The vicious cycle of guilt: A post-mortem on TheCall

September 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm 115 comments

(Linda Liles found a good outlet to express her feelings about TheCall Sacramento — she wrote up this compelling guest post last night for the P8TT community to discuss on this beautiful Sunday. If you haven’t read Linda’s first guest post about coming out to her mother, check it out after you read her analysis below. — Eden)

By Linda Liles

In Arisha’s first installment of her coverage of the ‘TheCall’ convergence she recounted a conversation she had with a young man. In the course of the conversation she pointed out the contradiction of being pro-life and pro-death penalty; to which the young man replied, ‘Yeah it’s all mixed up. Man mixes things up.”

This quote, coupled with the general tone of the conversation made me feel a deep empathy for this man. He has been through a lot, and has accomplished a lot towards getting his life back on track; but the message I picked up from what Arisha relayed was a deep current of guilt.

Guilt.

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We have a wonderful family in our community on P8TT; and among us we have representatives of many different faiths, and many denominations within those faiths. We also have those who are atheist; those who are spiritual; those who are agnostic. In short, we are all-encompassing; and I believe we are to be commended for the lengths we all go to in making sure that what we express is not critical of or offensive to others.

And most of the time we are successful in that endeavor. In sharing my perspective I have no desire to break that unwritten code of tolerance and civility. The observations I am about to make are not to be taken as criticisms of true Christianity. In fact, it offends me that our opposition is allowed to wear that identity. But having been raised in an extreme, fundamentalist Christian household I feel a need to speak to the negative impact this false Christianity can have.

And the main component of this brand of Christianity is guilt.

Guilt is mandatory. Guilt is humbling; guilt actually proves that you’ve sinned, because the guilt you feel is God convicting you of your sin. And when you feel that guilt, then you need to repent and ask for forgiveness. And this is where they take control; because from then on every time you slip up or make a mistake it is labeled as a sin; sin equals guilt, which must then lead to repentance, forgiveness, etc. etc. It’s a vicious cycle that keeps the victim permanently guilt-ridden. There is always something to feel guilty about. And with that guilt come low self-esteem, and low self-worth. That’s what I picked up on in the young man Arisha was conversing with on Friday night.

That guilt is extremely valuable to these pseudo-Christian leaders; and they know exactly how to take full advantage of it. They begin by listing all the wrongs—in the world, in this country, in the state; and then they put the blame for all those wrongs on the people who are in attendance. And they proceed to list all the wrongs of the people—wrong actions, wrong thoughts, wrong effort, wrong amount of passion for Christ, wrong level of commitment to God—it starts to get very serious at this point, and then the attendees are called on to repent of their sins, over and over; and they are pleading with God to forgive them.

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And then, after all that emotional turmoil, these people are instructed to pledge their lives to serving God and righting the wrongs their previous sins caused. And this time, they are not to live as passive Christians; no! They must be warriors, on the front lines. “The line is drawn, the weapons are ready, we will not back down, we will not give in!” How many times have I heard that growing up. So of course, the exhausted, emotionally spent, guilt-ridden attendees are going to pledge to do anything; anything to keep from sinning and feeling that awful guilt again.

And then, those deceitful leaders turn from being the accusers to being the recruiters, and all of a sudden those in attendance are Godly, righteous people who will stand against……whatever, it doesn’t matter. The intent at this point is to bring home the awareness that now that they’ve repented they have the freedom to judge and condemn all those who have not repented.

And, ohhh! That feels so good! Finally the attention is off their sins and on the sins of someone else. Finally they’re the good guys; the righteous guys! The adrenaline rush is incredible now; they are ready to go into battle; they are ready to do God’s work and rid the world of the evilness of sin….as manifested in….oh, let’s see….abortion clinics, planned parenthood offices, GSA organizations, LGBT-friendly businesses, churches that perform same sex marriage ceremonies, funerals of soldiers, any candidate for political office who supports something they do not believe in…. in short, any entity that does anything that can be interpreted as contradicting God’s Absolutes.

And it all started with guilt.

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When I got out from under this type of oppressive form of Christianity one of the first things I did was release myself from all the baggage I was carrying because of guilt. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to take that load of guilt off my shoulders and toss it in the trash.

I’m done feeling guilty. I freely acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes; and I am endeavoring to learn from them. But I will not carry guilt for the rest of my life because of them.

As an LGBT community we are carrying more than our share of guilt, aren’t we? And we see the effects. We see the low self-esteem; we see the self-doubt; we see the depression. But do we see how we are being manipulated by all of that? It’s that guilt that makes us wonder if we really have the right to come out. It’s that guilt that makes us question ourselves when confronted with condemning scriptures. It’s that guilt that makes us willing to live as less than equal; to hide ourselves to keep from offending others; to lie about our partners; to stay silent when someone speaks against us.

Guilt!

Can we, as a community, make a pledge to each other? Anonygrl started it here on P8TT by asking us to promise to live; Richard added to that pledge by promising to not only live, but to do all he can to help others live as well. My addition would be this: Can we all promise to forgive ourselves and release ourselves from that guilt? Let’s accept that we are living our lives the best way we know how, and let that be sufficient. Let’s look ahead with hope and enthusiasm; embracing each new day with eager anticipation. Let’s rise up out of our persecution, and claim our equality.

Life is a process; and I believe the point is to live it; and to live it as freely as possible.

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An equality supporter and a volunteer for TheCall engage in a debate about the event on Saturday.

Entry filed under: Community/Meta, TheCall.

#TheCallTurnoutFAIL exposed: Organizers planned for 30,000, not 6,000; Endless, empty blocks of JumboTrons, Porta-Potties unused VIDEOS: Three of the “best” moments from TheCall (Open Thread)

115 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann S.  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Subscribe me, baby.

    Reply
    • 2. Ann S.  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      I am fortunate not to have been raised in a religious tradition that subscribed to this kind of guilt.

      Reply
  • 3. Sagesse  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Subscribing…. will read soon, after erranding is done.

    Reply
  • 4. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Wonderful Linda. Guilt is indeed very destructive.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

    Reply
  • 5. Monte  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Excellent article! Wish I could share this on Facebook, but there’s no link to share there, only on Twitter. Which I retweeted it…

    Reply
  • 6. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Forgot to subscribe.

    Reply
  • 7. Kathleen  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Beautiful post, Linda. Thank you!

    Monte, you can copy the url from your browser, then attach it as a link to a status update on facebook.

    Reply
    • 8. Kathleen  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      And forgot to subscribe

      Reply
    • 9. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      there is also an addon that exists for both Firefox and Chrome browsers called Shareholic. One click and a person can share anything, on any networking site.

      I often use it to share such articles :)

      Reply
  • 10. Lightning Baltimore  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    A wheel on your crucifix is CHEATING!

    Reply
    • 11. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

      LB–

      And I don’t get the whole concept of carrying a cross around anyway.

      Here’s the thing–Christ’s death and resurection was so that we could have the *gift* of eternal life (according to Christian doctrine). Now how many of you, upon receiving a gift, set out to pay for it?

      Loans you repay; gifts you accept.

      Reply
    • 12. Carpool Cookie  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      Yeah….what the Sam Hill is that all about ? ? ?

      Reply
      • 13. Tracy  |  September 5, 2010 at 7:18 pm

        Probably no one is reading this thread anymore … but I saw that cross and the first thing I thought was …. Doesn’t that guy realize that Jesus is watching him walk around dragging that wimpy cross with a WHEEL on it? That is such an insult! Dude, this is not a piece of luggage.

        Reply
  • 14. Bolt  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Interesting post. I’ve never been exposed to religion while growing up, so when I moved into the “real” world, I’ve never understood the need for religion.

    I’ve never read anything like this. How fascinating.

    Reply
  • 15. The Reverend Canon Susan Russell  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Brava and AMEN!!! And do NOT be surprised if some your powerful witness ends up in next Sunday’s sermon here at All Saints Church in Pasadena. I’m “up” and the working title is “Changing Hearts, Changing Minds” … reaching the hearts and minds that are yearning to be free of the guilt, shame and damage done in the name of the Jesus who came to preace peace and goodwill to ALL.

    Traditional religous values are love, justice and compassion — not bigotry, discrimination and hatred. Thank you for sharing your story and may God bless you on your journey!

    (The Reverend) Susan Russell, All Saints Church [Pasadena]

    Reply
    • 16. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Rev.–
      You honor me. Yes, here is what I’ve found:

      Guilt=unworthiness=indebtedness=enslavement

      And why were we taught that we are worthless? If God gave his son, then obviously we are the most priceless treasure there is!

      Reply
    • 17. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

      Wonderful for me to know there are preachers like you! I grew up with the Fire and Brimstone of the Presbyterian Church – (the PCA – a very, very strict sect).

      The church had an actual schism about whether or not to use a guitar in Sunday service. Once the decision was made to do so, many members of the church were suddenly “called” to plant a church on the other side of town.

      There was also a huge emphasis on social Christianity. The one outspoken Democrat family in the church was basically run out of it on a rail. According to the elders, it wasn’t possible to vote Democrat and be a Christian.

      Reply
  • 18. Ray in MA  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Thanx again Linda! Excellent A+.

    As an of friend of mine used to say:

    “Why waste good guilt ?!?”

    Reply
  • 19. Don in Texas  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.
    – Sigmund Freud

    Reply
  • 20. Tim  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was brought up in that guilt household also, and back then it did feel so good to beat down on other people. Until finally I stopped to think and wonder why… I had to… feel so guilty, and in so much pain all the time… I realized I was actually beating on my own head!!! (inside & out). I might sound crazy, but hopefully it’s something I can pass on that can give those around me a much better idea when I try to tell them of the horrible things that I had to get rid of in my life.

    Reply
  • 21. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Very well said, Linda. Thank you!!

    Reply
  • 22. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Yes, Linda, I, too, know exactly how freeing it is to dump that load of toxic guilt into the trash. And that is why I do everything I can to look for the good in those around me. It isn’t always easy to find, but at the same time, because my focus is on looking for the good in people, I am better able to see true evil when it surfaces. Evil such as this event in Sacramento Friday evening and yesterday. And yes, I will continue to do this, because it is the only way I can live with myself. And if I intend to live with anyone else, or even to work around other people, I have to be able to live with myself first. And that means a freedom from toxic guilt that others try to force on me simply because they have a different POV than mine.
    You were so right to call these people who perpetrate these kinds of events and this type of guilt pseudo-Christians. They are not true Christians by any stretch of the imagination, but only in their delusions. I have seen true Christians on this site, and many of them actually follow other spiritual belief systems. Some are Musilm, some are Bhuddists, some are agnostic, some even say they are atheists. But I have seen more people on this site who actually follow the teachings of Rabbi Yoshua ben Yosef of Nazareth, without calling themselves Christian, than I have seen at events like this which are planned and conducted by those on the far right radical fringe who lie and call themselves Christians.

    Reply
  • 23. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Wonderful, and very true. I grew up under that myself. The worst part was that my Depression, from years of abuse from family and this kind of emotional abuse from the church, was also included in something I was guilty for.

    It took me 15 years to ask for real help. It has only been recently, after years of reading about what Depression actually is and what causes it, that I have realized it is NOT my fault. That realization has freed me to really get help and take medication and do what I need to do.

    The abuse wasn’t my fault. I am not guilty for it. I can put the blame squarely where it belongs, and free myself of that guilt. I can now start the process of forgiveness and understanding for the person who is guilty of bad actions.

    Thank you for sharing this. Every time I read this sort of story, I realize I am not alone and that I can find my way out of this.

    Reply
    • 24. Kathleen  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Rhie, I’m so glad to hear you’re getting real help. And glad you’re still here to tell your story. Thank you.

      Reply
      • 25. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm

        Thank you! Yes, and it is definitely a journey. Kind comments like this – from strangers no less! – help so much.

        Reply
      • 26. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

        I second Kathleen’s thought… it is wonderful that despite all that you were strong enough to find your way.

