WARNING. MAY CONTAIN SENSITIVE MATERIAL!
This time, no Bible readings or countermissionary tactics. It is time to become a little bit sensitive and deep. I light my candle, listening to L’Arlesienne’s “Adagietto Symphonie in C, Agnus Dei.” The Sun has gone down now and the noise from the traffic starts to wane a little. I think I have a mandate from Ha’Shem to write down these words now. I have had many thoughts in my mind lately.
“Don’t judge any man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”
Native American Proverb
I have for many years followed the infected debate on the Homosexuals’ to be or not to be. I have heard horrendous discussions where people seriously are questioning gay’s rights to coexist with other people in society. In some discussions I have followed, it is obvious that some practitioners of religion are even playing with the idea if it is possible to remove homosexual people from the population, perhaps deport them to a for this purpose acquired desert island. In this case, I think I have found one island that would fit this purpose; Poveglia, between Venice and Lido in northern Italy! There they built a Lazzaretto in 1403 to place people infected by the Black Plague that raged in whole of Europe during this time and let them die there on the island, becuase there was no treatment against the Black Plague. That would be the ultimate, “Final solution to the problem of Homosexuality.” Forgive my dystopian mind this beautiful april evening.
Many times, discussions, sermons, lectures and Bible studies, of which I have several audio recordings and transcripts, have been burdened by hatred and bloodthirsty descriptions and the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish languages, derived from Old Norse, are very rich in words and expressions that do not exist in English language. Words can be very objectionable, and wounding. Homosexuals, those who want and have power to do so, respond to the allegations and accusations as if THEY were guilty of a crime, which they are not, in my opinion. Since when is there a trial going on?
Gay people have reluctantly been forced into a “group” setting which was not desired, at least not from the homosexuals side. No, this has been manufactured by those who have set themselves to judge the world, an elite in the religious world, to gain control over the “Satanic group of homosexuals for whom there is no place” (quote from one of my recordings.)
And He saw that everything was GOOD
Most homosexual people are ordinary, hard working, honest taxpayers who are just doing what they are required to do, just like everybody else. But what is so worrying is the religious idea, which has set as its main objectives to eradicate homosexuality and homosexuals from the surface of the Earth. I do not believe that was the reason why G-d created man. G-d saw that it was good when He had created everything, not only that, it was VERY GOOD! Despite the fact that G-d had to sweep away everything in a flood, to start all over again, like a painter remaking his painting. He has not repented that He created man to his own image! And He has promised that the flood will never happen again and that He never again will abandon man. My question is this, how did self-righteous people get all rights and freedoms to judge other people, when they do not have to get familiar with that person’s situation? Take a walk in his shoes for a month or two, and we will see how that has affected you, if you have gained more understanding of the diversity and richness that exists in G-d’s creation.
Have Homosexuals become the new Pariah?
As a guardian of law and morality you are standing with a drawn sword, ready to attack! Of what use to mankind and fellow human beings, when all we have is this only life, ONE life? You judge the inhabitants of the Earth to the right and to the left, but I have a question for you, my dear fellow wanderer in life, just a quiet and calm wondering at twilight; how do you get the equation right? Negative forces in society argue that homosexuals do not belong to G-d’s creation, that they are a subordinate group and an abomination and should be eradicated. I have even heard sulphurous fire and brimstone sermons saying that homosexuals will soon die a cruel death if they do not repent their homosexual sin! Yes, I know that we have Freedom of Speech, that is always a good thing! But I often wonder why people still want to listen to this message. So what is this “sin?” Who wants to voluntarily “chose” this “lifestyle” to become members of a group of pariahs, the outcast? Yes, I know that many people suffer from what they believe is a homosexual curse and want to be free, but then again, who dictates the terms for how a man should live his life? I believe that the problem is two folded, first we have a young man searching for help for same sex attractions. He contacts his local church and his pastor for advice. So far, so good. Soon this becomes a “business” where some pastors show up as experts, specialized on ex-gay therapies and aversion therapies. But the biggest blame should lie on the so-called “ex-gay ministries” developed in the USA in the 1970’s. Today hundreds of reparative therapy ministries all around the world are struggling for attention. So, from being a private matter, from soul to soul, organizations now popped up like mushrooms from the ground, to offer their services. It is my experience that these ministries now are looking outside the church environment, and now trying to enforce their ideas to non-religious people, to reach gay people that are not church goers. Their ideas are spreading that homosexuality is a bad thing for our communities and society in large. Their business practices are in actions similar to commercial enterprises. They are very aggressive in their approach and they support their activities with more or less dubious research reports. I doubt if all of these ministries have jobs so it becomes economically viable. With hundreds of organizations and individuals, it must surely be tens of thousands of clients seeking help! But do we see hordes of people who come forward and testify about successful transformations? I think those who are seen and heard most in the media are already “saved,” they have been around a long time.
