Or, y’know, sitting at home whining about my sunburn and watching religious documentaries.
I watched Hell House, which was especially scary because when they talked about fear it made me think about working for NYPIRG, and how they operated on scaring people into giving money for hydrofracking. (I want to go on about this, but it’s sort of unrelated.)
What that movie was wonderful about was not supporting or condemning anything, it was just footage edited to show both sides and let the viewer decide. It showed the great participants, and the questionable one, and guests who were touched by the experience, and those who argued against it.
A really important point, for me, that it brought up was the cycle of religion. There were people who went through some seriously awful experiences (court cases were mixed up and children were taken away from a father who seemed wonderful, caring, and loving.) Whenever things are great, it’s because of God, and whenever you are “suffering”, God is there to help you through it. wut? So there is no way out! It’s such backwards logic, actually, I think logic is too giving a word.
Also what Hell House displayed was people against things they don’t even know. They had a scene about raving, but only one of the guys had ever been to a rave! And he didn’t know the name of the date rape drug they alluded to, and when she got raped (by more than one guy) they had a reference to sexual abuse by her father. What!? The gay guy had AIDS, the girl who had an abortion had a botched one and bled to death. Ya. That is the rule of those things. They also had a scene about family violence that involved the wife cheating with a guy she met online. One of the men associated with Hell House had had a similar experience, but he was not asked for input. The entire production was just some Christian’s removed imaginations running wild. ugh.
Then, I watched One Nation Under God. This was biased, in favor of civil rights for gays and lesbians. (One woman had that lisp where “homosexuals” and “issues” became “homo-sayx-you-alls” and “ihss-yous”). They brought up points about general prejudice. I’m far too lazy to include any real quotes (I should. Eh sorry) but one guy said something to the effect of “You could superimpose anything they said about homosexuality over what they said about blacks or the Jews, and it would fit.” They use the same argument over and over again, over whoever is threatening them the most. Them = straight, white males in power.
This documentary also touched on how sexism effects this issue. Lesbians are favored over gays. After certain groups relented and allowed same sex pairs to live together, the only thing they condemned was the “genitalized behaviors”. One woman said, (loosely) “We live in a nation that’s more scared of a man in a dress than a man in a soldier’s uniform.” Effaminate has always meant weak, and masculine has always meant strong. In the gay rehab clinics they had, women were given makeovers to look “pretty” so that they could finally appeal to men, whereas the gay men played softball with other men who were bad at sports. ew.
To rid homosexuals of their “sinful behaviors”, some therapists went all out Clockwork Orange, using electric shocks and vomit-inducing drugs to change orientation. Those with AIDS were blamed instead of helped, and those who tried for years to convert to heterosexuality “just weren’t trying hard enough” if they failed.
Also! Something I found extremely interesting and disturbing: Original Bibles did not once use the word “homosexual” or “sodomizing” (or variations), and neither did translations. It wasn’t until the 1940s reprinting of the Bible that those words were brought into the Holy Book. Take from that what you will.
Two strong messages from these:
1) The Bible has so many different interpretations, and the various translations don’t help for that. There exist a lot of contradictions in the book, and while a lot of people take from it a message of universal love and peace, the simple fact that it is so simple to also take a message of hate and prejudice should demonstrate how unreliable it is as a moral compass.
2) Those who hold prejudice and discriminate do so because they believe differences imply hierarchies. Faithful and religious is better than “ungodly”, having Jesus makes you a better person than one that does not “accept him”, being “straight” (ugh what a term) is the right, or straight!, way, and any other orientation involving two consenting adults is wrong and must be fixed. Those in power obviously know best.
I enjoyed this. I have some friends who follow me who have known me for a while (I have SOOO many followers jklol not at all) and I feel kinda weird posting this and having them read it but uh fuck all y’all.