        We cry over those who don’t make it, and we embrace and celebrate those who do. And Richard is right, you may not know us, but we are not strangers, welcome to the family!

        Reply
    • 27. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Rhie, you are no longer among strangers. Even though we have not met face to face, P8TT is a family, and you are now part of this family. Pull up a chair, grab some cookies and MILK, pour yourself some coffee if you want, and feel free to be who you are, and to share anything you want to share. This is a safe place, a haven. And if anybody makes the mistake of attacking you, we have your back!

      Reply
      • 28. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:35 pm

        Aw you make me cry, but in good way :)

        Thank you, so much. I will definitely take some coffee – with milk!

        This is really a special place and I am glad to have found it.

        The funny thing about this post is that I was just discussing guilt yesterday with my Grandma. She was telling me that my Dad being an (emotional and verbal) abuser was NOT my fault, it was HIS pride and anger.

        It’s hard to believe that sometimes, after years and years of being told that children need to honor their parents with the implication that if they don’t they deserve whatever they get. Then I read this just the next day! The guilt isn’t gone, yet. But I am getting there.

        I just noticed your user name and following comment – congratulations!

        Reply
      • 29. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks, Rhie. And you are so right–it does take time to get rid of the guilt. But I am so glad I have been able to do so. It is such a freeing experience, somewhat akin to being buried underneath a skyscraper and having all of the wreckage of that skyscraper bulldozed off of you. At least, that is what it felt like to me.

        Reply
      • 30. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

        Richard – I agree! it is freeing! I feel like I am a swingset, going as high as possible with nothing to hold me down, heh.

        Reply
      • 31. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm

        And, Rhie, wait until you do that first 360 on the swing! Talk about exhilirating!

        Reply
      • 32. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

        Walter – I just had an idea for poster

        A person on a swing, at the top of the arc that is made of a rainbow, just looking happy, with the words “I’m free!” underneath.

        the best part of shedding the guilt is tapping into creative talents that were seen as wrong or at least something a girl just “doesn’t do” (very strict gender roles in my church). I love to draw and paint and collage.

        How do you express your joy? :)

        Reply
      • 33. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm

        It takes different forms, depending on what is going on. Sometimes I write short stories or poems, sometimes songs, sometimes I write in my blog, and then there is my counted cross stitch, sewing and other crafts, or even baking. And before I forget, there is spoiling BZ and the puppies!

        Reply
      • 34. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:18 pm

        Sounds like we have the same hobbies :). I spoil my cat. Skippy. Pets are the best.

        I also enjoy spending time with J, my boyfriend.

        Reply
    • 35. Rhie  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      Anonygirl – still finding my way. Glad I found my way here! I think it’s just so awesome that really bad court decision led to really awesome community :)

      Thank you! I have the warm fuzzies now. I have always had to make my own family. Thank you for including me here :) *Big hugs and brownies all around*

      Reply
  • 36. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    “The observations I am about to make are not to be taken as criticisms of true Christianity. In fact, it offends me that our opposition is allowed to wear that identity.”

    Linda, Great writting!
    I have been going over and over in my mind just how I would say that. I don’t want to be critical of Christianity as I have been a Christian all my life.
    But since this whole prop 8 fiasco started I have been slowly pulling (being pushed) away from being a Christian and to be honest that scares me.

    At the same time I question; Do I want to be associated with a community of people that preach love for the common good yet do more judging of others than living thier own lives as they preach?
    I hope I said that in a way that makes sence. I can’t type fast enough to get these thoughts out before they dissapear in a sea of fustration and love in my head.

    In the past couple years I have thought long and hard and have come to one conclusion.
    I am a Christian! Yet one that believes in what God has instilled in my heart, not what man has written in the bible.

    I will use MY Christianity to love and respect all people to the best of my ability. I think that is what my God wants us to do.

    So I’m seperating myself from THIER christianity because like you said so perfectly Linda.” I’m offended!”

    Thier Christianity is the cause of too much hate oppression,pain and turmoil in this world!

    Please forgive spelling and grammar :)
    With much LOVE and RESPECT for you all Tim…

    Reply
    • 37. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm

      Tim–
      I think we have all experienced that same sort of dichotomy when it comes to the labeling of our beliefs. What we are presented through events such as ‘TheCall’ is an example of Christianity that is in direct opposition to what we experience from folks on this site who claim the same faith name.

      It leaves many of us perplexed. Our initial reaction is to rail against those evil Christians (Roman Catholics, Mormons, Evangelicals), and yet, when we do that we end up offending the very people we are uniting with.

      My own personal struggle with religion has ended differently than yours; but I do understand that need to re-evaluate your personal belief system.

      I am forever changed in my perception of people of faith because of this site. I honestly had no idea that there were so many who had managed to find a way to follow Christianity *and* accept people for who they are.

      Reply
    • 38. AndrewPDX  |  September 5, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      @ Tim I feel the same, which is why I can no longer use the term ‘Christian’ to mean a ‘follower of Christ’ — these guys have sullied that term for me. Richard calls them CINO (Christians In Name Only), which is so true.

      I know in my heart that what I believe is true, and that the God I follow is one of Love and Respect, not one of fear and hate and guilt. Listen to your heart, to what God says directly to you, and you cannot go wrong.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
    • 39. Santa Barbara Mom  |  September 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      “I will use MY Christianity to love and respect all people to the best of my ability. I think that is what my God wants us to do”

      Nicely put, Tim. It is my firm belief that is what God wants us to do. And all that He asks is that we try our best………sometimes we will fall, we are not perfect, but we just keep trying to do our best.

      And thank you, Linda, for calling these people “pseudo-Christians”………..it makes a clear distinction.

      Reply
  • 40. Fake Name  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Linda, You are a wonderful wonderful lady, an inspiration to all.

    Reply
  • 41. Sheryl Carver  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Guilt is one of the primary ways the RCC hierarchy keeps its members in line. I recall quite clearly from Catechism class, “Jesus died for our sins.” Wow – how do you let go of that one when you’re a little kid? Or even as an adult, if you still believe it then?

