The Anti-Gay Foundation:
Exposing the Foundational Cracks
The lie is most visible on the backs of many cars. I call it "The Fish Wars!"
- It starts with the Jesus fish on the bumper.
- Then someone took this fish and added legs, and inside the fish inserted the word 'Darwin.'
- Then someone got a Jesus fish and portrayed it 'eating' the Darwin fish.
- Then, someone showed the Darwin fish humping the Jesus fish.
- My favorite though, is the fish that used the Jesus fish symbol, but inside it said, 'N" Chips.'
- Now Christians have the fish with the word 'Truth' written inside eating the Darwin fish.
The word 'TRUTH' is the glaring crack in the anti-gay foundation. In this generation, more than any other generation, science has profoundly changed our world, and our view of the world (literally). AND YET, there is still one group of people who refuses to accept truth.
Why is that?
The ONE group of people who should care most about the truth - and CLAIMS they care most about the truth - are the single group of people who will go to the greatest lengths to suppress it.
Scientists have grown increasingly frustrated in talking about it because, no matter how the evidence piles up, Christians, particularly Fundamentalists refuse to accept it. In fact, they are going out of their way to create 'science' that tries to 'refute' reality.
I remember watching an interview with conspiracy theorists who believed that the first NASA trip to the moon was a hoax. They interviewed one man who told the interviewer that there was no way they could make him believe otherwise. And that"s how it works. Truth was never an issue for him. He had already made up his mind that he didn"t want the event to be true, and therefore he would never allow anything in that might challenge that belief. The same is true in this debate. This debate has nothing to do with logic, reality, or 'truth'. It"s an emotional debate. Creationists want their dogma to be true, and therefore, will try to make it 'true,' whether it is or not.
Creationism is at the very foundation of the anti-gay movement. When we finally put the evolution debate to rest, we will, at last, be able to discuss the gay issue in a logical and scientific manner. The rational among us find ourselves confused. Why do Fundamentalists fight so hard against proven scientific reality? Why do they risk looking unintelligible and illiterate in the face of science? I think the answer is fear, and it"s wrapped up in the Creation story itself.
Since there"s no way we can know everything, to cope with this uncertainty, we create beliefs about it. These beliefs are built to orient us in this giant cacophony we call a Universe and to help us localize the infinite so that there"s something we can call 'real.' We build our beliefs through a process of generalization, deletion, and distortion. We take the millions of bits of information coming at us every second, and generalize what we can and delete what we can"t, which creates distortion. A song on the radio is a perfect example of this effect. The song is comprised of instruments such as drums, guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals and background vocals... it"s then arranged, recorded, and mixed before it makes its way to our music device. However, all we hear is the song; a generalized sound.
So from the onset, our beliefs pose a problem. They"re not built on reality. They"re built upon our own perception of reality. Ironically, once a belief is in place, it then begins to regulate our reality, filtering everything out that disagrees with it, and only letting in what supports it, even if this is a painful or destructive belief. As beliefs grow, they take up more space in our psyche and we forget that the Universe is happening despite our belief about it.
The moment Charles Darwin published 'Origin of the Species' in 1859, his theory went straight to the heart of the belief system that Christianity was built on. Creationism answered all of our fundamental questions: why are we here, what is our purpose in life, why is there suffering, what happens after we die, and ultimately, how will it all end?
- First Question: 'Why are we here?'
According to the first creation story in Genesis, God was overcome with his creative urge, and so created a five-day-work-week, and filled the days creating
our planet and it"s supporting Universe. On the sixth day, he crowned this new world with what we like to think of as his greatest conception... the
human being. (In some Christian mythologies it was the creation of man that prompted Lucifer"s rebellion.) In the first creation story it was the human
male, in the second creation story it was male and female. The story doesn"t necessarily tell WHY God got so creative, but it does say that God DID, and
that"s enough for most Fundamentalists. We"re here because God created us. This gives us our place in the Universe and establishes our purpose.
