“The Good Muslims” or “Is Your Religion a Terrorist Organization?”


In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris there has been, predictably, the rush to point out the fact that all Muslims are not terrorists and all terrorists are not Muslims. This is, of course, true. But before we get too happy about this religion’s perpetuating its beliefs around the planet, I would like to point out to you that in another sense, the religion of Islam is a terrorist organization and therefore as guilty as their Jewish and Christian counterparts. Let me explain why Christianity, Judaism and Islam are terrorist organizations:  I am a part of group of people who have been persecuted and sometimes killed at the behest of these religions for the greater part of their histories.  All three of these major world religions have declared for the majority of their existence that homosexuality is an “abomination to God.” And their scriptures support that teaching. That fact has real-world ramifications that affect me and my people in profound ways.

Now as soon I point this out, people will (likely before I’ve even finished spouting this “blasphemy”) point out that there are many Christians, Jews and Muslims who don’t want to kill or persecute LGBT people. This, of course, is true. I have people whom I love very dearly who self-identify as members of one of these religions and I do believe they love me too. But in all the backlash against the “Je suis Charlie” sentiment, I just need to speak up. I have to speak up to be true to my spiritual path. If your religion teaches that homosexuality is against God’s will, you are helping to kill gay people– people like me.

The persecution of LGBTQ people has gone on for thousands of years. We have been ostracized, ridiculed, called sinners and reprobates and degenerates and sodomites, we have been laughed at, beaten, denied housing and employment, and often killed. At back of all this is the essential teaching that homosexuality is somehow against nature and against God. The base for all this hatred, even as it practiced by the non-religions, had its origin in religious teachings that persecute homosexuals. It is the seed from which all homophobia grew.

Want to know why religions wrote into their teachings that homosexuality is a sin? It’s because the love of money (and to that I would also add power) is the root of all evil. And for most human history, wealth and power have been acquired and maintained through military might. Now somewhere along the way humans figured out that little baby humans get into female humans’ tummies when a male human puts his penis in her vagina and deposits his baby batter there. Before the advent of mechanized weaponry (and to some extent after), wars have been won by the size of an army– the larger your army, the greater your chances of victory. So since gay sex didn’t make little soldiers, it had to be qualified as evil, an “abomination to God.”  There’s also the asinine idea that queers can’t fight and that that’s not a new idea. (The people who came up with that one never went up against Alexander the Great– or me.) To the extent that gay men have been seen as being “like women” and to the extent that idiotic men (and some women) have believed that women couldn’t fight, this has also been a way gay men have been seen as a threat to a nation’s ability to wage war. (This is, incidentally, why homosexual relationship between men seem to be so much more offensive to Jewish, Muslim, and Christian texts.) Now you know. You heard it here first. Homophobia is evil and the love of money is the root of it.

Scripture, of whatever religion, was written by humans. If God can make a universe, God could write a book. Man created God in his image to serve his own needs and to reflect his own beliefs and often the prevailing ignorance of the time in which it was written was presented as “the word of God.” As I have said many times, no woman anytime or anywhere should “subject” herself to a man for any reason having to do with his or her gender. Men, what your having a penis affords you is the ability to more easily write your own name in the snow with urine. It does not mean you have any authority over any woman–ever.

Okay, okay, to call these religious “terrorist organizations” isn’t kind. Perhaps I go to far. When you’ve been hurt so bad for so long by someone (or a group of someones), it’s hard not to punch back sometimes. I guess if I was a good Christian and followed what Jesus said, I wouldn’t  punch back at all. He was perfect. I’m not. That being said, I should feel right at home among most other American Christians who seem to have unequivocally traded his “turn the other check” teachings back in for the Jewish “eye for an eye” beliefs.

Let me tell you how I came around to the “terror organization” thing. The dictionary defines terrorism as “using violence or the threat of violence to perpetuate an ideology.” If that doesn’t describe what most religions have done to gay people for most of their thousands of years-long histories, I don’t know what does. Just because these religions, especially Jews and Christians, seem to be developing some more sense around gay issues of late (some of them at least) does NOT mean rabble-rousers like me are going to let them deny or rewrite their histories.

Woooooah, Jeff. How can you say “especially Jews and Christians?” Are you some kind of Islamaphobe? Yep. Islam teaches that homosexuality is an abomination to God. I am a homosexual. “phobia” means fear. And yes, I am similarly afraid of Jews and Christians when they start spouting that same shit. But at least in recent history, Muslims have been more guilty of stupid laws, public beatings, and executions of my people. Fuck that shit. Fuck the United States government for continue to suck the Saudi’s dicks even as they are publicly whipping my children!

