February 1, 2015
Let me give you a little background on myself. My name is Walter Fletcher 3rd, a father, husband, citizen of these great United States, I am also bisexual. Now you may ask why I decided to tell you that I am bisexual, and the reason will be clear soon. Just the other day I was in a debate about biblical writings. I was defending homosexuality from how people believe the bible speaks about it. During this debate someone asked me if I was gay to which I answered no, bisexual. His reply prompted me to write this. Without knowing me in real life as this was on the internet, and this being the only personal information he knew about me, that when he commented with a picture of a pastor pointing and saying “rebuke and repent” adding his own comment “this Walter guy is nasty”, it struck a chord in me. Here is someone who knows nothing about me calling me nasty, why? It’s because of his beliefs in the bible. Just because he believe what is perceived to be a sin he has made his judgment of me solely on what he has been told. Now what makes this even worse is thinking like this is destroying families. My own mother when I came out to her as bisexual told me in a voice ad with a look like I had just committed murder “I wish you hadn’t told me that”. It hurt me like you wouldn’t believe. Here is the woman who gave birth to me and told me she loved me so many times now looking at me as if I had committed a heinous crime because I came out to her.
This is one of the problems with society today. There are a number of religious people out there who allow their religion to dictate how they think about others even if they know nothing about them. This is scary when you think about the fact this country has a majority of the population being religious. I have no problem with people be religious until it encroaches upon other people lives. Right now the district supreme courts have been overturning state bans on same sex marriage and some religious people are losing their minds over this. The problem is the bans were put into place denying a gay couple to enter into marriage the same as a heterosexual couple mainly because of religious thought on the matter. When you ask someone who is against marriage equality more than likely you will be given and answer pertaining to the bible. This country is not a theocracy, nor is it a Christian nation. Its simply amazing how many will research a new car more than they will their own religion which they allow to influence a great deal of their lives.
This country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution in the way of being told what they had to believe in, and how to worship. Fast forward to today and now we have legislators trying to impose laws that take root from the bible. Laws that would deny equality to those the bible deem undesirable. We are seeing the repeal of laws that protect sexual orientation as a protected class by legislators that feel LGBT people are deviants. Rep. Sally Kern of Oklahoma is trying to get 3 ant-gay bills passed, another Oklahoma rep. wants the government to kill gays, and rep. W. Todd Atkin from Missouri who said that no civilization that accepted homosexuality has survived as well as coining the phrase “legitimate rape” just to name a few. There are even men of the clothe who are calling for us to be dead, rounded up and put in concentration camp like site, or made to be criminals just because of religion.
Now you may ask why I said perceived to be a sin, and not that it is a sin. I ask you keep an open mind on this and think critically. In the bible it has been shown not everything translates straight (no pun intended) over 100%, in fact there are nuances and definitions lost throughout translation. In the original Hebrew there was no mention of a rib and Adam was not the name of the person but the type of creature he is, a groundling. So if we already have these in the first chapter what else can we expect? Well in Leviticus there is mention of an abomination, but what type of abomination? In Hebrew it is a to’evah abomination as there were a couple different types. This abomination from what I have read had to do with ritualistic ceremonies. In other words do not sleep with a man as you would a woman in a ceremony. I will say I will be doing more research on this but it does makes sense from what I have read when examples of other religion of that time having fertility rites where men had sex with men, women with women, and orgies. Some sites translate it out to be more of a taboo and not strictly right or wrong in general, just in a ceremonial way. Let’s jump ahead to another favorite of the religious and dissect 1st Corinthians where it states “know ye who will not inherit the kingdom of heaven” going on to list a slew of sins. There in the Greek that Paul wrote was a word he had made up using two from Leviticus. The word is arsenokoitai, arseno which translates to man, and koiten which means bed (or some say sexual bed). The translation before 1946 was something along the line of “abusers of them self with mankind”, but mankind could mean men and women, or just men. There are versions of the bible today that have taken that out and changed it to homosexual starting back in 1946 when this country viewed homosexuality as a crime. The word homosexual did not enter into the lexicon until 1868 when the study of sexuality was being done by a German psychologist who coined it. Throughout history there have been around 77 times this word that Paul made up has been used in Greek literature and not all have been suggestive of homosexuality, there have been cases where it speaks of husbands and wives, and people who do favors in exchange in lieu of money because of financial hardship. Why would the translators only use homosexual as the definition when even scholars admit to no real clear definition? This word also made an appearance in Timothy. Now let us look at another favorite, Romans 1 24-27 where it talks about what happens when you turn away from god. In this book it states that the ones described within are originally straight, but due to their disobedience and turning of their backs they are given over to lust, and it is through this lust they give up the natural use of each other and burn in the lust for members of their own gender. My question to this is if you are going to use logic and believe there were gay people in that era, then what would happen if they turned from god, and wasn’t the lust the sin that made the straights turn gay for each other? I mean you cannot define any orientation as strictly lustful which is part of what I believe this is implying.
