Last night, I was sitting in my backwards, homophobic Women in the Bible class and-- rather than listen to the professor use the classroom as a pulpit-- I decided to write a letter and share some of my own grievances with God. Unfortunately, I think it may be too bitter and angry to be as funny Amber's letter. Regardless of whether or not this is too vitriolic to be entertaining, I've decided to go ahead and post it. I barely participated in Coming Out Day this year, because my new job is centered so staunchly in WASP-y suburbia. I have no desire to be the victim of a witch hunt. But even if I'm not actively hiding who I am, I'm beginning to feel the strain. The discomfort of saying, 'Oh, I doubt it' when my boss and coworkers say there must be a nice guy out there for me somewhere. (Yeah, and I'll be waiting... with a chain-saw. ^_~) The odd feeling of being one of only three single women in the building, and the only one over traditional marrying age. Having to keep my mouth shut when one of the teachers tells a particular third grade boy he can't check out Cinderella, because "it's a girl's book".
Anger turned inwards is depression. Anger turned sideways is Hawkeye. Anger turned outwards... that's this letter. Hopefully, it's at least a little entertaining. A lot of it owes to Amber's genius. *hugs tightly*
Please note that I am not out to offend any Christian readers-- regardless of your personal beliefs, I think it is fair to say that the church does spend a lot of its time characterizing God in a light more in line with "Vengeance is mine, sayth the Lord" than "Love thy neighbor". I'm talking to the Established Official Line, not to you. ^_^
That said, I leave you with:
So, yeah. I know I stopped talking to You a long, long time ago, except for those odd instances where I forget myself and ask You to protect a certain someone, 'cause I get so desperate. And anyway, according to most of Your earthly representatives, You don't answer the prayers of abominations like me, so I guess it's a moot point. Still, I have some questions; hence this letter. I guess some of these inquiries are kind of impertinent. Constantine said there's a special level of hell for people who ask impertinent questions, and apparently Constantine was totally part of Your crew, what with the crosses on the battlefield and all. However, since President Bush insists that You are are one hundred percent behind America no matter what stupidity we get ourselves into, I'm sort of hoping You're into democracy and all it entails. (Even though, You know, Bush seems to have forgotten what it is.) Democratically speaking, I have a right to petition for redress of grievances, so I hope You'll hold off smiting or damning me until I'm finished. Thanks.
My big beef is this book You've got floating around. Or, specifically, parts of said book. Most of the stories and poems are nice and all, but You've got some pretty inflexible rules about stuff people can't really control. Of course, I am assured by Your representatives that the Bible is definitely Your unbroken word and not-- as all evidence suggests-- a collection of texts compiled, edited, and reedited over the centuries by persons with differing political agendas. And, YOU know, Your representatives would NEVER lie, or have agendas of their own.
I guess these days there must be a lot of Bibles with really worn passages in Leviticus. It's that ever-popular "do not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abhorrence." (Lev 18:22) Now, there could be tons of reasons why this passage is in there. It could be because, historically speaking, the Israelites are trying to establish an identity separate from the polytheists around them, and it was perfectly acceptable in these polytheistic societies for men to have sex with other men. It could be as arbitrary as the rule stating that the Tabernacle should be X cubits wide, or that a woman must sacrifice two pigeons to 'cleanse' her from her period. (Which is a lot of pigeons, btw.) It could also have something to do with that whole 'as a woman' qualifier-- it might be perfectly acceptable for a man to lie with another man _as a man_. But, of course, none of these perfectly logical explanations are acceptable to Your earthly representatives, or President Bush (who is constantly assuring us that You converse with him frequently). No, it _must_ be because homosexual people are evil and going to hell totally omg.
Now-- leaving aside all the suicides this little verse has inspired, and all the murders and hate crimes and Matthew Shepherds in the world-- I really don't know where You get off having something like this in Your book. What's up with punishing people for being the way You made them? All evidence indicates to me that being gay is not a choice--it's something one is born with. Like having blonde hair or blue eyes. Lots of people try to blame other things, like mental illness, or not having a strong father figure, or being molested as a child. But none of these explanations fit across the board the way genetics does. Also, cracked-out "ex-gay" ministries aside, most gays and lesbians would tell You that they tried very hard to repress their own nature, and were miserable because of it. (Hell, many of them probably prayed to You to 'fix' them.) Why are You punishing them for something they can't control? Do You want them to be miserable? It's like the whole Garden of Eden thing-- I mean, if You're omnipotent, then You would know that even before You started collecting dust to make the first conscious being that We were going to completely screw things up. My Women in the Bible professor keeps insisting that we humans are Your great experiment, but it's not a very good experiment if the conclusion is forgone. I know that if I slap someone, it will hurt them-- that does not justify my slapping someone to prove they will experience pain.
I mean, I get that You are all about the smiting, and the hellfire, and the brimstone, and the scaring people into following Your rules. Even Your son got his butt kicked for being a long-haired hippie socialist. (We all know You're totally a Conservative Republican, with all the patriarchy and repression and stuff.) What I don't get is what You expect us-- the gay and lesbian population-- to do. Should we just lie down and slit our wrists, since we were doomed before we even left the womb? (Opps-- suicide is a sin, too.) Are we supposed to deny our very selves and pretend to be straight? Lie back and-- pardon the pun-- take it like a man? (Because, OMG, we all know women aren't supposed to enjoy sex anyway!) Should we make babies and repress a whole new generation-- keep on being fruitful even though we're running out of space and resources and there are all these crazy people running around with nukes?
Right. So, I'd really appreciate it if You'd address these issues for me. In Rabbinical tradition, Elijah is supposed to answer all the questions that can't be answered on earth. Since-- as I am often reminded by Your followers-- I am going to hell for being a lesbian (and not believing implicitly in Your word, and not being a nice quiet baby-making machine as You decreed), I was wondering if You'd mind sending Elijah down to illuminate this stuff for me. All the cool people (Stein, Wilde, Hall, Woolfe, Whitman, ect) are going to hell anyway. Okay, thanx, bye.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory