Category Archives: Bisexuality

if death is pushing daisies, desire is pulling off their petals.

I don’t think she’ll want me.

when she finds

my goddamn skull is a cave of Aladdin horrors and she

shuts

although she brightened while we met and left.

It was hard

when I was trapped in

a world I couldn’t fit.

Knowing I am the trap

I can’t get out of

is worse.

Open.

 

 

Directive.

crumble smooth plaster. Unveil

the tomb. breath into bones.

Resurrectionist anarchy bleaches the land into color.

 

Don’t leave one single dead

soul living

dead

 

 

The Fear of God

“… to call someone a Corinthian was really- well- it wasn’t a nice thing.”

I pulled the top off a new marker and continued to draw.  I’d been staying away from the the Church Bible Studies.  But  this one was at my parents house. All the people who had asked my family about me while I was gone were coming.  I had no real excuse that didn’t sound like obvious avoidance.

So I brought my sketchbook and some metallic markers and sat in a corner of the crowded room. This was what I had always done- I just hoped my expressions weren’t too expressive.  Pastor was talking about Corinthians.

“The church in Corinth was surrounded by horrible immorality.  Imagine if our church was plucked up and set down in the middle of San Francisco-  in the middle of…” he fumbled, looking for the words “-in the middle of a gay scene? Can you imagine how hard that would be? ”

Camouflaged as a person among people, I tried to imagine.

You must not MIX with the immoral, Pastor explained.  You could be around them at work, he granted, but you couldn’t join your life with theirs in any significant way.  The only result would be suffering.  Terrible suffering.

The Church meets  at a summer camp and it’s member’s living rooms because it doesn’t have a building.  Most of the families home school/ed and most of the girls wore long denim skirts up until a few years ago.  The youth were swept with a restless wind about that time. The girls started wearing long skirts made of not denim, along with über fashionable tops that showed their upper arms.

While they stayed home and waited for someone to marry them.  In their late twenties.

I wondered how the ‘adults’ would react if they suddenly were aware that that the immorality they had so studiously isolated their progeny from, and that they contemplated with such horror from half a nation away, was sitting in the room with them.

I focused on drawing. The line of the pen on the page. Focus. Focus.

Pastor went on.

“…Now, when we say ‘the fear of the Lord’, does that mean we sit around shaking with fear because God is going to come and get us?”

Que the explanation of how ‘the fear of the lord’ doesn’t mean abject terror but respect, I told myself, planning  to pat myself on the back for knowing the talking points so well.

“It only partly means that.”  I looked up in surprise.  I thought I knew this speech.  “It does partially mean that, because after all, we serve an awesome God. But it also means having respect for God…”

They’ve been upgrading their definitions while I was away.  It isn’t the definition of fear that’s changed necessarily. He did still mention the fear= respect thing.  It’s just the definition of awesome that’s changed.

Serving an ‘awesome’ person now means serving ‘a person so frightening that you would be immobilized with helplessness and terror at the thought of disagreeing with them, because they are going to show up and do horrible things to you in revenge”

I wonder if Rich Mullins knew that.

Awesome is no longer awesome.

The Pastor went on to talk about how  a true Christian must stand for one’s convictions even when surrounded by those who disagree with them.  Then he talked in a soft and tender voice about suffering.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mom move. He was saying this for her, I suspected. About her situation.

The point of life isn’t to be happy he said. The point of life is to obey. God. In whatever He wills for you.

They prayed.

The Bible Study ended.  I went to face/escape from a large gaggle of young women in long skirts and fashionable tops. In ecstatically happy voices that managed to sound prerecorded, they asked me how I was doing.

Closed in my sketchbook was a picture of a Hindu god. Stylized and glittering, the god’s arms and aura swirled around him.

“Now I am become Death- the Destroyer of Worlds”

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions concerning Sex in the Bible

I am about halfway through Mr. Crabtree’s notes for The Ethics of Sex in The Bible, Section III. So that  post will probably come out in the next few days.

In the meantime, a commenter had some questions- there were a lot of them, and I did not feel I could do them justice just in a reply.  Also,  I felt that some of his questions related to format- so I thought I might as well clarify that before going on.

His comment can be found at the end of this post- if I were more technologically ept I would link straight to it, but I’m actually lucky to have figured out the link thing at all.

You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive! Part II.

He begins:

I must say, I am confused by your approach.

I’m confused by the fact that I’m having to deal with this lecture.  At least we’re confused together.

The handout you are critiquing is not a transcription of Jack’s talk, it is an OUTLINE. And you are critiquing it without having even listened to Jack explain his argument?

Oh god.  I really am so sorry about that.  However this subject is very emotional for me. If you think my treatment of the outline is bad, I don’t think you would approve of me trying to do the livestreaming. The reason I’m critiquing the “OUTLINE” is because the written format is easier for me to deal with in a semi-rational manner.

