Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For the Bible Tells me So

I saw a documentary called For the Bible Tells Me So, which is about how the religious right is breaking families apart with their homophobic rhetoric. It was really good, but really depressing. I was tearing up.

It followed a bunch of families in which the parents were really religious and conservative, and one of their children turned out to be gay. It was rather heartbreaking to watch all these really nice people go on to reject their children. Eventually, many of them came to accept their children, and some go on to be activists. Others never fully accept it, or accepted it too late.

One of my friends said it was really hard to watch, because it showed what he wished would have happened with his parents, but didn't. Awwwww

This movie made me feel grateful that I left religion years before I ever started thinking about my sexual identity. The two issues for me are completely disjoint in time. Good thing too, because together they'd make quite a tangled mess. Separately, they're still tangled messes, but together they are a bigger tangled mess. It's so much simpler to just think about what's good and bad, rather than think about what a omnipotent omnibenevolent being thinks is good and bad. With all the back and forth about what the Bible says about homosexuality, it's nice to be able to just say, "The Bible is not a moral authority. The end." Being an atheist has definitively improved my life.

Did you know that the Catholic Church accepts homosexual tendencies, but believes that acting on these tendencies is a sin? I think I knew this before, but the movie made it hit home. It's unacceptably regressive to insist that a certain group of people never ever act upon the feelings of love they experience. Dear Catholic Church, this displeases me with you in a way that leaving your religion did not. You suck. You, and Maine.

After the movie screening, someone came up to the front and told us, "If you left the church, but want to return, know that there are options." I hope this doesn't sound too strange for an atheist to say, but I think it's great that there are options, that there are queer-positive religious communities. I think it's terrible that people have to leave their church just because of their sexual orientation. I think people should leave churches, yes, but I don't think anyone should be forced out. People should be leaving because they want to.