    My maternal grandmother (non-Catholic) lived moved in with us when I was 8, after my grandfather died. She was a master at using guilt to manipulate others. It worked on me for a while, but as I got older & watched her doing the same to my mother, I realized what was going on. Between the RCC & my grandmother, I think I’m now quite immune to anyone trying to use guilt on me. I’m still working on letting go of self-imposed guilt, however.

    I obviously have a very negative opinion of the RCC. That does NOT extend to any individual Catholic; certainly no one in this community.

    Reply
  • 42. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you, Linda, for such an excellent and heartfelt piece on guilt. It really cut to the quick.

    I still fight the specter of guilt, though I left any semblance of Christianity behind more than half my life ago. My guilt comes from my parents, in part, and my elementary school teachers. As the oldest of three sons, and having a 6-year head start on my brothers, I was so often fed the lie of having to be better and set the example. Between that and my mom’s back problems (including 4 spinal fusion surgeries), I had to become a part-time parent for my brothers. And I just didn’t pass muster. Guilt.

    Certain of my teachers, between 3rd and 7th grade, damaged me further. In 3rd grade, we were studying native Americans and the class was organized into tribes. In a fit of exuberance at being chosen ‘medicine man’ for my tribe I did my best imitation of a war dance. When my tribe’s “chief” complained to the teacher, her face turned sour and I lost my position within the tribe; one of many subtle abuses I faced at her hands. Guilt.

    4th grade was better, but the teacher didn’t seem to like anybody and punished us fairly harshly for any indiscretions. Guilt.

    5th grade brought about the worst teacher I ever had. I had been reluctant to do homework since the 1st grade, because it was too easy and too much repetition for me (I was put in the gifted student program in 3rd grade, the earliest they’d admit a student), besides writing hurt my wrists. Nobody was able to convince me to do my homework beyond what I needed to make passing grades, and it was my 5th grade teacher that started shoveling the nonsense of “wasting my potential” at me. Guilt. Sure, she may have been right, but she offered no solutions, only criticism. Worse, she was my teacher for English and silent reading in 7th grade.

    Had it not been for having a good teacher for 6th grade, who encouraged us and gave us suggestions on improving ourselves, my career up until graduating high school could have been a lot different.

    Then, in high school, I questioned faith, the Bible, everything around me. I became an atheist nearly overnight. Not knowing of other faiths out there, except for a vague notion that Buddhism existed, I became rather depressed. More guilt. Fortunately, toward the end of high school I found a new group of friends who espoused a totally different mindset than I’d ever encountered. I didn’t know until my last semester of HS that they were Wiccans. I joined the coven right after I graduated, and began a long road of recovery from the guilt.

    I’m still damaged, as I posted once before, but through Wicca I’ve found self-worth and a reason to fight for not only equality for myself and other Wiccans, but also recognition and acceptance. I think that is one more reason, besides all the LGBT friends I have, that I come to P8TT so often, why I speak out and fight the hate: we are all fighting the same fight. We fight for equality, acceptance of our differences, and for our dignity.

    And to ditch the guilt. How I wish there were an emoticon for a wry grin! ;)

    Anyways, some days the guilt gets the better of me, and I feel bad. But I pledge to keep moving forward, and to fight injustice and intolerance in any way I can.

    Whew. Time for a cookie.

    Reply
    • 43. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Chris, Just remember one thing.
      There is nothing wrong with you!
      Love Tim…

      Reply
      • 44. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:22 am

        Thanks, Tim! Most of the time I do remember. It’s just the programming that’s so hard to overcome.

        Reply
      • 45. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 6, 2010 at 8:45 am

        We will be here to help you remember that, and to share cookies, MILK, coffee (with French vanilla, vanilla caramel, hazelnut, amaretto, and original creamers, and sugar), challah, fruit salad, and so many other treats. Pull up a chair and stay around. And thanks for being part of the P8TT family!

        Reply
    • 46. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Chris–
      Have two cookies!

      Your experience in school reminds me a lot of my son. He too struggled with the whole homework thing…to bright to be willing to go through the busy-work of endless math sheets and spelling lists; he virtually flunked out of 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades–his extremely high scores on the state tests were the only reason he was not held back (that, and his mother wouldn’t hear of it!)
      Interestingly though, when he started high school things just smoothed out for him. And now he bringing home straight A’s.
      Schools are institutions, and institutions require conformity (which I oppose). Any child who does not or cannot conform is going to be less than successful.

      I am glad you have found your niche.

      Reply
      • 47. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        Goodness–I guess we see what happens when no one edits my writing for me! Sorry for the typos!

        Reply
      • 48. Bennett  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

        lol. no worries, see next post.

        Reply
      • 49. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

        Thanks, Linda! I’m sorry your son had to go through that in school, too. Pink Floyd was right, school can be a dehumanizing meat grinder, especially for the awkward ones like me who didn’t fit in. :) I did much better at JC when I was on my own dime.

        Reply
  • 50. Bennett  |  September 5, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Ah, now here is a topic on which I am an expert. I was taken to church the Sunday after I was born (old fashioned Church of Christ, no baptism no salvation) for 18 years and sent to Fundamental Baptist School (baptism comes after salvation and if you dont believe that abondon all hope). Who needs a child hood of weekly being hung over the pit of hell and screamed at how the thread holding me could be cut at any time.

    Think about this folks. Do I belive what my parents teach me or what my Baptist school teachers teach me? Each is was mutually exclusive and choosing the wrong one sends you hell (that would be the literal one too.)

    Interesting to note how the other little boys and girls at the Christian school loved to make fun and say “gay”, long before I even knew what that was all about. Actually it was their parents that told them not to play with, invite to parties, ect. ect. I figured it out much later.

    So, all above, I dealt with the lonliness then, but now the depression, then with the tourettes syndrome that you loved to make fun off (won’t blame you for the syndrome, just the making fun), (good little regenerate Christian kids?)but yes, for the panic attacks, the OCD, and general mental issues that your belief system saddled me with. I was never good enough I guess becuase you knew something was different about me, but I was very Christian at heart, I just didnt take the systematic thing. Funny how I never hated.

