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JESUSLAND (1 Viewer)

Max SG

Senior Member
JESUSLAND
by Max Gordon
November 23, 2004

There is a thirteen-year-old boy in America who walks to school this morning. He believes he is a pervert because he is sexually attracted to a boy in his class. Undressing in the locker room for gym, he is terrified he will get an erection or his friends will notice him staring at the other boys and call him a homo.

At night, he lies in bed. He promised God he wouldn't look at pictures of naked men having sex anymore, but he did it again after school. As a punishment, he pinches his penis between his fingernails until he breaks the skin. He believes the pain is good for him. It is only a fraction of the pain that sinners feel when they go to hell, or what Jesus must have felt on the cross.

He sits in church on Sunday and knows the priest is referring to him: deviants whose unnatural desire will keep them from entering the Kingdom of God. When he takes communion, he prays that God will heal the sickness inside him and make him clean and perfect like his Son. He promises to try even harder not to sin than he's ever tried before.

After failing again, he decides he has no more tries left in him. He cannot stop the thoughts or change them. He believes God is disgusted with him and that He refuses to help. He stands looking in the bathroom mirror and wonders if he is what a homo looks like. He thinks of his youngest sister coming home from kindergarten with school papers tucked under her arm, and wonders if the boy from his class is in bed sleeping. He lifts his father's gun and shoots himself in the head.

On January 2, 1997, 14-year-old Robbie Kirkland committed suicide after struggling with his homosexuality for four years. His mother said at the time, "Our family loved, supported and accepted him but could not protect him from the rejection and harassment he experienced at his Catholic schools." On May 8, 1995, Bill Clayton, 17, took a fatal overdose after being hospitalized for depression. He'd been assaulted by a group of boys in his community because of his sexual orientation. Jacob Lawrence Orosco, 17, hanged himself on September 3, 1997, in his mother's home. When Jacob and nine of his friends tried to form a Gay/Straight student alliance at his school, a group of students at a nearby high school formed SAFE-Students against Fags Everywhere.

Anna Wakefield, a lesbian in her 20's from Virginia, hanged herself on February 27, 1997, after being rejected and estranged from her family; Private First Class Barry Winchell, 21, of Kansas City, Missouri, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat on July 5, 1999 after rumors that he was gay spread around the post; Steen Fenrich, 19, was killed and dismembered by his stepfather in a homophobic rage, his body found March 21, 2000; Juana Vega, 36, shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 11, 2001 by her girlfriend's brother, for "turning his sister gay"; Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgender woman from Newark, California, savagely beaten to death on October 3, 2002 by a group of boys at a party; Sakia Gunn, 15, fatally stabbed at a bus stop in Newark, New Jersey, May 11, 2003 after her assailant was told she was a lesbian; Fred Martinez, Jr., a 16-year-old Native American high school student from Cortez, Colorado, found beaten to death, June 21, 2001, his skull crushed with a rock. His 19-year-old killer was heard to have said proudly, "I bug-smashed a fag."

A few days after Kerry's concession, Bill Clinton gave a speech at a conference of the Urban Land Institute in New York. The Daily News quoted him as saying that Kerry could have made more of an impact with small-town voters by emphasizing his opposition to gay marriage. "He said it once or twice, instead of 3,000 times, in rural communities. If we let people believe our party doesn't believe in faith and family, that's our fault." Clinton: our moral authority on marriage and sex. As a gay man in America, perhaps I am responsible for the unraveling of the moral fabric of this country, but I have never used a cigar in bed, and I absolutely draw the line at wearing a dress from the GAP.

America listens to its presidents, present and past. The president sets the tone for tolerance in the land. When a president proposes discriminatory legislation or supports it, however unlikely it may seem that it will be voted into law, the message he sends to the rest of the country is clear: these are the people you have my permission to harm. George W. Bush's proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is more than just a vindictive president's desire to deprive gay men of bridal registry; it is the legislation of hate, and its direct consequence will be the sanctioned murder of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

I marvel at the vogue of hate today in this country; who you can freely hate these days and who you can't. You can hate women, and gays, and fat people. You can hate poor people, and the homeless. You can't, however, hate black people or Jews anymore, at least not on television or in print. (You can still hate blacks privately, but Jews are harder; some have blonde hair and it isn't easy to tell if they are in the room.)

