Sunday RoundupPosted: October 10, 2010
Some recent religion, gender, and sexuality blog and news happenings. The shocking number of gay teen suicides in the past months has brought a lot of attention to homophobia and anti-gay bullying:
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint says openly gay people and pregnant single women shouldn’t be allowed to teach children. Note to people who think they can believe this without hurting the targets of their hate: you can’t. These beliefs are bullying – they are abusive to LGBT people and women.
When you tell a gay person to “resist” being gay, what you are really telling them—what you really mean—is for them to be celibate. What you are truly and actually saying is that you want them to condemn themselves to a life devoid of love. Be alone, you’re demanding. Live alone. Don’t hold anyone’s hand. Don’t snuggle on your couch with anyone. Don’t cuddle up with anyone at night before you fall asleep. Don’t have anyone to chat with over coffee in the morning. Do not bind your life to that of another. Live your whole life without knowing that joy, that sharing, that peace.
Just say “no” to love. Be alone. Live alone. Die alone.
Why we’ve all killed Tyler Clementi – Great post at The frog princess about how societal homophobia, including Christian teachings against homosexuality, contributed to Clementi’s suicide. An excerpt:
The problem is that many (most?) Christian teachings tells us that gay people are sinful for being born, even though they’re being born in God’s image. And with that idea rattling around in most people’s mind, it becomes perfectly okay to wage war on everybody who isn’t straight. After all, we’ve got to root out sin, right? This is why we have offshoots from Focus on the Family who decry anti-bullying programs that supposedly push a gay agenda. (Never mind the agenda of treating everyone humanely.)
Yet another young casualty of homophobia: 19 year old Zach Harrington committed suicide a week after attending a public debate in his hometown over a proposed proclamation recognizing October as GLBT history month. Harrington’s family says the many homophobic comments at the hearing contributed to his suicide. (ht Pam’s House Blend)
Thankfully, the attention to this news has sparked discussion about what people of faith can do to address LGBT bullying, and even some anti-gay organizations are dialing back some of their most aggressively homophobic rhetoric:
Exodus International, an “ex-gay” group affiliated with Focus on the Family, has withdrawn its sponsorship of an anti-gay event over concerns that it doesn’t equip kids to treat people who disagree with them with “tolerance and grace.” Though it’s incredibly sad that they sponsored an event intended to undermine attempts to raise awareness about LGBT bullying, this is a small but important step in the right direction.
The link between patriarchal views of gender and conservative politics is also beginning to get a bit more attention:
Feminized Christianity – interesting post at Crooks and Liars about the spread of “muscular,” “masculinized” Christianity and how it’s being used to justify violent and cruel behavior – in this case to defend the firefighters who let a family’s home burn down because they hadn’t paid a $75 fee:
“Critics of the fire department are confused both about right and wrong and about Christianity. And it is because they have fallen prey to a weakened, feminized version of Christianity that is only about softer virtues such as compassion and not in any part about the muscular Christian virtues of individual responsibility and accountability.” – Bryan Fischer.
A Montana woman has been arrested for destroying a museum art print that allegedly depicted Jesus engaging in a sex act (if you might be offended by viewing the images, don’t click on the second link). I found this interesting because as far as I can tell, the print doesn’t make it explicitly clear that the person depicted is Jesus. As one commenter said, “I love how any Italian/Spanish man with long hair and a full beard is automatically “Jesus” in western art. A very clever iconographic dupe by the Catholic church — which is what the piece is about in the first place.” I wonder if the purpose of the print is to challenge our accepted image of Jesus as a white man.