This is as uncharitable and intellectually illegitimate as ‘tearing apart’ the argument of a book having read only the table of contents. 

But I don’t claim to be criticizing anything but the table of contents.

If anyone wants to read the book (aka the audio recording), it’s sitting there waiting for them.  I believe I’ve linked to the Gutenberg Website at least a couple times in all this.

Here it is again.

http://blog.gutenberg.edu/2014/the-ethics-of-sex-in-the-teaching-of-the-bible/

Sure, the handout was ‘public’. It was posted online so that people watching the lectures could follow the outline (I’m sure you are familiar with Jack’s lectures, and that he generally hands out an outline for the benefit of the listeners). A table of contents is also ‘public’.

We also don’t read Aristotle because all we have are his lecture notes!

I am not surprised that you are so confused about Jack’s references to Tobit, etc…

If you, with your auditorily wired brain, can explain to me how it is ethical to describe a ban on interracial marriage clearly found in a portion of the Bible ‘shared’ by Christianity and Judaism as a “Taliban”-like feature of first century Judaism, thus pushing the Christian and Jewish shared heritage of apparent racism off onto just the Jews- please, feel free.

I’m actually not kidding here.  It would make me a lot calmer to hear a convincing explanation of why I’m wrong.  This freaks the hell out of me.

He does define his terms… in the lectures.

Mm. In the outline, which appears to be presenting the structure of his argument, so that, as you pointed out, the audience of his lectures can follow his arguments more easily, he devotes THE ENTIRE first section to defining in detail, the types of people who will and won’t be attracted to his views.

He spends several bullet points in that section explaining the different definitions of ‘subculture’ and ‘underculture’.

The term I was most disturbed by his not-defining-of was “Biblical Sexual Ethics”.  The topic of the lecture.

It not even just that he didn’t put the definition in his handout.  It’s that there’s no place for him to say that definition in the flow of his argument as it now stands.

Why is it important to define the people who disagree with you as conformist moderns and the people who agree with you as courageous Jesus followers, in detail, at the beginning of your argument… but not define the subject?

And if he doesn’t define a specific term that you are confused about, there is a format for asking questions during the lecture.

Please see what I said above about myself, the written format, and rationality.

The real question is, if answers are so readily available (through online streaming) why aren’t you looking for them? 

Those I have spoken to who DID listen to the livestream and who DID ask questions were referred to ‘a sermon I’m going to do at Reformation next month’ that would answer all their questions.

That only has the value of hearsay, and if I were able to process the livestream format in a mentally intelligible  fashion, I would tell you whether it were true or not first hand.

That inability to process IS a failing on my part, but I didn’t make my brain.  If you have a problem with it, file a complaint with the Almighty.

Are you really interested in dialogue? Or are you trying to do something else?

Ah- 1) No, 2) Yes?

This is a blog, not Academia. If you look over my other posts, you’ll find they mostly involve how I feel about my mother and  how  I hate God  for being such a meanie weanie.  In this particular series of posts, I am processing my personal thoughts and emotions about Jack’s series.

I thought that was obvious.  If it wasn’t, I apologize.  I’m not sure if more or less sarcasm will make it clearer.

I’m not saying I will never be interested in dialogue. But if I ever write an actual rebuttal, it will be very dry, scholarly, and will have pages and pages of footnotes.  At that point I will also have calmed myself down enough to watch the recordings as well.

I can send it to you to critique first before sending it to Jack, if you like. 🙂

I am NOT saying this to invalidate your perspectives on the Bible or Biblical sexual ethics. From what I have read I am pretty sure we disagree on many things, but I am interested in hearing more of your perspective and understanding where you are coming from.

Well, thanks.  When I can stop seeing red, I may feel the same way about you.

That being said, I expect a certain standard of intellectual and discursive integrity from Gutenberg alumni. 

If this were a discourse, I believe I would be crushed by that remark.  Good thing it’s actually sort of my online diary that you decided to expose yourself too by reading, eh?

That being said, this lecture on Sex Ethics ended up being one of the things I cry about in my online diary because I expected a certain amount of intellectual and  discursive integrity from a Gutenberg Tutor.

It seems to me that in choosing to respond to Jack’s outline without bothering to listen to the lectures you have either carelessly or willfully set up a straw man and pinned Jack’s name to it.

If you chose to see what I’ve written as a formal response, then find you feel bothered by its informality, that is your decision.

Next, you seem to be saying that Jack is such a poor writer that his outline of his own argument constitutes a misrepresentation of said argument.  I at least think better of him than that. But- if you are right and Jack’s outline can’t be trusted to represent his argument- well- then-if Jack wishes to write caricatures of his own arguments and post them online with his name attached, that is his decision.

