A New Leaf

After losing my faith in my early teens over the hypocrisy i saw, being insufficiently sophisticated to understand that hypocrisy is a universal human condition that is neither confined to the Methodist Church nor attributable to it, i spent the rest of my life as a mildly pro-Christian agnostic.  Well, until i read Paul Monette’s autobiographical novels and essays in the late nineties and got real clear that the source of homophobic hatred was religion, most particularly in this country the Christian churches.  And at that point i woke up one morning and admitted that i was really an atheist.

But this realization had no impact on my life until 2008, when Christian conservatives, spearheaded by the Roman Catholic and Mormon hierarchies, mounted a fifty million dollar advertising campaign in favor of California’s notorious Prop 8.  And at that point i suddenly grasped that i needed to start standing up for myself and fighting back against my hate-and-mendacity-spewing opponents.

So i did, and not just on this website.  Oh no,  I started writing letters to the San Francisco Chronicle lambasting the lies and hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, and since i made the letters short and zippy, they published a number of them.   Also, instead of donating money to Christian churches, i diverted these funds to  groups like Citizens United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion Foundation.  Focused and shrill?  You betcha.

And then last Thursday, San Francisco’s very own ambassador of hate, His Grace Salvatore Cordigleone, went to Washington and spoke at the National Organization for Marriage’s March for Marriage along with other speakers from groups so savagely anti-gay that they’ve been identified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  But after i stifled my outrage, i recalled that in state after state gays are winning the battle for marriage and that the anti-gay Christians have lost, considering that the younger Americans are, the more accepting they are of gays.

So i’m declaring victory and will be holding up a Mission Accomplished banner.  Well, except that Mission Accomplished banners have been totally discredited since George W. Bush’s aides took an enormous one to the USS Abraham Lincoln as it sat 30 miles off the San Diego coast on 1 May 2003 so that it could be displayed behind him as he arrived in a jet plane and delivered his infamous speech announcing the end of major combat operations in the Iraq War.  I guess it depends on how you define “end”.

But what i will be doing is halting my rants against anti-gay Christians and devoting that energy to publicizing the NSA’s war on privacy and the burgeoning of the American police state.

I mean, it’s high time, considering that the NSA is a more worthy adversary, the Roman Catholic Church having become so enfeebled that His Holiness, having forgotten both the Inquisition and his history of collaboration with the torturers in the Argentinian military dictatorship in the ’70’s and ’80’s, is now denouncing torture.

But no, that was just one last jab at the One True Church.  Really, i’m off to do battle with the NSA.

Here’s a group of the troops i’ll be leading into the fray.

Bay to Breakers 2014

Ummm, actually those may be Bay to Breakers runners on Memorial Day.


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  1. Posted 26 June 2014 at 01:05 | Permalink

    I was Roman Catholic all my life till about 3 years ago. Joined a radically inclusive UCC congregation which actually tries to practice Christianity. We think that doubts are okay, so are questions. We fit under the banner of “progressive Christians.” We accept everyone at no matter where they are in life. Probably about 20 percent of our small congregation is gay, and several other straight couples have gay kids. We just hired a young gay pastor to lead us. Don’t know why I’m telling you all this really. Just figured you’d listen.

    • Matte Gray
      Posted 26 June 2014 at 09:05 | Permalink

      I’m rather harsh on the Methodists, Roman Catholics, and other denominations that remain anti-gay, but i have to say that people like you give me hope. After all, the fundamentalist churches will not be reformed by outsiders like me but rather by pressure from within by people like you. I just had a visit from a cousin who is a member of an anti-gay church but who was overjoyed when her son told her that he couldn’t understand why their church was so anti-gay. She responded that she didn’t believe it either. So yes, i applaud kind Christians like you and my cousin. I didn’t say that enough.

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