Until just a few years ago I acted like the Christians are supposed to act, and I “turned the other cheek,” tolerating and even supporting a religion that has been persecuting me all my life.
But more recently, as readers here have noticed, I’ve found myself wondering why I’d been doing that, why I haven’t been defending myself.
When I initially read Paul Monette several years ago, I was honestly shocked at his charge that the source of homophobic hatred in the society of his youth had been the church, and in his case, that was the Roman Catholic Church. But then, the more I read him, the more he made sense, and I came to realize that well, where else did the homophobia come from but the religions?
After all, anti-gay persons always cite the Bible as the justification for their hatred, and the most cursory look at the places in the world where gays are accepted reveals that these are precisely those places where the majority of the population has abandoned religion, the western and northern European countries.
And as all this soaked in, I found myself becoming increasing hostile toward religion and willing to speak up for myself.
This fall’s political campaign to deny gays the right to marry fanned the flames, even though it’s not marriage I want but rather, the statutory benefits. A bit of fallout from that campaign that I found especially annoying was the court attempt by contributors to the anti-gay campaign to bar public access to records of their contributions. Well, I understand their fear. If people knew you were funding a campaign to strip them of their rights, some of them might be vindictive enough to stop patronizing your business, which would mean that your hateful action might cost you profits. Can’t have that, now can we?
But then, I spent Christmas hanging out with Gloria, and somehow being with her made me ask myself whether getting worked up and hating those folks right back made me happier. Well, of course not. Seething with rage over their lies and hate campaigns doesn’t help me sleep. Nor does thinking about the issues enough to write this stuff. So enough, already, at least until the bastards mount another major campaign against me. Wouldn’t hurt my karma, either, to lay off. Ummm, that’s karma in a secular sense, as Hinduism is only marginally more tolerant of gays than Christianity and Islam.
Gloria and I went out the day after Christmas for dim sum, and I got some pics of the West Portal Muni station that reminds me of the newer architecture in Amsterdam. Here’s one. Note the clever barriers to discourage folks from walking out onto the roof. So handsome, so Dutch:
I’ll end the year with a pic outside my retinologist’s office. Somehow, going there inspires me to see beauty better, especially since she has managed my retinal damage so well that my vision loss has stabilized. Good Christmas present.