I Do Not Trust You

I have been seeing on my Facebook wall posts from the Christianist/Dominionist friends of friends which are some variation of the following:

  1. Yes, I am a Christian.
  2. I believe the Bible.
  3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”
  4. Yes, I still love you.
  5. Yes, we are still friends.
  6. No, I am not judging you.
  7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.
  8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.
  9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
  10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

I would like now to examine these statements from my particular point of view.

1. Yes, I am a Christian.

2. I believe the Bible.

The first two sentences are fine. I believe that people have a right to religious freedom and while I am not a universal pluralist I believe that all positive, life-affirming religious and spiritual paths are true. I certainly exercise my own religious freedom as a Wiccan, a pagan, and a polytheist. I am a former Christian and I think the Bible is an interesting piece of literature but I don’t believe in what it has to say about itself being the immutable word of the Divine. You are free to believe otherwise though do not try to argue with me based on some scriptural principle. I don’t accept its authority and I probably read and studied it more than you when I was a Christian.

3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”

The third sentence is a problem when you think your lack of support should mean something to others. Again, support what you wish but when that support leads to the oppression of others it reveals a serious problem. Variations of this sentence coupled with the second sentence has lead the oppression and marginalization of large number of people and there is simply no way for you to pretend that this is not the case. In a secular democratic society you don’t get to exercise the singular belief that allows you to treat whomever you have deemed as ‘the other’ as second-class citizens and force others do so as well by codifying it in law. Otherwise, I am not concerned with your lack of support.

4. Yes, I still love you.

5. Yes, we are still friends.

6. No, I am not judging you.

7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.

Sentences four, five, six and seven are based on a contradiction. You have already said you don’t support homosexuality. Yet you pretend that “homosexuality” is somehow separate from homosexual people. You know, the ‘you’ you keep referring to in these sentences. What kind of cognitive dissonance is required to reconcile sentences four and five with sentence three? In addition I should not have to remind you that divine judgement is fundamental to the biblical principles you claim to espouse. And if you posted such a statement then you more than likely belong to one of the faith traditions that proclaim homosexuals are going to hell. I understand that it is not you personally doing the actual condemning but sentence two indicates you believe that the condemnation is fair and appropriate. You agree with it. That makes sentences four, five, six and seven even harder to swallow.

8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.

Sentence eight is obvious an attempt to make you feel better about yourself and your beliefs. The problem is that most of these memes and statements are shared from sites and pages whose only reason for existence is to bully and dehumanize homosexuals. That gives a lie to sentence eight. No, you have allowed people to be bullied in your name and you are disingenuous to pretend that is not the case even as you repeat such bullying.

9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.

10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

Sentence nine and ten are a real problem. They both are basically saying ‘now that you have had some small victory in no longer being treated as a second-class citizens by my fellow religionists please do not treat us the same way we have been treated you for decades.’ This kind of hypocrisy simply makes what you were trying to say in sentences four through eight meaningless. You have plainly contradicted yourself. I wish I could say that I have sympathy with your point of view but I do not. I do believe that people of good intent can have differing points of view and that being able to share and discuss them and disagree with others helps to define and refine all points of view. That is not what is being sought here. You wish to continue to be able to demonize and marginalize and name-call and stereotype and lie and slander all you want without being challenged because you believe that sentences one and two give you that right. It is the same thinking that leads to the ‘if you are tolerant you must be tolerant of my intolerance otherwise you are the same as me’ mode of thinking. Or even better, the hypocritical ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

  1. Yes, I am a Christian.
  2. I believe the Bible.
  3. I do not support homosexuality or “homosexual marriage.”
  4. Yes, I still love you.
  5. Yes, we are still friends.
  6. No, I am not judging you.
  7. No, I am not condemning you to hell.
  8. No, I will not let anyone bully you.
  9. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
  10. We have a right to speak what we believe, same as you have the right to speak what you believe.

Suddenly all of the fear-mongering that Christianists have allowed their leaders to get a way with, demonizing homosexuals and others who do not believe exactly what they do, seems to be coming true. You have allowed yourself to be driven by fear for so long that fear is now the foundation of all you feel and believe. And in that fear you want to try to have it both ways. You want to pander to those who have made you afraid of ‘the other’ (1, 2, 3) for fear of persecution as ‘an other’ and you want to pander to those who you have been feed the lie that they are going to persecute you by saying you have not acted badly (4, 5, 6, 7, 8) to ‘the other’ and that ‘the other’ should now grant you the consideration which you have denied them up to this point (9, 10), claiming rights that you have enjoyed up to now consequence-free.

There are a lot of other things I might say about this. I certainly recognize that not all Christians and religious people are such hypocrites. But these statements are the worse kind of deception, pretending that you somehow have not done what you have done and that somehow you should not be held accountable for what you have done and should be allowed to keep doing it.

I do not accept this and I do not forget what you have done and what has been done in your name. When a person contradicts themselves as easily as this they cannot be trusted. Statements like the one above simply confirm that. And in the final analysis it boils down to this one simple fact.

I do not trust you.

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