- Second Question: What is our Purpose in Life?
This question is shakier as far as answers go, but it"s still answered in our creation story. Once God finished with his humans, he put them in a
garden and gave them dominion over all the Earth. So 'technically,' our purpose is to serve God, to act as his surrogate on Earth, to 'be
his gardeners.' Christian texts later inserted the notion that our sole purpose is to 'worship and praise God.' They don"t tell us
how to do that per se, but that does give us urpose and, equally as important, a connection to this thing called our Source.
- Third Question: Why is there pain and suffering in the world?
Human suffering, and the reasons for it, is the most discussed topic on Earth and it"s the only question that we"ll openly debate with the
parameters of God still in the framework. It"s in all of our religious doctrines, it"s in our newspapers, and it even shows up to varying
degrees in our school textbooks. We"re profoundly troubled by human suffering and that makes the creation story that much more powerful. God wanted
to give humankind 'Free Will.' In order to do that, he put a tree in the middle of his Garden and called it the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and
Evil. He told Adam and Eve that of all the trees in his garden, this was the one tree they could not eat from. (It" ironic that this tree just happened
to be 'knowledge'). Naturally, if you tell someone NOT to do something, that"s the first thing they"re going to do. So, Eve first, then
Adam, disobeyed God"s direct order, and were then ejected from the Garden. God told Eve that she would bear children in pain. God told Adam that the Earth
would bear fruit but only by the sweat of his brow. Viola, we now know why there"s pain and suffering. The Apostle Paul would develop an entire
doctrine around this when he created Christianity.
- Fourth Question: When will it all end?
This question requires knowledge of both New and Old Testaments. It also requires some insight into both Judaism and Christianity. Let"s start with
Judaism since the Bible is their text in the first place. According to Judaic texts, what would become necessary for human salvation was complete compliance
to all of God"s laws. There are 613 Laws in the Torah, 365 negative, and 248 positive, and, according to the Jewish teachers, only when they were all
obeyed by Israel, God would restore Israel.
Christianity then took this and created a new doctrine in the person of Yeshua (Joshua) or Jesus: in Greek, the Christ. In the Pauline story, one man, Adam,
sinned in the Garden of Eden and brought death to the world. God knew that there was no way man was ever going to keep every jot and tittle of these 613
laws that had been handed down to Moses so he sent his son. Jesus embodied the law, and then became that 'sacrificial lamb' and took on the full
wrath of God and our punishment by dying for our sins. Now we are no longer bound to the law but we are forgiven through this Sacrifice. Thanks to Jesus,
there is no need for suffering. Soon, Jesus will return and take all of those who accepted him as their savior, and it will all be over.
We don"t have an official date for the official destruction of humankind, but we know it"s close, and we can anticipate it with great expectation(and
for some, with great glee).
- Fifth Question: What happens after we die?
In Christianity, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and ascended into Heaven, but not before promising that he will come again, the same way he
left; in the clouds. Only this time every eye will see him... including those that pierced him. Because of Jesus" sacrifice, his suffering, and his
embodiment of all things good, we have hope of an eternal life of pure bliss in this place called Heaven. If we do not accept this sacrifice and become
born again, then we will suffer torture and agony in a place called hell.
So our questions are answered. Yes, there is suffering, and pain, but it"s because we deserve it, and thanks to Jesus we will soon see an end to all the suffering. We will soon find ourselves in a place where all nations will exist under one law: theirs, and there will be no divergence from that law.
So how do we protect ourselves and our Earth from these beliefs?
That is probably the biggest challenge we, as a species, face. We can"t fight their beliefs with reason because they"re fear-based. But their stronghold is crumbling. The Universe itself is dismantling their arguments... and rather quickly.
The debate is volatile because of the way beliefs work. When beliefs are challenged, those who adhere to them become like caged animals, terrified and lashing out. We"ve been watching it for some time now, and the greater the scientific evidence, the crazier Fundamentalists are becoming. It is this system that keeps the anti-gay industry alive and thriving.