Where is the problem? Is it the religious comminities, G-d or the person in question? Who created this stigmatizing condition inside the person to begin with? There is a saying that “health remains silent.” But because of religious doctrines, once and for all, homosexuality has been defined as a mortal sin. This is said to be in the best of intentions for that person’s welfare. If a sexual orientation can thrive, grow and develop in an affirming, accepting environment, just like the heterosexual orientation normally does, a firm foundation will develop naturally. Would that not likewise also be the case with homosexuality?
I can not see anything other than this is a cruel and coward way to demonize a person or a group of people, who have never had the intention to actually be forced together in a group to be treated differently by society! This phenomenon is called victimization, an unequal treatment, similar to discrimination. This in turn can create the same symptoms of posttraumatic stress that we see in those who have survived a war, a disaster or a rape. Sadly, but it often ends in suicide. It is a natural result of cause and effect, and this is irrebuttable facts. And then we have the more or less secretly or open death threats against individuals or groups. Yes, despite the fact that we in Sweden have one of the world’s most sophisticated laws on Freedom of Speech and Discrimination Act of 2009, there are death threats uttered to individuals as well as to groups in society. It is definitely worse in many other European countries, who do not have the same legal protection, and therefor “the problem does not exist.” Not to mention countries governed by religious leaders in so called theocraties!
The heart of the matter – Identifying the problem and hopefully a solution
There remains then only to go to the “heart of the matter” (»Das also war des Pudels Kern.«) Why was this unhealthy situation created at all? Is it due to parents’ concern for the child’s physical or mental health or is there something else behind it? I understand that young people growing up go through phases in life, we all do that. But if we continually problematize and moralize in absurdum, we lose the child in the process itself. I would like to see a more softened view of humankind and sexuality. It is malleable, and very susceptible to damage in a sensitive period in the child’s upbringing. I would also like to emphasize that there are ways for a “gay” person to live a life with G-d, keeping the commandments. A gay person is not necessarily more inclined to live a promiscuous life than other people. Just as there are homosexuals who are living a destructive life, there are also many, all to many heterosexuals who do the same. So it is wrong to demonize homosexuals as more “sinful” than other people. Homosexuals, especially if they are young, must have the chance to have good role models, to help them live an orderly, clean and holy life. That is something we would see more of within the heterosexual community. Many heterosexual people live promiscuous lives themselves, so it is not surprising that even gay people think it is okay. Young people who grow and develop, must have good role models even among heterosexuals. We can not demand of young homosexuals to live a holy and pure life in a monogamous relationship, not even in celibate, if we can not make the same demands on heterosexual people!
The Heteronormative lifestyle – A bad model!
Regardless of sexual orientation, it is important that young people moving into adulthood, have access to good role models from adults, gay or straight. Heterosexual people have really failed a lot here. They continue to live their promiscuous life, because they find it to be okay because they’re heterosexual and the society we live in are ruled by the heteronorm! This is a very bad argument that does not hold as an explanatory model. With the same measure we judge homosexuals, by the same measure, we must judge heterosexual behavior, which often is completely unacceptable. Just look at all the TV shows, movies and idols. This heteronormative obsession of sex and idol worshiping we see in our society today is destructive, whether you are heterosexual or a homosexual. Now we understand why even homosexuals fail to reach their parents’ expectations.
