Warren et al

I’ve been trying for a long time to come up with a good post on my ever-evolving thoughts on Warren and I just can’t help but still feel that what is happening right now is exactly right.  People should be pissed off.  They should be vocally pissed off.

But I’m not convinced that that means Warren’s invitation should be rescinded.

In the long term, what’s going to be best for all of America is for people like Warren to get their heads out of their butts.  And I don’t think that isolating him helps remove butts from heads.  It just reaffirms their sense of martyrdom and persecution.

What we need to have happen is that we need people to see that, even though they believe themselves to be good people, they do stuff that really hurts people.  In the past, those “good” people have been sheltered from that knowledge because gay people stayed in the closet or they fled to the cities or they were otherwise invisible to those good people.  So, deciding that opposing stuff that really hurts gay people is easier than it should be for “good” people, because they don’t have to face the repercussions of their actions.  Gay people are just not on their radar.

And now!  Now, if perchance some good person does start to get a little nervous or weirded out about how gay people are treated, well, the answer is not for you to worry about the deep and vile hypocrisy of your church or its leaders preaching love but advancing pain and suffering; it’s for the gay people to go to treatment and get “de-gayed.”

Just think about this.  Someone is causing you pain and suffering.  You do all you can to avoid them.  You don’t go to their church.  You move out of their town.  You don’t make too big a deal about yourself so as to try to escape their notice.  And yet… and yet they still do what they can to hurt you.  And their answer is “Just change and I’ll stop hurting you.”

Let me say that again–“Just change and I’ll stop hurting you.”

That’s the “Christian” message towards gay people.  Simple as that; that’s what it boils down to.  Oh, sure, they have a million excuses and justifications for why it’s okay, nay practically their duty to hurt gay people who won’t change.  But, in the end, it boils down to “You’re making me hurt you.”

And folks, it doesn’t take a genius to see that for the abusive nonsense it is.

If you hurt people who have not hurt you, you are doing wrong.

They gay community has been in a tough spot because of this “you’re making me hurt you” nonsense.  On the one hand, sometimes you can stop that kind of nonsense by swinging back a couple of times.  But sometimes fighting back will get you killed.  Sometimes it seems like leaving those kinds of jackasses behind is the safest response, but what if they come after you?

So, there’s no one right response for the gay community to have.

But it is on all people of good-will to demand an end to blaming gays for the troubles certain streaks of Christians cause them.  And part of the way to do that is to call out Warren and the Mormons and their ilk publicly.

And if they aren’t in the public eye, how do we do that?

10 thoughts on “Warren et al

  1. But will that work with people who think of themselves as persecuted, as martyrs, as such good people that the hurt they perpetuate can’t ACTUALLY be painful? That you just misunderstand them?

    In my specific experience, people that dedicated to the idea that they are right and good (despite evidence to the contrary) do not back off – they gaslight and pretend they’ve done nothing at all.

    So while there’s a long shot that not shutting out the evangelicals might eventually bring about some awareness, in my opinion it’s also telling the gay community, “If you just sit there, maybe they’ll stop hitting you. Eventually.”

  2. Yeah, but I don’t think the gay community should just sit there. I think that’s misunderstanding what I’m saying. I think we have to say to Warren and his ilk that they are indeed a part of American society not some quasi-separatist movement that gets to hide every time the going gets tough and that their going is now going to be tough because they are assholes.

    That’s not what Obama is saying because Obama is wrong about this. But that’s what I’m saying. Because I am right. As always. Ha. Ha. blah.

  3. indeed a part of American society

    Well, that makes sense. It’s hard for me, living here, to remember that they feel/talk that way though. It takes being reminded that what feels like a majority to me feels like a minority to them. So being dragged into the mix, as it were, is to say to them, “You don’t get to run away from this just because it’s uncomfortable. Take a good look.” I get that. I don’t think I’d use that tactic myself, and like you I don’t think Obama’s doing that either, but I get it.

    I don’t feel like I’m making a lot of sense, but I hope you understand.

  4. Well, obviously, I’m still sorting it out for myself, too. I don’t think people are wrong to be pissed and furious, but it’s going to happen (and, in fact, I can see downsides to it not happening and I don’t know how to weigh them) and we have to figure out each for ourselves how to make it into an opportunity as well as an insult.

  5. part of the way to do that is to call out Warren and the Mormons and their ilk publicly

    Part of the problem is that even when they are called out, people won’t listen to it. That’s the problem with the “good people” idea. i mean, ultimately I agree with you that alot of “good people” are able to justify their bad actions by not seeing the harm they are causing, but at the same time, those “good people” are very good at not seeing that harm even when it’s thrust out right in front of their faces with lights flashing.

    Take the media coverage of the whole situation with Warren. The man has outright said that entering into a same-sex marriage is an exact equivalent to sexually abusing a child, then emphatically declared that that was precisely what he meant when the interviewer asked for confirmation. Yet, if you read the news it’s simply that gay groups are angry because Warren opposes same-sex marriage.

    It’s like I (the gay community, not me specifically) have my tie stuck in your (the broader straight community, not you specifically or in this case, at all) car door as you’re pulling off. If I say nothing, my head gets ripped off without you even noticing, but if I bang on the window to try and get your attention, not only will you continue to ignore the stuck tie, but you’ll get mad at me for hitting on your car!

  6. Nothing to disagree with in this post. The evangelicals and their fellow travelers for whom this is such a big deal greatly underestimate the psychic damage they cause to millions of good people.

  7. That’s the “Christian” message towards gay people.

    No, that is the message that a large number of professed Christians have towards gay people. But they are wrong. The Christian message is to love God and love one another. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no “love your neighbor **** except if they’re gay!****

    It is truly the church’s greatest shame that so many religious people would feel it is their duty to tell a fellow child of God that there is no place for them at God’s table. Fortunately, not all Christians believe this nor do all churches practice this. I realize enough of them do, and this is hurtful. It is unfortunate that during times of social change, the church tends to respond in error along with the rest of society. The church is a human construct, as is the media, the government, politics, etc. The faith is not.

    For those GLBT brothers and sisters who have a yearning for the spiritual and religious in their lives, there are progressive congregations that will welcome them, their partners and their families. These places exist.

  8. alot of “good people” are able to justify their bad actions by not seeing the harm they are causing, but at the same time, those “good people” are very good at not seeing that harm even when it’s thrust out right in front of their faces with lights flashing.

    This is what I’m still hung up on. Anyone this invested in being right – that their faith is informed by an infallible, inerrant, inspired text – gets very selective in what they see and what they remember and what they will hear if it runs contrary. It’s almost like dealing with narcissism.

  9. The Christian message is to love God and love one another. Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no “love your neighbor **** except if they’re gay!****


    unless there’s some universally recognized, single arbiter of what the “christian message” is and who’s communicating it correctly, in actual lived practice, the “christian message” is exactly whatever any sufficiently influential christian preacher delivers.

    in the case of mr. Warren, the christian message includes homophobia and misogyny. complaining that that’s not “christian enough”, when the person delivering it out of his christian pulpit in his christian megachurch is in fact a christian preacher leading an influential christian congregation, is tetrapyloctomy of the highest order. it’s kin to the “no true scotsman” fallacy, in fact. you say he’s not speaking on the christian message? who made you pope of him?

    Warren is a christian leader, and when he preaches hatred, it is christian hatred he preaches. to say otherwise is to ignore practical reality in favor of some hypothetical ideal of what “christianity” should be, even though it isn’t.

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