Black and white Christians have been revitalized by the same-sex ban, agreeing to suspend their hatred for each other in favor of a combined, galvanized hatred for gays. The GOP hates us all year round, but Democrats are "holiday haters," reserving their hate for special occasions - like close elections. Holiday hate never counts as real hate, of course, it's just politics, like little white (water) lies, and promises (fingers crossed) to pass legislation protecting gays in the military once voted into office.

And finally, the passive-aggressive haters know a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage based on religious belief is wrong, not to mention unconstitutional, but since we are not "personally" affected by it, we’ve decided to watch from the sidelines. Newsflash: there are no sidelines in America anymore. Civil liberties in this country are an endangered species. We may not care that the Texas red wolf is almost extinct in North America, but, living in the same ecosystem, it might be worth noting, as we may be next.

Jesusland, can you honestly say, with all that is wrong in the world today, with millions of people infected with HIV and thousands of new infections each year, with record unemployment, families with no healthcare and billions spent on war, that the greatest moral challenge we face in America today is symbolized by a wedding cake figurine of two grooms?

Is homosexuality contagious or reaching epidemic proportions? How else can the sexuality of one section of the American population singly decide the outcome of an entire presidential election? Only one conclusion can be drawn: Gay people in the heartland are doing some serious fucking. I only wish someone had let me in on it. I thought we were supporting Kerry by voting for him. If gay sex is really that powerful, screw the oil in Iraq, Halliburton should be hooking us up to generators.

Is homosexuality so irresistible that straight men and women are leaving their homes, mesmerized and in droves, to join the gay ranks? The few straight friends I tried to seduce in my post-coming-out insecurity remained politely, but resolutely, straight. To all those who tried to manipulate me into being heterosexual to further their agendas (my mother), I remained resolutely, sometimes impolitely, gay. One might conclude from this that people are what they say they are and we can all get on with things.

Not in Jesusland. Three little words, one tiny sentence, and the best friend's face closes forever, the child is lifted from the lap of the favorite aunt, a mother sends her son his baby pictures with a note saying she no longer has a child, a girl runs away from home to escape her parents' attempts to "beat the devil out of her", a boy is forced see a psychiatrist and take medication to fix his "problem", a transgender teen hangs herself to avoid being ridiculed at a school assembly the next day.

America: you do not have the right to throw your lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the garbage. You have a responsibility to protect us whether you like us or not. If you do not approve of gay marriage, do not attend gay weddings. It is not your prerogative to decide who is worthy of your care, or to deny protection to anyone. As American citizens our protection is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

We are in a holy war, a fundamentalist Christian jihad, where the possibility exists as never before that Jesusland will finally become Jesusworld. (I wonder what the rides will look like.) With a faith-based president who doesn't respect the Constitution as separate from his belief in God, there is no difference between extending democracy and extending Christianity. Once you free a citizen for elections, you have to free a soul for salvation.

Accosted by Christians on subway cars when I first came to New York City, I never ceased being amazed at the chutzpah of a stranger suddenly asking me about my relationship with God; not to mention being deeply insulted by the lack of subtlety that announced the intrusion. "That chocolate ice cream looks delicious; do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ?" I knew that no one would ever have the audacity to say to me, "Excuse me, Sir, how much money is in your bank account?" or "Pardon me for asking, how many times did you make love this week?" Yet somehow just anyone can demand to know on the spot what your relationship is with Jesus, which, if you have one, is arguably the most intimate relationship of them all. I admit it crossed my mind on more than one occasion to reply, "Why yes I do, actually, a pretty good one, and fuck you for asking such a personal question."

