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?
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.