Finally, Noah, this is your uncle, and I do not expect you to be excited about the fact that I am criticising him, publicly, for all the world to see.  And Jack is a pleasant person who loves his children and family and has hopes and fears and the whole ball of string.

But so am I.

And I hardly expected my teacher to call me animalistic, morally disgusting, viscerally repulsive, an abomination, and to create special category of sinner for me along with pedophiles, sadists, and sociopaths (Section IV E)-

Publically, for all the world to see.

My family agrees with him, you know.

I do not believe I have earned this from him.

 

 

 

Confession and Prelude- Sex in the Bible

Sarcastic Trigger Warning: Contains Sarcasm

Today is Tuesday.  For a  short but significant period of my life, Tuesday was the day of Tuesday Night Bible Study at Gutenberg College.  It was the night of coffee in tall urns and teabags in little baskets- setting up folding chairs and sitting in the back of the crowded classroom so that I could draw or write bad poetry unobtrusively when my attention wandered.

It was a ritual, you know?

Then, came the awful change.

Tuesday Night Bible Study was moved to Wednesday.  Horrors.

It caused the slightest stumble in my mind when that happened.  I had to pull out some of the wires in my mind and stick them back together to get over the switch. Tuesday Night… Tuesday… Wednesday Night Bible Study!

Last week, something happened that has caused me possibly even more trouble.

Jack Crabtree, Gutenberg Tutor, began a series of lectures entitled The Ethics of Sex in the Bible.

I had heard about this lecture series.  But when I looked it up and started reading about it for myself, I realized I had to start blogging about it.

I am bisexual.  I have both emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for boys and emotionally fallen for and felt physical attraction for girls.  I was raised in a very Christian home where my parents referred to our one lesbian relative as Aunt Sewer.  If I go on pretending to be straight I can probably continue peaceable interactions with my family.  If I break all ties and declare myself Bi I could get- I don’t know- a merit badge from the anti-Christ? A romantic partner? Peace of mind?

Boys creep me out in theory, possibly because I’m always afraid they see me as a sexbot or something. This fear I am pretty certain I got from watching commercials and reading  the Books of Moses too many times before the age of 10. However, in person, I like certain ones pretty well.

There was a period of my life where the phenomena of bisexuality occurred in my life and I didn’t know what it meant.  I didn’t have words for it.  It was like Columbus’ ships sailing up to my island, to put it into a metaphor familiar to Gutenbergers.  I can testify that I did, in fact, see the ships.  I just didn’t know how to talk about them.  Or that there was anything to talk about.

Part of this phase was spent at Gutenberg. I can name the girls and the boys I had crushes on at Gutenberg.

There was another period in my life in which I had realized what this all meant.  I was a Christian at the time.  I believed that homosexuality was a sin, and that these impulses were impulses towards sin, but so what? Everyone has impulses towards sin.  Some people towards greed, some towards gluttony, some towards you know, normal lust- and whatever else. As long as I didn’t act on the impulse, I could still consider myself faithful. I felt very noble and sacrificial about the whole thing.

I spent many years in this phase.  I did not feel these impulses and attractions voluntarily, I thought they were sinful and that they were messing up my life. I did not feel them because I had been indoctrinated or trained into feeling them- the only experience I had was life at Gutenberg and living in a fundamentalist home/community.

Then finally has come the very recent period of my life.  It’s a story for another time, but I guess I can sum up by saying that I’m no longer concerned about homosexuality being a sin.

A detail that may be important to this discussion is that I have never physically engaged in sexual activity with anyone of any gender.  I don’t know that, if I continue my double life, I ever will.  But I have experienced attraction towards members of both genders, and I believe it is that, and my acceptance of the fact, that earns me the title.

But most of all.

I have never

ever

had Sex in the Bible.  EW!

Get your damnation calculators running, folks. Try figuring out what percent evil I am!

I am a alumni of Gutenberg College.  I would not pick on them like this if I were a stranger. I do not feel qualified to represent QUILTBAG individuals generally, I have been too isolated and know too little about ‘non-biblical’ sexualities for that.

But I can’t let this pass.

I do better with the written word than with spoken word (hence the drawing and bad poetry during Bible Study), so I am going to be following this series via the notes Mr. Crabtree has posted here:

http://msc.gutenberg.edu/audiofiles/EthicsSex_Handout_1_Cultural_Context.pdf

Assuming he continues to do so after this first one.

If the handouts do not match what was said in the lecture, that is not my fault.  And they, just as much as the live stream, are open to the general public.  It seems worthwhile to me to respond to the Handout as a separate entity, and it is to the general public that I present my take on them.

And with that, let the games begin!