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#346411 - 11/28/10 08:48 AM Is there Salvation for those who are gay?
diamondheart Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 157
Loc: Michigan
This may be triggering for some and I would like to point out that these are my feelings towards religion and how my families beliefs of them has affected me.

Yesterday was my aunt Thelma’s funeral. I can’t say I ever handle them very well. I tend to feel numb. I struggle with the idea that I will never be able to see their physical forms again on this earth. I can remember when my Aunt Fran passed away in 1999 thinking I will never get a phone call from her giving me a hard time…

I come from a very religious family. So it shouldn’t surprise me that the services would be as such but I guess I didn’t think of it…

I think the reason death freaks me out so much is that I don’t know what I believe in??? I want to believe that we all go to a better place but part of me wonders will I just lay deep within the earth?

Those the idea of going to heaven is set with conditions and hearing sermons like the one I did at my aunt Thelma’s funeral only reinforces those fears.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. Their message was of a narrow passage way into heaven. Fire and brimstone for anyone who did not repent and accept Jesus Christ into their lives! My father only reinforced that… On numerous occasions he would tell me as a teenager, that if I didn’t accept Jesus into my life I would go to hell… Enough times that I would have nightmares of the end of the world. Jesus would call peoples names but mine was never called.

My father stole my spirituality from me. I thought I had gotten over these fears. It wasn’t long ago that hearing the words GOD and JESUS would give me panic attacks…

Hearing this sermon triggered me deeply, sending me into dissociation… and of course while I am making the seven hour drive home to Michigan.

In so many words the preacher pretty much told us that if we didn’t accept Jesus Christ and repent we wouldn’t get to see our loved ones again. What type of belief system would do that to the children of GOD?

Most of my life I have been told, on many occasions, that I was going to hell for being gay. I can’t change being gay. It isn’t a choice. So in my mind, I have an eternal death sentence. The world has cast me into the pits of hell. So I either stop being gay or accept that I will burn in flames forever. Talk about causing trauma to oneself!

In the past how I deal with it, is to hide from it and my family.

My sister started to ask questions to my mother while I was driving about this topic. The service obviously had spooked her. At some point I just flipped out. I remember saying when I die, I don’t want that crap at my funeral. I have to believe it is bogus because if not I will fall apart.

I think another reason I struggle with the whole idea is all the sins our family has endured from Darren, who molested many in our family. Yet very few have ever stood up to him or did anything to stop it. Yet these adults believe I am going to hell???? What about the pain that everyone who was molested has endured??? I think they should have been concentrating less on their religion and more on protecting their children!!!

I am very angry. I will admit it. Seeing my family only makes my blood boil, especially certain ones who I know associate with Darren. This monster has molested over 10 children (probably a lot more) and has never gotten any help, nor was ever arrested for what he did. I think he’s the devil. It isn’t some external force that has a fiery home! How many more children will have to endure the pain that we all have??? And still no one does anything. My one cousin who let him live with her (with her three kids) said that she believed that he’d never do anything like that to her kids. And what says he won’t????

There was talk that he was coming to the funeral, thankfully he didn’t but sure enough I know he will be at my grandmothers funeral. He has no shame and he doesn’t care. He is void a soul.

I still struggle with the fact that my grandmother still holds him in such high regards. He is one her favorites. I am not… She even treated me poorly for many years. So how do I come to terms with that? It is another thing that has made me believe I am worthless and unlovable!!!

I have always felt that they have condemned me for being gay, yet they tolerated child molesters! This destroys your self esteem and your soul! Sure very few ever told me what they felt to my face but I know what they believed in.

My sister said that my mom and her had come around when it comes to me being gay. True they have come around but as I explained to her, in 2008 she didn’t want me to bring my boyfriend Bobby at the time or told me I couldn’t dance with him and wanted me to act a certain way with him. Plus he was not allowed to stay at her house at the time.

All these things just add up to me believing that I am WORTHLESS…

They say words are just words, but they can dig deep.
Coming out was horrible for me and those moments still live with me today. Over and over being told I was going to hell. Told I wanted to lose weight and I would from AIDS. Told I was abnormal. Told that none of my friends would be there for me in the end and I would be alone. I have internalized all of it and it slowly it has ate at me.

So adults of the family, thank you for stealing my spirituality. Taking it and throwing it away. Making me feel worthless for being WHO I AM!

And now I am the “fucked up” one. The only one who has the nerve to stand up and speak his mind. Well I am tired of doing it alone and I can’t any longer.

And those who worship JESUS. Would he do and say 90% of the stuff that religious people do??? Probably not…. You are doing to others, what they did to him. You are persecuting others for who they are.

I have always wanted someone to stand up for me.

I use to be scared of others, still am to a point. For the longest time I was scared of my dad. It wasn’t until I stood up to him when I was in my early 20′s that I stopped being scared of him. Honestly I am scared of my cousin Chad and Darren but I can’t let them know that. I have to believe that I could defend myself if need be. Otherwise I will just panic.

My mom has said on numerous occasions that Darren would kill me, if we got into a fight. She doesn’t realize how that takes my power away but then again I am letting someone else take something from me. I need to stop that, but haven’t quite figured that out… I guess in a way it feels like she is saying I am WEAK!

I feel like GOD is just another person in my life that has put conditions on love and acceptance. Either I shape up or ship out! Conform to others beliefs or burn in hell.
I am dreading my grandmother’s funeral. Is it bad if I don’t go? I am just not sure I can handle it? I want to be there for my mom but I don’t want to have a breakdown. and not sure how I will respond to seeing both my cousins.

Lastly, back to salvation. I want it but not from those in my family, nor do I want it from the god they believe in. I want to be comforted to know that I will see my mom, sister, paige, peyton and grace again, when I die… For all I know, this is all the time I have left with them… And that scares me.
Those that believe in Hell thinks it is an external place but I believe it is right here on this planet. I guess that is what I need salvation from. I want to stop feeling worthless, unloved and dirty. Because as of right now the only people I believe love me are my mom, sister and my nieces and nephew. And I am not convinced that my mother doesn’t still believe that I am going to hell because I am gay.

My mother use to say something like I love you, I just don’t accept your lifestyle. I was born gay, it is not my lifestyle. My family has put into my head that being gay is wrong and I have internalized that means that I am worthless and unlovable. And I don’t deserve to find love.

How do you get over all that???

_________________________
I am a gay guy just trying to find my way...

http://itismytimetoshine.wordpress.com

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#346415 - 11/28/10 10:38 AM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: diamondheart]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
Hi Derek! Sounds like you have gone through a lot with this family of origin event. (I often think of my family-of-origin as my F.O.E. For some reason, versus my family of choice I am building and investing in today.

There is salvation for you, absolutely:
-salvation from the abuse you experienced as a child: sexual,'spiritual,'emotional, and physical
-salvation from a life of suffering the effects of this abuse that have played out in your adult life
-salvation from a dysfunctional family that continues to deny, abuse, and sicken

I would really like you to watch the film "The Celebration" from 1985-I rented it last summer and it was a pivotal event for me coming to terms with my abuse and my family.
Today I choose to relate and commune with healthy people although I still hold hope for my family-death has a way of rearranging families-and we can be a force for good in this process IF we have changed our roles first.

But changing ourselves and putting the old beliefs back at the feet of those who own them is more important at least in my life. You feeling worthless unmoved and dirty really belongs to Darren-he owns that and IS those things himself-no matter what others try to say.
Keeping you in this place is what they will do to protect their own role in the family system.

There is nothing wrong with being gay-there is sin in denying the truth and in withholding God's love. We create our own hell, IMHO, and I continue to back away from the hell I came from, day by day.

I am proud to travel this road to salvation with you, Derek. Watch the movie and lets start to leave our baggage behind.



Edited by Mountainous Buck (11/28/10 10:47 AM)
_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#346422 - 11/28/10 12:11 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 725
Loc: United States
Thanks for sharing your experience, Derek. It's a big challenge to deal with a very religious family, and having been abused, and being gay as a package deal. But I firmly believe that it's not a challenge beyond us.

