Beliefs

I start church on Sunday and let me tell you, I’m ready to throw in the proverbial towel.  This has been a tough week for me. Why?  Because my personal beliefs are in conflict with the beliefs of people that I like and respect.  Remember the elephant in the room?

I don’t think homosexuality is a sin.  There, I said it.  The cat’s out of the bag.  I think love is something that should be celebrated whether it’s between a man and a woman, a man and a man or a woman and a woman.  I’ve known many gay people in my life and I’m not going to say they’re so cool and loving and lift them up like they’re saints. They’re just human beings like the rest of us.  They watch TV, do laundry, drive their kids to school, pick their nose, put the roll of toilet paper on the wrong way, etc.  They just happen to be attracted to the same sex.  If people are nice to me, I could really care less what their sexual orientation is.  So now I’ve got two groups of people that I like, but one group thinks the others are sinners.

What am I supposed to do?  Well, I went to the library to look for answers.  I walked by the “New in Nonfiction” shelf and a book leapt out at me.  Well, not literally but, its title did.  When God Talks Back: Understanding the Evangelical Relationship with God. It’s written by an anthropologist and so far, she seems to be describing what I’m encountering in my Bible study. You can check it out at www.whengodtalksbackbook.com

Then I went to the movie section and saw a documentary that said, “Watch Me.”  It’s a documentary called “For the Bible Tells Me So.”  My husband and I watched it last night.  It’s about several different religious families who had a gay child.  The filmmaker shows the journey that each family went through.  He also interviews Biblical scholars from several different faiths.  And it pretty much all boils down to Biblical interpretation and context.

So as I drifted off to sleep last night, I tried talking to God in my head hoping he would give me some sort of answer in my sleep.  But, it didn’t happen.  I slept like a rock.  But while writing this post, I kept thinking of a horse with blinders on.  What kind of exploration would this be if I only focused on what made me comfortable?  I could stay home and do that.  The end.

How boring would that be?  So, the blinders are coming off.  I’m going to look at it all and see what happens.

 

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13 Responses to Beliefs

  1. Acts 17:11 – “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. ”

    Pamela, I like your honesty and your desire to explore various beliefs. 🙂

  2. JT O'Neill says:

    Interesting stuff but I would be there too — BTW, I am working on a post for a book that I think you would like – yes, it is about death and , at one point in the story the 14 year old girl narrator talks about wanting to be a monk but “being a monk is just one more impossible thing….because to be a monk you’d have to be a man and you’d also have to believe in God, neither of which was ever going to happen. I don’t think God would create a disease just to kill people like Finn, and if he did then there’s no way I’d even consider worshipping him.”

    There’s your teaser. You’e going like this book.

  3. trayce primm says:

    growing up in a full tilt boogie pentacostal church was hard for me because I did weird things, like reading books, and studying science and generally asking questions that usually ended up unanswered with a call telling my mother I was causing problems. It was pretty much a given in my family that I was going to Hell. When I realized at age 39 that I was gay in spite of being married with two children, it was kind of a relief to know exactly what I was going to Hell for. At least I don’t have to worry any more about playing cards, watching movies or dancing.

  4. Hi Pamela. I wrote about my conflict over this issue on my Houston Chronicle blog a few years ago: http://blog.chron.com/thestraightpath/2008/03/so-hard-to-say-good-bye-to-yesterday/ .

    • Now my question, and I posed this to one person in the Bible study group, is if it’s a sin, what are you supposed to do? For example, one person in the Bible study I attend said that there is no hierarchy of sin, that a gossiper was just as bad as a murderer. That it was all the same in God’s eyes.
      Now, if I were to believe that, what is my responsibility in this equation? Do I live and let live? Because if I saw someone being murdered, I would intervene. I would call 911, I would probably try to stop it from happening. But if I saw two men kissing? Two women gossiping and then kissing? What then?
      On your last blog post, you talked about not going to the rally. For some reason, there wasn’t a comment area on the post, but I wanted to say something. I wanted to say first that you should ask Patsy what she did when she followed the KKK for her book. I’m sure a lot of people thought she was aligned with them because she was talking with them. And second, you have to be brave and not care what people think. Talk about a leap of faith!
      I’m sure that during this journey, I’m going to make people angry, but the truth is, I’m just telling what happened. Yes, it’s filtered through my eyes, but it’s still important. It’s just as important as a Muslim woman attending a gay rally and writing about that experience. Are any of us right? No. It’s just our story.

  5. Your questions about sin are excellent and go right to the heart of what it means to practice religion in this country, where we have the greatest freedom of religion on earth.

    I think I fixed the comment area on my blog (I forgot I have to set it to accept comments with every post), but your reference to Patsy’s book is a great suggestion. And you’re right – I might have been wrong not to go to the gay festival. I was upset when I decided not to. Like I said at the end of my post, where is the line? It seems like it’s always moving.

    I hope you don’t think *I’m* angry with you. Practicing religion in America is a topic of passion for me, and I’ll probably do my capstone project on something related to it. If I get too deep, please tell me to back off 🙂

    • Why would I be angry with you? Heck, you’ve scored brownie points in my book for the simple act of engaging in a conversation on my blog.
      I’m trying to find what’s right for me and I know that what’s right for me isn’t going to be right for everybody. That’s what makes the world an interesting place. If we were all the same, it would be pretty darn boring. That’s why we write! It isn’t because I’m going to “solve” death or find the ultimate religion that will suit everyone’s needs. I don’t write what I know. I write what I want to know. My “knowing” will be vastly different from my next door neighbors “knowing.”

  6. jwthibodeau says:

    Hi, Pamela,

    I found this blog through your other one, and I’m very interested in your search. Recently, I’ve found two online resources that have helped me figure things out for myself: The Christian Left and John Shore. You might want to check them out. Best wishes in your search!

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