edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (suicide)
edgarallenfrog ([personal profile] edgarallenfrog) wrote2009-04-03 03:53 pm

this is how the world ends

So it keeps getting better, I guess. I just received this email from my former pastor and his wife. I removed the images (they were a little graphic and disturbing...gotta love Jack Chick and his in-your-face "gospel" tracts) but the wording is intact:

With all due respect, I think you are treading in rough waters here. Ask yourself how this Day of Silence celebration glorifies Christ and/or reaches people for Him. I know it is exciting to use your "degreed skills" but I'm not sure this is the best use of them. Participating in these types of filth opens your mind to attack from Satan and that, quite frankly, is very dangerous. Not only are you risking your own soul, you are risking the souls of everyone who hears your message. I pray that these pictures and words reach through your hard heart and soften it with the trith of Christ.
Your "Day of Silence" isn't the only celebration going on around this time.

In the battle for righteousness in the public schools, some courageous Christians are fighting back. On April 18 of this year, hundreds of thousands of students wore duct tape over their mouths celebrating a “day of silence.” They handed out cards explaining that they were participating in “a national youth movement protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.”

This has become an annual event at thousands of high schools and colleges for several years. It is organized and promoted by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) that has organized thousands of homosexual clubs on school campuses nationwide.

In 2005, some Christian students decided to counter the homosexual message with a “Day of Truth” campaign. They found legal support from the Alliance Defense Fund, a network of over 600 attorneys nationwide who are on call to educate school officials on students’ free speech rights.

ADF set up a web site and supplied T-shirts and other promotional material for students who wished to participate in the “Day of Truth.” This year, over 7000 Christian students in schools across the country participated on April 19, the day after the “Day of Silence.” Some school authorities demanded that the Christians turn their T-shirts inside out to hide the Day of Truth message. Others suspended the Christians outright.

ADF immediately went to bat for the Christians, pointing out to the school officials that they had allowed the homosexuals to promote their viewpoint and, legally, they must permit the Christians to express their biblical view. David French, senior counsel for ADF, said, “If the school is going to allow one side unfettered free speech on the issue of homosexuality, it has to let the other side speak, too.”

The “Day of Silence” and “Day of Truth” are only annual events. But the pressure is on our students daily to accept and approve the sodomite lifestyle. It is promoted in the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in the schools and in curriculum, such as “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “Emma and Meesha My Boy,” books that promote “lesbian family life” to kindergartners. (See www.twomombooks.com) Although GSA clubs have been mostly in high schools and colleges, a push is on now to establish them in middle schools.

The power of the gospel is the only solution to the wave of perversion washing over our education systems. Chick tracts such as Sin City explain the error of homosexuality. For those who fear the reaction to such a confrontive approach, any of the basic gospel tracts can be used. After all, sodomy is just another sin in God’s eyes.

Homosexuals claim to have been born that way. One soul winner replied to that claim: “Yes. I understand. I was also born a sinner, but I worked out my sin in drugs and alcohol. But Jesus redeemed me and cleansed me and He can do the same for you.”

Tracts like This Was Your Life, The Choice, Li'l Susy, and Somebody Goofed, all present the power of the gospel to deliver from any sin. If these are sowed liberally into any school, they will be a powerful deterrent to the perverted message of the sodomites.

[Picture of people burning in flames]
This will be you and all your gay friends burning in hell forever if you don't repent. Is that what you really want?