The most exasperating religious experience ever may be the attempt to convince a born-again Christian that God will allow someone into heaven that isn't "saved" through Jesus Christ. After a brief exchange, I inform the stranger that while I was “saved”, or at least baptized as a child, and my grandfather was a minister of his own church, I have no intention of being part of a religion that doesn't accept me because of my sexuality. My inquisition on the A-train ends and my Jesus interrogator trots off to his next victim, reminding me that "we’re all sinners." He hasn't achieved a new convert, but he's watered that seed of insecurity in me that maybe homosexuality is evil, that gay people do end up in hell and because of what I am, God doesn't like me anymore. It's a child's fear, like dark closets and monsters under the bed, but it can rule a life and last a lifetime.

During the six months after college that I ran around cracking people over the head with my Bible, I remember the extraordinary relief that came from finally having the Answer to Everything. No longer circling endlessly on the parking ramp of life, I had finally found a space. Trying to forge a gay identity on my own was too rangy and uncertain, and if I didn't succeed, what could be more disheartening than failing at being a pervert? The world was much easier to understand with my new faith and broken down into two distinct groups; those who were wrong, and us. I did exactly what they told me to do: love God, accept Jesus, and, like courting Santa Claus, try not to be naughty and always be nice.

Because my homosexuality, however, is dictated not by fashion or trend, but biology and DNA, I couldn't warp or mutilate myself into the desired new result. My naughtiness eventually outweighed my niceness and I was in deep shit. I wasn't told to leave, exactly, but knew that if I wanted to, I could stick around for a sort of exalted pervert status; the old "God loves you, homosexual, because He loves us all - even child molesters, rapists, and serial killers" line that some Christians think is generous.

Certain minds are vulnerable to fundamentalist thinking. Closet gays, immigrants, poor blacks, rich white women with philandering husbands--it draws so many. It's not easy to talk about why fundamentalism is attractive, why a heart might crave it. There comes a time in a life when the world simply becomes too painful for nuance, when it's freezing out and you just want to come inside and have someone say, Relax, we'll take care of you; in fact, we've been waiting for you. Here is the rulebook, no need to ask any questions: just sign here.

There isn't an oppressed person alive who at one point or another hasn't felt the seductive gravity of capitulation. The decision to resist always means thrusting oneself into the vast, unknown and dangerous wilderness of truly being free. One is tormented, at the same time, by the grim suspicion that while a secure existence may never be found in self-determination, a designated place always awaits one who will succumb to the State.

The violence against gay people, religious, emotional, physical or political, has done what social violence is supposed to; it's driven us underground, afraid to demand our rights or protect them when they are threatened. One good, well-publicized, gay murder can do wonders. Those of us who aren't brutalized or obliterated in elaborate campaigns by strangers or our families, are perpetually trapped in nets of chronic shame; our internalized hatred simplifying the work of the bashers by beating them to it.

I was astonished the day I discovered that I was a gay-killer. Indignant over the nationally publicized murders of Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena, I'd demand a stop to gay bashing, leaving the rally or dinner party for a bashing session of my own with unsafe sex, alcohol and drugs. I had to finally consider the idea that my self-destruction wasn't fabulous or gloriously tragic; it was predictable, and (this hurt the most) not very imaginative. I was complicit with the anti-gay agendas that were aimed at me with the precision of a sniper’s bullet; an accomplice to my own gay assassination. I made a decision that although I wouldn't be able to save every gay life, I could definitely save the one I'd been given. (I'm still saving it; the mistaken assumption being that you only have to save your life once.)

I was a thirteen-year-old boy in East Lansing, Michigan on his way to school in 1983, attracted to a boy in my class, and flooded with the shame and terror that I was gay. My father also kept a Smith & Wesson in his closet. I don't believe I would have used it on myself, but a gun in any house has an aura of potential, waiting for the fatal chemistry of an escalating argument or a very, very bad day. What I did have was a lesbian friend in high school, who, one could say, "died for my sins." She came out of the closet first and when I saw that the coast was clear, I came out after her.

She was humiliated daily by notes shoved in her locker or jokes made as she walked down the hallway. Girls came up to her in groups during lunch and asked, "Are you gay?" to which she replied, "Why, are you interested?" Leaving a gas station one night, a boy, spurned by her refusals, called her a dyke and punched her in the face. She didn't allow the violence to derail her. I don't think Jesusland would have approved of her - a sassy, courageous, I'm-scared-to-death-but-you'll-never-know- it, 17-year-old black lesbian - but Jesus himself might have.

