Gay Christians give me a headache.
Ugh, I know that sounds small minded of me, and that's really not what I am going for here, but I can't help it. See, I'm a gay rights advocate and a bit of a hag (I'm in theatre, being a hag is second nature to me,) so I'm constantly arguing with the religious on behalf of my gay friends. The "Campus Crusaders" and I have shared many words about homosexuality and morality and my atheism is pretty obvious about five words in.
So when a gay person announces their personal relationship with Jebus I end up not only trying to support their right to love who they want, but denouncing their religion. The arguments are so frustratingly erroneous that I end up yelling. Their anti-atheism is so strangely smug, and usually along the lines of "If I can make peace with God as a gay person then I have earned the right to believe."
This is the position I found myself against yesterday when I went toe-to-toe with a gay Catholic. To be fair, he didn't pull out the gay card first.
No, first he accused me of not knowing the beauty of his religion (25 years as a Roman Catholic CCD teacher and Apologist) then he went with the ol' stand-by of "atheism is a belief."
At one point he cut me off and asked me, "Do you think you're right?"
With a deep breath (I know a trap when I hear one.) I told him that of course I do.
It was such a strange question to be asked that when he tried to cut in with "Isn't that a faith?" I held up my hand and said:
"Before you accuse me of some sort of unsubstantiated belief system, let me tell you what it is like to belong to an atheist community. (Yes thinkatheist people I was talking about you) We are critical thinkers, we need evidence to support our claims of good and bad. It isn't enough to think we are right, we have to know about it. I know that biologically there is no difference between any race and that no matter the accomplishment no one is more human or less human than the average human. I know that there are biological factors that influence homo and heterosexuality. I know these things and from there I extrapolate to treat all human beings as equals. I have no justification to treat them as anything less. I often wish I could, I wish I could look at the ignorant bigots of the world and just believe that they are less human than I am, but my fellow atheists would call me on it. Frustration and dislike aren't scientific, they're personal.
I belong to this kind of group, not only to have a like minded community to vent to, but because it is important to have someone there to check my work. Religion will accept all sorts of worldly ignorance in the name of keeping the faith, but atheists will poke and prod at the world until it makes sense. We don't allow ourselves a god of the gaps. It isn't as fluffy, but it is the closest to right I can find.
I refuse the claims to the good of religion because there is no good that religion can claim the monopoly on. Goodness is as much a part of human nature as badness and while the godless can be good without god the religious still have their belief as a hurdle when it comes to progress. It has been a hurdle for slaves, it has been a hurdle for women, and now it is a hurdle for gays.
So yes, I think I am right, but only because I have thought so hard about what is wrong."
Sometimes I'm surprised that I still have my religious friends.
On an unrelated note, if you live in the San Antonio area I'm writing and directing a play on Valentine's Day. It's got homosexuality, extramarital affairs and some other wince-worthy depictions in it. So if you're in TX I would love some support.
Come see our show before the Campus Crusaders win their bid to shut us down.