You who have grown up with Sunday School may recall the story when G-d created the Earth, the first man and all the animals as if they were clay in the potter’s hands? Do you remember that? I recall a memory from our Sunday School (actually Saturday) in my home village when I was a kid. We children worked with clay after we had heard the Bible story. We created bird whistles, bowls and mugs. It was fun, we felt that we had created something with our own hands with something that first was just a soggy lump. We created something beautiful and we were filled with joy while we worked with the clay. Dirty and happy we could go home and show our homemade things for our families. I am fully confident that G-d felt the same joy over His creation, when he had painted the last brush stroke in the beautiful painting that we today call Creation. Everything around us is good and every born child must be welcomed and loved as the G-d given gift she is. We must also act the same way as G-d and show respect for all life and for fellow human beings. If we let G-d and common sense prevail, we can achieve this goal because we’re gifted with a divine intellect, right?
How has life treated me, a middle aged, homosexual man? I suffer from a severe depression that has led to two suicide attempts. The reason is the way I was treated by fellow human beings who did it because of their religious beliefs. As I never got the “chance” to live a “life in sin,” I am still living in a lifelong celibacy. Through bad “ex-gay therapy,” medications and forced violent acts, it caused me less sexual drive than before, perhaps I have become a eunuch, kind of, which makes me very sad, isolated and alone. I was born and raised in a good family, not especially religious, but we had rules in the family. I did not have an absent father when I grew up. My father was a truck driver and sometimes he took me and my brother to follow him out on the roads. My mother was never dominant, and she never tried to dress me in girls dresses, and no, I was not raped when I was a kid, and we have very good contact with cousins. We kids did everything normal; skiing, hockey, football (soccer), driving snowmobile in the snowy mountains, table tennis, fishing and much more. Where I was born and raised everyone knew each other. The network of social contacts were and are still to this day very strong. But we never abused each other, we never used our freedoms or rights to supress other people.
One things strikes me, approximately 50% of all marriages end up in divorces, leaving many boys alone and vulnerable to “gay influences” in an otherwise Matriarchy environment. It is usually the mothers who receive care of the kids after a divorce. If we are to believe certain commentators, boys growing up with only their mothers or a mother who change boyfriends all the time is a hotbed of developing homosexuality in the boys! Think about all those boys who do grow up without a father! Does that mean that they also become homosexuals? In my situation, both my parents were present and engaged in the upbringing of us children. After school there were always someone at home waiting for us. No one in my village or among friends or cousins got divorced. Divorce is a luxury, reserved for well-off middle class, urban citizens who prefer to think about themselves, where their own careers take precedence over their families needs. That was NOT an option back then and it does not have to be so today! So, who is to blame? Even our Scriptures say that a child must NEVER suffer for the sins of their fathers and the fathers must never suffer for the sins of their sons. And what do we see today? Disaster and calamity! I wish that we could strive to better understanding of matters we don’t know much about, start asking questions, learn more, educate ourselves in things we need more knowledge, make sure we raise our consciousness to a higher plane, to grow and develop our compassionate side, to be a helper.
Read Today’s Quote again!
That reminds me of a fantastic man, who have done so much to challenge the blind stereotyping of people. His name is Oscar Arredondo, a Minnesota artist of Aztec heritage. Read more about him and His exhibition “A Mile in My Moccasins.” Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at University of Minnesota
In depth information: A moccasin is a traditional Native American shoe. The expression, “walk a mile in my shoes” means that before you judge a person, you should experience his/her existence for a period of time. Another example I could speak about is the way the White Man have treated the natives since he stepped his foot on the ground of “The New World,” USA. That was back then when US was in its infancy of becoming a World Nation. From me to all of you, may we remember our bloody history and please, do not repeat the devastating mistakes from the past.
8 The LORD is full of compassion and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always contend; neither will He keep His anger for ever.
(Psalm 103:8-9, JPS 1917)
No, G-d will not keep his anger forever, let us humble ourselves and follow His example; war is over!
© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
אתר הבית של יונתן