of John, “Perfect love drives out all fear”, and they seem to subsume this love entirely in Judgment: “I love you but you’re going to Hell”. God loves by prescribing rules, demanding obedience and submission, and in the end by judging and casting people into Hell. The idea that God smites with weather systems, catching the Evangelicals and the Gays alike, killing people randomly in his smiting, is ridiculous and pictures a weak, neurotic God: but people say these things.

Homophobia blinds the Roman church to the pastoral gifts of gay men. In 2005 the Vatican decreed kalb_triptych centrethat men with “deeply rooted homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture'” could not be ordained. Yet their catechism says gays “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” So, gay people should be accepted in congregations, as long as they remain celibate. Not trans folk, though: Maledict claimed we are destroying the very essence of the human creature through manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices…when freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God. We would have to revert. I was welcomed at Turvey Abbey, but then, I was sniffing around, not seeking membership.

saliger_dianas_restIn the least bad, there may be “ex-gays”, who are a varied lot. Some are bisexual, and now have opposite sex marriages: they make money by preaching to gullible fools that God cures gayness, and the fools are encouraged to persecute gays. Others accept that their “same-sex attraction” will always subsist, but go along with the lie that it is necessarily sinful. I read of an ex-gay gathering, which an “ex-ex-gay” found terribly sad: it was wonderful to be with people just like him, and sad that they all felt their sexuality a Burden.

How much are they required to conform to an ideal of masculinity or femininity? Some imagine that the “narrow way which leads to life” is one of rigid conformity, rather than that way which is idiosyncratically you. Hence my choice of pictures, saliger_judgement_parisfrom this fascinating article. But only in the centre of Dante’s Hell is humanity frozen with no chance of movement: humanity’s natural tendency is to heal and grow, and cast off shackles.

Some Christians will have gay friends. Their aim is to convert, but some just might not be totally blind to the humanity of the other.

Whether I engage, or just refuse to as in yesterday’s post, is a matter of how sick of them I feel. For example, I can answer Maledict: when rules to promote humanity become rules to assuage the fears of the ignorant, then God is denied and humans stripped of dignity. Sometimes it feels too much like hard work.


15 thoughts on “Acceptable homophobes

  1. I like Saliger’s Dianas and Ziegler’s Judgement. Fascinating depiction of bodies.

    As for the text, it’s all beyond me. I can not get my head around this religious discrimination. I don’t understand whether these people are discriminatory and use the bible to justify it, or whether they genuinely believe the bible says that everyone is a sinner unless they match model A of a person, and so therefore it is essential to victimise them. Either way the end result is the same and unpleasant. I do hope I do not meet any of them in hell.


    • The pictures are not immediately repulsive, are they? I don’t know if I would pay them attention in a gallery or not, I will never see them in one. And, being English, I can hardly say they were behind the times of modernism, so uninteresting: so were much of the British art establishment. They don’t seem subversive, though, in the way that Shostakovich is subversive.

      We might get more of that correspondence on Monday. I don’t know how the bigot lives with herself. It is one thing to condemn the evil gays when they are just a hazy concept, but quite another to condemn them when you know a few.

      But my point in the last post was- they’re all homophobes. They’re all the enemy. My point this post is- some of them are not quite as bad, and might have a benign influence on the others: progress just might grind forward.


      • No, I like them, I like the slightly androgynous appearance of the women, I don’t know if that was your intent. I have a similar photo of me from nearly 30 years ago that isn’t dissimilar 😀 However I don’t think that would be appropriate for your blog.

        I have no interest in peoples’ private correspondence I have to say. The bigot will not change her mind, so therefore why engage? I don’t see love when you set up a blog to oppose gay marriage and discriminate against everyone under the sun. People’s sexuality is irrelevant to me. I don’t care what they do as long as it is consensual between adults. What is difficult about that? Do I care about your M:F status? No. It is irrelevant. When I read something you have written, I think, oh, she has made an interesting point there. Not, that person who was born a man and claims now to be a woman and is a huge sinner, and whose view is also biased is not equal to perfect little me.

        I reiterate what I have said before, these attitudes are evil and nasty. I don’t know how to counter them. I hope with your Christianity people may listen to you. But I wouldn’t put money on it. Sad huh?

        I think the secular state is more likely to have more impact quite honestly. If you are religious you believe in your own view of the world, as do you, as does bigot. Neither will influence the other. Changing the attitude of the morass in the middle is what matters. Same old story, a few people at the front, the rest follow gradually, and finally the detritus at the bottom finally has to get dragged up too. Maybe one day, but after my lifetime, I tell you.


  2. Gosh, Clare … a total corker here. I remember naively thinking that my Episcopal Church was so “open” to gay men, until at a supper one of the members of the vestry (who had consumed a tad too much Merlot) told me, “Oh, heck yes, gay members give the most and help with every damn project we propose.” Well … try as I might, I couldn’t find this section anywhere in the new testament.

    Anyway … I like this post … lots.


    • Do remember Bishop Mary Glasspool. Gay men have disproportionate pastoral gifts- that might be a way towards seeing precisely how homosexuality evolves as a positive gift in a community. ECUSA has done the right thing, the homophobic ACNA alternative is tiny, and it is far ahead of the Church of England- though, here, at least one gay priest is marrying, and whether he is disciplined in a church court depends, I hope, on the Holy Spirit. Whether or not he is disciplined, priests here will not be silent forever.


  3. A lovely, interesting article, though, echoing what roughseas has suggested, I really see only limited value in trying to reason with those whose world view is so categorical and unkind. We twist ourselves in knots until, one day we stand up straight.

    Seeing the world in different shades, is so much more interesting and enlghtening than a world view which insists on black, white and a splash of scarlet.

    Bless you. xxx :-))


    • It is easier to talk to a person if I let go of any demand for an outcome. It would be good to persuade, but it is also good to state my truth: it might percolate over time in their mind- and theirs in mine, too.


  4. Dante was a mere mortal soul just as are/were those shaping a church’s/religion’s rules of worship/belief…and God I believe adapts to “modernity” – the courage to express openly one’s sexuality for instance – and God I would think will/does hug all who live by his 10 Commandments (?) – nowhere in those can I see “though shalt not be gay” and as for the last of the 10 Commandment “Thou shalt not covet” (have wrongful desire) does not apply to sexual preference … while it’s a sad indictment of Christianity and other religions to point the stick of wrath against gays it is also a sad indictment on those who openly practice their religion but in reality would need to spend hours every day in the confessional to wash away their sins…so, I keep to my personal rule: do no evil to anyone, think no evil of anyone, let everyone live according to what makes his/her life at peace with their personal Higher power (God) … we cannot judge “God” on the basis of the rules or opinions of mere mortals…


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