Lillian, I read your blog where you seemed so excited about the "Day of Silence." You were so excited about getting to write some kind of paragraph telling people that being gay was normal, that there was nothing wrong with it, and you wanted us to pray that you succeed? You actually think this is a message that America needs? We're being overrun by AIDS, STDs, depravity, promiscuous sex around every corner, the intrusion of this false illusion of "gay marriage" as if two men or two women could really love each other the way God intended for a man and a woman, and you want to pour fuel on the fire by telling America's young people that it's ok to perform these depraved sex acts on each other? What is wrong with you? Where is your sense of decency? Lillian, you said yourself that you have cervical cancer, and that you want people to pray that you don't die. Don't you see that cervical cancer is simply another symptom of the retribution God is already pouring out for your sins? Cervical cancer is spread by a virus. It comes from a sexually transmitted disease. Do you think those cancer treatments are painful? They're nothing compared to the searing pain you will feel in the flames of hell if you don't repent now! I will pray for you, Lillian, but not in the way you want. I will pray that you see the light and repent and turn from your false teaching before it is too late. I will pray that no young people listen to your message and are lured into a lifestyle that will cause them disease, despair, depravity, and death, before damning them to hell forever. You've said that you have a friend who killed himself because he couldn't stand to be gay and he thought that God hated him. Do you really want to doom other young people to this fate? Michael is burning in hell forever as we speak, and you want to send other people to burn right along with them? You may not have the courage to stand for what is right anymore, but I do. We will be there on April 16th, standing in opposition to your lies, armed with the truth and ready to speak out against whatever lies you and your friends are preaching. Shame on you, Lillian. Shame on you. You of all people know better. You knew the truth once and followed in its ways, and now that you're turning back to follow Satan, the punishment will be even worse for you than it will be for your friends who have never known the truth. Repent, Lillian, repent. I never thought you were capable of being this wicked. I pray that you will repent and that when we go to face the crowd of degenerates on the 16th, you won't be with them. But if you stay on this path and you are there with them, then be prepared, because Jesus is always watching you, and he will be there even when we cannot, seeing every wicked thing you think and say and do.

Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.


I'm kind of numb right now (I know it's going to get really bad later, and I'm worried about myself, because I make really bad decisions when I haven't had any sleep) but I do have a few questions about all of this.

First off...is it irresponsible for me to tell people that God loves them? I know it might sound like a stupid question, but I'm honestly asking here. Last year, I was all about the "God loves you" message but my friend Michael encountered so much hatred and so much opposition in the churches around here (and in the town in general) that it almost rendered my message dangerous, at least as far as he was concerned. I mean, I tell all the freaks and the kids who don't fit in for whatever reason (not just because they're gay, because they're "different") that Jesus loves them and that God's love is bigger than any person, and that Lamentations is an example of people in the bible crying out to God for an answer even though the book ends before they get an answer, so it's encouragement for us to keep seeking even when we feel like God has forgotten us...I say all these things, and I can quote bible verses left and right, and then I send them out into this town and they run face first into Christians like the ones who sent me this email...is it irresponsible for me to tell them a message that is so far from what they're going to hear in every other church in town? Am I setting people up to be kicked in the face? Is there a way for me to present the idea that God loves them and still warn them about the message they might hear that will contradict that? I don't want to gossip about other Christians or other people, but I don't want to send people blind out to hear Christians saying something like THIS without any kind of warning...

I don't know how to word my second question, but I'll try. Am I being deceitful if I tell people that God's love is complete and true and total and absolute and whatever if I don't totally believe it for myself? I'm going in the only direction I can, walking toward God instead of walking away, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I feel like I don't have a right to even be asking God for His love and His blessing. I know what all the bible verses say, I've read them over and over and over, but if I'm honest, there's a big part of me that has always (and may always) believe that I'm not worthy of the love that God is supposed to have because I doubt it so much. Furthermore, I know the pain and the scars I have from hiding who I was for so long, so I am being honest when I tell people not to hide who they are and to be honest with themselves and with God (and with as many people as they feel safe telling about themselves) but there are still so many people I haven't told about myself. There are still so many times I stay silent. Is it deceitful for me to participate in the "Day of Silence," to stand there and say it's bad to keep silent, when there are so many times I stay silent myself?

And really, this last one is a question for me...if I'm all wrong about this, if God really does condemn homosexuality like many people say, am I willing to lead other people astray like this by telling them something is right when I know it's wrong? A bad tree can't bear good fruit. What if all this stuff I think is "good fruit" is really just me lying and deceiving people? Am I willing to drag other people down with me?

