Thursday, February 7, 2013

I Am Damaged

I was just engaging in some masochistic reading of conservative Christian blogs, when I came across a statement, an idea, which I hadn't seen in years (mostly because I was better at self-care before I discovered Patheos).

This idea is best summed up as such:
I'll let you sit on that for a minute and think.

If you're not religious or not from the faith tradition that believes this, this probably sounds like poppycock.  It might even seem ridiculously offensive, though you may not be sure why.  If you're a Christian but don't necessarily subscribe to creationism or even the doctrine of Original Sin, then this statement sounds familiar but you roll your eyes because you don't believe it yourself.

If you're a conservative Christian, well, you might quietly believe this.  Think a bit.  What is your opinion of gay people, of gay attraction?  How have you grappled with the increasing evidence that being queer (any orientation at all) is not a choice, but something which is involuntary and maybe even developed in utero?

Some people, I'd forgotten until just now, deal with it by positing that gay people are a result of "the fall".  That gay people wouldn't exist had humanity not disobeyed God and invited sin into the fundamental nature of people.

I wasn't really given an education in what the doctrine of "original sin" means.  My understanding of it is limited to "We're flawed people" and memories of my mom sighing and saying "We live in a fallen world" when I would ask why such awful things happen and no one tries to stop them.  But basically, for those who don't know, "original sin" is the belief in what I stated just above: that humanity (or if you're a creationist, Adam) was sinless until one day they weren't because they disobeyed God, and ever after all people have "sinful natures" from which we must be liberated by professing belief in Jesus and following his teachings.

My problem with this whole notion of gay people being a result of sin goes far beyond my questioning of the need to have a cosmic reason for human stupidity on the level of Eden.  No, my problem is that this idea means that my attractions, my relationships, my love are signs of damage.

Because it's a symptom of a "fallen world," my love and the joy I get from my relationship is not good.  It's not holy or Godly or even a pleasant break from the massive amounts of worldsuck we have to deal with.

To the people who believe this way, said love and joy is actually a result of the worldsuck, and may even contribute to how much worldsuck there is for us to deal with.

I know that for some people this is a matter of "But of course it contributes to worldsuck!" but I'm also fully aware that there are some who are leaning toward the pro-queer side of things, but still have this belief that, were it not for original sin, there would be only heterosexual people.  It actually hurts more to think that people who are okay with my relationship and my orientation simultaneously believe that in an ideal world those things wouldn't be there, because that's still a belief that says that in some way, I as a human being am wrong.

It's not fun being lumped in with greed and pedophiles and tsunamis which take thousands of lives as being just one more symptom of the "fallenness" of the world.  It's not, and I don't think it's right, either.

So if you believe this, I'd ask that you take a moment and just reflect on the implications of that belief.

Do you really think that in a perfect world, everyone would be straight?  If so, are you that pro-queer after all?

Something to think about.

1 comment:

  1. I told my 2 christians friends I am a Lesbian for the first time last week. Both accept me and didn't throw the bible at me. I am grateful for that but one of them who understand sins better than all the people I know did said what you mentioned in the blog. She said that God create a man and a woman, gay people like us even though we are born this way, we are still the effects of the fallen nature of this world.

    We will be getting into a lot of bible studies, I just wish I could find something to refute her points other than just saying it doesn't feel right.