Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What often passes for conservative Christianity

I think I've probably been reading Steve Schalchlin's blog off and on since I first heard about it in 1998. He was one of the first people to ever keep a blog (back before they were called "blogs"), and has been doing it ever since 1996.

XGW linked to this recent entry from Steve, and I thought it worth mentioning here. He writes about a call he got from a Christian friend and former bandmate:
Now, flash forward a few years. I'm sick. The HIV has finally taken hold of me and we don't know if I'm going to live or die. Word gets back to T. I get a phone call in the middle of the day.

"Hello?"

And a voice comes on. I know who it is immediately, "AIDS IS A MANIFESTATION OF THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY WHICH INFECTS YOUR SOUL. YOU NEED TO RENOUNCE YOUR EVIL HOMOSEXUAL NATURE AND COME BACK TO EAST TEXAS WHERE I WILL BAPTIZE YOU SEVEN TIMES IN LAKE JACKSONVILLE AND HEAL YOU OF AIDS."

"Hello?"
He details the rest of his experiences--including a recent e-mail he received--with his former friend and bandmate, T, here.

What a sad and poignant story. But what I really want to highlight is this comment that a guy named Mark Poole wrote in reponse:
I'm more and more coming to think that what passes for conservative Christianity among a lot of people in this country is really just a pagan or mystery religion, with large doses of magic and superstition and wrapped in a thin but brittle veneer of Christian symbolism. The bible and prayer and Jesus are wielded like occult tools in a Dungeons & Dragons game. It is sometimes nearly impossible (as in this story) to discern the spirit of Christ or the great Commandment to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.

'nuff said.

3 comments:

  1. Christine, thanks for cross-referencing my comment on XGW. I read your blog profile and want to say, God bless you for being just who you are and for having the courage to speak the truth as you understand it.

    It seems there are so many ex-ex-gays (for want of a better word) out there now.. Does this portend a mass exodus out of the ex-gay movement? It's encouraging to see so many former fundamentalists coming out of the woodwork.

    Stop by my blog sometime if you feel so inclined.

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  2. Hey Mark, thanks for your comments. I did check out your blog - great stuff.

    I agree with you about there being more and more ex-ex-gays who are starting to tell their stories. I am not sure if we are just getting more vocal as Exodus tries to lobby against us, or if there are just more and more of us out there. I suspect many of us came into the ex-gay movement through their increased marketing efforts in 98 and 99, and a lot of us are now "seeing the light" and coming out the other side. That's my theory at least, for what it's worth.

    Again, thanks for your comments, and especially the comment that triggered this blog entry in the first place. I think you've really hit the nail on the head for a lot of what passes as conservative Christianity today. Not to say that it's what Christianity is about, but it seems so for most of the Christians who've been especially toxic in my life.

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  3. That's a fascinating idea, for ex-ex-gays to begin a mass movement to tell the truth of the ex-gay movement. I remember once the pastor of a gay church in Dallas saying that there are more ex-ex-gays in his congregration than in the entire Exodus movement.

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