A Book Called Bible
My Peace at Last Moment
What sparked this round of emotions in my soul is a television movie called Prayers For Bobby. A religious fanatic mother was trying to understand how her son could commit suicide because he was gay. She was trying to “cure him” from his sin of being gay. She prayed and left notes for him to be healed from this abomination that she was taught in her Bible, but he was who he was. She told him that he wasn’t trying hard enough to win the battle over his evilness. She constantly kept drilling into his soul how he wasn’t living his life right until he made the decision to take his life. To her, a double whammy. He killed himself, and he was gay. Two mortal sins, which for sure sent him to hell forever to burn in that fiery inferno. Only after his death, did she try to understand what his life was all about, but then, it was too late. Her Bobby was dead!
I cried so much for the agony of this mother and her son, watching this most powerful television movie, that I still feel pain inside of me today. She loved him so much. She did! But, she wanted him to be “normal” because a book called the Bible told her that he wasn’t normal. She was programmed to live her life literally by the words in this book. Word for word! I related to her pain. Well, the pain of her needing to go by the dogma she was taught from childhood. I was taught the same thing from the same book. I read the Bible twice, and it almost drove me to the point of insanity, because I had so much fear inside of me. I was afraid to DO anything for fear that I would burn forever in hell! What’s not “normal” is for anyone to feel this much fear.
There is a God! I truly believe this with every fiber of my being. And, I still believe in the power of prayer. It makes no difference to me today what name you call your religion or your God, but there is a force in this Universe that overpowers man. This force to me is God.
But, because of the words that were written by man in this book called Bible, in our world today, I have seen more lives shattered than saved. Saved from what? I never did know that answer. Some people take these words and turn them around to fit their own dogmatic beliefs that were programmed inside of them since their childhood. This too, is not their fault, but what was learned can be unlearned.
The first lines at the funeral for Bobby in this church of God, spoken from a man who was taught the same dogma that the rest of most of today’s world learned, was that “this young man of twenty chose sin, but let’s not judge the sinner, but condemn the sin.” Well, did he personally know this young man of twenty? No. This young man loved God. He loved what he learned about God, but no one wanted to understand what his gay life was about. GOD made him that way. He tried to tell them that he just couldn’t change who he was.
I related to the struggles of the mother in this movie in yet another way, because I have a good friend of mine, way back when, who was very much the same way like the mother in the movie. Her religious beliefs were dug deep inside of her from the Bible. She lived in agony from the first moment that her daughter told her that she was lesbian. She too, was convinced that her daughter could change back to “normal” because of the teachings in the good book.
I heard her say “but, she can change” so many times, that one day I told her, “YOU change! Right now. I want you to change!”
She didn’t understand what I meant, so I repeated, “I want you to change your beautiful, heterosexual self into a beautiful homosexual lady. Right now! Not tomorrow, or in a month, or in a year. I want you to do this right now. Change!” She always told me that if her daughter prayed hard and was sincere about this change, that it would happen at that exact moment of prayer.
She was stunned. “I can’t do THAT! I would never pray for such a thing. And besides, I’m NOT gay!” she screamed at me.
“Then why do you expect her to change! She’s NOT heterosexual!” I screamed back at her.
“That’s just plain stupid”, was her answer to me. “I’m getting out of this unholy house.”
I had my mom’s Bible nearby. I picked it up and told her, “I know what’s in this book, and the words are not for me. These words hurt me, because there’s too much violence in here. This whole book is based on taking a beautiful soul and nailing him to a cross. Literally nailing him to a cross! Think about it. I don’t like to read about the suffering in this book, either. When I read about all of this suffering, it brings suffering back to me! Then, I get depressed.”
I began to cry, because openly screaming the words I wanted to say for so long, left me feeling that same old guilt. But this time, added to the guilt, there was a slight burden lifted from my shoulders. In a split second, my mind went from confusion to what I like to call “my peace at last moment”. It felt so good to say what I had screamed out loud!
My friend began to cry and was mad at me, because she still insisted that what I was saying wasn’t the same thing, but it was. Holding her hand, I told her calmly, “Are you sure in your heart that you can’t be gay? I don’t mean to hurt your feelings. I’m just trying to make a point here. If you can’t change, or even think that you could change, than doesn’t it make sense that she can’t change either?”
She looked at me with this astounded look on her face as though she had just seen a ghost ----- or maybe the face of reality. “My daughter can’t change. Can she?” In that split second when she realized what she had said, I think she felt her “peace at last moment”. When she finished her crying and apologizing for calling my house unholy, she left my home to go and try to make peace with her daughter. It was a long road, but today they are very close.
