Just because Abraham, Issac, Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Ruth, Allah, Cain, Goliath, and Ezekiel hate homosexuals does not mean homosexuals hate them. In fact, gays are more God-fearing and Bible-thumping than you could imagine!
So long as “70 percent of them” is more than you could imagine.
Religious pollster George Barna surveyed 9,000 LGBs (no Ts?) and found “that 70 percent of gay adults describe themselves as Christian and 60 percent say their faith is ‘very important’ in their lives.” We’ll let you decide whether you want to believe Barna’s data (evangelical groups love him, which makes us skeptical), but their granular accuracy is less important than their means for comparison: On those two points, the general population ranks at 85 and 70 percent, respectively.
What’s the good news? The Focus on the Familys and Westboro Baptists of the world, who’ve tried their damnedest to brand us as God-hating mongrels, have souffle on their faces. (That, and the Anglican churches running from the gays are also, by definition, running toward the gays.)
So why do we homos love ourselves so much religion? PoliticsDaily.com offers an excellent summation of “whys.”
There’s the folksy explanation (emphasis ours):
[Religion sociologist Scott Thumma] notes that most gay Christians — like most other Christians — join congregations because they like the pastor or the music or the community, with “denominational pronouncements” carrying less weight.
The “gay men are better off without women” theory:
One of the more controversial theories came in a study some years ago by sociologist Darren E. Sherkat, who compared the rates of religious activity of straights and gays and found that gay men showed significantly higher levels of religious involvement than heterosexual men. (And they were more religiously active than lesbians and bisexuals.) Gay men, Sherkat argued, attend church “without having to be dragged to services by female partners — as is the case for heterosexual men.”
Among the factors Sherkat cited to explain this phenomenon was a desire by gay men to “avoid the risk of eternal punishment by gravitating towards religious consumption — much like heterosexual women do.”
The “we’re all persecuted” rationale:
“One reason that homosexuals are drawn to service in the church is that many of these people have been wounded themselves. They know what it’s like to feel broken, and they want to help others in whatever way they are hurting,” said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, who knows gays and lesbians who work in ministry despite the fact that they cannot openly identify as homosexual. “The Christian paradigm of the scapegoat — the marginalized one, the one who suffers unjustly — is quite powerful, especially for gay people.”
The “we’re just better at spirituality” conjecture:
In a similar vein, others cite Christian de la Huerta’s powerful book on gay religiosity, “Coming Out Spiritually,” and his argument that gay people are, among other things, forced to mediate across the gap between their sexuality and spirituality, a divide straight Christians do not have to negotiate. So that makes LGBT people especially adept at helping others navigate a world of binaries, in particular the frontier between the physical and spiritual worlds.
The GAYS LOVE THEIR DIVAS perception:
Others note the esthetic synchronicities between Christian culture and gay sensibilities, especially in the old-line traditions like Catholicism. Mark Jordan, a scholar of gay religion at Harvard Divinity School and author of several provocative books, such as “The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism,” has argued that this sense of drama in the Mass makes churches a favorite stage for “Liturgy Queens,” an epithet that Jordan reclaims as a badge of honor. “The liturgy creates its own divas, on both sides of the communion rail. It is a show that makes for ardent gay fans,” he writes. “Liturgy Queens need not be members of the clergy, but they are typically found in the vicinity of the altar – or at least in the choir loft.” Or, as Father Martin noted somewhat more benignly, Michelangelo was likely gay: “If we didn’t have gay Catholics we wouldn’t have the Sistine Chapel.”
And, of course, the “we’re just in it for the sex” line of thinking:
Sherkat also wondered whether gay men gravitate to a male-oriented religion with a male savior, Jesus.
Our working theory: Jesus was a homo, and we pray to him for his excellent decoupage tips.
Do you know where I can get a larger copy of the picture of Jesus with all the leather queens? I’d like to get it framed to hang on my bedroom wall. Seriously.
Does this surprise you? Each time a religious topic is posted, you get scores of apologists defending their nonsensical fairytale beliefs. Gays aren’t some magically gifted minority…they are just as dumb and just as smart as heterosexuals–and practically just as religious. The irony is that they’re brutally persecuted throughout the world and in the u.s. because of it, and the meme is so strong that overrides instinct.
What Tank said.
We’re never going to get equality until we’re willing to put ourselves before a collection of hateful fables.
