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.