    So your work is done, raiseing all you little offspring of joshuas and jacobs to be just like yourselves. Please give them a chance and dont polute their minds. Also, considering that you feel they may go to hell if they dont live right, you must have a lot of confidence in your selves as paranents. For me, I choose not to continue the cycle of stupidity. My mind believes what I was taught, but I am sure it isnt so. I would never bring a child into this world you have created.

    Reply
    • 51. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Reading your post, I cry for the child you were, and am glad for the adult you have become.

      Welcome, and be sure that we will not make fun of you, or torment you or abuse you if you are different. We share our differences here, and do what we can to lift spirits, even if all we can do is say “Be welcome, have an internet cookie and a glass of virtual Milk, and put your feet up by the cyber fire and relax with us. Share your sorrows, share our joys.”

      And that is how it SHOULD be everywhere. I am so sorry that for you, it was not. I think the most wonderful line in your story is “Funny how I never hated.” How strong you must be! And that is fantastic.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      Reply
  • 52. Sean  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    There’s only one thing I can possibly say in response to such a wonderful, insight post. And that is this:

    Amen.

    Reply
  • 53. Bob  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    you go sister, well said,

    for all of us struggling, I always remember Straight Grandmothers saying ‘We don’t knkow, what we don’t know”

    having done much readiing and research trying to figure all this out, i was feeling rather like I was getting somewhere, in terms of bible stories, but just the other day I finished reading “The girl with the dragon tatoo” and know I realize I never new anything about the Apocrypha, or hidden books of the bible, jeez, a whole section of bible stories that were deleted from the bible as I know it, because of the time they were written. Ya see I didn’t know that I didn’t know. Someone else at a time way back when made a decision for me about what to include in this book dictated by god, as they say.

    What to do now, anyway I’m coming to a different place with my spritituality too, as a christian, I spend less time searching books for answers, and more time feeling and experiencing peoples actions and my responses to love. Not something written about in a book, but an actual human experience, and way of being.

    I am feeling more willing to let go of what I think I know, and realize there is more that I don’t know, and accept that I will never know it all, at some point (which for me becomes more real, considering I am on palliative care) I will just have to take that giant leap of faith, standing on the edge of the cliff, letting go of guilt, accepting a faith which includes the unkown, and step over the edge , somehow I am feeling more and more at peace wth the reality that I don’t know what comes next, and the letting go of a lifetime of belief frees me imensely to opn up and embrace love in so many ways that were previously blocked by defending a belief.

    By the way the experience in the Anglican Chuch confirms Linda’s message, that guilt is a useless tool, unless you want to control someone, this is the present day reformation in the christian church, stop preaching about sin and guilt, and start celebrating life and love. how freeing.

    Reply
  • 54. Bennett  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Thought you all might want to know what they teach kids in those nice little christian schools. Actually what they scream at kids week after week after week. Please, no matter how bad your public school is, never, ever, send your kids to a private baptist christian school. Here is a little taste from one of their favorites . . . Charles Spurgeon.

    Perhaps at this moment, seven o’clock in the evening, a child is just going into hell. To morrow, go and knock at the gates of hell and ask what the child is doing. The devils will go and look. They will come back again and say, the child is burning. Go in a week, you will get the same answer, it is burning; Go in a year and ask the same, it is burning. Go in a million of years and ask the same question, the answer is just the same–it is burning.

    See the little girl in the fifth dungeon, in the red hot oven, looks to be about 13 or so. Hear how it screams to come out; see how it turns and twists itself about in the fire. It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor.” How merciful of God to have taken the child at such a young age. She had been disobedient to her parants. If God had not taken her, she would have continued to be disobedient, and, when she died, God would have had to turn the fire up even hotter.

    Reply
    • 55. Carpool Cookie  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      What’s so strange about those types of stories is….Where’s there a story like that in the Bible?

      (At one point, two bears do come luching out of the woods to tear apart a group of kids for teasing a bald man, though. But I’d take that over the oven!)

      Reply
  • 56. Bennett  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    MotherF$#&$%!

    Reply
    • 57. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Bennett–
      You have been abused; and I don’t use that phrase lightly. But what you have described is absolutely emotional abuse.

      You are right to be angry at your abusers.

      I am truly sorry you have had to endure such trauma.

      Welcome to our family. We promise to accept you with no strings attached.

      Reply
  • 58. Emily the Liles  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    This is so true! And this is how Grandma (and Grandpa too, he is just more quiet it seems) lives her life…with guilt and worry. I’m glad you didn’t raise us like this! :)

    Reply
  • 63. Gretchen  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    In all honesty, those kinds of “Christians” scare the crap out of me, too, and I am a devoted Catholic.

    @ Tim in Sonoma, I think you have taken the best path you can at this time. I admit, it made me very sad to see what some of the posters thought about the Roman Catholic Church. I have studied my faith so extensively, and I know that the kind of people who have given others that impression of the Catholic Church are not truly following all of it’s teachings. Christ’s foremost command to us was to love one another as He loves us. He also told us not to judge others for their sins, as we have our own, and they are between God and us.

    That is one of the reasons why I love being a Catholic, when we go to Confession (a private conversation, most definitely NOT a public display!) the priest is even forbidden, by his vows, to speak of what he hears. Granted, no one is perfect and in any religion there are going to be people who gossip and point accusing fingers, but in my faith, that is also considered something we need to confess next time we go to Confession. ;-)

    Reply
    • 64. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 6, 2010 at 2:22 am

      He also told us not to judge others for their sins, as we have our own, and they are between God and us.

      Gretchen I am so proud of you for posting!

      I know, aknowledge and accept our differences, and welcome the love that will replace our differences because OUR God wants it that way!

      Reply
  • 65. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I try to stay away from preaching, but sometimes I can’t help it. I am not religious, I don’t consider myself to be Christian, even though it was how I was raised, I have no need for the concept of God. But…

    I think that the best Christians out there are the ones that know they don’t know everything.