My friend Carrie PArker made this. It helps me a little. Maybe I need to watch "Milk" again.

[identity profile] jackiesjunkie.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
*speechless* Honestly, it's people like that who make me ashamed to call myself a Christian.

I'm pissed enough that I can't find the words to say what I want to say. I'll get back to you later after I've had some time to do a little reading and relaxing.
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It's ok. I'm right there with you. Take deep breaths and watch this:

ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 08:49 am (UTC)(link)
I hope that didn't sound condescending. I didn't mean it to be. I was being serious...this video was the only thing that kept me calm after I got this email.

[identity profile] jackiesjunkie.livejournal.com 2009-04-06 05:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Don't worry. I haven't gotten a chance to get online this weekend. That's a really great video. *hugs*

[identity profile] peskipiksi.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:38 pm (UTC)(link)
My first, whole-body response to this email: "What the FUCK?!?" Or, in Internetz, "OMFGWTFWTFOMFGBBQ?!?!?!?!?"

...Because really, I don't know where else to start. How ANYONE can claim to preach the gospel of an infinitely loving and forgiving Savior, can claim they WANT people to experience God's boundless capacities for forgiveness, grace, and mercy, and then turn around and spew THIS SHIT blows my mind. God may have an infinite capacity to love, but these folks don't know where to begin.

That said, I think your first question is totally fair, and I think that both telling people God loves them and giving them a fair idea what to expect when they walk out the door is important. Maybe the only way to do it without gossiping is to have other people do their own reading and critical thinking. I don't know.

As for the second, I have long believed that a strong part of your ability to demonstrate God's capacities is that you struggle with whether you believe them yourself. You've never once made me feel like you were paying lip service to God or being holier-than-thou or anything. I always knew, and I always know, that you can talk about God's capacities for love and forgiveness and the rest because you're often in a place where you need them, and if some part of you (no matter how small) was still able to reach out and ask for that love and forgiveness, it must be there, no matter how cloudy it seemed trying to find it. Your hope gives me hope.

To make a long story short, then, I don't see anything hypocritical at all in insisting that God is good even when you don't always believe it. It just means you're still on the journey. Which everyone is, and we all need to be reminded sometimes we're not the only one out here. (Hence Lamentations and Job and the post-exile Psalms.)

I know your last question wasn't for the audience, but here's my take on it: if God is a less than infinitely loving Source, if He is some kind of pissy bastard who would eternally torture His own creations for being what He made them to be (and I DO see a difference between non-heterosexualities and, say, bank robbery; the former is something you *are* whether you practice it or not, kinda like being left-handed), then fine, I'll burn in Hell for an eternity. Because frankly I would rather do that than spend this life practicing hatred, oppression, and fear, even if it would get me into "Heaven." Frankly, a Heaven filled with hatey oppressive fearmongers is nowhere I want to spend eternity anyway.
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I struggled with whether to post this because it smelled like asking for sympathy or fishing for compliments or something. But I'm glad I posted it anyway. I needed someone to be the voice of sanity when I didn't have any left.

Frankly, a Heaven filled with hatey oppressive fearmongers is nowhere I want to spend eternity anyway.

Marilyn was talking about this a few weeks ago and she said "I guess I'm going to hell...at least I won't need my coat." And I said, "You will if you go to heaven. You know it'll be cold there with some of these people there."

[identity profile] peskipiksi.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 09:23 pm (UTC)(link)
It's funny because it's true.

If I won't be needing my coat, I'll donate it to someone just before I die. I will also give that person my shirt. JESUS WILL BE SO CONFUSED
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Jesus will be PISSED. He doesn't want us to HELP others. For every verse about God's love, there are three about His wrath. Those who think God loves them don't realize the depth of His HATE.

/Fred Phelps

[identity profile] peskipiksi.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Fred Phelps sees his god every time he looks in a mirror.

[identity profile] zibblsnrt.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
You know it'll be cold there with some of these people there."

I dunno, their hot air might balance things out.