This is pure bull-shit. When asked if “Faith is important in your lives” we have been programmed to feel compelled to say yes. If there is a follow up, like when was the last time you went to Church? or a question about almost anything in the Bible – half the respondents are lost.
Most people who study the issues understand that “we like to think of ourselves as religious” primarily because that was drilled into us at a young age. It’s also because during those early years we saw Church as a positive thing. Once we realized we were gay the church became just the opposite – very negative. It is intellectually impossible to be a gay and a member of the institution (Religion) that is solely responsible for ALL of the hate and discrimination directed at us. Religion made us “wrong.”
So, the questions may lead some to express some positive thoughts about religion, but it doesn’t demonstrate gays are seriously “religious.” Notable exception: Vicki Gene Robinson, maybe because he gets to wear colorful gowns – it can be because of what they are teaching. Episcopalians still officially believe Homosexuality is “wrong, sinful and deviant.”
No matter what the churches ‘ official position is, at least where I live, in Minneapolis, I would feel comfortable with saying that 90% of the Gays are very religious. The churches are mostly gay friendly , if not all gay and the new gay politica of marriage gives them greater ammunition for feeling that they are close to the bosom of Jesus and to parental approval. I left here as soon as I could partially because they were that way year ago and it hasn’t changed.
It’s pretty difficult even meeeting peole if you don’t go to church.
@HK Jones: The photo is called “Sermon on the Mount” by Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin from an exhibit called Ecce Homo which toured Europe a few years ago.
I’m not sure if prints are available, but you can find a few of the photos from the exhibit on her website here:
@M Shane: That’s insane – 90% of gays are very religious? Gay people know religion created all our pain and suffering by telling the LIE about homosexuals.
Try meeting smarter people. Maybe people that can actually read and learn. Try book stores and libraries. Churches are for people who gave up learning about the big issues in life when they were 4 or 5 years old. They were scared into it – by Religion.
If LGBT people are not religious, then how come when I visit the Castro in December the majority of people are celebrating CHRISTmas?
If you have some sort of problem with people commenting on a subject which concerns them, you forgot to mention that you always show up too.
Sometimes you’re even first in line, even though you have no belief concerning religion at all.
I know quite a few fellow mathematicians and academics who are religious. I’m pretty sure they go to “book stores and libraries.”
And yes, most gays I’ve talked to believe in God and consider themselves religious (the percentage is nowhere near M Shane’s 90 though; he must live in a demographically unique place)
No. 7 · Brian: I have lived in san farncisco ands other Urban most of my life and have never seen anything like this. But the community itself drives most outsiders away . I live in Minnesota which is made up mainly of mostly Northern European Scandinavians and Germans(Lutherans mainly).
When I wentto the University here there were Professors from all over the world and that was interesting.
While there is suposedly a huge gay population , they mainly live in the suburbs and there is no Gay Community to speak of. This State has the fewest people moving either in or out of any state in the U.S.
It is often hard to know who is and is not gay because they rarely cruise, just as no one talks to one another. It’s a very strange, reserved culture. Actiually my entire extended family moved from here except my parents . I’m very outgoing so this is just painful to me because in a city, I meet people in minutes. I’ll need to move, before long.
That may depend on where you live. Most of the gays I know here in Chicago are spiritual and/or religious
I don’t think it’s anywhere near the 90% figure. And religious gays don’t tend to wear their religion on their sleeve either. In other words, they will talk about their faith if you ask them.
And yes, ths goes across racial/ethnic lines.
WOW, this is such a US thing!
I bet only about 1% of UK gays would say they have Jeeeeeezus in their lives!
What’s the phrase? Oh yes, Like Turkeys voting for an early christmas
I sometimes feel like I’m the ONLY person on earth who seperates “faith” and “spirituality” from “religion”. Spirituality is a part of our existence and connection with the universe. Faith is a quality that gives us confidence in that connection. Religion is just a human construct (a habit or practice) a mode of “organizing” the effort of maintaining that faith or spirituality.
I’ve had that philosophy all of my life (which is why I’ve always had an “issue” when people displace spirituality with their ability to uphold a man-made religion — just because you’re good at the practice doesn’t mean that you’re the best on the gamefloor of life).
