Queer Eye | Issue 13

Queer Eye | Issue 13

Faith and identity

So last week I had a little rant about the experience I had attending an administrative meeting of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. What I should have stressed is that my experience would have been much worse if I attended a similar meeting of nearly any other Christian denomination in New Zealand. The Anglican Church is comparatively liberal.

So what is it about religion that makes people go all conservative? The simple answer is that religions are based on texts that are inherently rooted in the social context of the time that they were written. Hence if 2,500 years ago a prophet had a “spiritual revelation” about a firstborn donkey requiring a lamb sacrifice (see Exodus), that prophet will write about it in the vernacular of the time, and with all the assumptions, prejudices and nuances they have. If a prophet is xenophobic, misogynist and homophobic, those will be the lenses through which they write their revelations whether or not there is any divine truth to them.

I also think that the faithful are a bit insecure about some of their spiritual practices. Christians go to church every Sunday to declare their love to a Jewish dude who went “fishing for men” and constantly surrounded himself with at least 12 completely devoted men who would do his every bidding. One of these men he called his beloved. Let’s not forget the fabulous, bedazzled robes which some priests wear. It’s all a little bit gay!

I once had the delightful experience of visiting a mosque. The whole experience felt kind of … well … gay! First of all came the gender segregation (women out back), then came the ritual cleaning (various parts of the anatomy depending on which sect you belong to), then the constant prostrations where your nose is basically in the butt of the dude in front of you!

I am not trying to belittle religion, I attest to its power to do good and transform people’s lives, but we most stop using it as an excuse to discriminate.
This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2014.
Posted 2:07pm Sunday 25th May 2014 by Sir Lloyd Queerington.