Seriously though - ugh.

[identity profile] maritov.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:40 pm (UTC)(link)

The best and only thing I can think of to say is that there is no reason to believe anything these people say, even though I know it is hurtful that they say it. The advance that Protestant Christianity made over Catholicism is that ability for each Christian to have his or her own individual relationship with G-d and with the bible. You are an intelligent educated person with the capacity to understand for yourself what G-d and the bible say. Maybe you are not there yet, but you are on your way--and religion is a life-long search anyway. Just because someone put them in charge of a church doesn't mean they know better than you.
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 08:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I guess I know that they don't know better than me. I kind of knew that even back when I went to their church. I smelled it ending badly all along, with the pastor's wife's tendency to make sweeping proclamations like "there are two kinds of Christians..." (those who generalize and those who don't?) I just hate having people hate me, if that makes sense. I want to make them not hate me anymore. It makes me sad.
maewyn: a middle-aged obi-wan holds his goatee, looking worried and pensive (Default)

[personal profile] maewyn 2009-04-04 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
I think they just want someone to hate. If you twisted yourself into knots trying to be the kind of person they'd love, they'd hate on you because you twisted yourself into knots.

[identity profile] nabba.livejournal.com 2009-04-03 09:52 pm (UTC)(link)
It pains me that people see things this way. Yes, everyone is entitled to their views and beliefs, but (and correct me if I'm wrong) doesn't God love everyone regardless of who they are or what they have done? Is it okay to forgive murderers and rapists and allow them into (our) Heaven so long as they have repented, even if they didn't mean it? Because God loves them too. Love is love. You can't help who you love, it's not always sexual, but yes, sexual intimacy is an aspect of almost all romantic relationships.

I will freely admit my ignorance when it comes to religion, but I have encountered so many people like this that I can't even understand how that hatred can be justified.

It's not our place or business who someone chooses to love.

I hope this came out comprehendable. I love that quote
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[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 08:55 am (UTC)(link)
It's not our place or business who someone chooses to love.

But it's not about love, it's about SEX, right? That dirty four three letter word. :-p

I seriously think it's the sex that squicks people out so much. So much so that they claim it's not "REALLY" love, people in same-sex romantic relationships are just lying to themselves, they're not really happy, they can't be. For some reason, and I never got why, even back when I was a rabid fundamentalist, people wouldn't allow themselves to think about the possibility of someone finding love in a same-sex romantic relationship. People say this is about what the bible says, but it's really not. The bible is just their excuse to keep believing what they believe. Someone running from the room yelling "that's disgusting" when they see two men kiss on TV isn't simply exercising their right to believe in the bible. There's something more at work here; there's some aspect of same-sex romance that really really bothers some people, and I never really understood what that was. It boggles the mind.

[identity profile] nabba.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 01:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, it's always about sex. Damn puritans founding modern America. I don't understand it either. People use the bible to hide behind for so many things. It's horrible I think. My dad is one of those people and I don't really know why he feels that way. It's like you can't just know someone for who they are without defining them by their sexuality.
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[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
*tries to reply*

*gets distracted by your icon in the process*

*forgets what she was going to say*

[identity profile] nabba.livejournal.com 2009-04-06 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Does this help?
maewyn: a middle-aged obi-wan holds his goatee, looking worried and pensive (Default)

[personal profile] maewyn 2009-04-04 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
My response to that email is spluttering rage. Also, what [livejournal.com profile] peskipiksi said: how these people can claim to want to show love, while they themselves are full of blind hate, is beyond my ken. (So is the idea that someone could read a post that's all "gay gay gay gay gay!" and come away from it thinking, "Hmm, sounds pretty good, think I'll break up with my hetero SO and be gay from now on.")

So, in summary: You're fine, you're doing things that are good and right. These people are hateful asshats. I'd lay money on the fact that you're only second-guessing your decisions because you were exposed to these (or similar) hateful asshats for so long, and they interspersed true/uplifting things with the hate, that you began to believe some of the hateful things as well as the uplifting things. You can leave the hateful things and hateful people behind, but their words can still tug on bits of your brain-matter.