Anyhow — if someone walked up and asked me: “Is faith important to you?” and “What spiritual philosphy most appeals to you?” — I’d probably answer those with “Yes” and “Christian” (although it is a bit more Christian with a Buddhist bend). However, I purposely don’t adhere to ANY specific “religion” (and haven’t for a VERY long time) — because, to me, it’s the human construct of “religion” that often muddies my spiritual waters!
However – this article directly draws the conclusion that just because gays are faith oriented and describes themselve as “Christian” that it automatically makes them Cathedral Queens.
Being Christian only requires that you follow the example of Christ (as we know him to be). His groundbreaking milestones were 1) applying the various aspects of love in his dealings with ALL people and 2) revealing to people that they can have a direct connection to and relationship with a “higher power” (or the universe) without the aid of another human (pharisees, priests and “religious” representatives).
Pretty simple. Lots of gray area — but the beauty is in the simple application of both.
Somehow — it seems that every Christian (and everyone else who holds Christianity in contempt because of how it’s misuse has impacted them) has missed those major points and are always stressing adherence to some code of behavior that they think will save (or kill) them.
No. 11 · Chitown Kev :
I go to Chicago every so often for a day or so just to feel sane. I ran into a Lutheran organist on the train who said that the Lutherans in Chicago compained because they said that the Minnesota Lutherans thought they were superior and more dedicated than the Chicago types.
Pity Tank. All steel rivets and outrage, futile tilting at imagined windmills, stomping his little feet and whining ineffectually. You can’t inflict democracy at gunpoint, and you can’t make people amenable to your ideas by flaming open comment threads. What is it that’s so great about your outlook, Tank, that anyone would want to emulate it? You seem pretty fucking miserable to me.
@Republican: Of course some “smart” people are infected. Here’s how:
1. They “Inherited” their religion.
2. The process began BEFORE they could even think.
3. Children naturally “trust” adults.
4. They are taught that their “belief” is the only true one.
5. They will burn horribly in Hell if they disagree.
Kids are afraid of fire.
No other form of education or introduction is this calculated or evil. Perhaps religion would have some credibility if people actually chose it.
If we all woke up tomorrow and we didn’t have any religion in the world – we wouldn’t invent it. That’s the truth.
@Nunya Bizness: FYI – Christian IS a Religion. If you have a special fondness for Jesus call it something else, otherwise you are tarnished with all the “bad” Christian shit in the world.
Chris Sosa - Boston, MA
As a Christian, I find it a little disheartening at the first line of this article which references Jesus as “hating homosexuals.” This is inaccurate. If one bothers to read historical documentation, Jesus was surprisingly silent on the subject given his contemporaries outspokenness. It seems Jesus may’ve been the one Biblical figure with *absolutely nothing* against homosexuality.
Not really…. as a matter of fact — not at all.
Christianity is a philosophy. An true example of religion would be Catholicism vs. Baptist vs. Presbyterian… all of whom base themselves on the Christian philosophy. (Thus it’s quite telling of the level of imperfection in organized religion that some of these “religions” — all calling themselves “Christian” — can be diametrically opposed to one another on some very key issues).
See what I mean? It’s become so blurried that nobody seems to make the distinction any longer.
No. 19 · Nunya Biznes Alll of them seem to hold to the central myths of a Paternalistic Creator(dad) and to the idea of a masochistic son Jesus& his flock of mallards.
I tend to stray away from anything that is make belive and moreso would rather chew brillo pads than be in a group that twisted my arm to do so.
@Chris Sosa – Boston, MA: Jesus endorsed the Old Testament. Christianity (the belief named after your Hero) HATES HOMOS.
Religion defined homosexuals and it’s been pain and suffering ever since.
@Nunya Bizness: Thank God there are some people on this site and in this world who understand this concept. I’m a lesbian, but I would also say that my philosophical ideals are closest to Christianity, MEANING that I try to follow the practical examples to Jesus. And that poses absolutely no problems for me as a homosexual because Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.
@Chris Sosa – Boston, MA: Ditto/
@M Shane: Crazy as it is, some people actually choose to be Christian.
Jesus, hmmmm. What was his secret? I’d like 12 guys in robes following me in the desert and calling me “Master.”
James the Greater
James the Lesser
I am going to suggest that “James the Greater” was probably the Black guy.
@RainaWeather: LESS than 5% of Christians CHOOSE their it. 95% simply inherit Christianity from their parents.