Here’s something else you don’t want to hear: you want to know what organization has killed more innocent people in the last fifteen years than all Muslim extremists combined? The US Military. And it was at the behest of its government and therefore the citizenry of this country. Yep, you and I have killed more women and children than all the Jihadists in the world. Call it “collateral damage” if you need to make yourself feel better about it. That no longer works for me. I’m guilty.

Now back to religion and the gays–

If you are someone who identifies and a Christian, a Muslim, or an observant Jew, I love you. I really do love you. I love you by virtue of your humanity and it is my goal to love and forgive you even as you continue to persecute me. And I realize that there are those among you who draw a lot from your faith and also wish me no harm– even to include harming me by denying me equal protection under the law. But if you want me to think of you as one of the “good Muslims, Christians, or Jews,” you will have to do something that is going to put you in the line of fire from many inside your faith communities. You are going to have to start speaking up against the anti-gay history and/or current anti-gay practices and policies of your religion. That takes a lot of courage. They crucify people for speaking out against the dominant religion; just ask Jesus.

If you decide to make such a stand, I’ll warn you, you’re taking on a bigger battle than just standing against the oppression and persecution of me and my tribe. You are saying that the scriptures were written by men and those men were sometimes wrong. That can get you excommunicated, in some places it can get you killed. But if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Your call. You can always retreat into your comfortable silence. WWJD?

This has been a hard blog for me to write. Believe it or not, it has not been my intention to offend. As you’ve learned by now, I often will use inflammatory language to draw attention to what I’m trying to say, something about which I feel very passionate. Remember that I once wore the uniform of the United States Marine. Part of why I did that is so that you can continue to practice your religion (or not practice one) freely. Don’t miss the implicit truth: I was– hell, I am– willing to give my very life to defend your religious freedom.  I’m not trying to dissuade you from actively participating in your religion if that is what your heart leads you to do– in fact, the opposite, I’m asking you to participate more deeply and to speak with those in your community about how historically your religion has hurt me and other LGBTQ people and to question yourselves about ways in which you continue to do so. I’m begging you not to hurt us anymore. When my life has been miserable, it has often been because of societal persecution of gays. Religion has played a huge part in that.

My Mormon friends are certainly aware of this battle over the past ten years. Some of them have put themselves at odds with their Bishops, their Wards and their families because of their spiritual convictions that caused them to speak out against the Mormon Church’s merciless and relentless attack on my rights. Some of them were asked to leave their church. Some left on their own. Having learned a lot about what a huge part their faith is in their families and in their everyday life, I want them to know that I understand and appreciate this incredible sacrifice and I pray God rewards them for their righteous stand.

The events in Paris this week hit me hard. It reminded me what sometimes happens to artists when they speak out against religion. But to quote Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier, “I prefer rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

The picture attached to this blog was sent to me by a buddy of mine, a Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He sent it with the simple message, “She is a badass.” I tend to agree with him. She is a badass. And I love her courageous intention to spread love where there is hate.

Part of the response to the shootings at Charlie Hebdo (and some see it as a response to the “Je suis Charlie” sentiment) has been the “Je suis Ahmed Merabet” meme.  The purpose behind it is to point out that Ahmed, the Muslim policemen killed by the terrorists was something completely different from those sons-of-bitches that murdered him. No argument from me there.

But to the young woman handing out flowers, and to Ahmed up there enjoying his virgins– and to anyone who actively participates in a religion that preaches against homosexuality, you need to understand– you are killing my people. You are killing me.

See y’all tomorrow.

From the Qu’ran:

Qur’an (7:80-84) – “…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)” – An account that is borrowed from the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the “rain of stones” on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people’s destruction. (The story is also repeated in suras 27 and 29).

Qur’an (7:81) – “Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?” This verse is part of the previous text and it establishes that homosexuality as different from (and much worse than) adultery or other sexual sin. According to the Arabic grammar, homosexuality is called the worst sin, while references elsewhere describe other forms of non-marital sex as being “among great sins.”

Qur’an (26:165-166) – “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, “And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing”

Qur’an (4:16) – “If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone” This is the Yusuf Ali translation. The original Arabic does not use the word “men” and simply says “two from among you.” Yusuf Ali may have added the word “men” because the verse seems to refer to a different set than referred to in the prior verse (explicitly denoted as “your women”). In other words, since 4:15 refers to “your women”, 4:16 is presumably written to and refers to men.

From the Jewish and Christian texts:

Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

From the Christian text:

1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

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