I've recently started reading a blog called No Longer Quivering, written by two women who left the Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy movement. Somehow, they're both still strong Christians. The stuff about husbands and kids may or may not be useful to you, but they also talk about questioning their faith (and where to draw the line between useful things and damaging interpretations of Scripture, for example), and how they deal with people who, well, criticize and guilt and "rebuke" them in much the same way as the writer(s) of the letter you posted.
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[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 09:04 am (UTC)(link)
I'd lay money on the fact that you're only second-guessing your decisions because you were exposed to these (or similar) hateful asshats for so long, and they interspersed true/uplifting things with the hate, that you began to believe some of the hateful things as well as the uplifting things. You can leave the hateful things and hateful people behind, but their words can still tug on bits of your brain-matter.

Thank you. I posted this letter in a Gay Christian community (that makes me want to pull my hair out more often than not) and people were all over the place in their responses. Some were really helpful, some were all "well get over it and don't let it bother you a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush let's all build a bridge to the 21st century," some said I should leave this church (since they didn't catch the part where I said this guy is my FORMER pastor (former = I already left the church...I even said the church disbanded and didn't exist anymore, you people fail at reading). But your response helps. I think it's because you guys know me, you've seen the best and the worst of me, so even when I appear not to be listening to you and my other friends, your words mean more to me because I know you're not just pulling things out of your ass (which, while I appreciate that people are trying to be helpful, is really annoying sometimes).

For so many years, I've heard bad things about myself (always said with "love," of course) that I sometimes can't tell the difference. At first, when I got this email, it took me awhile to decide whether it was actually mean because in the past, whenever people said things like this to me and I'd post it here, my Christian friends would say things like "these people care about you, you take everything as an attack when people are just telling you the truth, why are you so defensive all the time?" That kind of shit messed me up. I don't always know whether to trust my first instincts with this kind of stuff. I was half worried that I'd post this here and people would respond and say "They're just trying to help, stop freaking out, people care about you" and all that rot.

I'll check out the "No Longer Quivering" blog. Thanks for the link.


[identity profile] vacheestfachee.livejournal.com 2009-04-04 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I miss my pissy icons. Need now.

I am so sorry that you had to face that. And I'm sorry that those people exist in BR.
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)


[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 09:04 am (UTC)(link)


[identity profile] blue-stiletto.livejournal.com 2009-04-04 05:35 pm (UTC)(link)
i wish i had something meaningful to say, but reading stuff like this just leaves me sick to my stomach. it also reinforces why i left the church in the first place.

i'm sorry you have horrible people like this interfering in your life. nobody deserves this kind of attack, especially you.

(Anonymous) 2009-04-04 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I wish I had something meaningful to say as well.. I think what your pastor sent you was completely out of line and un-needed. Being homosexual is not something you need to "repent" from. That's complete bullshit. Alcohol is fine in moderation, even Jesus drank wine. gah.. that whole letter pisses me off. Sorry you have to deal with small minded people like that.

[identity profile] buried-treasure.livejournal.com 2009-04-04 06:28 pm (UTC)(link)
sorry.. forgot to log in.. it's me Heidi :)
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[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
LOL. Thanks Heidi.

At first I saw an anonymous post and freaked out like, "Oh shit, they found me!" because there are things in this email that I don't know how they got that information unless they found my blog (like the stuff about how I have Cervical cancer, or how my friend Michael killed himself).
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[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 09:09 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] peskipiksi.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 12:39 am (UTC)(link)
This blog post at Cogitamus would be funnier if it didn't look like these two were taking him up on it. :(
ext_15281: harvey milk (Default)

[identity profile] malakijr.livejournal.com 2009-04-05 09:09 am (UTC)(link)
Remember, in our electronic society, "Reply All" is a Christian's best friend, because it helps to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.


But you know, I've heard people preach this same message, so apparently not everyone is in on the joke.