The Reluctant Christian and the Lone Wolf

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My husband and I attend a Unitarian Universalist Church. If you’re interested in which one, I’ll post their website.

I don’t plan on becoming a UU even in light of the recent developments in my renouncing mainstream Christianity for (hopefully) the last time. I haven’t made any movements to officially move my church member records from the Episcopal Church, but when I become a member of a Gnostic Church, that will happen, and there my records will go, and there my records will stay.

To become UU would not solve the problem; to be a sort of nominal UU solves the problem because, as one teacher one said, it’s a good idea to find a group of like-minded individuals, or you’re going to have a hard time.

No, I don’t have to agree with the secular humanists or pagans or anyone else who attends the UU; rather, I can love them and have them love me in return and experience a profound level of community among fellow seekers. However, to declare myself one of them might actually compromise my integrity- I like them, I sympathize with them, but I am not, at heart, one of them, and to declare myself so would be compromise in what I actually want, but more so, what I actually¬†need.

I should point out that I will always, always, ALWAYS be fond of the time I spent at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ozark, Alabama; I have nothing negative to say about my former priest or the parishioners there.

My issue is something I’ve highlighted before; where my spiritual quest, and where it’s going, is somewhere beyond the reach of where most people are currently. That isn’t to pat myself on the back, I’m just trying to explain that while I would recommend the Episcopal Church to anyone who is comfortable with mainstream Christianity as a sort of liberal alternative to Catholicism and so on, I can’t profess doctrines or uphold views that I have constantly qualify.

I’m more involved, along with my husband, at the UU Church than I’ve ever been in any other organization. But then, I realize, I’ve been attending there with him longer than I’ve been attending the Episcopal Church, at least at THIS point.

The other night at the Humanism Class, in context of the discussion, I referred to myself as a “Reluctant Christian.”

I’m reluctant for many reasons, not the least of which is the extremely ridiculous history of mainstream Christianity; I feel like I’m trying to salvage diamonds out of shit at times.

Yet the diamonds in question are often worth the battle.

My home state of Alabama recently had Marriage Equality push forward. Naturally, the bigots in the state have fought and fought and fought the Marriage Equality ruling, and the self-styled Real, True Christians are commenting profusely online.

The usual comments are people slinging Bible verses everywhere or saying God defined marriage as between one man and one woman, and I just have to roll my eyes…or troll the people, depending on how I feel.

Because seriously, I don’t know who decided that firing off Bible verses would convince anyone, but it doesn’t. Ever. If anything, people get tired of seeing Bible verses that are taken out of context and don’t hold any authority over them anyway- the Dead Letter of the Scriptures cannot save us and has never saved us.

And like, if this is the way Christians behave, who the hell wants to be a Christian? I’m thoroughly confused about what’s appealing in mainstream Christianity, and the promise that I won’t burn forever in some hypothetical and probably derived-from-bad-theological-readings Hell isn’t really enough of a motivation.

I finally gave up fighting the heresy label. I just don’t fucking care anymore- by God, I’m a heretic, and I’m proud of being a heretic if it means I don’t get lumped in with all those blithering idiots out that follow the American Bible Religion.

The question is, why even bother with Christianity at all? But yes. There are good things there, even if the good things are in the minority. I need the potency of the Holy Eucharist; I need my prayer beads and my crucifixes and my iconography; I need my Scriptures talking about Sophia’s repentances. Because then my spirit is quiet, and I can slowly fall in love with God again and again, each time the same and yet different, each time a stillness and a movement.

Since I’m probably effectively the only Gnostic Christian at the UU Fellowship, I like to think of myself as the “Lone Wolf.” Yeah. I like that title. Makes me feel special.

My heart does go out to Alabama and to the many, MANY couples there who now have the right to marry but are facing bigots who tell them they can’t, and moreover, the many bigots who seem to be under the erroneous impression that their own point of view is the dominant one.

Judge Roy Moore is an embarrassment. They kicked him out of one time for doing something similar, and people mocked me for being from Alabama and asked if Roy Moore thought he was the Second Coming of Jesus.

Not only is he an embarrassment, he unfortunately reinforces the stereotypes about Alabama AND mainstream Christianity. His attitude is exactly the sort of thing that holds society back and causes the anti-theists to have a field day mocking all religion. Good grief.

I wish I could be charitable; in reality, no matter the injustice, these are just the death cries. Come the summer, the Supreme Court of the USA will rule in favor of Marriage Equality, the idiocy will have to completely stop then, and that aspect of the battle will be done. Non-discrimination policies are a different thing, though.

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Another Rant about Gay Marriage and the Church

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One thing that seriously turns me off about the Roman Catholic Church is how many Catholics are just blind followers and seem to have their brain turned to mush. A tradition stretching back 2000 years should have a least a little more solid intellectual basis for statements that are made.

Obviously, not ALL Catholics are this way- and many are pro-gay and pro-women priests. I happen to know many good Catholic people who would call into question many teachings of the Church; I digress.

One commenter on a recent entry stated that it’s perfectly acceptable for an infertile couple to have sex because they didn’t render the condition of infertility upon themselves.

Excuse me? So as long as nature doles out the condition, it’s okay?

Well, by that line of reasoning, since gay people are born gay and are gay through no fault of their own, they should be able to get married- whether or not the sexual act is closed to the gift of life.

But let’s also get real. The reality underlying the situation is that you have Catholics who, like so many other people, just want to feel that they’re right and that they’re better than other people, and it’s much, much easier to condemn gay people if you yourself aren’t gay.

While some readers suggested that sexuality has to do with self-mastery, it’s also easy for a straight male who’s married and having sex to talk about that sort of thing.

It is entirely one thing if one decides, completely of one’s own free will, to abstain from sexuality as a sacrifice or devotion to God. I have no problem with that, seriously. That’s a personal decision. But when an organization begins trying to tell us something that just isn’t in line with reality that I’ve experienced personally and that’s been supported by the experience of many other people and as well as that horrible thing called science, I begin to get a little fussy when they continue harping on it.

The same thing goes for women in the priesthood. There are all kinds of pseudo-intellectual gymnastics that the Church uses to say why women shouldn’t be in the priesthood, and the idea that it could have been a cultural bias and artifact from the past, which is a relatively quick and simple conclusion, is not one of the considerations that’s made. Instead, the whole “Men and women are different and each have their roles” idea is taken and tossed around, and even if there are women who don’t feel that it’s an affront to them for only men to be priests, it doesn’t take a radical feminist to see that there’s some severe patriarchal abuse going on here.

Holy Mother Church, I suggest that instead of getting involved in gay marriage and continuing to bar women from the priesthood, you should align yourself with the Holy Spirit, get over your pride, reinstate the Tridentine Mass, and get back to being the Vehicle of the Sacraments instead of the Hypocritical, Pseudo-Intellectual Moral Authority Du Jour complete with Guitars and Drums at Mass. Your track record is not very good as it is, and you’re rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the world.

Your friendly neighborhood ranter,

Beaux