Friday, May 25, 2012


On Facebook yesterday someone posted this link to the Anderson Cooper interview of a member of the church whose pastor wants to build concentration camps for gay people. As I watched it, I thought about how reporters are made from high quality teflon. How he was able to keep a straight face during the interview is kind of miraculous. It wasn't funny, but it was extremely shocking.

Here in DC, gayness is a non-issue for almost every citizen. In fact I often tease my ex-housemates by saying, "Once upon a time, your kind was special. You had your own bars, your own neighborhoods. Now you're just like the everyone else!"

But I guess that isn't quite true. The hardness of that woman's heart, the smallness of her mind, is something I found shocking. I tried to imagine living in a community like that, having parents like her. I'm very sad for all the children in that community, growing up in a situation in which blind hatred is allegedly part of God's plan. Yikes.

What is homophobia? I have a lot of theories, of course. At the foundational level, it's instinctual to be repelled by anything that doesn't further the species. Of course our species has very successfully overpopulated, to our disadvantage and the disadvantage of all the other species on earth at this moment in history. But instincts aren't rational.

I attend births during which the laboring mother swears she will NEVER, not EVER, have another child. But inevitably, usually about 4 months after the birth, I hear these same women say they want to have another baby. It is not rational!

There's also a big chunk of my theory that has to do with the impact of the medieval small Ice Age in Europe. Prior to that time, Christianity was composed of a bunch of free love hippies. When food got scarce, it did not bring out the best in people. Both Christianity and Judaism developed a bunch of really weird quirks during those centuries.

I'm confused about why some people continue to hold tight to the weirdest, most hateful parts of Christianity, rather than reaching through that hardness to something more pure and loving. A spiritual life centered on hardness and hatred is toxic on every level. If you doubt that, just click the link and watch the interview. Good lord.

May her heart soften and open. May it be so!

Happy Friday. Shalom!


Rebecca Clayton said...

Poor woman--she is like a lot of people I know, who feel looked-down-upon, disappointed by their opportunities, and unsure why things haven't worked out the way they wanted.

It's easy for politicians and money-motivated preachers to manipulate them, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to tell them that their problems are due to some identifiable, less fortunate group. This lets that woman think she is among the elect, just by being who she is, heterosexual and white.

She'll give money she can't afford to that preacher, vote against her own interests, and never understand why she can't get ahead. The really sad thing is, many people like this are good-hearted when they're not thinking politics and religion, they and would help any person in need if they could.

Anonymous said...

I too saw that interview, and at first I thought it was from Comedy Central, but as I watched, I realized that she was for real. I find this chilling. I mean, is this how the holocaust in Germany started? With a few mean, hurtful people getting the attention of the ignorant?

I was raised a Christian, and, although I am no longer associated with that faith, I always defended it. But these days, I am not only ashamed of Christianity, but afraid of it, not only for the lives of my gay and transgender friend, but for the safety of any of my friends and family (and myself) who won't fall into the lockstep demands of these hateful people.

I think I'll go light a candle...

Reya Mellicker said...

Both of you are very wise. Thanks. Yes.

Rebecca - yes. My head was nodding yes yes yes as I read your comment. It's very compassionate and helps me understand. Thank you.

Mockingbirds, there are so many wonderful Christians doing good deeds and truly following the teachings of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I wonder what he would think were he to reincarnate.

Steve Reed said...

I just can't bring myself to watch that interview all the way through. The woman is so inarticulate and struggling that I have to turn it off. It's too painful!

I like your theory that there's an instinctive revulsion toward behavior that doesn't propagate the species. Gene Robinson says that homophobia is about hatred of what's perceived as weakness, and it stems from the same place as misogyny, which I think is interesting. (Not that gays or women are weak, but they are perceived by straight men as weaker.)

Some day none of this will matter. I look forward to that day. We're already moving in that direction.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve I think we're almost there.

I couldn't watch the whole thing either. I felt so uncomfortable.

Interesting about perceived weakness. I swear our instincts guide us far more intensely than our egos can ever know. I don't know if that's good or bad.