Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It’s sad, in this day and age, that people don’t study history, and people have never stopped giving to those who seek power and control. Of course, there are many who don’t want to take responsibility for their own lives, so this works for them. They financially support others (religious right leaders) who in turn excuse their lives from their actions by placing what happens in the hands of their “God”.

[For the full commentary, see here.]

Many people want to be told what to do and even what to think!

Indeed, many people go so far as to ideologically and financially support clergy who impose their prejudices onto their followers, frequently enabling those clergy to live lavish lifestyles, and who give their gullible followers permission to justify prejudice against a targeted minority group, and do so in the name of God.

By equating their own prejudicial and often self-serving interpretations of certain selected verses of Scripture, whether against women, African-Americans, or LGBT people, with what they say is "God's will," they are contravening two of the Ten Commandments: committing the sin of idolatry (equating the Bible with God) and bearing false witness.

Indeed, by elevating their own preconceived prejudices and xenophobia as Divine law, they are committing the worst kind of idolatry: idolizing of one's own prejudicial self-interests by equating those prejudices and interests with God's will, thereby worshiping themselves as god; they further compound their idolatry by condemning people whom God has made in God's image.

Adding insult to injury, they often ignorantly and/or willfully misrepresent what verses of Scripture they select to support their xenophobic claims, and they often lie about those whose civil and sacramental rights they seek to deny. In addition, they neglect far more weightier aspects and verses of Scripture that provide the very foundations of Christianity, the Christian life, and the Gospel of grace!

For example, when was the last time you heard a homophobic clergy person quote from "The Sermon on the Mount," Matthew 5-7? These verses come closest to revealing the heart of Jesus and His will for our lives than anything else in the Bible!

I also doubt anyone has ever heard a homophobic pastor quote from Matthew 19:12 where Jesus, when asked about heterosexual marriage, says: "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...." These eunuchs are undoubtedly God's LGBT children! (See here.)

We often hear from homophobic clergy that same-sex marriage presents a threat to the institution of marriage, a claim that is foolish on its face. It's divorce of heterosexuals that provides that threat and same-sex couples who seek to marry (or who are married in the handful of states where same-sex marriage is legal) can in no rational way be seen as being any kind of threat to the institution of marriage.

However, rationality plays no part in separating one from his/her prejudices, particularly when those prejudices are spoon fed by clergy as being "in the will of God."

And when clergy and other professing Christians remain silent amidst the oppression of LGBT people (or any other minority group), they are just as culpable in that oppression as are those who spew hateful rhetoric against God's LGBT children!

Moreover, financial, psychological, social, and political capital can be gained by creating "outsiders" to denigrate and even demonize! (I strongly suspect and suggest that if there were more money to be made by supporting LGBT rights many, if not most, reactionary clergy and politicians would be proudly marching in Gay Pride Parades!)

In this connection, I want to conclude this post by quoting a few excerpts from an article I wrote some time ago entitled It's Not About Issues, that I hope you will read in its entirety:

The same hatred shown toward African Americans in the justification of White Supremacy is the exact same hatred shown toward LGBT people and the justification of heterosexism! Some of the manifestations of that hatred are, of course, different, but the hatred and the justifications for that hatred are exactly the same!....

By portraying Christianity as being under attack, they are using the same rationale and tactics as was used by White Supremacists in creating an "enemy" so that they could portray themselves as victims of a grave threat that only by electing someone who had a mind-set like theirs, regardless of religious or spiritual commitment, could help remedy. Such a portrayal not only garners increased revenue for religious reactionaries, the handmaidens of the Power Elite, but helps enable them to ensure the status quo that they perceive will keep them in control and help keep the minority group(s) they despise under their thumb, so as to maintain their influence and control of most of the institutional Church, maintain what they tout as the moral high ground, and maintain their definition of "Christianity" in the public's mind....

What is important to them is to maintain their mind-set of exclusion of "the other," their constructed enemy, be that "other" African Americans, women, LGBT people, or whatever enemy they seek to construct so as to maintain both their hegemony in society, and to help assure that the existing social structure continues to favor them and their ideology, an ideology that has relatively little to do with their "Christian" profession, and certainly nothing to do with Christianity itself!
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genevieve said...

Jerry, I have read the bible with a new revelation since acknowledging my transgender identity. Sadly, many Christians don't think for themselves and blindly follow their leaders.

I posted a blog months about same-sex marriage and the so-called threat to tradtional marriage. I pointed that half of the marriages that break up are over things that can be corrected if the parties are willing to put aside their ego and pride. I find that LGBT people are veryfamily oriented.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks genevieve. If anyone needs the support of family and social networks, it's LGBT people.

Putting aside ego and pride is crucial to make any marriage work, and it's a struggle because most of us want our own way. As I tell people, if "irreconcilable differences" was a justification for divorce, almost all married people would be divorced.

What you say here is crucial: "I have read the bible with a new revelation since acknowledging my transgender identity. Sadly, many Christians don't think for themselves and blindly follow their leaders."

When you took the heroic leap of faith and saw yourself for who God made you to be, God revealed insights to you. It would be great if religious right leaders and their gullible followers who blindly believe what they are told would have that courage. Imagine the insights that God would reveal to them.

Take care, Jerry.