    What I mean by that is that they realize that God is infinitely more varied and deep than they could ever imagine, and there is no way to KNOW for certain what the one true answer is. AN answer is Christianity, because it has a lot of good points. Love your neighbor is one. Be faithful. Take care of strangers. Give to the poor. Share your faith. All good ideals, and a God of love could not object to any one of those. But not the only answer, as many other religions and philosophies share those ideals, and anyone who wants to put God in a box and say “No, your way of loving is not as good as ours is, God said so” is treading on rather ridiculously unsupported ground.

    A Christian who meets a Wiccan and does not realize that the Wiccan holds many of the same beliefs is one who has his eyes taped shut by a belief system that is, in my opinion, wrong in its goals. But I want to get to know the one who meets that Wiccan and says “I see you are on a different path than I am. I cannot know whether the being I call God set you on your path, for equally good reasons as he set me on mine, and so I must assume he did. Please tell me about yours, and if you like, I will tell you about mine, and lets see if we can help each other on the journey.”

    Religion so often becomes perverted by its leadership, when those in power forget that power corrupts. If people didn’t believe the Pope was infallible, but rather thought he was a guy trying to do the best he could, they might question authority. And if they did that, they might make other choices, and if they did that, the Pope might not be able to afford his Pope-mobile, he might lose prestige, he might no longer be invited to the White House and Buckingham Palace. Or at least, that is the fear that church leadership faces. And of course, I don’t mean just Catholic leadership, but all church leadership fears losing members, losing prestige, losing funding, and losing power over the world around them.

    I think Jesus’ approach was better, but sadly, amongst humans it is a much harder thing to sell. Jesus said “Share! Give! Love!” You would think that this would be so easy to embrace and to pass on… And it is, until someone with a prejudice gets into a leadership position and says “we are better than they are.” If all Christian leadership put others ahead of themselves, which seems to be what Christ was suggesting, the world might actually rise to the ideals that he wanted us to get to.

    I do not think Jesus ever wanted his words to be forced on people. He never, to my knowledge, said “If someone doesn’t agree that my words are the ONLY WAY YOU CAN EVER KNOW GOD, then kill him because he is evil.” I cannot believe that a man who said “love your neighbor as yourself” was the second of the two greatest commandments meant for anyone to use the words of his biography to abuse people, deny them their rights, cause hatred and violence against them, no matter what their perceived sins are. The man who said “he who is without sin shall cast the first stone” didn’t mean that anyone there had the right to do so, he meant no one did.

    And I don’t think he was coming down on sinners at that point. I don’t think he was trying to point out that we are all, for whatever reasons, unclean and evil. I think he was trying to point out that we are all the SAME, under the skin. We are all humans, and we make mistakes, sure, but we are all the same in our capacity to share with, care for, and love each other, no matter what we think the other person’s wrongs may be. And I think that is the most important part of the message, that as humans, we are all equal. Jesus didn’t say “Love your neighbor, the one who is just like you and shares your beliefs and behaves like you and looks like you, as yourself.” Love your neighbor. All your neighbors. And in the world today, that encompasses 7 billion people, very few of whom are just like you.

    Today, Jesus would stand firmly for equality, I have no doubt at all. So when I see someone calling themselves Christian who thinks that homosexuals, or heathens, or atheists or anyone who is simply different is going to hell for it, I know they are NOT Christians, no matter what they may believe in their hearts. These folks at theCall are Engle-ists, or Jacob-ites, or whichever of the leaders they follow, but as they are not following Christ, they are not Christians. And the Engles and Jacobs of this world like it that way.

    However, when people set aside thoughts of who is evil, and what is sinful, and instead look to love, to care, to protect and help others in need, then they are more Christian in their ways, whether they ever profess to be followers of Christ or not.

    Reply
    • 66. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

      Anonygrl-
      Well said!

      Reply
    • 67. Sheryl Carver  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm

      I second the “well said!” anonygrl!

      I think the organizational structure of any group, religious or governmental, affects the likelihood of its going too far astray of its founding principles. While our government has its problems, the 3 branches, plus citizen involvement, help keep it moving along in a generally good direction, at least over time.

      Contrast that with some religious organizations which are pretty much a strict hierarchy, with no ability of the laity to have much if any input. I’m not talking about decisions to repave the parking lot, or put in a new heating system. It is too easy for those organizations to go off the rails. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Having the laity truly involved does make things “messier” & there can be a lot of internal conflict over serious issues. The Anglican/Episcopalian Church is going through that now re: LGBT marriage issues. However, I do think it makes for a healthier organization in the long run.

      Reply
    • 68. Tim in Sonoma  |  September 6, 2010 at 2:38 am

      anongrl; Very well said! So much of what you said resinates in my thoughts! Thank You for that very insightful comment!

      Reply
  • 69. Sagesse  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Things you didn’t want to know. Update on what Louis is up to.

    “Seven Senators” Video Targets Boxer, Feingold

    http://www.oneman-onewoman.org/2010/09/seven-senators-video-targets-boxer.html

    First off, he’s targeting the Senators who voted against DOMA in 1996????

    And he’s sending people to the election donation records to harass their neighbours who donated to the ‘wrong’ candidate.

    Reply
    • 70. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      I just sent that link to both Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold, with the hopes that they can do some good if they know about it.

      After NOM refusing an IRS order to release donor lists, for fear of reprisals, this is the rankest hypocrisy.

      Reply
      • 71. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm

        Anonygrl–
        good idea; glad you gave them a heads up.

        Reply
    • 72. AndrewPDX  |  September 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      And he’s sending people to the election donation records to harass their neighbours who donated to the ‘wrong’ candidate.

      But of course, NOM cannot divulge their donors because those people need to be protected from harassment.

      What a bunch of hypocrisy.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
  • 73. Don in Texas  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    The only thing you need to know in the Bible is Matthew 5, 6 and 7. Everything else is just BS.

    Reply
  • 74. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Here’s what I believe….:)

    We are all works in progress; none of us is complete yet.

    We do what we can do, and that’s all we can expect of ourselves.

