Originally Posted by Wanderer
I know that this is a bit more of a rant than anything else, but is anyone else out there running into this kind of nonsense *within* the gay community?
One thing that I run into a lot, and I'm sure many of us have, is something I call religi-phobia in the gay community. Many people really think that religion has caused most of the ills of our Western world, and as a result they demonize "religious" people. While I certainly sympathize with this view, and am the first to criticize the Christian tradition for being racist, homophobic, elitist, and complicit with some of the strangest and most cruel forms of violence in history, I think it is unfair to do this without appreciating the positive things that religion and spirituality have given people.
It's surprisingly similar to hear arguments from the Christian right that gay people are leading to the downfall of our nation, and from liberal friends of mine who believe that conservative Christians are doing the same. Of course, it is fine, even good and necessary, to have disagreements, but when people shut down to the other side and demonize we miss out on the good parts of both. I have been really bitter against the church for being homophobic and it has been really necessary for me to express my outrage about that. But I have also gotten even more out of expressing my appreciation for the church and the way that it can be a central part of a community that is focused on making sustainable decisions, caring for young and old, inspiring people to charitable works and giving, and engage in loving relationships.
I really like the way that it is put in the Soulforce commitment steps on this site, that it is not the people we are fighting, but ignorance. It can be really hard to not demonize and not be outraged at a group that has spread lies and used its power to keep rights out of your reach, and I am certainly guilty of it at times. But what can we work on together? How can we create forums for calm education to counter ignorance in conservative religious groups where we listen as much as we educate? I think that the criticism of the queer community from those groups stems from a disappointment on behalf of conservative groups that youth going forward will disregard and cast aspersions on traditions which, though certainly troubled, have been very positive and life-giving.