Ian McKellan sums up my own thoughts about organized religion quite nicely (via the LA Times):
“I increasingly see organized religion as actually my enemy. They treat me as their enemy,” said the British actor, who came out 20 years ago. “Not all Christians, of course. Not all Jews, not all Muslims. But the leaders. . . . Why should I take the judgment of a declared celibate about my sexual needs? He’s basing his judgment on laws that would fit life in the Bronze Age. So if I’m lost to God, organized religion is to blame.”
Unfortunately, religion, not just organized religion, has begun to leave a very bad taste in my mouth. I removed the Christian station from my radio dial over a year ago. We stopped regularly attending church several months ago. Up until this month I was still interpreting at the church, but I’ve asked for a break until at least the end of the year if not indefinitely.
You might argue that I’m throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and perhaps I am. But right now religion only raises my blood pressure and reminds me about my second-class citizenship.
3 thoughts on “Ian McKellan echos my own thoughts about organized religion”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I completely understand how you feel. If you feel like poking around in unorganized religions, there should be at least one Quaker Meeting in Denver. I can’t say anything for sure about meetings other than my own, but chances are good that they will offer a refreshing perspective on sexuality and Christianity.
You may recall in high school I was pretty down on religion myself, but I’ve found a spiritual home with the Friends Meeting of Austin (and before that, Pittsburgh Friends Meeting). On the other hand, walking away from religion is itself a refreshing change in perspective sometimes. :-)
Oh Casey, I’m very sorry you’ve experienced such things. People are so needlessly cruel. :( FWIW, the good guys are still winning on GLBT rights, recent setbacks notwithstanding. Not nearly as smoothly or quickly as we should be winning, but opinion polling by age bracket makes it glaringly apparent why the forces of intolerance are desperate to codify their bigotry now while they have the chance.
If I may extend your metaphor to the breaking point, there comes a point when one has thrown out so many batches of bad bathwater that one is forced to conclude that the problem is in fact a dead baby. Best to have a funeral and then break out the Tilex if you ever want to use your tub again. :)
You’re well aware of my positions and history on the subject, so I won’t belabor it any further, but I’m here if you ever want to chat. Best wishes on your continuing journey, my friend.
Celebrate Festivus! Actually, I did that one year. Kind of like the mental funeral and Tilexing as jbariou has put it.