    Success is not determined by how close we are to perfection, but by how far we have come.

    The purpose of life is to live! Not to pay pennance for being born.

    Mistakes are a form of growing pains. Acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

    Smile and laughter really do heal!

    Reply
    • 75. AndrewPDX  |  September 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      AMEN AMEN AMEN

      Truer words have never been spoken before.

      Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
      Andrew

      Reply
    • 76. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:53 am

      If only we were all taught that as we were children, so much pain and hatred could be avoided!

      I have often thought the only law we really need comes from Bill & Ted: “Be excellent to each other!”

      Reply
  • 77. Dpeck  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    For anyone who may be looking for a church that welcomes LGBT members, here’s a list of no less than seven hundred and twenty one LGBT-friendly churches in California:

    http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/us_california.htm

    Reply
    • 78. Tomato  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:50 pm

      Any idea why none of the Unitarian churches are included in the list? Is this list only strict Christian churches?

      Reply
      • 79. Dpeck  |  September 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm

        Sorry, I have no idea. I got curious after reading some posts here about LGBTs from christian backgounds who had left the church or were looking for a welcoming church so I just googled ‘LGBT church’ and found the site.

        Reply
      • 80. Ann S.  |  September 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm

        I know I’ve told this story before, but not for several days at least! :)

        When my brother and BIL got married at SF City Hall, the first day in 2008 that was allowed, a bunch of lovely ladies from the UU Church in SF were there handing out cupcakes. Many had two Teddy grahams on top, for wedding toppers. They were very cute (and delicious, too!)

        Reply
  • 81. Dpeck  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    …. and for folks outside of California, here is their main search page, where you can locate LGBT-freindly churches all over the world:

    http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/find_a_church.htm

    Reply
    • 82. Kevin S.  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      No longer part of the Church for reasons beyond the institutionalized homophobia, but it made me feel really good to see my old parish, which I am still quite fond of, is one of the five gay-friendly Catholic churches in New Jersey.

      Reply
    • 83. Tomato  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

      Just a quick note, to find Unitarian (which includes Christian, Judiasm, Wicca, Buddhism, etc. within their walls) http://www.uua.org At demos and Pride parades you will often see folks with orange “Standing on the Side of Love” signs and t-shirts. That’s one of the social action organizations of UU http://www.standingonthesideoflove.org

      Reply
  • 85. Gew  |  September 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Guilt, and fear. You forgot fear.

    I spent 30+ years as a fundamentalist Christian TERfified that at any minute, would offend god by what I did, or said, or even thought. I was ALways second guessing myself and there was never a moment’s true peace.

    These people are evil, and shamless in their behaviour.

    I’m still poisoned, but healing.

    Reply
    • 86. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      Hang in the Gew. That fear was not yours to carry, it was forced on you.

      Be strong, and I am glad you are healing!

      Reply
    • 87. Linda  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      ‘Always second guessing myself’

      Oh yes, definitely a by-product of guilt (there’s that low sef-esteem in action). And you’re right about that horrible, gut-gripping fear.

      Reply
      • 88. Gew  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:47 pm

        *sigh*

        “… that I would offend…”

        And “shameless” not shamless.

        And thanks for the kind words. :)

        *hugs*

        Reply
  • 89. Carpool Cookie  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    “having been raised in an extreme, fundamentalist Christian household I feel a need to speak to the negative impact this false Christianity can have.”

    Thanks so much for writing this, Linda. It’s so important to hear from “translators” who actually understand and (particularly) have lived through that Christianist dogma, because it often doesn’t make sense to us outsiders.

    My mother cracked under Christianist guilt. (I won’t mention the sect.) I think for some people, even in regular, church-going families, they can take it all with a grain of salt and try to be well behaved, end of story. But what if someone’s truly sensitive and sincere, and prone to intimidation anyway?

    My mom was an adoptee….which can bring deep abandonment issues for some. She was also prone to chemical depression.

    Anyway….she simply couldn’t live with the expectations and demands ceaslessly drummed into her by the Church…expectations and demands that really do not match up with a young person’s life at all.

    Several suicide attempts and shock treatments later, she left the Church and raised us Unitarian. I don’t even want to think what she — or her kids — would have been like had she stayed. (Her parents wouldn’t come to her wedding because it wasn’t in The Church. What kind of f&$#ed up family dynamic is THAT?)

    Reply
  • 90. Bolt  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    When I remove my cloths from the washing machine, in the public washroom of my building, I spin the washer for 4 revolutions when once should be adequate. This behavior helps me to know for sure that I didn’t leave any socks behind.

    In a way, some of these folks seem to exercise the same compulsive behavior, but for their deity.

    Reply
    • 91. Dpeck  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      Way OT –

      By an odd coincidence, I was once told a story about how different religeons answer the question of those socks that mysteriously disappear during the dryer cycle.

      In western religeons, the belief is that, if you are a good person, when you die you will be presented with a beautiful golden basket at the gates of heaven, containing all of your missing socks.

      In eastern religeons, when you cut someone off on the freeway, one of your socks will appear in that persons dryer.

      Reply
      • 92. anonygrl  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

        LOL!!!

        Reply
      • 93. Chris in Lathrop  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:58 am

        Remind me never to cut somebody off who wears argyle! LOL

        Reply
      • 94. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  September 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

        Not so OT at you thought, that’s pretty much the definition of The Vicious Cycle!!

        Reply
      • 95. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

        Well, that does explain all the extra tube socks in my wash every few days! At least the ones who are cutting me off in traffic wear the same brand and style I wear! Guess I got lucky, didn’t I?

        Reply
    • 96. Carpool Cookie  |  September 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      But….your behavior can actually yield a result in the real world.

      Reply
    • 97. Don in Texas  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:05 am

      HOW TO KEEP YOUR SOCKS FROM DISAPPEARING IN THE WASHER/DRYER:

      Buy a cheap little mesh bag (like women use for their undies), put your socks in it and zip it up before putting in the washer.

      PROBLEM SOLVED.

