Thursday, September 11, 2008

My grief observed:

He was right; you went away,
slowly at first, but faster and faster
with time, with memory, with grief,
I exhale your absence more and more
until there is nothing left
to breathe but air, and
My writing becomes a flashlight shining
back into your empty spaces,
now my empty spaces,
the voids you will no longer fill,
the maps you wrote into existence
that still hang on the walls of my
history, still asking me to follow them
after all these years, even when
you are no longer there to point your
finger in the way you felt I ought to go.
You’re gone still, and even the writing
seems unreal, and even the thinking
and pondering and dreaming you back
when you cry in my sleep that you
didn’t want to let go,
you’re still gone, and it’s not you here
it’s nothing but me
and my empty pages, shining lights
into empty spaces.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Being Gay": A Response to Conservative, Religious Ideology

The following is a series of responses I gave in a debate with a conservative Christian on my feelings towards the right-wing view of the "homosexual agenda," and how conservatives view homosexuality. I strung them together to form a coherent narrative for the sake of my blog...

'Tis a sad state to be in if you realize that the life you were born into (read: I did not choose this), is a life that God is keeping you from. I don't buy it. I think it's easy for people to say "well, I can choose to act or not to act on my own temptations, and so can you" but then when they agree that being attracted to the same sex isn't a choice, they're essentially stating that they have an "easy way out," as in, God legitimizes heterosexual relations, but regardless of the fact that I may have been born with this, I either have to conform to heterosexual norm (which God knows I've tried), or remain celibate for the rest of my life, even though (let's be honest), I've been created as a sexual being, the same as every one of us. It's a precarious oxymoron that I intend to study and pick to pieces as much as I can (I'm the analytical type), because nothing, in my opinion, is as black and white as it may at first seem.

The fact that so many right-wingers are coming to the realization that people don't CHOOSE to be gay, they only choose to be honest about it, reveals an oxymoron, or conundrum in our society. What corner, what niche, has been carved in the norm of heterosexual society for the likes of myself, and people like me? Where do I fit in, except to be told that, though many agree I was born this way, I don't get to enjoy the fulness of life planned for those who were privileged to be born heterosexual?

Furthermore, if it's not a sin that I'm a homosexual (i.e., agreeing I was born this way, and that my existence as a gay individual isn't a "sin"), but God's made a way out of my being a homosexual, through those "pray-the-gay-away" support groups, because it's sinful (let's face it, why else would there be those support groups?), then isn't that obviously contradictory? Either being a homosexual in and of itself is a sin, and there's a "way out," or being a homosexual is not a sin, and I'm caught in just a really sad life-long predicament, according to conservative ideology. That doesn't quite make sense. Also, going back to my last statement, many people are claiming that God trapped me in this -- if I was indeed born with it -- with no hope of experiencing the same fulfillment of life as the heterosexual crowd, because I wasn't lucky like they were, to be born heterosexual. So we should either agree that I'm just out of luck, so to speak, as I was born this way, or believe I wasn't born this way, and that being attracted to men at all (aka, being gay) is intrinsically sinful. Unless there's something in the conservative point of view I'm not seeing.

I'm not as confused nor as frustrated as many religiously conservative people might think I am. I'm very solid in my beliefs in God and what he has planned for my life, even though it's been turned upside down so recently. I certainly don't consider myself a "lost" sinner. I know a lot about where I come from, what I believe, who I am, and the basics of what God expects from me. Any doubt or confusion I feel is part of a growing experience to bring myself closer to who I need to be. Furthermore, to refute the conservative argument, I don't regret what I've been purportedly "dealt." My only problem would be for those arguments which I don't quite think are as founded as they need to be. I don't feel bad, knowing that I've been created as a gay human being. I feel bad for those that hypocritically reject us and treat us as sub-human. There are obvious detriments to acting on alcoholism, which is a common argument to explain the sinful nature of homosexual actions - but what are the detriments to being actively gay? Most argue it is "unnatural," but then, if the natural relations of man and woman occur because of procreation, then anyone who uses birth control is sinning - and using the argument, "well, because God says so," is blind faith, which I don't condone in any one's spiritual walk, and I may disagree on that point with others. Some might argue that gay sex is sex outside of marriage, and that's one reason it's wrong - but gay people aren't allowed to get married, so we don't even have a fighting chance to begin with.

The scripture in Romans, regarding the "unnatural lusts" associated with homosexuality, infers that I'm gay because I turned my back on God. If others agree I was born this way, then again, are they saying I'm "out of luck" based on the sins of my fathers and forefathers? Didn't Jesus negate that argument when the disciples asked him, regarding the blind man, "Who sinned? He or his parents?" I don't know if I can accept that those scriptures are telling me that I'm gay because I turned my back on God. I'm very much still a moral, upstanding person of faith. What, then? Others bring up 1 Corinthians 6, and we can argue the semantics of Paul's passage, and the greek word he uses that we translate as "homosexual," and what that word referred to in the original greek. There is much debate over the 1, 2, 3 verses (?) that target homosexuality in the Bible. And please, let's not point out Leviticus, either. If we no longer stone our children for disagreeing with their parents, we can't really use it as a valid argument against present-day social practices.

Abstract food for thought, of course. I enjoy being theoretical.