People have been using these verses as ways to oppress LGBT people and to deny them equality. So when some makes a snap judgment about someone else based on one aspect of their whole being because of a book or religion, would you consider that right? Marriage equality is a big deal and having a country that is overwhelmingly religious deciding who should be allowed has no chance at fairness unless the courts step in.
Some religious people act like they have been persecuted because people have stood up to them in trying to stop their oppression. There have been many times in my life where it was screwed up because of religion. I lost 2 jobs, one because of religious harassment and the other because of perceived religion. I will start with the second one first as it was my first job. I worked at a Boy Scout camp back in 1992 when I was 16 as a camp counselor. The camp was Broadcreek scout reservation, and I worked at Saffran. I taught basketry, woodcarving and leatherwork while there. I would draw in between classes, and one day a kid went into my bag got out the drawing and started asking question. The drawings were of dragons, skulls and demons as I loved fantasy and using my imagination. After I corrected the kid for going through my bag, questions started being asked about favorite horror movies and what I thought about them, then someone asked me something about religion and the devil whether I believed in him. I said if you believe in god you should believe in the devil as there should be balance, this for some reason started them asking more questions that anyone who went to Sunday school would know the answers to. After about 10minutes of working and answering I figured we should stop the conversation as it was not really appropriate. The next day I was asked to the office of the camp leader who also happened to be a pastor, Bill Benser. He decided to tell me I had 2 choices, either I quit or be fired. What was the reason for this ultimatum? I was being accused of teaching Satanism. During the questions being asked one of the kids thought I was teaching them this. If that was not bad enough about a week before hand while sleeping, my fellow counselors decided to treat me to a Full Metal Jacket style beat down except I had a cot tied down over me so I could not move much instead of just being held down. After I was freed I ended up sleeping that night at the medical cabin. When the camp leader heard about this he told those who were responsible to apologize which they did, and they kept their jobs. Let’s see here they keep their jobs after beating me, and I am told to quit or be fired after being accused of Satanism. Doesn’t seem right if you ask me.
Second time I was being harassed at work was at Baltimore Aircoil in 1997 by people who were constantly asking me to go to church in order to save my soul, leaving religious material in my workspace, and commenting on how I need to find god. This went on for a long while, at first I would go along with it thinking it was a joke. They would ask me what I think would happen if they switched my water with holy water, and thing like that. After a while it grew tiresome and I politely asked them to stop after a while they kept hounding me to go to church. I went to my boss who instead of helping me out asked why I did not want to go to church and stated that they were only concerned for my wellbeing. I asked him to please tell them to stop and left is office. The next day I came into work to find an upside down cross welded to my work station and “hail satin” on my workbench. That was the last straw and I ended up having a nervous breakdown as no one was leaving me alone about church and religion. I ended up being asked to see a psychiatrist and later let go because they felt I was not working well with others.
One last thing for now in ways religion has turned me off from it was when I was giving church a second chance many years later. At the end of service one day I was asked to sign a petition to try and get a law or something passed that said if you were not straight you should lose your job and not be allowed to work until you repent or something.
I am not saying all who are religious are like this, but it seems the ones who get the most airtime are.