Religion and Spirituality

In Which Neil Gaiman Reminds Me How Nice it is To Not Fear Posthumous Judgment

In Which Neil Gaiman Reminds Me How Nice it is To Not Fear Posthumous Judgment

Merely a quick thought here.  I was reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, in which, toward the end, Neil Gaiman pens the line “You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”  It’s a beautiful line, particularly in standing as it does against popular religions that feature afterlives.  Whether one buys into the one shot deal at passing life or suffering everlasting tor... »

Godly Marriage and Other Christian Cruelties

Godly Marriage and Other Christian Cruelties

I do celebrate Christmas, in a secular way, with my religious parents. The Church of Christ, the sect they belong to, would never celebrate holidays religiously because that might be fun or interesting and either of those things might compromise the requisite superiority about not being a part of any other sect. That all being said, I spent Christmas morning cleaning my mother’s kitchen cabi... »

Tracts in the Mail

Tracts in the Mail

As Olivia taught us recently in her DBT series, sometimes there are simply no pros to outweigh the cons of saying certain things to one’s relatives.  One such situation is the way that my very Christian grandparents keep sending me tracts and handwritten notes attempting to convert me.  Fortunately, they only ever contact me around my birthday and Christmas and don’t speak to me the re... »

Depending on What you Mean by Love

Depending on What you Mean by Love

There’s a great line in Madama Butterfly, after Pinkerton is asked if he actually loves his newly purchased (literally, for 100 yen) Japanese wife, and he replies “Well, it depends on what you mean by love.”   Of course, the point is to continue to illustrate what a truly terrible person Pinkerton is, but it’s actually a point to keep in mind.  What it means to love can var... »

The Ethics of Doing Business with the Religious

The Ethics of Doing Business with the Religious

It’s easy to point at the people who refuse to make wedding cakes for gay couples and discuss their lack of professional ethics.  Things just became less easy for me because, in my capacity as a professional dancer, I have just been hired to perform for a religious organization that is officially racially segregated (I’m dancing for the African-American sect, rather than the white sect... »

If Proselytizing Speech Were Held to the Standards of Advertising Speech

If Proselytizing Speech Were Held to the Standards of Advertising Speech

I collect religious tracts, but with rules.  They must be given to me by someone in a way that implies that giver thinks something is really wrong with me.  Preferably with as much condescension as possible.   “Here, I think you need this” is good.  Left taped to my door anonymously is also acceptable.  Recently, one of my relatives seems to have realized I am no longer a sweet Christi... »

A Mandatory Love for Babies

A Mandatory Love for Babies

Olivia’s musings on the social unacceptability of not desiring children has inspired me to write about much the same thing. I used to be a fundamentalist (lite) Christian.  I was bad at it.  Mostly, I was really bad at feeling the emotions I was supposed to feel.  I tried really hard and mostly just felt a continuous terror that by not feeling what I was told to feel I was going to Hell.  Th... »

International Aid to Uganda in Light of Human Rights Violations

International Aid to Uganda in Light of Human Rights Violations

An earlier version of this article was published at In Tanzania.  With Coffee.  In response to recent virulently anti-gay laws passed in Uganda, a lot of nations are cutting off aid to Uganda, or considering doing so.  I don’t think this is a particularly good response.  More to the point, LGBTI organizations in Uganda say this, and they are far more expert than me on the subject. I realize ... »

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