Trigger Warning: Child sex abuse
Content Note: Contains a lot of homophobic and transphobic crap. Don’t look at me I didn’t make the damn movie.
We last left off with Our Heroes discussing how they decided to come out and live as openly gay, even though they still believed the Bible said that what they were doing was wrong wrong wrong wrong.
What happened next? Let’s find out. .
Danielle: I decided to give Christianity a chance. I would start reading the bible and going to church sometimes. I was trying to balance going my own way with also trying to keep god in the picture somehow. But eventually I started saying “I can’t be a Christian. This must be why I’m so depressed. The bible tells me to be this one way, and even though I try, I can’t. That’s why I’m so depressed. I wanted to make good decisions, but I wasn’t a good person and I wasn’t a good friend. I was entering into this identity struggle. So I started becoming more extravagant with my dress and my makeup
(picture of her in lots of eye makeup with what looks like little devil horns.)
She’s probably not wrong. Trying and failing to live up to something you believe is right is a recipe for depression. My depression hasn’t completely disappeared since I stopped believing the bible was right, but I will say the improvement is significant.
Danielle (still talking): If I walked down the street and scared a small child, I thought, “I look good today.”
Okay then. I honestly don’t even know what to say to that. So moving on.
Navy blue: for nearly 40 years I was immersed in “the gay culture.” I told everyone, “I’m gay, there’s nothing I can do about it.” I Ended up living a promiscuous life. There are many gay people that don’t live promiscuously.
Some claim to have been with their partner for 20 years.
Some gay people would claim to be monogamous, but I was sleeping with their boyfriends.
I mean, if you had been a womanizer, you could probably say the same thing about a lot of couples.
I would use the gyms as the #1 spot to pick up men, in the sauna and such. I was “acting out” as many as 3 times in a day with different people 3 or 4 times a week for 20 years.
Okay. I don’t judge. As long as you’re all consenting adults, have at it.
(I actually don’t know precisely what he means by “Acting out.” It’s a direct quote, he doesn’t say what it means precisely.)
Navy blue shirt: For years all that was coming towards me was like, killer sex. Slowly my closest friends began to….
I think I might have lost the train of thought here because I was too busy snickering about “killer sex.” Because that is a direct quote. So I think I missed some of the important stuff, like what led up to this:
Baldy: I watched my friends drop like flies. I’d have unprotected sex with them and they’d be dead 3 months later. I knew I was tempting fate all the time but I couldn’t stop. My sex drive kept going. No matter how awful I felt afterwards, it wasn’t enough to stop me.
Honest question: were condoms a thing back then?
I never really looked into the history of condoms.
Navy blue shirt: straight and gay people are both messed up if they don’t look to the One we need.
In case you were wondering, the one we need is Jesus.
Religion aside, I do kind of agree with what Navyshirt is saying here. There’s this myth that like, gay people are all screwed up. I think it’s important to say things like, “Gay people have problems with certain things, straight people have problems with certain things, sometimes these are the same things. Sometimes they are different things, but nobody’s better than anyone else.” At least, I think that’s what he’s saying…
Baldy: I met a great guy, a millionaire with a house with a pool. I remember thinking, “I’ve arrived.” We can have anything we wanted, and I remember thinking to myself “is this the best it’s gonna be?”
I remember thinking to myself “I’ve got everything that the world says is valuable,” and was like, “that’s it?”
It’s funny, I remember thinking the same thing with Christianity. When I left, I was finally getting what I wanted. I was going to be on the collegiate board, I was going to be allowed to start giving bible studies and doing worship talks, just like I’d always secretly wanted. And the minute I got that, the minute I “arrived,” I was like… “this is it?”
Sometimes God has to bring us to the top to realize that what we’ve been striving for is empty and hollow.
Danielle: I thought I was experiencing a great level of freedom in living the way that I was living, making my own choices. I always had this drive for something more, something more extreme, more fulfilling. I never felt like I reached that place of contentment.
Well, no, of course not. Like I said in the previous installment, freedom begins in the mind. If you still believed that what you were doing was wrong, then no matter how many times you did it, you were still going to feel guilty about it. You were still a slave to religion, and you didn’t even know it. You weren’t free.
Ask me how I know.
