Friday, November 13, 2009

Is God That Simple?

There have been so many times where I needed my mother’s advice on dating or just finding the right one. The problem was, she never wanted me to date or even leave the house for that matter. She just wanted her youngest daughter to stay put, say, well into her late 100’s. I would not be able to leave the nest, unless of course, some rich Jewish doctor swept me off my feet, as well as both my parents for that matter. That dream didn’t live up to its potential, however they did adore Madelene when they met her 14 years ago. Even though they had just found out that Madelene was my partner, when they got to know her as a person, it wasn’t so much about their daughter being a lesbian, it was about their daughter being happy. Madelene was smart though: she knew how to work my dad over in her favor. She always came over bearing gifts - not for me mind you - but for the king of the castle. It was her way of trading a camel in for his daughter. She brought him anything from specialty chocolates, wines and goodies to elaborate fisherman collectables in order to get ’in good’ with the big guy who owned Deb. For the first time in history, I then invited my first girlfriend for Thanksgiving. For anyone who knows me, that’s when you know “it’s serious”.

My poor Madelene went through hell and back with me. I wasn’t a bed of roses to live with, yet I tried my hardest to make her happy. I remember about 12 years ago, when we were living in our first apartment, we started going to this Christian-based church in the next town over. I found out that they had a gay ministry. Of course, I was like, “Wow, they accept gays and lesbians here!” But I was wrong. It was an “ex-gay ministry” they had, to which they tried to lay hands upon me and cure me of this disgusting and detestable disease. While Madelene was working late, I would trek over to the church and talk hours with the pastor regarding my lifestyle as a lesbian. I had spoken to a couple of the members of the ministry who really gave me a run for my money about how bad it was to be gay and to still be Christian. Oddly enough, these two women still live together as a “couple”, yet they made a vow of celibacy. Of course this was well after menopause (I’m guessing), which sometimes means . . . Oh well, you know.

Well, maybe it is a sin! Maybe if I go celibate for just a week, I can try to be “cured”. That week was more like two days and the struggle began, because I was absolutely in love with Madelene. How could I not share intimate moments with someone who I am totally in love with, especially while living with them? While Madelene gnawed on huge ice cubes and watched me sift through every passage in the bible that talked about homosexuality, our relationship came to a halt somewhat. It was then we had gone to a church service that following Sunday. They were dedicating this particular service for people who were homosexual, who wanted to get out of that sinful life. The two older women who were “celibate” yet still living together got up and shared their testimonies with us. It was then, when I had witnessed such sadness, such guilt and shame for who they “once were” - but they treated it much like alcoholics do: they still called themselves, lesbians. The tears that flowed out from this woman while giving her testimony showed me she was possibly living a lie. She was obeying a church who wanted to condemn her for loving her partner for over 20 years. I almost got sickened by the church’s behavior over this and realized a few people sitting around me were divorced and remarried, while their ex-spouses were still alive. Why aren’t they being cured? By biblical standards, isn’t that still considered adultery? Why aren’t they curing people who eat shellfish? Why aren’t they curing people with tattoos? Why are they only focusing on homosexuality?

It absolutely baffles me of how simple-minded some people really are. To think that God is that shallow and that “simple” to say: “OK, all the gays are going to hell”, as he wipes the dust clean off his hands. What scares me is, these people are also teaching their children intolerance. They're teaching their children to possibly hate those who are gay and lesbian. They embed it into their minds that God is a hateful God. That God doesn’t exist for me. The God I worship seeks out the genuineness in people; He seeks out the heart and not who we choose to love. We are all flawed in such different ways, we all have crosses to bear, but choosing a mate who is of the same gender is not a flaw. It is a preference. I think it’s sort of sad for people to be set up on a blind marriage, but many cultures do that sort of thing. Why marry someone you have not yet met and risk the potential of living with someone you do not love? That to me is heartbreaking, but I am not the judge. I will not say, “It’s a sin! God will condemn you!” But that seems to be more accepted rather than true love, all because it’s a “man and a woman”. Is God that simple?

This past month, I’ve been trying to get in touch with the two ladies of that ministry. They are still running it till this day and I have called them to ask if they would like to be heard in my documentary on a non-bias level. I would not make them out to be “bad guys”-----I would make them out to be another point of view. Of course with most people knowing where I stand, it’ll seem difficult to put them in a better light so to speak, but I really would like people of opposing sides to be on my documentary. I’m contacting clergymen of the Catholic church as well regarding their views and pointing out their take on the scriptures that condemn homosexuality. There will not be any debates on this film -- only different set of beliefs and core values. Although my views on this are quite strong, I just hope that everyone could be heard and that everyone can truly give their input on what they think is “right”.