If Jesus is with us, I think he stands beside the black man who faces the lynch mob, the midwife who is brought before the church for being a witch, the bewildered and naked prisoner cowering against his cell wall in Abu Ghraib, the transgender teenager who has decided to dress as herself, no matter what her parents or the kids at school do or say. Jesus stands with all of us, but He especially knows what it's like to be innocent, to be violated and murdered for telling the truth, to face a violent mob and be alone.

America. If only you would purify your hate. When we walk into someone's country and wish to take what they have, let's just take it. Why call it liberating the Iraqi people or Operation Iraqi Freedom? Call it stealing and steal it. If you want to kill someone, don't refer to pre-emptive strikes or wars on terror. Kill them.

And if you want to hate homosexuals, Jesusland, just hate us. But don’t call it a "moral" or "family" issue, or try to legislate it and say, “I still support civil unions." And for Christ's sake, please stop dragging Jesus into it. Hasn't that poor man been through enough? Whether we believe He was the Savior or not, I think we probably all agree that He was a pretty nice guy that loved all kinds of people and never meant harm to anyone.

If He were alive to see this land today, I don't think He'd claim it.


© Max Gordon
http://maxgordonworks.blogspot.com
[email protected]
 

demonic_harmonic

Senior Member
I'm not sure whethere to say 'Perhaps you should put a bit of a warning before this because of graphic nature' or 'STUPID F******!!!! Go rot in hell, idiots who killed that poor kid.'


*cough*


Sorry. Indeed, a lesbian friend of mine was told that if she continued to be a lesbian, she could no longer participate in after school activities. What??? She goes to public school, and this should NOT be allowed to be done. To go along with this, a girl I know wore and 'I love lesbians' shirt to school one day, and got in school suspension for it. At the same time, there were guys wearing the same shirt as her, but they did not get in trouble.


America has something wrong with it. We still judge people based off of stupid things like sexual orientation. Parents still try to tell their kids is it a discusting thing to be queer. And, growing up bisexual (a real bisexual, not just curious who later goes straight anyway), my parents did not know I was queer, but did indeed tell me it was terrible and gross all the time anyway. That is not a good feeling.
 

Smurf Mamita

Senior Member
Pretty good. Hanged is hung, not hanged.

Um...at first I thought it would be more effective if you didn't write that you're homosexual. but then I thought it was a good idea...I'm rather split on that.

any other members have opinions?
 

eMBeR Chan

Senior Member
You know why the bible suposedly bans gay relationships? Not because they hate gays but it's breaking the sin of lust.

Look, back in the old days the only reason for men and women to have sex was to make babies, not for pleasure, that's why christians are against birth control. Gays have sex for just pleasure since they can't reproduce whitch is a sin.

These days, sex is for pleasure too, and if you deny that yopur a liar or brutaly nieve. THEREFORE banning gay marrage is hypocritical unless you only have sex for babies which is unlikely.

People seem to have forgotten this since they say 'god hates gays' well if it hates gays it hates you too.
 

Novicewriter

Senior Member
I thought it was very good...well-written and an eye-opener. It's unfortunate that people have to hide their own sexuality. If someone is either gay or a lesbian, that's their choice and for goodness sakes let them live their lives...they are people too you know. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.
 

ThiNnlinG

Member
wow! An eye opener, indeed. I thought you're second to last paragraph was very exact and that there has been too much ignoring going on in this country of the true issues at hand. You're voice was very clear in your standpoint, and your last line was a statement that no one with a mind not clouded with propaganda and ignroance would accept fully and indisputably. Your suicide and murder facts were disheartening. I did not know that Americans still lived in such times of hate, even though violence breeds violence, so it would only make sense. Too bad things have to be this way, but hopefully one day things will change. Great writing style, I crossed no bumpy lines or change of tone.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
great writing and terribly on-target, sad to say!

great comment from my fellow board members, too... bravo, all o' yez!

love and hugs, maia
[never/not gay and not even 'sexual' any more, since 7 kids is plenty, thanks... and i'm decades past child-bearing age, anyway]

ps: 'hanged' is proper past tense for death by hanging, mamita [see link below]...
http://www.acebo.com/cumber.htm
 
