Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Awareness -> Transformation

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Exploring the Shadow

Back in March, when I was living in Hawaii, I attended a lecture/discussion about the unrest in the Episcopal Church over the appointment of an openly gay Bishop. Afterwords, I sent an email to the folks who put on the presentation:

It's not the HOMO part.

It’s the SEXUAL part.

As I listened to your excellent talk last Sunday, I tried to put myself in the shoes of these people who are so frightened by the gay bishop, and I realized that the root of their anxiety is not so much that they are uncomfortable with HOMOsexuality but that they are uncomfortable with SEXUALITY. And I don’t feel anger toward them but rather pity, because I am one of them. We are heirs to the Calvinist-Puritan morality and the bourgeois sensibilities of those fundamentalist terrorists who attacked the original homeland security forces of the native Americans. And our morality tells us that sex is evil, wicked, and sinful and its only proper use is for procreation by a man and a woman bound, tied and gagged in holy matrimony and even then, one should derive no pleasure from it. And our bourgeois sensibilities tell us that we must control the chaos of life with our devotion to consistency and uniformity so that we might continue to be blessed with comfort, safety and security.

The protestants of Hawaii were confronted with a crisis in 1873 and here is what they wrote in the newspaper: “Do we consider what this means? It means the disorganization and total destruction of civilization, property values, and industry, of our churches, our contributions, … It means shame, and defeat, and disgraceful overthrow to all that is promising and fair …We are on the brink of a horrible pit, full of loathsomeness, into which our feet are rapidly sliding.” The crisis was leprosy and the protestants attributed leprosy to sexual deviancy. I suspect today’s homophobes could write the exact same sentences to describe their anxiety. They are bourgeoisie with material preoccupations.

What the homophobes need is two-fold:

Moral instruction and guidance on celebrating sexuality. The place to begin is with their own white-bread-missionary-style HETEROsexuality. The day I can have guilt-and-shame-free heterosex is the day I will be non-judgmental about HOMOsex.

They need to be beaten over their bourgeois heads with Matthew 6:19-34

Thank you for challenging me to grow and live and love with intensity.

Well, yesterday I saw a movie that had me squirming in my Calvinist seat.

The first 5 minutes were a full frontal (literally) assault. But I stuck it out and sat through the movie, and now I am really glad I did. Maybe I need to go back and watch it again. I may have missed a lot of the message because I was so uncomfortable.

I doubt this movie would have been made if the religious fundamentalists were not in political power. It was refreshing to be shocked. Uncomfortable, but refreshing.

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