That’s the problem with Religion – very few actually choose it. Almost none review ALL the various religions and then chooses their favorite, the most logical or the one with the most comfortable seating.
If we woke up tomorrow and we didn’t have any religion, WE WOULDN’T INVENT IT. We’re much smarter now. Well, most of us.
That’s quite true, M. Shane — but that focus is one of the “human” aspect of organized religion that compels me to abandon any focused adherence to one “religion”.
The philosophical “Christian” recognizes that Jesus was an impactful human (and out-of-the-box thinker) with great oratory skills who seemed to just “get it” when everyone else around him was blindly following the Mosaic Law… much the same way that current religionists blindly go to church and do everything their pastors and leaders tell them.
Of course, he was speaking to the people he knew and was raised with(natural Isrealites who worshipped their Judean version of God… and eventually Gentiles who often worshipped Zeus/Jupiter & Co. or those who worshipped Baal) who already viewed the universe and it’s Sources of energy as their Father or parental figure. Their kings & priests were also considered God’s spokesmen (and they used that position as a means of control).
Thus, it’s no wonder that he may have used that frame-of-reference in his philosophy. Either way — it’s pretty apparent that the Christian philosophy is one of direct connection to and love/respect for the Universe and all it’s energy — and freedom from ritual.
Sadly — religions (once Christianity was “legalized”) and their authors/organizers did a really good job of turning that reference on it’s ear and using it to control the masses (once again); often at the hands of power-hungry rulers and politicos.
It’s that large body of different versions of the controlled practice that we’ve passed down (in the form of religion) and attempted to pass off as authentically “Christian”.
While, for some people (not me) — those religions can be great facilitators of personal spirituality. However, adhering to their behavioral codes and practices does not automatically make an individual “Christian”; nor are they absolutely necessary to maintaining an applied Christian philosophy in one’s life.
Religion = Yawn.
@Nunya Bizness: You said: “It’s become so blurried that nobody seems to make the distinction any longer.” Catholics know Protestants are going to Hell, which does nothing to explain their fighting in Ireland (here on Earth) – just let me go! They all think THEY are THE Church.
What would Jesus think of that?
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
I going with Jesus wanted a Church and it should have the name “Peter” in it. Saint Peter, Peter Rabbit, or maybe Peter Pan. Something like that.
Actually he endorsed it and them proceeded (on many occasions) to rip the standard contemporary interpretation of it to shreds.
Jesus (whether character or real person) most certainly did not endorse a literal, wooden interpretation of the scriptures.
Sadly, religions are fraught with Human Opinion and Selfish Agenda (because they’re man-made… it happens!); and, unfortunately the preemminent religions in this country are all labeling themselves as being based in a “Christian” philosophy (while constantly missing the mark in applying the philosophy properly).
However, not every Christian will think alike nor be a hard-and-fast religionist. I’d like to think that a Christian who truly “get’s it” would be in opposition to many organized religions and their judgementally focused stance on homosexuality… Thus, this article dismays me.
Indeed, especially those of us who believe in UFOs, sasquatches, horoscopes, bad luck, immediate karmic return, and everything you read on the internet.
We’re way smarter than all those stupid people in the past.
@Nunya Bizness: According to the World Christian Encyclopedia (year 2000 version), global Christianity had 33,820 denominations with 3,445,000 congregations/churches composed of 1.8 billion affiliated Christians.
They use “affiliated,” I think “infected” is more accurate.
See, simpletons often deliberately make this a free speech issues. It’s not. It’s an argument, and atheists are just as free to make atheistic arguments as theists are free to blab about their faith at any and all occasions (and they do). SO long as atheists are often the most publically maligned minority in the u.s., and people of religious dogma feel comfortable treating their fairytales as facts, atheists need to speak up.
LOL. It does make one scratch one’s head in wonder, doesn’t it?
Uggh.. so I guess this “religion” thing isn’t gonna stop (or even slow down) anytime soon, huh?
And — I agree. “Infected” is a more appropriate term!
No. 30 · Nunya Bizness don’t you think that buddists also get the same nail on the head without to much deviation?
I personally, while I was brought up in a religious family, ever felt any need for an example. I t seems that we all have the capacity to love and to know what that is apart from negative human contact, or leaders.
Especially when you consider that literacy, and other basic skills are declining in many developed countries
To assume that we are somehow more intelligent than those who came before us simply because we are now enjoying the benefit of all their hard work is arrogant, ignorant, and quite false.