N

nafecila

Very thought-provoking and well put together. Though I'm not a Christian myself, I'm familiar with some parts of the Bible. I think there's a hierarchy of sins in our society, and to think that homosexuals have been targeted more so than the rapists, murderers, and such is simply outrageous, yet it's also our unfortunate reality. I don't think it's possible for people to ever judge someone for who are they are instead of what they do--not just gays either, I'm talking about every minority group--but all we can do is set an example to hopefully open some of those closed minds. Thanks for sharing your insight and voice through this piece. You said it better than I ever could!
 

zaoshang

Senior Member
Very very well written and impressive, indeed. It's obvious you're an experienced writer. You know how to use words and how to plot ideas. I particularly enjoyed that you told us about the kid's death abruptly, with no warning:

He thinks of his youngest sister coming home from kindergarten with school papers tucked under her arm, and wonders if the boy from his class is in bed sleeping. He lifts his father's gun and shoots himself in the head.

Now, I might be wrong, but somehow I have the same feeling as Smurf. I feel you're using two different points of view. In fact, not POVs really, but rather standpoints or tones of the narrative. I think what you have here is not one but two stories, which would work better separately. In the first one, the narrator is rather an abstract observer, an "objective" journalist. He gives us facts, which he uses to support his interpretation. It's like: "Hi, I'm the narrator, and I'm talking to you, the reader. You're my friend, and let me tell you a story about them, the gay people and Jesusland."

In the second story there's a different standpoint. The narrator talks about his own experience. He is part of the "we," and his discourse is clearly addressed to "you," Jesusland.

So I'd say this would sound better as two different articles. Again, I admit might be wrong.

Overall, an excellent job.
 

Kane

Senior Member
Well written, if a bit overstated. I find the idea of gay marriage somewhat ridiculous. Why should gay people marry? Why do straight people marry, but to start a family? There is nothing stopping gay people from loving each other or living together, why do they need recognition from the government as man and man or wife and wife? I don't really see the gay-marriage issue as so much an affront to God, because we live in a nearly godless society anyway. It just seems to niggle at common sense.

One thing does bother me though. Gay people claim that their attraction to the same sex is a biological thing, attributing it to their DNA. If this is the case, wouldn't it be the same for the pedophile or bestiophile or some other person who suffers from a sexual attraction to anything but the norm? If a man cannot help the fact that he looks at another man and finds himself attracted sexually, why is it not the same for a man who looks at a youngster and feels the same thing? It seems a bit hypocritical to me.

And don't bother with the consenting adults argument, because I'm not advocating rape at any age. I just think that sexual attraction between anyone but sexually mature male and female is either deviant or is natural. If it's a deviant psychological problem then we should make efforts to determine the cause and treat it. If it's completely natural, then we should rethink the way we look at people whose sexual desires don't conform with what we percieve as "right and wrong". Either way, the current lynch mob mentality has got to go.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
As a Libertarian, I think that both the government and religious organizations should steer clear of regulating marriage. Canada, ever the progressive and forward-thinking neighbor to the North, allows same-sex marriage--and even protects the religious freedoms of clergy who refuse to perfom such ceremonies.

Great read, great message.
 

Pendulum

Senior Member
Kane said:
Well written, if a bit overstated. I find the idea of gay marriage somewhat ridiculous. Why should gay people marry? Why do straight people marry, but to start a family? There is nothing stopping gay people from loving each other or living together, why do they need recognition from the government as man and man or wife and wife? I don't really see the gay-marriage issue as so much an affront to God, because we live in a nearly godless society anyway. It just seems to niggle at common sense.

And why shouldn't gay people be able to start a family? Aside from the obvious reason (and there are plenty of childless married straight couples out there anyway), that leads into the question whether homosexuals should be allowed to adopt, or get a surrogate mother. Plenty of moral issues raised here.
 
R

Rico

well, I'll steer clear of the whole gay marriage issue. As a gay man, I firmly support it, but I refuse to participate here in a flamewar. I'll just throw in one comment and then leave - Kane, you're a narrowminded SOB.