      Reply
      • 98. Sagesse  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

        What’s the fun in that. Have you no spirit of adventure?

        Reply
      • 99. Dpeck  |  September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

        Yeah! Every time I open the dryer door it’s like a little trip to Las Vegas!

        Reply
      • 100. Carpool Cookie  |  September 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        Yes, you can buy zippered mesh bags like that at Rite-Aid, or wherever.

        They’re also good for when, against your better judgement, you decide to throw a delicate item that really should be dry cleaned into the wash. The bag will help keep the garment from getting stretched and abraded too badly.

        Reply
  • 101. Bolt  |  September 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Once I drove around a rotary for 3 revolutions, and waved at everyone. My galpal asked me to do it for good luck.

    Reply
  • 102. Heather Sheridan  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I just linked to this article on my FB status that should put my religious friend into a tizzy because Linda described her religion to a T.

    Reply
  • 103. Michael  |  September 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I am a Christian gay man, but I believe everyone has the right to make up their mind about their religious beliefs. I have friends who are atheist and I have no problem with their beliefs.

    The idea that guilt needs to run your life if you are a Christian must be based on fundamentalist beliefs. The Bible is very clear that once you repent, you are under grace. it even says the truth will set you free, not the truth will keep you guilt ridden. Faith for me is freedom and I’m sad to see how some Christians have ruined the portrayal of Christ’s love for so many.

    Reply
  • 104. bonobo  |  September 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    subscribing

    Reply
  • 105. fern  |  September 6, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Guilt and religion, Linda I hear you and understand you, I suffered from it but not for long, it was intuition and I felt I had to never lie and tell what I thought was right, I was 12 and a Roman Catholic altar boy and started to see things that didn’t fit then after a conversation with the priest he told me I HAD TO BELIEVE IT, so I told him I was out.
    It’s this “have to” that stuck in my craw. Now I’m 62 and I still don’t “have to” and all I learned was through living my life and trying to “not having to”.

    Reply
  • 106. fern  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    To Walter to be shenanigans.

    Ah stayed a week in Mount Airy and saw the beautiful blue ridged mountains, I loved the accent and never heard a better one, when she said y’all going to walk me home aren’t you? I looked around what did she mean we all?
    I looked at my friends surely she didn’t want a gang bang and they were all laughing, I think we loved each other and when in NC I met with the family and was well accepted till Jimmy Carter won the New Hampshire primaries I was in for JC and we all talked she got upset about my opinion her uncle a southern baptist preacher defended me and so did her father but she and I knew our love story was over.
    sad isn’t it? Maybe u shoulda said u was from NC first.

    Reply
    • 107. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Fern: You never asked. And while I have been in North Carolina for 20 years, I grew up in West Virginia. And I have family in West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alaska, California, Connecticut, and other places too numerous to mention. And I have long dreamed of traveling to Belgium after all of the things I have read about your country. And I won’t lie to you–part of the reason I want to go is also the fact that I have eaten Belgian chocolate before, and it is just absolutely delicious!

      Reply
      • 108. fern  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:44 pm

        Walter, last night I was a bit mushy due to rum&coke and today as a result I suffered intellectual fatigue (hangover).
        You gay people supposedly infertile and look at all the family you got I’m hetero and fertile the the only one in my family is me!!!!
        Chocolate I don’t touch the stuff the doctors thought I had diabetes but three pounds of chocolate a month was a bit much. As for coming to Belgium, I will be there for you so you won’t have to say “it’s Tuesday, it must be Brussels”.

        Reply
  • 109. BK  |  September 6, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I feel not so much a sense of guilt; rather, I’m often overcome with a profound sadness. It is a sadness of knowing most people do not understand what GLBT go through every single day, and a sadness of knowing that there are millions of people who detest us because of who we love. And I don’t think that sadness will disappear until I know that GLBT people are treated as equals by *everyone*; until we are not considered something to be looked down upon.

    Reply
  • 110. It’s not about the sex « Prop 8 Trial Tracker  |  September 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    […] post about coming out to her mother. Then she followed it up with this compelling piece about the role of guilt in the social construction of discrimination against LGBT people. But this post could be her best […]

    Reply
  • 111. Ronnie  |  September 10, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Very well written Linda…I’m still trying to catch up on past threads….

    I think that is a problem that the fundamental anti-gay Christian community has with is a majority of us (LGBT & Straight Allies)….that we don’t have guilt for being LGBT or supporting this cause….Sure I lived in fear for a while when i was a teen but when I came out & accepted myself as I was born I felt no guilt over it….I think that scares those that are so vehemently against people being LGBT….They see the strength, the self-esteem, & the self worth that people like me have & it confuses them because the leaders they are listening too are saying that people like me shouldn’t have that image of strength.

    I will never feel guilty for being how nature made me & nobody will ever change that….<3…Ronnie

    Reply
    • 112. Lightning Baltimore  |  September 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

      I’ve certainly seen it put forward plenty of times, by people of that ilk, that we’re so adamant about equal rights because, deep down, we know what we’re doing is wrong, and we need the validation of others in order to feel better about ourselves.

      Yep, just like the slaves in the USA wanted freedom only because they knew they deserved to be enslaved.

      Reply
    • 113. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  September 10, 2010 at 6:45 pm

      I for one should hope that the only change in you, Ronnie, is that you will grow even stronger and even more confident in yourself, and more comfortable in your own skin. You are FABULOUS! And don’t you forget it!.

      ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

      ‘Dopty Daddy

      Reply
      • 114. Ronnie  |  September 10, 2010 at 6:53 pm

        awe…Thank you…& I respond to your…”& don’t you forget it!”….with a………NEVERRRRRRRRRR!!!!….take that fundies…uommmm…uommmm…boo-yah…fight like absinthe induced Fairy mirage…..sting like a shot of tequila…wait….what?

        <3…Ronnie

        Reply
      • 115. AndrewPDX  |  September 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

        @Ronnie,
        sting like a shot of tequila

        ROFL!!!!!! You always make me laugh, or cheer, or sometimes both! Thanks!

        Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
        Andrew

        Reply

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