And I would venture that people who lived in interdependant communities and tribes knew a thing or two about the human psyche and protocol that are lost arts nowadays.
Perhaps someone should drop Andrew off in the middle of the bush, and see if he can manage to make a fire, get food, water and shelter without killing himself.
Then he can tell us how dumb our ancestors were.
Nope. Buddhist here.
But you may be commenting on this question from the other angle.
I think there is no question that people will continue to create models for understanding the world. We have always done it, and we always will.
We might laugh at old superstition and religion, but as a society we are no different. The only difference is that we are blind to our own superstitions; we just consider them the truth.
Of course if we had no religion we would start a one. How do you think half of them got started in the first place?
and I wouldn’t call it a religion so much as a philosophy.
I certainly have no problem admitting out loud that I am not Christian and that Christianity has done nothing good for the LGBT community ever.
Nevertheless, with that said, I do respect others beliefs and wish them well!
Re: Your Post No. 39:
I admire the Christ as his life is documented in the gospels a lot but in no way am I a Christian. Or religious. Usually agnostic, sometimes spiritual, with more often than not a mix of Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity thrown in…
Of course, I was at a synagogue earlier tonight so…
@epluribusunumjk: Why “respect” other beliefs? Life is a conversation and beliefs are not “sacred.” These religious beliefs have defined homosexuals and have caused all the pain and sicrimination we have experienced. Grow some balls and reject those beliefs – otherwise you sanction the continued hatred.
@Andrew: We’d still invent it, the only difference is we’d worship other people. Instead of Jesus or Muhammed, we’d worship Martin Luther king Jr. and Ghandi. And then we’d kill people in the name of peace and equality.
@M Shane: Minnesota Lutherans? They are having a debate and vote soon:
“The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination will consider lifting its ban on gay and lesbian clergy who are in lifelong, monogamous relationships as it gathers this month for a churchwide meeting.
More than 1,000 delegates will debate church policy Aug. 17-23 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) biennial General Assembly in Minneapolis.”
How about you and your friends show up and let them know you are NOT WRONG. That would be fun. Sooner or later ALL Christian will have to take a stand re: homosexuals. The sooner the better. The Bible was wrong – homosexuality is not wrong, sinful and deviant. Get them to change their Christian “doctrine of hate” or simply go out of business.
I prefer to think there would be some people getting together around positive life-affirming ideals too.
I remember hearing a documentary about this church once.
A good choice, actually, since most of his playing was like a prayer (a very intense prayer).
@RainaWeather: We could simply have Faith in each other and in Love. There is no evidence that religion has ever – in any way – been useful.
So are you saying that in approximately three generations — we could see the rising of the Cult of Oprah??
Or better yet…
Winfreymen (or Winfreywomen?)
If we act now — we could be the authors of the New Bible. Get your chance to write one of the Gospels (with copyrights included)!
Umm… no. I honestly think that television, publiscists & the internet have ruined our ability to put anyone on THAT much of a pedestal. The new Jesus/Buddha/Mohammed will probably just be a reiteration of the old — and we’d dethrone him as soon as someone posted an unattractive video of him/her on YouTube.
The last thing we need is a new religion! LOL
BRIAN, ANDREW, TANK, you guys have it right.
I’ll second that.
Have you never heard or read the theory that our comic book heroes and soap opera characters (and now reality shows) are just a modern reinvention of the greco-roman pantheon?
It’s going to happen whether you like it or not, man. We’re just hard-wired that way. You might just as well debate whether we would be better off without lungs.
@strumpetwindsock: That’s bullshit. 1/3 of human beings on this Earth don’t need any “dogma” especially the religious sort.
We are witnessing the end of religion. We should all do as much as possible to speed up the inevitable.
And none of those advanced, hyper-rational superior beings believe in premonitions, lucky numbers, horoscopes? Nor are they prey to any irrational influences, actions or prejudices?
Of course it’s bullshit. Sorry to inform you darling, but our species thrives on it.
You might want to read this fellow’s book if you think we can (or should even try to) train ourselves some kind of mechanical perfection:
A few years ago I boiled the Abrahamic religions down to three simple equations. In the intervening years, nothing I have experienced has caused me to change them, and they are just as valid today as when I first set them to paper:
Christianity = Hate
Islam = Terrorism
Judaism = Genocide
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