I am an avid reader. In my mind I see myself reading the great classics, the newest block-buster sci-fi, the works of great thinkers, etc. I stop by my local library and check out 4 or 5 selections anticipating spending an evening wrapped up in one author’s adventure or another’s philosophy. At home in my favorite recliner, I open the book, read the intro and within 15 minutes I am snoozing.
Yeah, in my mind I’m an avid reader. I suppose that I am doing a service for my local library by increasing their weekly circulation statistics, but, do I read much? No. However, I did find a book that aroused my interest more than most books do. Settling down to once again “practice” reading, I scanned the table of contents. “Oh, there’s a chapter that looks interesting, I’ll just peruse it before starting.”
The first paragraph of that one chapter, chapter 14, saved me several hours of reading chapters 1-13. It told me that, although an inherent alternative sexual orientation was not in itself a sin, practicing it was. “Ah,” said I to myself, “perhaps I am reading it incorrectly.”
No, I did not misinterpret the words. With closed book in hand, I then contemplated what was being proposed. A man is not to be judged for his inherent disposition as long as he abandons himself to lifetime denial, gives up truthful relationships, lies to potential partners, and lives in a world which certain religious philosophers have deemed as moral.
Hmmmm, sure sounds like ‘love the sinner, but hate the sin.’ I vividly remember those words from the times of morality preaching leveled on me. Shake my hand, hug me, welcome me, preach at me and then judge me behind my back with others in your church. Sorry, that hypocrisy doesn’t float my life anymore. Anybody wants to be a part of my life, well, I come as a package deal.
Some may ask why I’m so jazzed up over this. A judge in a nearby city overruled the city’s ban on conversion therapy. If you don’t know what conversion therapy is, you need to jump on Google and educate yourselves. The judge sided with Christian leaders who stated the ban on conversion therapy, which in some cases employs electro shock therapy on minors who professed to be gay, was an attack on their religious rights to raise their children within the moral laws of the church.
Aw, I’m over all that crap that forged my life for too many years. My buddy Gabby would say, “If y’all ain’t got nobody else to saddle up with judgement and damnation, then go for it. I’ve got broad shoulders and I ain’t afraid of your burning hell fires. EEEEEEHAW.”
But I pray for the kids. You should too. And if you agree with the judge that Tampa’s city-wide ban on conversion therapy is illegal because it infringes on your freedom of religious expression and it’s OK to use humiliation of kids as a form of treatment, and if you believe that shock therapy is a legitimate deterrent for your children, then send up a prayer for yourselves too. You’re the ones who need to worry about hell fires, not me.