Thursday, February 07, 2013

Depends on what you deem redeeming

I’m all about delving into stories and conversations that challenge my beliefs. So naturally, I found it very interesting to read about a woman who claims the Bible converted her from a “leftist lesbian professor” to a heterosexually married Christian.

This story is so perfect for its audience. It’s what they want so desperately to be possible. Even better, it stars who in their mind is the ultimate personification of villainy — a lesbian professor. We all know how radically liberal, feminist and godless they all are! Hell, she even calls herself “a leftist,” which is something all leftists do, am I right? And of course they all hate all Christians. Wow! How on Earth does someone with such deep-seated beliefs overcome them and see the light?

Well, a Christian was nice to her and she read the Bible. That was easy.

Frankly, I’m suspicious. In my experience, people don’t genuinely undergo such profound, polar transformations — when they do, they’re either overcoming denial (fantastic) or newly embracing it (tragic).

By her own account (noted elsewhere, notably not here), Rosaria declared herself a lesbian at 28. That strikes me as an awfully late age to ascertain one’s sexuality, or to finally own up to long-denied thoughts. And even rebellious people who go through a “phase” tend to experiment during their undergrad years. So either she always had lesbian tendencies and denied them for years (and is denying them again), or they were always disingenuous. One way or the other, she is lying about her true identity.

But OK, let’s say she isn’t.

Let’s imagine that everything in this testimony is absolutely true.

It still doesn’t speak well of the presented lesson. If someone’s inner morals, sexuality and politics are so flimsy that reading one book and talking to one person changes all of them, where’s the true transformation? There isn’t one; it’s simply a case of someone prone to change, changing yet again. In other words, remaining every bit as flawed and flimsy as they were before. Precisely the kind of loyalty you want on your wagon.

But OK, let’s say she did change.

Let’s imagine that this is indeed a case of someone truly redefining their morals and lifestyle.

Why on Earth is that a good thing? Is it true that only a heterosexual, conservative Republican is a good Christian? Why is the self-proclaimed religion of, “judge not lest ye be judged,” so obsessed with molding people into a single, narrow group? To remake them in God’s image? I’ve read much of the Bible, but I have yet to see where anyone looked, acted or thought like what American religious conservatives claim is the only way to be.

Far from uplifting, this story encapsulates exactly why I don’t align myself with these people. They falsely insist that innate behaviors can and should be changed, then trot out outlying examples that may or may not be honest — and do so while preaching peace, tolerance and unconditional love.

That’s not religion — that’s politics. Repellent politics.

And it's definitely not love.

1 comment:

GDad said...

I enjoy the tales of people who "used to be" Satanists, drug-addled hippies, murderers, etc., and who had a magical conversion overnight into the slicked-back hair Xians. They describe their previous lives as though they have never actually met the kinds of people they claim to have been, and how "empty" those previous pretend lives were. It's supposed to be a powerful tale of redemption, but it really rings false.