2.17.2010

I Hate The Bible

Listen. I try to be tolerant religiously. I am a member of a minority faith that's often deeply misunderstood and discriminated against. I don't want to pass that prejudice and the ugly feelings that go with it on to other people. I do make a distinction between tolerant Christians, who actually obey Jesus' command to love thy neighbor and do charity to those unlike you, from the fundie assholes who would happily see me and mine suffer for the crime of being who and what we are. I try not to hate Christianity, despite its history of intolerance and bloodshed and misogyny and homophobia. But some days, it's really fucking hard. And today I can't find it in me to carefully make that distinction. Because I'm hurting too goddamn much.

We were, in my Psychology of Personal and Social Behavior class today, discussing gender roles and sexual orientation. The teacher asked us to speak about our experiences of sexual orientation: how did we come to the orientation we are, why do we identify a particular way, that sort of thing. I spoke about occupying the "middle space" between hetero and homosexuality, and having to defend that territory against those who would tell me I do it because it's trendy, or it's "just a phase" and that I'm really a lesbian, or a straight woman who's just experimenting and will settle down and have lots of nice babies with a man someday. It was a little bit nerve-making, but I felt it was important to speak up as someone of a minority orientation, so I did. But there were four to six people (I didn't count exactly) who, in the course of discussing how they came to identify as they do, had to inform us that they identify as straight because "that's how God made us to be" and that "sexuality and marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman, not for sexual immorality" - yes, the phrase "sexual immorality" was used against those of us not in one-man-one-woman-married-coitus situations, in a classroom setting! - and that they are "following God's word". The kindest among them added that she doesn't have anything against us - thank you, ma'am, how magnanimous of you - but she "can't condone [our] lifestyle choices."

It's interesting, how rarely I encounter this kind of outright prejudice directed *at me*. I'm a cis woman, engaged to a cis man, and we are currently monogamous. So people who see us, until discussion turns to exes and they find out about my ex-girlfriends, assume that we're you're average straight people. Unless I come out every time I meet someone new, I have access to passing privilege.

But in this class, I've been outed (courtesy of having to stand up for the very existence of bisexual people, when the professor was asking people to privately divulge to her whether they were heterosexual or homosexual, and I wasn't willing to be labeled as either). And for ten minutes or so, in class, an academic setting where I should be able to be free from that kind of shit so I can focus on learning and succeeding at school...I got to listen to multiple people holding forth on my "sexual immorality" and making sure I knew they "couldn't condone" my loving who I have loved. As if I had ever asked them to.

And it hurt. Their words left bruises on my Self, left me shaking slightly in class and feeling lessened, Othered, and hated. Not a personal hate, I know, but an impersonal sort of de facto hate that is nonetheless every bit as damaging, and perhaps even more so, for it's not a hate based on anything I've *done*, but is based solely on what I *am*. I rolled my eyes so hard I may have sprained them, but dared express nothing more vehement in class. Instead, I came home and told my fiance about the whole ugly experience and cried while he hugged me.

Those people, those Christians, were the only ones in the class to express any problems with other peoples' orientations. All the rest espoused a live-and-let-live attitude. Every one of those who decided it was ok to hate on me and those few others like me in that class, used their precious holy book to justify their nasty prejudices. So right now, while the bruises are still fresh and I still find tears in my eyes when I think too hard about it, I direct my anger and hurt and hate at their justification. The kind of Christianity these people embody is a toxic thing, a rigid religion of hate and holier-than-thou. And if it's the Bible that's giving them the green light to be like that, then it's toxic too.

So I hate the Bible today.

Please don't bother to comment on this post, defending Christianity. I am well aware that not all Christians are like these intolerant asshats. Half of my family and several of my friends are some flavor of Christian or other. So I don't need reminded of the good Christians, and today, frankly, I am not willing or interested to hear it. I need to vent about my hurt, and this is my damn blog, so this is where I get to do it. Cope.

12 comments:

Mamana said...

I use to be very christian. But then I couldn't find any real christians (to act as Christ in acceptance, kindness and forgiveness)and decided christianity was obviously not something to strive for. As I very slowly found myself, I realized you can't accept pieces and parts of your holy book, rejecting the ones that you personally don't like. And that is where they all go wrong. How can they expect me to believe in the bible, when they don't believe in it? I am finding my own path, just as you did so many years ago. You are actually my role model. I am proud of you, and all that you are and strive to be. Don't let someone who hides behind a book that can be PROVEN false in so many ways take you down.

Heather Freeman said...

I am so sorry you had to go through that. I think the teacher should have stepped in, if nothing else to say "we're talking about you, not your opinions of anyone else."

I wish the tolerant Christians (of whom I also know many) would take back their religion from the extremists. I should be over it by now, but I keep being newly appalled at the blindness and hypocrisy of so many to be spewing hatred in the name of one who preached tolerance and love.

Anonymous said...

