Monday, May 14, 2012

God Versus Gay

Rick Santorum  and Dan Savage agree, you can have Gay or you can have God, but you can't have both.  Rick Santorum and Dan Savage both imagine God to be some bearded old patriarchal tyrant in the sky, the "mean old grand-daddy home from a three day drunk."  Rick Santorum believes fervently in this particular image of God, and Dan Savage just as fervently rejects it.

So, are we stuck with this Sophie's choice, between fundamentalism and atheism?

Maybe not.

Jay Michaelson points out that President Obama, of all people, may have shown us a way out of this grim conundrum.  (tip of the fedora to IT)

And who's to blame for creating this grim conundrum, for giving us this Sophie's choice between our religion and our sexuality, forcing us to decide which one are we going to throw away?

I think I was right in my deleted post.  The religious right, fundamentalist evangelicals and reactionary Catholics together, completely fucked over the Evangel.  They turned it into another test, into another hoop to jump through, another ordeal to endure.  As if people don't have enough in their lives to endure, enough tests that they have to pass and fail, enough ordeals to get through, as though they are not being rated, measured, evaluated, graded, tested, judged enough.  "Everyone fights a great battle" said Philo of Alexandria.  Small wonder most people, especially most younger people these days, see the Gospel as the young Martin Luther did, as another calamity piled on top of the unendurable condemnation of the Decalogue.  Small wonder so many people these days would tell such a deity to piss off.  Small wonder most people would agree with William Blake when he wrote, "To God:  if you would draw a circle for us to go into, then go into it yourself and see how you would do."

What a nasty old fuckwad that tyrant god would be. Kick him down the stairs and be done with him.

The older I get, the more I think that Paul Tillich was right.  Christ came into the world not to found a new religion, but to end religion.  The burden He promises to lift from our shoulders is not the burden of mortality, but the burden of religion.  That is the Good News, no more tests, no more ordeals, no more purity codes, no more law books and legalism, no more prosecutors with halos, no more fickle temperamental deities, no more smoking altars with burning sacrifices, no more divine cops demanding to see our papers, no more mortification of the flesh, no more holy mountains to climb, no more spiritual heroism.  Salvation is already accomplished for us, just as we are now.


14 comments:

Tristan Alexander said...

You paint a lovely picture of "what if" but th reality is Santorum and his ilk define and control GOD! It would be nice if your idea of no religion was true, but it is not!

Murdoch Matthew said...

The Episcopal Café is linking to a Salon story about how atheism is coming out of the social closet:
http://www.salon.com/2012/05/11/atheisms_new_clout/

As I read the article, I could only think, These people are doing God's work. And part of the work may be focusing on community needs and forgetting abstract theological theorizing.

I was overwhelmed by the mosaics in Ravenna, especially one showing Justinian and his court in lifesize color chips. That's where high mass came from, not Jesus having supper with his friends. Relations in the church have more to do with feudal survivals than with people working together in love. Lovely thought, Doug, that Jesus meant to end religion.

IT said...

Tristan, you are letting the right wing define religion. But they don't hold the patent on religion--just on one form of it . Why do you concede them that power?

JCF said...

"Fundamentalist God: Obey Him or Hate Him."

I vote neither. I vote QUEER JESUS, not Fundamentalist God (in the distinction-without-a-difference of the Fundy Theist or Fundy Atheist iterations). That's the Truth I CHOOSE.

What Truth do y'all choose? Tristan?

JCF said...

...but I do agree w/ your whole post, Doug.

Religion is Dead . . . as long as Jesus-Eating can continue. That's all I ask.

Mary Clara said...

I completely agree, Doug. Your concluding paragraph sums it up so beautifully. Christ means the end of religion in that sense. We can still have 'religion' with all its trappings: our traditional practices, ceremonies, buildings, texts and creeds; we just don't worship them. They are not God, just ways we try to reach God and let God reach us.

dave94015 said...

I don't understand why Americans allow promoters of a philosophy (religion) regulate their private sexual lives. A blatant tyranny!

Counterlight said...

I see that Tristan agrees with Rick Santorum.

Counterlight said...

As I said in my post, why should we be forced into a Sophie's choice? Why indeed should we be expected to choose between central aspects of our very being to throw out? Why should we save one baby and drown the other? All we end up with in the end is one child dragged off to a foster home while we face a murder charge over the death of the other. Either way we choose, we end up half dead.

I say fuck it! Take the whole conundrum and flush it! It's a false choice, and no real choice at all.

Ellie Finlay said...

Yes.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Christ came into the world not to found a new religion, but to end religion.

Amen.

Kittredge Cherry said...

Grandmere Mimi picked out my own favorite line!

it's margaret said...

To end religion --yes!

MarkBrunson said...

Yes. I've said, before, that Jesus came to end religion. We are here to bring the Kingdom; that's why it hasn't come. We keep not doing it.