The insight that Mountainous Buck shared, that "Keeping you in this place is what they will do to protect their own role in the family system", is a truth I've observed in my own life. Everyone wants you to continue to play your customary role in the family dynamic. If you try to move out of it the rest of the family system moves to force you back into it. The only winning move in that game is not to play. Disconnect from the family dynamic and be who *you* want to be.

I used to have the same kinds of discussions with my mother. That I'd be going to hell, that I need to go back to church, that there is something wrong with me. She thought that she accepted me just fine. After I'd met my SO and we'd been together a while, I was talking with my Mum about a trip home so she could meet him.

She'd been saying some of her usual stuff to me and I started to openly backpedal on bringing him to meet her. She asked why I would do that because, "you know I'd always be polite". I was tired of fighting with her at this stage so I replied wearily that I didn't want polite, I wanted heartfelt. If she couldn't give that, then I'd protect my SO from having to experience her. She started to argue and I cut her off. I explained that if she couldn't open her heart to my SO, then to protect us both she'd end up being cut out of our lives more and more. She would miss out on our lives and knowing us at all. She was stunned.

A week or so later, she called me and told me that "If God made you that way, then it must be okay." She opened up her heart and now she *loves* my SO and we've been together more than a decade. This happened when she was 78 years old. I don't quite have her supporting marriage equality yet, but change is possible at the most unlikely times and with the most unlikely people.

My lesson was to hold the line, hold to my principles and to what I want my life to be. Dogged perseverance and persistence is a force that's hard to resist. smile

My family is about as Roman Catholic as it gets and my Mum was a Charismatic Catholic. Talking in tongues, touched by the spirit, the whole kit and kaboodle. As the eldest son I was supposed to be a priest like my first cousin, and I was named for an uncle who was also a priest.

I have two different relationships with the church I grew up in. One with rank and file Catholics, many of whom think the church is hopelessly backward on science, human sexuality, contraception, and the family, and the other with the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

The Roman Catholic laity tend to be at the leading edge of social justice movements, even those that the Magisterium itself opposes, like the movement for any civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. The Vatican and the Church Hierarchy are becoming more retrograde, conservative, and ethically inconsistent as time goes on. My uncle left the priesthood eventually, I trace it to the cruelty and stupidity of Humanae Vitae (forbidding contraception) and it's impact in Asia.

To deal with what the church was telling me about myself, I became an apostate. I didn't attend mass, I didn't receive the sacraments, and I stopped thinking of myself as a Catholic. If pressed "I was raised Catholic" was as far as I would go. I was forced to reject the Church because it's suddenly punishing and vengeful god didn't match up to the infinitely loving and forgiving god they had taught me to believe in. I came to realize that it was my judgement of my own heart that mattered, and not the dusty dogma of a religion that had lost it's way.

Yet even after 20 years of apostasy I found myself recently taking a stand to defect from a Catholic Church so corrupt and compromised by the ongoing sexual abuse scandal, and so diligently homophobic in its actions against gays and lesbians throughout the millennia that I could no longer bear being accounted among it's number.

Dealing with our religious upbringing takes a lifetime. I found that the most important thing for me was to decide, independently of any church, what a good life was and how it could be lived *for myself*. From there, it's was the battle with the internalized homophobia that the church and society embeds within us

My path led me away from organized religion, but others have found a religious home that accepts them as they are to be a deeply healing experience.

I attend weddings and funerals for my family because acknowledging them is respectful and the right thing to do. Perhaps the right thing to do for you is to attend but to have someone who supports you attend also so that you can have an aware and caring person there just for you.

I don't know that there is a life after this one, it doesn't seem likely to me, nor does anything in the dogmas of religions convince me it's so. If there is no afterlife then there's all the more reason for us to make the most of every moment we have with the people we care about.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#346442 - 11/28/10 05:41 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
blaidd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 240
Loc: Australia
Derek, it makes me so angry to read what you wrote about the spiritual abuse you have endured, on top of the abuse from your cousin.

All this is tantamount to brainwashing and I've seen it so many times before and the damage it has done to my beautiful GLBT brothers and sisters.

