I’m just not in the Christmas spirit this year.
A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, directed by Robert Zemeckis almost put me in the mood, but didn’t quite do it. It’s a wonderful movie, by the way, with beautiful animation, stunning acting, and is a really wonderful adaptation of the classic Christmas story.
I’ve been trying to figure out what’s keeping me from it. Although I don’t identify as Christian, and haven’t for many years; the celebrations at this time of year, are much older than Christianity, and are not just limited to that faith. Normally, I enjoy a holiday camaraderie with my fellow man, and enjoy the hope that along with the rebirth of the sun’s cycle around the earth, this will be the year when we will all learn how to treat our fellows a bit better, and become a kinder, gentler and more giving people.
This year, I haven’t been able to access any of that. The most accurate description of what’s in my heart seems to be when I say “my favorite part of Christmas is when it’s over.”
The season’s hope has been buried under the morass of fear and anger lodged in my heart. It’s about to become punishable by death to be gay in Uganda, and a good portion of people who call themselves religious people, even here in this country, shrug their shoulders, point at Leviticus as justification, and go on about their day. In state after state, people are voting to bar gay folks from getting legally married to a partner of their choice to protect their legal and familial rights. Because heaven forbid, two people of the same gender who love each other, and want to protect each other from the world should get a bit of help from society. It’s bad enough that supposedly devout, pious religious leaders can stand in their pulpits and call us the most vile of names in the name of God, but continually stripping away and denying of human rights seems to be the cause du jour.
Somebody who is virulently anti-gay, described homosexuality as “one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love.’” See http://americansfortruth.com/news/liberty-counsel-may-lead-pullout-of-cpac-if-homosexual-group-goproud-remains-as-co-sponsor.html. Not to mention the liberal use of standard fare like “sinful” “evil” “aberrant,” etc. Upon hearing this, I thought to myself, “Really? That’s all that love is about in their world? The physical act of fucking? That’s it? And it’s violent?” Maybe I'm not the only one who needs therapy.
More and more, the religion of the Christ seems to be more about hatred towards anybody that’s even a bit different, and the guilt-free beating of other people (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) than anything else. Scarily enough, the more they hate and try to hurt me and those like me, the more I feel backed into a corner, trapped by an angry mob, and the more I contemplate giving back in kind. The more I hate. The more I rail against divinity, in any form. I find myself running just as fast as I can from any type of religious teachings these days. My gut reaction when somebody says anything even remotely religious is “fuck you and the god you rode in on.”
I don’t want to be that guy. The red eyed, angry, bitchy, temperamental and increasingly hateful man who takes offense at everything. It’s not good for my soul. I’m trying to learn how to love better, not hate more. I’m trying to be more accepting for the foibles and the glorious humanity of those around me, and to patiently work to make the world a better place.
“Trying” is the operative phrase in the above paragraph. My confession to you today is that I’m not doing particularly well at any of those things right now.
For those of you who say that the Ugandan legislation is in Africa, and that it could never happen here in the United States, I’ll remind you that the German folks said the same thing in the earlier part of the last century.
I wonder why I’m frightened.
Having said all of that, I'm trying to find a LGBT organization to do some volunteer work for on Christmas Day. Might as well turn my fear to something positive.