Umbrage is a word that I learned from one of those Dickens novels. Nicholas Nickleby I think. Its a word that means that I have gotten to the point where I have straighten my back, stare into the face of the opposition and ask, “who the fuck do you think you are dealing with?” And I have taken umbrage with some Christians.
This post is not about religion. I don’t know enough about religion to really talk about it. I will leave that to the experts or the people who have a real passion for it. I am not even sure that this will be about my relationship with religion because in point of fact, I have none.
I haven’t been anywhere near religious since I was 11. That was the age that I was to be confirmed a Christian by my church, but I guess I had questions or I got lazy and never completed the thing. That means that I am unable to accept the Holy Communion although I don’t believe they check papers as you go up to the altar. But I’m not sure that I would even want to drink from the same cup that hundreds of others have slapped their lips on and slobbered over. There is something weird and unhealthy about that.
You see I am an Episcopalian, a member of the world wide Anglican Communion. I belong to a church that can be described as one without a true identity, a sort of watered down version of the Catholicism, some of the guilt but missing much of the ritual and splendor, sort of Catholic Lite. We have an openly gay bishop; Gene Robinson of New Hampshire whose presence has now threatened to split the church because of his belief in being true to himself. That has been at odds with the beliefs of many of our community and my church has been fractured.
Of course the revulsion of gay people by Christians is not limited to just my own church. The Catholic Church has placed a ban of gay priests because of the recent controversies, some would say with good cause. Although I would say they should concentrate on getting out the pedophiles, straight and gay before discriminating against people with adult desires directed towards other adults, but that’s not my call. I have seen and have been to Baptist services where gay’s and lesbians were condemned routinely to the fiery depths of hell for their behavior based on the passages from Leviticus or Letters or some other part of the Bible. Well alright, that’s all fine. That’s their house and I’ve lived this long without being upset by it.
But when I attended an Equality Forum Festival, which they had in Philly on Sunday which was geared towards the SGL community, the “Christians” were there as usual protesting with their bull horns and placards spouting their philosophy of hate, screaming of lust and hell and who was about to go there. And I have to wonder and ask myself where was the God of love that I grew up with in all of this, and why are they coming into my house just to make me uncomfortable?
Well all I can say is if they think this is bad, just wait until the Philly Gay Pride Parade during the summer. Then they will see men in leather thongs and things that you’re not sure people should be allowed to wear in the privacy of their own homes let alone on the streets. Then I may scream and protest along side them in unison. But until that time I will say in a clear voice, I take umbrage.