Redshirt: If I’m seeking freedom from God’s law—all the thou shalt nots—by giving up and going into the world, I was free form that law. Yet Bible says that the law of god is the law of liberty. So what is my real situation?
Because you weren’t free. Your body was, but your mind wasn’t.
In a way, Redshirt and I are in complete agreement on this matter.
Next the characters all talk about how people in their lives were praying for them. Each person had someone in their lives who was constantly lifting them up in prayer. I’m going to skip over them talking about it because it’s kind of repetitive. But know that they all have that in common.
When Anna talks about her mom praying for her, she starts to cry. I’m kinda surprised she didn’t start crying way before now.
Danielle: I starred looking into different religions of the world, especially Wiccanism(sic). I could relate to women better, so I kinda pictured God as a woman. As I was learning these things and entering into this journey toward spiritual things, my sister and I became friends. When I had chosen to reject God, in a way I had also chosen to reject my family in a large way because mom and sister are Christians.
No, you didn’t. You can reject God and not reject your family. If your family chooses to distance themselves from you if you reject God, that’s their problem, not yours. Although I do sympathize. I know how much that hurts.
Baldy: my sister invited me to an evangelistic series. Dirt floor folding chairs in a tent and I looked at her and of course I didn’t want to go. But I said, “alright, I’ll go.”
See, you guys? No doesn’t actually mean “no,” it means “badger the potential convert until they say yes.”
Danielle then tells us that she went to church with a friend one weekend, and the preacher stood up and said he was going to talk about the crucifixion.
Danielle: And I was like, oh not the crucifixion, anything but that.
Danielle then tells us that the has always associated religion with light happy things. The Bible, however, doesn’t contain a lot of these light things(no shit), and she’s just kind of been overlooking the dark parts of it.
Danielle: And the preacher said, “you’re probably thinking, why that, anything but that.” It was exactly what I was thinking
Danielle has explained why she doesn’t want to hear about the crucifixion. But why would a pastor assume his congregation doesn’t want to hear about it? The crucifixion is kind of one of the focal points of Christianity.
Live Audience: Amen!
Of course, the power of God. How silly of me. He has the power to make pastors read minds.
Navy shirt and Danielle are mostly carrying the narrative now. Danielle spent the rest of that day after church wrestling with God over what she had heard in that sermon. She’s seen in her life that some of her decisions took her from the light and forced her into the darkness. What the preacher said that day made a lot of sense to her.
Navy shirt: I had the christian upbringing and knew from the bible that I wasn’t pleasing god. There had to be a solution, because god didn’t create this world but leave me with no answers.
It is at this point that I notice the background music that’s been playing this entire time is very repetitive. Just the same few notes over and over. It’s just now beginning to annoy me.
Navy shirt: God now had a “captive audience.”
He doesn’t say why he refers to himself as a captive audience. I mean, that’s what my friend in prison used to call himself when I’d send him 20 page letters. Was Navyshirt in prison and forgot to mention it? It’s a direct quote so I’m confused.
Navyshirt(still speaking): And I began to contemplate the fact that all my gay friends were dead. I began to think about my destiny. Like, Wayne, what’s gonna happen to you? How does this turn out? How does this all end? When I stopped blaming God and started using logic, I wondered how I could be born gay. I went back and tried to figure out how I’d turned out this way, and then I remembered being molested and came to the realization that I was “Derailed” in my childhood.
I could absolutely agree with the fact that being sexually abused would have derailed him, would have derailed anyone, in some way. Being sexually abused messes with people’s heads, to put it mildly.
However, being sexually abused by someone of the same gender does not cause one to become gay. I actually wish this hadn’t been brought up, because now people are going to get the impression that it does. This is going to have the effect of further stigmatizing abused children, who will now be watched more closely to make sure they don’t catch the gay.
These horrid motherfuckers.
And If I could be de-railed, why couldn’t’ I be re-railed?
It’s true that you can heal from having been sexually abused. But you should probably turn to a professional therapist, not the bible.
Navyshirt: I heard God say, “can you hear me now?”
God must have terrible cell service up in heaven. He should switch to Verizon.
(Navyshirt still speaking) You’ve been blaming me your whole life for being gay, and you know what caused this? Satan. Satan caused this.
