The biggest creator of oppression is the illusion of freedom. We create this illusion from the time our children are born. We use society, schools, and churches to support oppression and we call it freedom. The Christian faith celebrates the death and resurrection of a savior, Jesus the Christ, who conquered death in order to save God’s people. However, in order for the children of God to enjoy the freedom that The Christ Suffering offers we must sacrifice those qualities within us that the Church deems reprehensible to God. Good saintly people must profess, I am not worthy of God’s grace, or, I fail more than others, but it is when asking forgiveness that I find my grace in God or some such sentiment to make oneself less than they are. The problem with this freedom is it is not freedom at all; it is an illusion that creates oppression.
Where am I going with this? Is this an attack on basic Christian principles? No, it isn’t; this is my confession of sorts, my confession of misleading others and myself in the truth of freedom. I, for many years, lived in the joy of oppression in order to attempt to become the man that God had created me to be, only to finally find that the more I attempted to find the man that I am in another’s eyes the less of the man that I am was honored. People outside of my immediate family, who knew me as a child, knew how blissfully oppressed I was. How empty the celebration of my attempt at holiness was. Over the course of the past five years I have become the man that God created me to be, simply by discovering my truths. These truths do not fit into the mold of the freedom of oppression. I no longer feel the need to be in your face with my truth because I am no longer trying to prove my truth to myself. I am a God loving gay man who is loved by God.
There has been an abundance of freedom offered to my kind in the past few years, and there is a big consensus of fear that these freedoms are going to be taken away. I want to take a couple of minutes to share in what ways these freedoms can never be taken from us. These freedoms are not granted by the state; the federal government does not grant these freedoms; these freedoms are instead granted because we accept them to be true. Just as in my understanding that I am more of a man of God today in my fullness of understanding who I am, I am also free to love and be married to my husband because I choose it to be so. Bill and I were married for 18 years before we could celebrate our Civil Union. It was just before our 19th anniversary that we were legally allowed to be married. Although I am sure that the next couple of years are going to be challenging, and possibly painful to many of us, I want to remind you, and me, that our freedom is not being taken away. The legalities may be challenged, but our freedom does not reside in the legalities, our freedom lies within each of us, and the legalities are simply a luxury. Don’t get me wrong, my legal marriage is a great luxury, however, the current political climate will not destroy my freedom unless I allow it to do so, and I will not.
There are those within the Christian world that wish to believe that my gay life is an affront to God, Church, and therefore American Liberties. Simply stated, fuck them and what they wish to believe. I can reflect back to when Bill and I sent our Civil Union party invitations; I received a message from a well-meaning friend who said, “I love you and Bill but as a Christian I don’t know how I feel about this Civil Union.” Today I can thank her for that statement. Why? I can be grateful for that statement because it finally made me understand one thing, “the only person who needs to come to terms with how God views homosexuality is the homosexual.” So remember, our right to be gay is not being attacked, even if we as a group or an individual should be attacked, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we will thrive, love will win, and we cannot react to hatred with hatred. Hate in reaction to hate has never created peace and it never will. There are only two base emotions afforded to the human animal; these emotions are love and fear. Remember those who are coming into power are reacting out of the emotion of fear; statements such as “we will make America great again” affirm for me that there is a fear that America is not great, and in many ways it is true, America is far from great, but that does not make me afraid, it makes me accept the challenge.
“From those who have much, much will be demanded” is a statement made in the Christian bible by Jesus. The statement is true. America is not great and it never has been, simply because those who have much wish to hold onto it all. And I am not talking about the 3% who hold all of the supposed wealth; I am speaking of all of us living in blessing every single day; those of us who ignore the oppressed. The oppressed of whom I speak are those oppressed who live in the illusion of freedom; those who believe that Christianity is under attack. Could it possibly be our calling, as those who have broken free from the illusion, to show the true grace that is God in our lives, in our freedom; the true freedom that is our existence? Because let me make one thing abundantly clear; we, those who want to hold on to our rights with the same vigor that the 3% want to hold onto their wealth, created the next four years of pain just as sure was those who voted for the Trumpacy, and it is we who will be responsible to love our neighbors out of oppression. Believe me when I tell you that loving someone or something out of oppression is not a simple statement but an arduous action required by the blessed. Let’s step into the garden and plant our future. In his last hours Jesus said, ‘he who lives by the sword will die by the sword”. We cannot change the reality of the past three months, but we can affect the reality of the next few years. Working together love will prevail. Michael Jackson told us how; begin with the “man in the mirror”.