As to your piece, Max, I think it was very well written and enjoyable to read. really did capture my emotions. I don't live in the U.S., but its pretty much the same across most of the world.

(rooting for Spain to legalize a gay marriage bill that's in the works) :D
 

horrorcrafter

Senior Member
Nice work.

American politicians can go to HELL!

Same to narrow-minded Christian Conservatives.

Keep up the socially significant writing. "Hung" is fine.

Horrorcrafter
 

Kane

Senior Member
Me, narrow-minded? I really don't think I am. I'm actually rather offended that in this day and age, straight people are made to think of themselves as narrow-minded or wrong for believing that people should stick with heterosexual sex. It seems that today, if you should hold any opinion that isn't in full support of homosexuality you are treated as though you just stepped out of the backwoods. Like there is something wrong with me for seeing a penis and vagina as naturally compatible. We live under the general consensus that if it feels good, do it. There is no more need for self-control or temperance any longer, just complete acceptance of any lifestyle, no matter how debase.

Now, as to my close-mindedness... I've NEVER looked down on anyone for being gay or treated them in a foul manner. Personally, I don't think it's right that two of the same sex should lie with one another, but I would never impose my will on someone else. I do, however, enjoy my right to decided for myself and to teach my son what I believe is right and wrong. I'm terrified of the day when he is old enough to process the liberal agenda that the school system is going to shove down his throat 5 days a week. I say do as you will: it's your life and no one can live it but you. However, I do see it as wrong when you infringe on my right to believe as I do without being made to feel bad about myself for it, or likewise my son.

I apologize if I offended you with my statement that I don't think gays should marry, I just don't see the need. If I were gay, I wouldn't choose to get married because I don't see a need for it. I think, if you are going to be in a long term gay relationship, you should be able to receive the same "benefits" as does a married man and woman. I'm not sure what these benefits should be besides shared health insurance, life insurance, the right to choose health care options if one or the other should be injured... Whatever, you get my meaning. I just think marriage itself should be left for a man and a woman: the coming together of two familes as one, to pass on bloodline and the family name and such. So this makes me a narrow-minded cretin? I think it's the opposite, that you should make me feel less than normal so you can indulge yourself in sex that goes against what our bodies were made for.

I don't doubt that gay sex feels good, else people probably wouldn't participate in it. But anal intercourse damages the rectal cavity because it wasn't made for it. Two lesbians can achieve climax, I am sure, by oral stimulation, an assortment of toys or even digital manipulation, but to say that it's completely natural for two people of the same sex to engage in such an activity is what I view as narrow-minded. I see it as a justification of your 'lifestyle', and fuck anyone who doesn't cater to our definition of normal.

I think an adult possesses free will, and should be allowed to exercise that free will, so long as he or she isn't hurting anyone else. But if you get in my face because I don't jump up and down in adulation over your choice, then you are infringing on my free will. I think I am very open minded, thank you very much, for me to accept people as they are, even if I don't agree with what they do.
 
I'm highly skeptical of one point you made. Where is the evidence that anal intercourse is dangerous; furthermore, if it is dangerous, how is it more dangerous than regular intercourse?
 

Yamato145

Senior Member
Rico said:
well, I'll steer clear of the whole gay marriage issue. As a gay man, I firmly support it, but I refuse to participate here in a flamewar. I'll just throw in one comment and then leave - Kane, you're a narrowminded SOB.

As to your piece, Max, I think it was very well written and enjoyable to read. really did capture my emotions. I don't live in the U.S., but its pretty much the same across most of the world.

(rooting for Spain to legalize a gay marriage bill that's in the works) :D
how can you accuse him of being narrow-minded
it really pisses me off that you would accuse someone of being narrow minded just because they dont agree with you!
i mean for all you know he has looked into and intelligently listened to all points of view and has just finally settled on the one that makes the most sense to him which is complete open-mindedness
it just like im a christian ... doesnt mean im open or closed minded
i have looked into many religions and just settled on the one that i truly belive to be right
now had i just assumed christianity was the best without a second thought i would be closed-minded.
-Yamz
 
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