In the movie, the injustice that was splattered towards this young man’s life was unbelievable to me. I have to put this into words. And, I have to take it a step further. The injustice to this young, gay man and so many other gay people goes much further than being gay in my mind. It digs deep inside of other injustices, also. Racism, religious intolerance, bigotry, name your injustice here____. These are all abominations too! Read on.
Stop it people! Stop all of the hate because of one book that was written by man and tells you, even if you are pure of heart but you lead a life that is different than what is considered “normal”, you will be damned to hell for eternity. That dogma made no sense to me as a child, and it still makes no sense to me today.
Dogma leaves the mind demented! Why should spiritual words hurt the soul? Why should we live in fear of God. Why fear? Fear is the most debilitating emotion that there is. It shouldn’t be this way. Anyone or anyplace that rules by fear is not a place I want to be in. I don’t want to be with anyone I fear! That makes no sense.
I come from a religious upbringing in the 50’s, so don’t tell me I haven’t been there. I was baptized Catholic, and learned all of the dogma that is associated with being of that faith. As a young girl, our family wasn’t allowed to own a Bible. Only the church read the Bible. They didn’t want anyone interpreting any words but them. When I married I bought my own Bible, because at that time, they changed the rules. They change the rules when it suits them. I read different parts often and none of it made any sense to me, so I just followed the rules of the church. I did what they told me to do. Much later on, I read the Bible twice and was still confused. I still remember the day I decided to not go to church anymore. It was on a Good Friday, and we all had to repeat the sermon for that day. When they reenacted the Crucifixion, and I had to shout, “Crucify Him”-- I cried and got out of church. I went back to church only a few times. When I got into my car and thought about everyone shouting crucify Him, I didn’t have that same feeling as a child. A child is taught to do what they are suppose to do by adults. Now that I was the adult, I would have helped Jesus, and I refused to crucify him anymore!
I know some of you will disagree with me, and it’s okay to disagree. I won’t try to change your mind, and you don’t tell me that I’m going to hell for speaking my own truth.
This movie made me decide to write my own book about the dogma that I had to follow in my life. To anyone who learned the strict rules of the church back in the ‘50’s from some 2,000 years ago, the wordings have changed. There was the Old Testament and then when Jesus came, there was the New Testament...and there will be another Testament in future times, again to be written by man or maybe woman. There will be. I used to wonder as a child what the cavemen did about religion and if they went to heaven. This book called the Bible was not there in the times of the caveman, and we know that there were cavemen. When will the New Book come along? I don’t know, but the times of serve and suffer are gone, and mankind doesn’t need a Book. We create our own reality. We have to take responsibility for the good of our own soul and DO what is right for ourselves before we look at and judge others. If everyone would do this, the world would be a much better place to live in.
In Leviticus -- Sexual sins of any kind are considered "abominations" to the Lord. The person who commits adultery is in the same boat as the gay people.
In Deuteronomy and Proverbs -- Dishonest business practices are named as an "abomination". And look at the practices of big business today!
In Proverbs -- Oppressive treatment of others, and a haughty attitude are considered as "abomination". There was slavery in the Bible!
In Proverbs, there are seven abominations.
1-A proud look
2-A lying tongue
3- Hands that shed innocent blood
4- A heart that conceives wicked imaginations
5. Feet that are swift in running to mischief
6- A false witness that speaks lies
7 Anyone who sows discord among his brethren.
Not too many can say they are innocent of all of these “abominations"? Hell will be FULL if the above is true ! Then, add prayer to that list of "abominations", if prayer comes from one who turns his ear from hearing the laws of the church--- in Proverbs 28:9. Do you pray? If so, are your prayers an abomination? Think about this. I followed my church rules when I was growing up, and then I began to think and open my mind. I found out that my mind had a lot of unanswered questions, but I wasn’t suppose to ask questions. I was only suppose to accept the rules as they were written. I’ve since, changed my mind!
The end of this movie was so awe inspiring that it leaves you with some feeling of hope. The mother learned about her wonderful son’s “sin”. But her lessons came after her son was dead. Only then, did she open her eyes and see that the Bible contradicts itself in so many places, that it leaves the door wide open to make any sentence to mean what a church, or a man, or a woman wants it to mean….which then leaves a lot of room for manipulation of the wording, which in turn manipulates the mind. This is not what God is about. The God I know, and you can name your God here __________, is not about manipulating the mind. God is all about love and inspiring the mind. There are two lines in that book they call the Bible that I live by:
The greatest gift of all is love.
The kingdom of God is within YOU.
© 2009 Mary Lynn Plaisance
© 2009 Mary Lynn Plaisance