Friday, June 23, 2006

GOING to heaven! or not?

One of my favorite poems - by Emily Dickinson -- read to the end for the "twist"

GOING to heaven!
I don’t know when,
Pray do not ask me how,—
Indeed, I ’m too astonished
To think of answering you!
Going to heaven!—
How dim it sounds!
And yet it will be done
As sure as flocks go home at night
Unto the shepherd’s arm!

Perhaps you ’re going too!
Who knows?
If you should get there first,
Save just a little place for me
Close to the two I lost!

The smallest “robe” will fit me,
And just a bit of “crown”;
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home.

I ’m glad I don’t believe it,
For it would stop my breath,
And I ’d like to look a little more
At such a curious earth!
I am glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the mighty autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.


I absolutely love this poem. For so long, I believed that the after-life was more important than life itself. How sad! Right now, I'm not sure what I believe. If God is real, I don't believe that he would give us life just so we could wish it away. The idea of God is becoming more and more absurd to me. At the same time, though, I can't imagine how I would feel if my parents stopped believing.

And I can't imagine "coming out" to them about my current state of agnosticism. I guess that I have a closet of my own.

Not too long ago, one of Chris' (hurricane's) friends accused him of conveniently changing his theology so he could be gay:
It seems to me that this is very convenient. If, as you say, all church’s are “the creation of men”, then all of us can simply invent our own religion, each of us recreating God in our own image, to suit our needs.

I have thought a lot about this. The truth is - two things collided: long held religious beliefs (gay is bad) and inner feelings . . . life experience (God made me gay). These two ideas are diametrically opposed. They both can't be true.

When Eddy came out to our parents, his Mom's reaction was "God made you this way; it can't be wrong." My Mom's initial reaction was "God doesn't go against his word; he couldn't have made him gay." (She seems to be coming around on this).

So which is it? Which is true? Which idea lives? The one you know is true because you have experienced it, struggled with it, and it won't go away. One of my favorite quotes is "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." ~Philip K. Dick

Chris and Eddy and __________ and Bea aren't trying to change God so we can sleep at night and have lascivious fun. Rather, the two ideas simply couldn't co-exist, so we believe in what rings most true.

B

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3 Comments:

Blogger Nairobi Paul said...

Wow. I can't imagine the pain you've gone through. (I do have a friend who went through the same. She is divorced now.)

I hope you are able to reach the place where you can find God again. With what you're going through, it truly must be impossible to look at an amazing sunrise and see God.

Hang in there.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I struggled many years trying to change and to conform to what I believed that God thought about my gayness. I went through all the change ministries. I was a member of Homosexuals Anonymous when they only had 12 steps (they are now at 14). I've prayed, fasted, cried, had demons cast out of me...considered suicide...only to finally sit back...take several deep breaths and listen to what God was saying to me.

In His still small voice, he said: "What if the way I have chosen for you is not what you have chosen for yourself? and, what if the way I have chosen for you is not what other would choose for you?"

I have never felt that God condemned me for being Gay. The only condemnation I have felt is from folks who have a pretty Pollyannaish view on life: black or white; either/or; yes/no.

Life is diverse....God made it that way. As you look around at the world you can see this concept in all aspects. Why should sexuality then be so limited?

So many times, I've looked back on my life and feel that the church....and people's interpretation...no matter how haywire....are sort of responsible for situations like mine and perhaps yours: my wife of 25 years is divorcing me.....

All this pain and suffering could have been avoided if gay people like me...and your husband could have not experienced the shame....the pressure.....the need to change -- to conform..... If only we could have been allowed to just "be".

It truly grieves me to see the Bible thumpers continuing the tradition.... Think of all the Eddy's and Frank's out there who are feeling the need to marry even now...because "that will change them"....or that they just need to get in bed with a hot woman and that will fix things....

And think of all the Bea's and Lovey's out there....who will learn in years to come....that it can't be fixed.

The pain and suffering continues...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Flip said...

Hi Bea,

The God I believe in doesn't speak to me directly. I do believe She / He / It often communicates with me through what other people say, write and do.

So far I have never really thought I was hearing from God when another person said he or she was speaking on God's behalf.

As a gay / bi / queer man working with my wife to keep our marriage together, I value your blog more than you will ever know.

Take care.

Flip

Friday, June 30, 2006 4:44:00 PM  

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