Sunday, August 7, 2011

Closed and Self-Righteous

Dinner was more than 7 hours ago, and I'm still pissed off.

One of my parents' friends from Massachusetts spent the night here last night on her way to a temporary assignment in the Midwest.  (This was not the problem.  I met Beth in the short period where I was in Massachusetts last fall, and I really liked her.)  But Beth went to the same church as Mom and Dad.  After she left it kicked out a whole Open and Affirming rant from my mom that still makes me want to vomit.  (It may have been the bologna sandwich I had for dinner, but I'm pretty sure it was the exclusionary, anti-LGBT crap that she was spewing.)

A little primer on the situation.  The first church they attended in MA adopted an "Open and Affirming" policy within the church.  Here's the language I found for this:

“Open and Affirming” means that it has publicly and specifically declared that those of all “sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions” (or “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender” people) are welcome in its full life and ministry (e.g. membership, leadership, employment, etc.) It bespeaks a spirit of hospitality and a willingness to live out that welcome in meaningful ways.
Sounds reasonable, right?  Everyone who chooses to belong to a church should have the right to be a member and to feel welcome in their church home.  Well some people, like my parents, don't see this as reasonable at all.  "It's against the teachings of the Bible!"  "It's against the teaching of God!"  "The Bible says what the Bible says!  You don't get to pick and choose!"  (She says as she eats ham for dinner.)  I hate to be the one to break it to you, sister, but modern Christians pretty thoroughly pick through the Bible, only following the rules that work for them.  I haven't given Leviticus a read lately, nor do I plan to.  But if memory serves, the anti-homo stuff is just about the only bit that people like my parents choose to follow.  They don't bother with the animal sacrificing, or the "women are unclean after child birth" hoey, so why this?

Bigotry.  That's the only answer I can come up with.  It's infuriating.  It's bad enough to know that they feel this way and still be forced to live with them.  If she fixates on this, and I start getting regular anti-gay rants, I don't know how I'm going to be able to keep from giving her a piece of my mind.  And I won't be able to be any more polite about it than she's been.

Get me out of here.


  1. Ooh my fave old testament chestnut to drag out at times like this is "don't braid your hair"...lots and lots of those directives were in the interest of henotheism--the desire to set the Jews apart as a separate group with a separate deity and to keep them from looking/sounding like everyone else. So yeah--pork, hair braiding, you have to marry your rapist, etc....grr

  2. YOu need to come for a visit. What time shall I pick you up?

  3. Ick. This crap just makes me want to heave. Dan Savage has one too that he tosses back, there's something in there about slavery and owning your wiveS. Call bullshit, and even if it doesn't set her straight (which we know it won't) you'll feel better for standing your ground. (And so will we.)
    (Reading a book called "Just Add Hormones" by Matt Kailey, a transgender man. It's really good, I've added his website/blog as a link at my place.)