It really is too bad I quit drinking. I could’ve played a drinking game, and one of the rules would be to drink every time Satan got blamed.
Redshirt: I was in a committed relationship [with a man] for life, and we loved each other a lot. I realized as I read the bible that I had to make a choice between this man, who I’m involved with, and Jesus, who gave his life for me.
Here is where I started to feel sorry for Redshirt. Redshirt never stopped believing in the nonsense, and now he feels he has to choose between the nonsense and the love of his life.
If Jesus really does exist, and he would want someone to have to make such a choice, then he is indeed a cruel being and I do not wish to worship such a god.
Baldy starts talking next. He says he got baptized before he started to deal with his sexuality, because God knew that Baldy had to make a commitment to Him. Baldy then starts talking about how Satan did not want to let him go, and I take an imaginary drink.
(It’s probably a good thing I wasn’t playing with real alcohol; they’d have had to call the ambulance after I passed out.)
Redhsirt: The man who I was deeply in love with turned on me. By the time we got through that episode, I looked like I’d been in a car wreck. I was almost killed.
I take back what I said earlier. Religion or no religion, Redshirt needed to get away from this guy. If Redshirt’s Boyfriend is the type to get physically violent when his partner tries to leave, then I’d put good money on the fact that he was some kind of abusive while in the relationship.
The Lord spared my life, but let me go through that trauma. He let me go through that to show me who I was dealing with, to show me that I was in bondage and needed deliverance from that relationship. When I followed Jesus I turned away and never went back.
Out of one abusive relationship into another.
It sounds as though, at least for Redshirt, he was unhappy in life for 2 reasons:
- He still believed biblical nonsense that homosexuality is wrong
- His boyfriend was abusive
Christianity was familiar, Christianity seemed safe. At times, we all want something safe and familiar to go back to. I can kinda see why Redshirt would go straight back to religion, especially if he had people in his life who were encouraging him to do just that.
Baldy: When I left, I wanted to know if I’d ever know what it was like to be loved again.
Maybe not romantically, no.
Baldy: (still speaking)I loved Jesus and wanted to serve him with my whole heart. And I wondered how God could ask me to give up something that was so good.
Why indeed. Why would a loving God want you to give up a part of who you are? Especially since this particular thing hurts no one.
Anna then talks about a conversation she had with a friend. Anna asked this friend how God could possibly ask her to give up being a lesbian. Her friend replied, “Anna, how can you give something up for someone you don’t even know?”
And this just completely blew Anna’s mind. She learned that she’d have to get to know God in order to give her life and her sexuality to him.
Setting aside for the moment that I’m an atheist, I believe Anna’s friend is right. In order to give up something for God, you have to know him.
(Of course, the more I got to know of him the less I liked and the less willing I became to give myself over to him, but that’s another blog post entirely.)
Navyshirt: Like many gay people, I was praying for God to make me straight. I know there are a lot of people who are saying that it’s God’s fault they’re not straight, because they prayed and God didn’t change them.
Well, yes. God says you must change. God has power to change. God does not change. This isn’t rocket science, people.
Still Speaking: It was like a lightening bolt to me to learn that God is not about your sexuality. The enemy had convinced me that my identity was in sex, in my quests for how I matched up sexually rather than my identity in Jesus Christ. This is not about sexual persuasion, but about finding out who I am in accordance with God’s plan. And I remember going into my kitchen and mixing myself a double midori (sp) margarita, and I went back to the living room and sat down and opened the word of God and I started reading. The lord just met me where I was.
First off, can I just say how cool it is that he remembered exactly what he drank, and that he feels the need to tell us exactly what he drank? I mean, that’s kind of an odd detail to remember and an even odder detail to mention to an audience full of Adventists.
I do wonder how much Bible study he was able to do with the Margarita in his system. Maybe that’s why it all started making sense to him. (Kidding…. kidding…relax…. I’m kidding. I think.)
I think this is kind of a good stopping point. I kind of want to keep going and power through to the end, but I really do have a test to study for and I’m really scared I’ll fail.
I’m sorry for dragging this out so much, guys. But Jesus didn’t answer my prayers for a better memory, so I guess I’ll just have to study harder.