With that, if you are a member of a church or a pastor who is of the opposing side, and who feels that homosexuality is an absolute sin, then please feel free to contact me at deb@debrapasquella.com if you would like to be in my documentary. I think it’s important for both sides to be heard, because the Bible is so complex on many levels, which is the reason for misinterpretations, misunderstandings and well as miscommunication among those who believe in the same faith...

Which brings me to the same question: Is God that simple?

13 comments:

Tim said...

Deb,

God is simple.... God is love.

It's as simple as that.

Just_because_today said...

We try really hard to bring God down to our petty level, don't we?

Trying to reason with people who blindly hate and who teach their kids to hate is the same as reasoning with the KKK. A total waste. There is no reasoning because there is no rationality in what they do.

BTW, the trading of a camel for the daughter was a funny image.

TeeJay said...

I tried to leave a comment before, but somehow it got zonked. :( But my comment was the same as Tim's. Yes, God is that simple, Deb.

He loves everyone. He does not hate. And my feeling is that if there is anyone out there who truly believes that He hates, then they aren't a follower. Of God, or of Jesus.

Whenever I see hateful behavior of one person toward another (or a group of people toward another group of people), I always wanna ask the haters "What would Jesus think?"

Ananji said...

The photos of the kids holding hateful signs is so disturbing. I don't understand how parents can teach such views. It's just so wrong I cannot put my head around it.

...babbling here... sorry. The images are compelling.

And so are the words.

You're doing good work, Deb. It seems almost shallow to simply say, "I admire your work." But I do.

Ananji

Drew B. Dope said...

I think far too many people weigh the whole homosexuality = sin thing as a socially created sense of prejudice. To me it's the same thing as race. Race is socially created. Choice to categorize, or at least that's how I see it.

But also Debbz, you have to realize that ignorance knows no color, religion, ethnicity, height, or driving skill.

People teach hate. People fear what they don't understand or comprehend. One angry person, most times, can't do much for a movement. However, support can help greatly. Some people feel safety in the numbers of fellow thinkers.

I'm highly against people involving kids in their hate and ignorance. I hate parents forcing kids period, even those who support gay marriage, really. Let a kid be a kid and deal with it on their own cognizance.

Overall, I think we can all have faith and that's what God bases us on. I don't ever recall seeing a passage blatantly or indirectly, for that matter, stating that homosexuality automatically leads to damnation. Maybe someone can help me find it.

Also, ex-gay? Is that even possible? I doubt it, but hey, if the slippers fit... then go kick rocks in em.

Everyone says God is love, but choose who they want to hate or love. God created us all in the image of him. Our choices are free, as He wanted it. God doesn't discriminate and I think that's what people don't see.

I'm down for the cause of prescription lenses for the masses.

Kevin said...

I think the next time those kids show up, maybe someone should tell them the story of the little kids and the she-bears from 2Kings 2:24. (Just joking...)

Grax said...

It's this kind of double standards rubbish that puts me off most religions. Either ban all things that are a sin or ban none. You can't choose favourites.

I remember getting into an argument with my ex-girlfriend, who is a Christian. She was talking about how she should help 'cure' her female friend who was dabbling in gay experiences. My argument was "She's not doing anything wrong, just let her do her own thing and have her come to her own conclusion. It's not wrong to be gay."

I think it would be great if God would send a message to all saying "Look, the Bible is not the be-all and end-all rulebook. It's simply a guide. Don't let it get in the way of you enjoying life."

~Just me again~ said...

Did you get those pics from Dani's collection?

I battle with this daily, the more I read about this, that and the other thing. The more I wonder. I was never brought up religiously...just the usual be good, dont steal, yada yada....

I had a long discussion with my g/f about this too. She's a big believer in the bible....I myself wonder...but to each their own.I have too many questions about it, that I really don't think anyone can answer but Him.

So I'd have to say that I'm Agnostic, I believe He is out there, but there is only one out there, and He's not divided into all theses different religious groups.

I'd agree with Grax, the Bible is NOT the be-all and end-all rule book. It's simply a guide"

Some time you should check out this blog called Dear God http://deargoditismemissy.blogspot.com/ It's cute and does have some cute questions.

Have a great day!

coopernicus said...

Yes. God is that simple. It is we, and our "religions" that create the shame, unhappiness and misery. For those who find solace in their church of choice, God bless you. For me, to quote Jethro Tull, "He's not the kind you have to wind-up on Sundays." My God is a living God I can talk to 24/7, a spiritual force ready to be accepted if I am open to it. No shame, no sin, no dogma, no retribution. Just unconditional love. And that's my purpose as well; the practice of unconditional love WITHOUT JUDGMENT.

the walking man said...

