I am so very very angry right now. And also oddly at peace. Things are happening in my life over which I don't have a lot of control and I suspect that my life is going to change a lot over the next few months, that my priorities will alter.
Part of it is Toiletgate - and, without going into more details right now, that is even more of a can of worms than I had known. There was Toiletgate Part Deux, and there may have been Toiletgate the Prequel, and it is - well. like the guy says in the film, 'If this ain't a mess, it'll do until the mess gets here.'
I went to see For the Bible Tells Me So
a documentary about the Christian parents of gay men and lesbians, that moved me to my core. In particular, there was the woman who never forgave her living lesbian daughter and has had to seek atonement after her daughter's suicide - and blames herself, but also the false teachers who made her reject her child. I cried for her, and for all the parents who die fearing that they will never see their child again, and knowing that that will make a hell of heaven. My father, perhaps, among them.
Just when I was prepared to curse Christianity root and branch, I have to cope, as part of the same event, with that great and good man Bishop Gene Robinson. From whom, I have to say, there wafted that atmosphere we call holiness, mingled with a camp sense of humour and an attractive humility.
I stood up and asked him about the institutional transphobia of parts of the lesbian and gay community - of community leaders who cannot bring themselves to pronounce the T and the carelessness with respect that leads to incidents like Toiletgate. He said pretty much what I expected him to say - that the community does not live up to its own best standards and what is needed is what is always needed, for bisexuals and transfolk to stand up and bear witness and make the issues plain. And from him, I realized, I would take that - because I know he is one for the long haul, and I can respect being told things are for the long haul from people of whom the same is true.
There were other questions - Robinson said at one point that he did not expect that he would ever be reconciled with Peter Akinola , but that maybe one day a bridge of communication and respect might open through friends of friends. A woman who had said something smart I cannot remember at the Bulgakove event asked a very smart question about living a Christian life that went back to the early days before the canonical texts - Robinson said he doubted that was possible, but that we should rely on the workings of the Holy Spirit to unfold teaching rather than think that the Bible is an unchanging artifact. He quoted John on this, to some very powerful effect.
I don't think such great and good men could ever bring me back to Christianity - I reject as intolerable the doctrines of Original Sin and Eternal Torment because I would forever rebel against a god that was such a monster, or relied on the fact of being my creator to justify those crimes to me. My agnosticism is tending towards something more theist than was once the case - not a personal god, or a god who is a person, but a sense of the universe as being its own purpose, and human sentience and creativity as one of its more interesting aspects. Yet I miss the comfort food Catholicism of my childhood and regret never having properly known the Anglican tradition of my mother and sister. Fandom and transdom are my communities, but sometimes I feel hunger for something other.
We got the 'shut off your mobile phones' message in the voice of Gandalf - Sir Ian McKellen also
did a speech from Sir Thomas More
that I am never going to hear him do in a theatre, I would imagine.
And I wrote 760 words today - for some reason, to do with being blocked on Emma and Caro's adventures with the posh git elves and vampires - I seem to be doing Mara, my immortal vigilante, on St Bartholomew's eve.( Collapse )