so in my last blog, i called miss california is a douchebag and i really feel the need to apologize. before you get too excited, know that i'm not apologizing for calling her a douchebag (because truth be told, i'm still kinda standing by that one); i'm apologizing because i didn't explain why i think she's a douchebag.
her pageant answer bothered me, sure. for one, it wasn't very intelligent. "opposite" marriage? for real? thank God for miss teen south carolina cuz she is about the ONLY one who could make you look good after that one. and for two, to be perfectly honest, it bothered me because i just didn't agree with what she had to say. but regardless of our differences of opinion, the way that she presented her different opinion was really ungraceful and quite polarizing. i mean i know she thought she was being real cute when she attached the "no offense" part to the end of her statement as if those two words are license to say whatever you want but tell me, if i told you, "hey, you are stinking pile of worthless shit -- no offense!" does that really get you to go, "yeah, that was a little harsh but since you don't mean any offense i guess that's alright." of course not! and though all those things were enough to get me riled up, it is absolutely NOTHING compared to how angry and hurt and upset i've been in the days that followed.
i am a pretty sensitive individual when it comes to issues of injustice be it for race, gender, class, sexuality or any combination therein. i am totally that girl who will speak up when you're talkin' crazy racialist, challenge your ideas about what is "girly", question the worth of a capitalist system that depends on exploitation and if you tell me something is "so gay" you BETTER be talking about something homosexual because i WILL call you out whether i know you or not. but when you implicate MY faith, MY church, MY Jesus in your language of denigration and inequality -- let me tell you -- you have taken my social justice rage to a whole new level and you haven't seen ANYTHING yet, my brothers and sisters.
to those of you who are applauding miss california's boldness, bravery, commitment to her faith, let me employ some biblical language: YOU BROOD OF VIPERS! [or how about a modern translation?] YOU EFFING DOUCHETARDS! what are you doing? no seriously, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? the Bible is VERY clear and gives us many examples of whose side Jesus would take in this public debacle. when it came to the battles of "sinners" vs. "the righteous", Jesus ALWAYS took the side of the underdog! in fact, Jesus got called out by the religious folk, the church-going well-behaved (presumably) heterosexual popular kids for hanging out and spending time with the hookers, the swindlers, the most marginalized.
there's a passage in Luke that to me is eerily resonant with this current situation. Jesus paints this metaphor using the story of a pharisee (a religious dude) who goes to the temple and prays loudly, thanking God for not making him like the tax collector. and rather than taking the side of the man who was living right, behaving well, and subscribing to the right religion, Jesus took the side of the tax collector who i'm sure, was probably not the best dude either and probably did his fair share of sinning. if we were to put a modern day spin on this metaphor, i feel like the pharisee [or televangelist or fox news anchor] could've just as easily been shouting, "Thank you God for not making me gay!" and what would Jesus say to that douchebag? "... all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."In other words, don't get so uppity there homeboy, you will get yours and it will NOT be cute.
there's another passage in John that's pretty famous; it's where we get the idiom about now "throwing stones". here we have a woman who was behaving in a way that scripture clearly said she shouldn't; she's an adulterer and the Bible says pretty clearly that it's not cool to be a cheating hobag. so what did the religious people do? they brought her in front of Jesus, pointed to the scriptures that proved she was a sinner [probably somewhere in the old Testament next to the homosexuality stuff, only there would probably be WAY more than the small handful of verses scattered throughout the Bible that mention homosexuality but I DIGRESS] -- the religious people point to the scripture that proves them right and what does Jesus do? He tells the proud religious folk who feel real good about their grasp on scripture, the kids who feel super awesome for NOT being a sinner like the hobag they've got in tow and Jesus effectively rips them a new one! He tells the ones who AREN'T sinners to come forward and go ahead and proceed with their scriptural indictment. Jesus does NOT condemn the adulterer the way that the religious people did. Jesus does NOT sanction these religious teachers and leaders to define and enforce the sin in her life. granted, Jesus does tell the girl to "leave her sin" at the end of the passage but note that it is between Jesus and HER what that sin is! there's a lot of ambiguity here, i mean we don't even know what Jesus wrote in the sand! Jesus doesn't say "leave your sin, you know that sin of adultery that those dudes were about to murder you for" He simply offers her love, a gentle rebuke, and now that she knows she is accepted He releases her to work out what the new life apart from sin looks like. and listen, before you jump to your keyboard to outline what you KNOW that sin is, what you KNOW the sin of others looks like, let's not forget the lesson we just learned not a few sentences ago: IT IS NOT YOUR JOB, HOMEY! until you figure out a way to stop sinning entirely, you do NOT get to puff up your chest and point your finger at other people who you do not know, who you are not in relationship with and [sorry to say] you clearly do not love.
i haven't yet mentioned the other figure at the center of this whole thing is the dude who asked the question, perez hilton. i know he's far from a saint and he has said some really terrible things in these past few days that i do not excuse or defend. but to his credit, he did one thing that was actually VERY Jesus-like of him: he invited miss california to coffee -- into a conversation, into a personal relationship. what bums me out is that so far, all she's said is "no comment". another prominent LGBT group has also invited her into a conversation and though i would hope she'd accept, call me cynical but i really doubt it. honestly, this is probably the biggest problem with us Christians right now. we are not having this conversation, we are not actually entering into relationships, we are staying at our comfortable distance and pointing our fingers from afar. we're afraid of engaging in the messy and painful dialogue because what i think we're most afraid of is that we might be wrong.
a lot of people want to say that this miss california is just a victim of religious persecution and wowee, didn't she give up so much ("boohoo, i didn't get to be miss USA!") but before you get to thinking that the Christians are the most marginalized around these parts make no mistake -- Christianity is the religion of privilege in our country. every American president has claimed Christianity and why? because there is NO WAY America would let a president be anything else -- as evidenced by all the scare propaganda (and might i add, the SUCCESSFUL scare propaganda) that claimed Obama was a Muslim. there is no way that America would elect a non-Christian president because us Christians -- no matter how much of a victim you feel like and no matter how much you want to shake off the responsibility of that privilege -- us Christians aren't the marginalized ones. in fact, we are on the forefront of those perpetrating the denigration. we are the ones patting ourselves on the back for our good behavior and winding up our good pitching arms ready to chuck stones at the easiest targets. and notice here i'm not saying "you" i'm saying "we" because i know that i am just as guilty, just as slow to change, just as comfortable with what privilege i have and just as hesitant to give it up at times. but i am calling out my brothers and sisters both out of love for you and love for my gay and lesbian friends. it is time for all of us to get over our self-righteous selves and REPENT! we are doing wrong and the consequences are a matter of life and death. if we do not teach the next generation to change, if we don't teach our kids that it is not okay to behave like the pharisees and proud religious folk, if we continue to rob anyone else of their God ordained humanity we will reap a world of unimaginable heartbreak.
i know i've said some pretty heated stuff so i won't be surprised if some of y'all feel prompted to comment [that is, if you make it to the end of this ridiculous thing] but let me warn you: this is not the miss america pageant and you don't get to say whatever you want if that something alienates or marginalizes someone else. you are welcome to say whatever you want about me but if your comment in any way degrades or denies the dignity and humanity of my gay friends (who i love not in SPITE of who they are but BECAUSE of who there are) i promise you i WILL delete your insensitive, un-Jesus-like comment. be a bigot on your own blogs, kiddos -- homey don't play that here.