“I come from a musical family. My mother was a piano player and my father was a conductor.”
“Really, where did he conduct?”
“On the Baltimore-Ohio railway.”—Marylyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot
I admit. I had to have a few glasses of wine to truly wrap my mind around it. I struggled with the circular logic and fought the religious dogmas that lead me down the primrose path to judgment. I try to avoid both judgments and assumptions because both will do you wrong without the slightest provocation. IMHO, most of our troubles start when we either judge or assume situations exist without understanding the one missing factor: human nature.
So, when I heard that there was actually a religious belief that one could “pray their gay away,” I was amazed. I thought about the reality of human beings believing that they could pray away their sexual preferences. It really bothered me to think of the irresponsibility of religious leaders that would mislead a group of people into believing that they were sexually perverted because of their choice of sexual partners and that it would go away with enough prayer. Now, anyone within stepping distance of me knows that I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. But, in this case, the power of stupidity apparently runs much much deeper because it assumes that:
- Sexuality is not ingrained into our very being. A person could as much pray to have their eyes changed from blue to brown as they could pray to have their sexuality reversed.
- Sexuality is something that can be taken away or changed. In reality, from the moment of conception, sexuality grows within us. It does not depend on nurture or environment.
- Sexual denial works on any level. In the face of guilt and shame at the recognition of sexuality, many people strive to suppress or hide the reality of their sexual feelings.
- Sexual standards reflect the sexual norms and sexual practices in society. Let’s face it…all of us do SOMETHING that we probably don’t want printed on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning. That is why we do them in private and on the intimacy of our own kitchen table (just seeing if you were paying attention!).
- Sex has a moral “rightness” or “wrongness.” The only moral out-of-bounds in relation to sex can be categorized as abuses: sexual abuse of children, sex without consent (rape), and sex that causes permanent injury or death. This is not the practice of sexual morals or the work of society curtailing sexual practices.
What I don’t understand about the concept of “praying your gay” away is more complex than my usual sexual rants. I don’t know why people fail to understand that sexuality, be it homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality, is a gift from God. When we start to accept sexuality as a choice among three choices for sexual partners (yes…heterosexuality is a choice!), we start to enjoy the pleasures of sex without the judgments and assumptions that cloud our vision because all forms of sexuality are on an equal footing. If we truly accept that we are born the way God intended us to be, then why would he reverse his decision? Sometimes, I believe that I can almost visualize him shaking his head at us as we come up with new ways to hate each other and more ways to hate ourselves.
Imagine the effect if we stop trying to “pray our gay away” and prayed for world peace, an end to hunger, and guidance for our world leaders to end the war in Iraq. ~~Dee