I always find it interesting that those who spend their time spewing off hate against gays and lesbians always turn it around and say that those who defend gays and lesbians from such hate are haters themselves! Trying to deflect their own biases never works. I’m sure someone has done a sociological study on people like that. Occasionally I have been accused of hate and intolerance against anti-gay activists who suppose themselves to be christians (such as the angrygayactivist site, which by the way has been shut down–I guess there just wasn’t enough interest in all of us angry gay activist types!). Hate and intolerance are pretty strong words. Hate Christians? No. Simply put. In fact, those who ask about me hating Christians should also ask me about my fund-raising efforts for a seminary and a church. Who would hate Christians and then volunteer to help them raise money to build a new church? The answer, for those who are weak, is no one.
Do I seek the truth? Of course–I think anyone with a brain seeks the truth, or some version of it. At least that is what I hope. There are many ways to seek the ‘truth.’ I love history and Christianity, so I sought the truth by going to school. Some love the ministry, so they go to school or they learn with their peers and their ministers. Did I go to school so I could tell everyone I have a Ph.D. in early Christianity? Did I go to school so people would tell me ‘great job’ when I have ‘defeated’ someone in a debate? Would that make me immature? You bet it would–which is why I don’t do it. Anyone who thinks that someone who spends years in school (it took me five full years of very hard work to get my Ph.D.) does it just to be able to tell someone that they have a Ph.D. really doesn’t know what truth is. Nor do they know what hard work is.
I discuss my interest in early Christianity and theology with anyone who wants to discuss it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t initiate conversation with people who say things that just aren’t historically true. And that certainly doesn’t mean I will be quiet with someone who doesn’t have a Ph.D. If someone says something, say, like ‘the law still stands’ and then gives an example of it from the New Testament, my interest is peaked. Many fundamentalists are always quoting that what Christ came, the law was done away with and we are now living under grace. So when a fundamentalist states that this is not the case, I want to know why. So I will ask. If they can’t answer questions about their own statements, then that tells me that they haven’t thought about what they said. I am also happy to discuss these things with people who do have Ph.D.s in my area. I’ve done it before and I will do it again. Discussing ideas and constructive criticism is part of the game. It is part of an education. It is to be expected.
I don’t hide the fact that I am not Christian. If I really hated Christians, why would I spend all this time (still) learning about them? So when someone says ‘you are going to hell’ or ‘you are part of satan’ or ‘you will not spend time in eternity’, I just shake it off. It is another world those people live in. Just because they believe something doesn’t mean that I am part of their belief-world, or that I have to make myself a part of it. Their belief-world is one of many on this planet, and I have respect for all of them. The Native Americans believe one thing, the fundamentalists something else, the Catholics another. Who is correct? Who could say who is correct? The answer to that is that those in Catholicism think they are correct. Those who hold to the Native American beliefs think they are correct. Those who are fundamentalists think they are correct. Maybe they all are. Who am I to say? I just study them and come to my own conclusions. That doesn’t mean I am part of Satan, any more than it means I am part of the evil side of other religions. The Truth? Who knows. Each of us have our own truth. I think that is the only truth there is.
I’ll stop and quote a bit of what Jesus had to say, which is something that I like:
"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you seek the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or who can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.’