You said: "...but choosing a mate who is of the same gender is not a flaw. It is a preference..."

I wonder if it is a preference or a biological, emotional and spiritual condition (need) of contentment in one who is gay?

God is as dimensional as the individual contemplating God. If one can only think in one dimension then to them God appears one dimensional.

Deb said...

TIm: Amen to that! :)

JBT: I have dealt with fundamentalist Christians and the few that I have met have the same mindset and hatefulness as the KKK.

TeeJay: I believe that God is love, but also, God is our Father and He does correct us when we are sinning. The fact that I think homosexuality is not a sin means I do not think I will be “corrected”. But there are too many scriptures that seem to get twisted up in a bunch of disagreements with those of the same faith, which is sad. Too many people trying to play God, and those are big shoes to fill!

Ananji: It is sad to see children holding such hatred.
Thank you...

Drew: You’re so right. I also believe that it’s fear that instills all the hatred, which makes them so volatile toward gays and lesbians, among other groups. And yeah, “ex-gay”, (ha), ridiculous huh? I watched this woman go up there and give her testimony and she was cryyyyyyinnnggggggg because whenever she spoke about her partner whom she loved and still loves, tears flowed. She’s repressing her emotions and love for her lifetime partner. That was heartbreaking to see. Thanks for your input!

Kevin: Now THAT is some lullaby story to tell these precious little things. (lol)

Grax: You can’t reason with someone who is hardcore on their beliefs and who wants to “cure” people for being gay. Your last paragraph-----I WISH!

JMA: Sadly, I didn’t. I got them from godhatesfags.com. It’s another group much like Dani’s, however a bit more extreme. The Bible can be confusing but it has some great guidelines and advice when you need it. It’s just interpreted ---I should say “twisted” by religious people in order to keep the ‘morality level’ in check by telling the stories of the past and bringing them forth into the now. I’m gonna check out that website - thank you.

Coopernicus: They say that guilt, fear and all of the negative emotions that people often have are not of God. Fear is of the devil, I believe, which motivates much of these hate groups.

TWM: Well, I’ve known for myself that I preferred women as young as I remember being in diapers. I say that, because I was always drawn to females, even as an adolescent, I never was attracted to males for the most part - I always always had crushes on my gal pals and that killed me, because I couldn’t be open about it because it was looked down upon. But, there is biological truth to one’s “preference” so to speak. For me, since I have dated men before, and yes, I have even fallen in love with only one, I considered myself bisexual when I was 19 yrs old, however, I preferred to be “happy” and went for the person I was madly in love with. There is no difference between you being straight and me being a lesbian - we all need the emotional and spiritual connection from our partners and the need of contentment regardless if we are gay, straight or bisexual.

Clay Perry said...

the question of homosexuality is a simple one to me, i often ask people who rabidly attack the lifestyle for whatever reason, be it religion, "morality", or just plain old hatred, "What age were you when you decided to be attracted to the opposite sex?" this always seems to make them be quiet.

as far as religious theology and sexuality goes... i don't know... jesus was the one who ate & hung out with everyone, included everyone in on what he was about. for me, all of Christianity is summed up by Mathew chapters 5 through 7 where he said he came not to uphold the law , but fulfill it.. personally i dont understand intolerance toward the homosexual community, it seems silly to me.. to hate someone for doing what you or your spouse does seems a bit asinine to me. i usually find the most intolerant people generally are engaging in self hatred and are dealing with the manifestations of these feelings within themselves...

there are a couple of bible verses that come to mind.. luke 12:31 and luke 17:20-21 when you put the idea of these together it seems fairly simple to me.. "seek you the kingdom of god" and "the kingdom of god is within you".. to me it provides a moment of clarity..

i dont define myself with my sexuality, perhaps i would if i were attacked because of it.. but speaking for myself.. i can understand why youre a lesbian.. god knows i would be if i were a woman...

Deb said...

Clay: I loved your last sentence! (haha) But in all seriousness, you are absolutely right about the silence when someone is asked about being attracted to whatever gender at what age. it does bring more depth into it, because like all of us, it did start at a young age, when we start developing. I was more "drawn" to females while very little, but "attracted" to them 10 years old and up. I hope that makes more sense.

...""seek you the kingdom of god" and "the kingdom of god is within you".. to me it provides a moment of clarity."

It's bring heaven down to earth - to have God living in all of us, but if we are so filled with hatred, how can God live inside? Fear and hatred is not of God. So when people fear homosexuals and hate them for their sins, how can God reside in their hearts?

Thanks for your input! You made some great points and shared some awesome scriptures! :)