Still, God is God regardless of how they try to box it in, and when we set God free, we"re free.
Without the Garden of Eden there would be no template for human sexuality.
Once we finally put the creation story to rest, we can finally deal with the argument that somehow we're all sinners saved by grace. When Christians do great harm to the gay community, they hide quite snugly behind the axiom: "love the sinner, hate the sin."
So let's clearly this up once and for all: I am NOT a sinner. Nor are any of you. Nor is any human being who has ever walked across the planet we call Earth. That I am a sinner is yet another lie, based in the creation myth.
Our evolution as a species makes this "sinner" scenario implausible. As a human, I have flaws, I make mistakes, and my awareness is limited... but that's by design. In other words, when I make a mistake, I am "perfect" in my humanness because that's how humanity has been designed.
What makes my humanness so profound is that I can consciously seek to evolve even further into a person who values this humanness - and, consequently, the humanness of others. It's religion that wants to destroy that perfection by forcing me, and other humans, to behave against their humanity and conform to a very peculiar succession of "un-human commandments." Sin and evil are religious constructs - completely made up by the religion that defines them.
In fact, I would argue with the idiom, "Nobody's perfect," for this reason: I'm a human being! Therefore, as a human being, I express myself perfectly AS HUMAN. Nobody else on Earth can be me. I can rise to the pinnacle of humanness, or I can sink the lowness of humanness... either way, I'm still being "human."
As we entertain what science has taught us... about medicine, biology, psychology, and evolution, we can only be awed at the many choices nature made to get us to where we are today. We acknowledge how brilliantly we have been designed and we are inspired that we can now consciously evolve to even greater heights (or devolve if we so choose).
This has nothing to do with sin. It's all about discovery. We as humans are discovering ourselves and our potential. We are learning how to support each other in our evolution. Then we teach that to our children so and that helps us to continue evolving forward.
To call yourself or anyone else a "sinner," is to show utter contempt for the human being and for nature and for the processes of nature which brought us to where we are today. Love the HUMAN and stop judging "God" because you don't like the design.
This makes perfect sense... if you're an archer.
But here's the real challenge with this maxim: who set up the mark? Who is telling me what to aim at?
Again, it goes back to my humanity. I set the mark. I get to decide what I'm aiming at, and there's no judgment if I do miss the mark... only results (or non-results). In fact, the Universe doesn't really care one way or the other about this mark. Only I care. I set up the mark, and I aim, and I decide even if I've hit the mark.
There's no question that I'm going to look back and realize I've done some horrible things, to myself and other, but again, who defines horrible?
Here we get into a lengthy and often divisive theological and philosophical debate, but for the sake of brevity I'm going to forgo all that and simply say: "Even here, I'm making that decision." I'm deciding what's horrible. For example, I can consider it horrible to eat animals. I can call it horrible to confront anyone else, even though they've hurt me. I was raised that "children should be seen and not heard..." I consider that a horrible way to raise a child.
Jesus stated it simply: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." He was quoting a very popular mishnah which also had another version: "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them." That was the mark that Jesus set. Treat people the way they want to be treated.
The Universe didn't give us any hard and fast rules... we're making them up as we go. What the Universe did do, was set it up so that we had to work together, live together, and work things out together. That's our mark. That's what we're going to aim at.
Jesus exemplifies this brilliantly. He was at times testy, impatient, ill-mannered, and ill-temperate. He was willing to disown his family (including his mother) to a crowd of people. Yet we celebrate him because of the way he captured our imagination. He personalized the Universe. He found something out there that "knew" him, and he connected with it in a way that was so powerful that changed the world around him. That was his mark, but he set it. Many of us see that mark, and we also want to aim in that direction.
Even so, it's perfectly okay for me to say that his mark is not my mark.
By adding the phrase to any of my desires: "If it harms nobody and supports others," I create a safe space in which to create my life... as a human... evolving... growing... and learning... while at the same time celebrating the humanness of others.