In your heart you know that they are wrong, otherwise you wouldn't be even discussing it here. You'd be caught up in the lies and in doing so living the lie. The fact that you are not living this lie says to me that you have great strength and courage in facing this adversity.

I know that it is hard to switch off those negative messages, I really do. These messages come from a twisted and screwed up version of man's interpretation of the bible. Not everyone interprets the bible in the same fundamental way that people like the Baptists, Mormons or the Catholic Church do.

There are, and I know many, wonderful gay and lesbian Christians out there who have come to terms with this. I have friends who are part of Christian communities within mainstream Churches who are welcomed and accepted as equals. It is a lie to say that Gays are not welcomed in the Christian community. Sure there are places where there is a lot of hated and homophobia, but the point is there are other places in which gay people are loved and cherished without any conditions attached.

You are not alone in this. There is salvation for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. Connect with those who have a positive and affirming view of being gay and Christian. Let go of the crap you've been taught, because quite frankly they have got it wrong. The crap is not yours, it is theirs and let them burn in hell for having the audacity in the sight of God to have treated you with such contempt. You are so much better than them.

_________________________
Heal for Life Australian survivor retreat alumnus

Blaidd (pronounced as blaith/blithe) is a welsh word meaning wolf.

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#346445 - 11/28/10 06:03 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: blaidd]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
laidd.Hi, my brothers,

Is there salvation for those who are gay?

In the Catholic religion, we are taught that we are made in the image and likeness of God.

So, if I am gay, then it's OK with him.

I will say that in another post that there are no religeons & churches that have any room for gays.
I will stand corrected, there are places of worship that do have room for us gays, GLBT web site has a listing of them.

I'll thank my GLBT, brother from "Down Under" blaidd, for setting me straight.

Derek, my gay fraternal brother, i like and love you for just being YOU.

Heal well, my brothers, heal well.

Pete..Irishmoose.

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#346446 - 11/28/10 06:08 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: blaidd]
Obi Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1275
Loc: kansas
stuart...

with all due respect, i'm a southern baptist and what bothers me is the way that true christians get raked over the coals for the misinterpretations and misguided "christians" that spew forth the poison that damages the credibility...

Christ would never turn anyone away. Christ hung out with the "dregs" of society. he didn't hang out with the spiritual leaders of his time.

now, i'm not gay but i have many friends/brothers who are gay and i would never turn them away, treat them awful. i would like to believe that i treat everyone, the best that i can because i'm not perfect, like a true christian would... to love thy neighbor. to love thy brother. to do unto others as i would have them do unto me.

i guess it bothers me that many people are lump us true christians into the same mold as these very outspoken, and very misguided, ones that are preaching hate instead of love...

todd

_________________________
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

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#346448 - 11/28/10 06:11 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: Obi]
blaidd Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 240
Loc: Australia
Todd, yup you are correct and it was not my intention to tar all people within those various branches of the Christian Church with the same brush.


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#346450 - 11/28/10 06:24 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: Obi]
diamondheart Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 157
Loc: Michigan
This is from the Southern Baptist Convention website in regards to sexuality:

Quote:
We affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a "valid alternative lifestyle." The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ.


It is not just the Southern Baptist faith that believes being gay is a sin.

_________________________
I am a gay guy just trying to find my way...

http://itismytimetoshine.wordpress.com

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#346452 - 11/28/10 06:28 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: diamondheart]
diamondheart Offline
Member

Registered: 02/25/01
Posts: 157
Loc: Michigan
Thanks everyone for your support and words...

_________________________
I am a gay guy just trying to find my way...

http://itismytimetoshine.wordpress.com

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#346456 - 11/28/10 06:51 PM Re: Is there Salvation for those who are gay? [Re: diamondheart]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
HIS word states - For GOD so loved the WORLD - that HE gave HIS only begotten SON.

We each have our own journey to walk with God or whomever we call to be our spiritual guide.

I believe hiding behind "others" truths will only get us more confused and distraught at the end of the day.

Please know God loves us ALL. Find your own PEACE within yourself - it is there.

Peace,
Donnie

_________________________
aka DJsport

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