Christianity is one of the reasons I have major social anxiety and trust issues. When I was eight, I told my best friend that I thought I might be a lesbian, because I had a crush on another girl in my class. Within a week, I was being bullied and ostracized not only by the kids at school, but by their parents, and even by mine. It was a community of good Christian folks, see. They couldn't "condone my lifestyle", I guess. (Their lifestyle of picking on little girls is beyond criticism clearly.) At the end of it all, when it was so bad that I had to switch schools, the only person I could still talk to was the girl I had a crush on. She was straight... but not religious. Neither am I, now. There are a lot of very nice Christian people out there, but the religion itself is hateful tripe, right down to the core. I don't feel to bad about knocking it down a peg or two when appropriate, and I don't think you need to, either.

Erica said...

I used to be very resentful of Christianity as a teenager, from having the Christian culture forced on me as a kid everywhere I went. I hated Christianity and I made fun of their beliefs. But now I'm past that phase and only mildly resentful of religion, and refrain from mocking others' beliefs.

But I, like you, also hate the Bible. I tolerate Christians, sure, and I can become friends with them, just... don't talk to me about the Bible. Don't say "The Bible says this" or "God did that," because you will bring me to a slow boil that makes me want to pick up the nearest "holy" book and throw it across the room.

That piece of lying, reprehensible fiction is so full of contradictions and immorality, I don't know how anybody can take it seriously. Just because it has a few bits of goodness in it that any dumbass with a healthy dose of empathy can come up with, doesn't excuse the whole thing. I mean, they don't even try to apologize for it, like say the Devil stuck those bad bits in there, or anything (at least that I've seen)! Apparently Satan can plant fossils to fool us, but can't tamper with the Bible.

WitchWords said...

Wow, I think I touched a nerve I didn't know was there. Thank you, everyone, I'm feeling a lot less alone in this now.

@Mamana - You're definitely right, there's not much Christ in most Christians. I'm honored that you consider me a role model in this way, truly. :-)

@Heather - That teacher is...interesting. She really likes class to be a personal experience and very sharing, but I wish she had some willingness to draw a line between "sharing" and "demonizing other students as part of your sharing". And I wish they'd take it back, too...the day Christianity stops being synonymous in our culture with homophobia and misogyny, is the day I will quit holding a grudge against it.

@Anonymous - That's terrible! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. What kind of sick adults think it's ok to ostracize a child?? At the very least, shouldn't their sense of "compassion" kick in and try to HELP you, rather than HATE you? Ugh. I think the nice/tolerant/cool Christians are the ones who stray furthest from their religion's official platform, which gives you the feeling that a lot of Christians would be better people WITHOUT that religion.

@Erica - Honestly, if a person tried to believe in every word of the Bible, their head would explode from all the contradictions. Why in the name of all that is holy are we still trying to run a modern society according to the social mores of a Bronze Age tribal society who happened to write a book about their experience?

Vinna said...

I wish you didn't have to go through that. I feel that we shouldn't judge anyone for their lifestyle choices. Love is love, you are blessed to find it wherever it may be. As a "christian" I can say that they don't seem to have all the answers. I'm actually looking into Wicca. Also, Christian community fosters dishonesty. I am bisexual, but unable to admit it because of the harsh community I am in. Be proud of who you are, because you are brave for many who are not.

WitchWords said...

Vinna - I'm sorry your community is forcing you to stay closeted. It's so often you hear the bigots say they don't mind if we do what we do, "so long as we keep it out of their face", ie, stay closeted. And yet that "simple" act of staying quiet, is an act of enforced dishonesty in life, and painful. I am grateful that I am in a situation where I am able to be out, and out to the point where I am comfortable enough to raise my hand in class and ask "What about those of us who are bisexual?", that I face no real loss of job or home or community for it. So I feel duty-bound, sometimes, to be "The Bisexual" and take on that visibility, to stand for those who cannot do so. And I do it willingly and with pride, even when it hurts.

(As a side note, if you're interested in discussing Pagan faiths, feel free to drop me an email. I'm a practicing pagan of nearly ten years now, and if you've got questions, I can do my best to offer what answers I have.)

CaitieCat said...

You rock, J. Totally in the rockingness of rockdom.

I think this is one of the most ironically funny lines I've heard in ages:

Why in the name of all that is holy are we still trying to run a modern society according to the social mores of a Bronze Age tribal society who happened to write a book about their experience?

Awesome. :)

WitchWords said...

Thanks, Caitie! I rather liked that line, myself. ;-)

Anonymous said...

my dear i wish you would have politely reminded them that the Bible plainly states "do not judge lest ye be judged" and not to condemn someone for something when they themselves are not in the position to hold judgement over anyone...

WitchWords said...

@Anon - I wish I had, too. But moments like that...I froze and didn't know how to say something without majorly starting shit and probably being the one to get in trouble for "derailing the discussion" in class. :-/

Jadelyn said...

That's. Awesome. I'm absolutely going to trot that right out next time I hear the love-the-sinner justification for being against gay rights. Hee! ^_^

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