I was previously in church this Sunday. As is predictable am not an ardent church-goer ever since ou pastor got it into his head that the bible has damned all sort of 'defiant' people gays and all included...I digress. Anyway, our pastor is sort of old-fashioned (not in a good way) to a fault. They had attended a seminar in Italy (church sponsored of course) and he had just come back a few days earlier.
And so my despair set in, he came back with a put-on Italian accent that tended to wear off when he spoke more than two words. So he was describing for us his trip to the olive country. He proceeded to narrate how he was assigned two roommates of whom one was gay and the other was a goth and they had all gone there for a spiritual retreat.
As you can guess, this did not go down well with lil' mister old-fashioned. He unashamedly narrated how he had to go complain to the seminary administration for mixing him with the wretched of the earth and for exposing him to 'communicable sin' (whatever that meant). As fate would have it, the administration simply rebuffed his attempts at being prejudiced against his roommates. He was instead told that if he felt too offended he could himself leave the seminary to which he obviously declined. So as a coping strategy, he preferred to get into the room at odd hours when all others had long been asleep. For the simple fact that the goth might attempt to suck his blood and the gay man might jump him and force him to do the monkey dance. At this point some people in the congregation seemed to find this funny for some reason unknown to the preacher. He went on to condemn his roommates to eternal fire and brimstone and the works. He ranted on and on as I wondered when the 'sharing' would end. He was basically fueling hate against LGBT, GOTHS and the western governments for allowing such 'devils' (his own words) to send us all to eternal damnation.
When the sermon was over a sort of discussion started at one of the church's exit (mind you this was a youth service). And interestingly enough, it was on social acceptance and I got drawn into it. The argument was on the premise of the preacher's experience with some saying that it was time for people to stop sticking their heads in the sand and wake up to the reality that there are such people among us and that they are no less human and I couldn't help but echo these sentiments. The preacher himself finally came in and after 30 minutes of deliberations, accusations and all the pastor and his supporters gave in since they couldn't prove their facts. I couldn't help but be amused at the preacher's tired attempt to smear peoples characters based on preferences. I was happy that in a small way all the publicity wasn't wasted in jolting the society into opening their eyes to what is around us all, and it won't go away just coz they wish it. While at the same time we (LGBT) should give time and be patient while avoiding the 'in your face' approach we are known for. It is not too far of that we shall be acknowledged.
*DISCLAIMER: This was in Karen where luckily the congregation is largely accommodating to varied ideologies. The same place where two boys kissed at the bus stop without stone-pelting and mob justice taking place. This may not always end so amicably in all places.