Friday, July 12, 2013

Intentions: A Spiritual Blog

When I was younger I grew up in a town where religion was used as a weapon. The Catholics believed in a God that was vengeful and indulged in marches for life. Ribbons-or right to life-were handed out on several occasions. These were supposedly to protect the unborn, but in reality designed to oppress women. Holy days were taken seriously which meant morning masses before school. As for the Protestants, they weren't much better. They just went to church a little later but were still just as crazy. Then there was the megachurch down the road where the pastor declared AIDS was the punishment to the gay population. Not to mention they had a wicked recruitment program in their youth group. As in kool-aid and pizza at the end of the month if the kids go so much fresh blood. Then there were two sects that split off because the megachurch was becoming too liberal. One splinter sect was so crazy it meant that one could not marry outside the this mini church that met in our school's cafeteria. That meant children with flippers.

As if that wasn't bad enough we had a youth group called Campus Life. The sponsor, a strange man with pale skin and white blonde hair, would troll the school cafeteria looking for lost souls to entrap in this Svengali net. To correspond with this, a well meaning history teacher had Bible Studies in his room during lunch violating the supposed divide between church and state. I remember when I was a junior, our school got a new principal. He used the anti-power of Christ to compel this cult master out of the cafeteria. People who were drunk in the daze were angry. Those of us with brains were quite satisfied. Later he was arrested for molesting young boys. Now he is on his knees in jail doing the bidding of Jesus. While Jesus is not the one who died on the cross in an S and M type of fashion, he does have a rosary tattooed on his chest.

Of course these nuts were always on fire. Like Rand Paul they cite the Bible as anthropological evidence. Not to mention they wrote poems about God and how he made them feel safe. One young woman wrote a poem about her closeness to God that read like a pornographic novel. Needless to say, when I was eighteen and moved to NYC I was done with these Jesus freaks.

I didn't want to hear about the Bible and didn't have time for anyone who quoted it. While I never ceased to believe in a Higher Power, I refused to believe it was a racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic white man on a cloud. My understanding of life and the world were so different than any of the hate these people preached that I totally wrote off organized religion. I would even quote Karl Marx calling it the opium of the people.

However one thing I got into was meditation. I came across it several years ago as I was going through one of the craziest times of my life and coming out of one even more chaotic. The meditation helped me change my energy. It helped me focus. It helped me quiet my mind. I also met some people who were religious but were peaceful and chose to show their faith by living it rather than preaching it. I ended up attending Bible study at a gay friendly church a few times where I learned about the Bible in a whole new way. Sodom and Gomorrah was not about homosexuality, but being kind to your neighbor and welcoming strangers. It was also lost in translation. I remember the preacher explaining that it had been interpreted as homosexuality in later years, but this was not originally the case in Greek. Another woman whom I became close to also said that God's issue was not homosexuality, but rather the rape of angels. I also met a priest who said, "Listen, if you are gay you are welcome in my church. I also think you should be able to get married. The world will catch up but we are all God's children."

Over time I began to see that faith, when used well, was a wonderful thing. That religion could be wonderful as well, if coupled with spirituality. If it was just dogma alone that is when it was toxic. That is when people put ministers such as Pat Robertson-who looks like an angry elf-on a white cloud and make him God. How people listen to that moron I will never know. But a belief wasn't evil. It was how it got twisted and misunderstood.

Recently, in my meditation, my friend Bernard Davis has inspired me. A former Jehovah's Witness, Bernard has left the fold because that and being gay don't always jibe. However he has kept his spirituality. Before we went to Gay Pride Bernard insisted we do an intention. He said, "When we go out today, may we spread love, light and happiness." And we did. Actually the intention was awesome. 

So lately I have been doing that and my life has been changing. So yes, I believe in good vibes. I am spiritual. I believe it a G.O.D. (Good orderly direction, Gratitude over drama). I believe in the next right thing. I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated. Any questions?

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
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