After I wrote Women know how to fake orgasm... I was flooded with emails telling me that both Jennifer and I are going to hell, me for being friends with her and in doing so encourages her behavior. The bible is discussed in great detail condemning us as sinners. I read the entire bible when I was twelve years old. I haven't since. I could be wrong, but I don't recall anything that would damn a person to hell for dating or being friends with someone who dates married men.
I did not respond to any of these emails and I wasn't going to write about it, but the emails got me thinking about morality. Religion and politics are not topics that I wish to discuss here even though I have much to say about both. But on matters of moral judgment, I find myself having conversations with myself out loud. And when that happens, I must write.
“We have to let the ghosts in,” My father used to say. “They won’t go away until you let them in,”
That’s why I write. I have a lot to say and my mind will not allow me to keep silent.
I am not worthy of passing judgment on anyone. I am no less flawed. I have never dated a married man, but I have done other things that some may find equally if not more objectionable. I lust. I write about sex. I don't think homosexuality and lesbianism is a sin. I believe that people are who they are. I think that if you want to be a whore, be a whore if being a whore makes you happy. I have a child out of wedlock and I don't really believe in marriage. I don't trust churches. I think that alot of the pastors of our day take advantage of the weak and use the bible to do it. When I have sex it’s for pure, unadulterated pleasure not for procreation. I’ve cheated, see Gypsy woman. I can make a long list of things that I have done and beliefs that I have that one would call 'sinful’. When it comes to individual life choices, I am indifferent. It is up to us as individuals to decide who we are and who we want to be. Who am I to pass judgment on anyone?
Jennifer is an exceptional human being, one that I am proud to call friend. We’re all flawed, but we are also a work in progress and perhaps should not be defined by the mistakes that we make, but rather what those mistakes have taught us, cost us and make of us. My mistakes have taught me my greatest lessons, the biggest of which is that I am still becoming.
If I were to be judged on my mistakes, I would have long been banished in the wilderness. I am thankful to my friends and family for knowing that I am more than I am sometimes. I am thankful that they are able to show me compassion and understanding and stick by me, even when they disagree with me, and for loving me even though I may at times disappoint them. As an evolving being, I like to think that I posses the intelligence to recognize, accept, and understand that we all falter on this life journey.
And so, I will continue to hold Jennifer’s hands and wipe her tears and listen not because I agree with her, but because I am her friend and I understand humanity’s shortcomings.
It is said that life is the greatest teacher. Jennifer is a good student.
If the only argument one has is that we're going to hell because the bible 'say so' it's going to take a lot more than that to convince me to give up my friendship with Jennifer.
My faith was once strong it is now weak. I have more questions than answers about life. As an adult who have grown to think critically, I do not function on blind faith.
Growing up, I believed what the preachers taught in church that heaven is in the sky and hell is beneath my feet. I wonder if this reality that we live, this time and space, is this limbo for I have seen and experience what I believe to be both heaven and hell here on earth.
The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t know much about anything. I don’t know what is right or wrong for anyone. I can only speak on what feels right and wrong for me, and there are times when I am wrong about that.
This realization that I am still becoming humbles me. It teaches me tolerance and acceptance. I go about my life now with an openness that offers me freedom.
That’s not to say that I don’t care about anything. Far from it – my passions run deep and my will is fierce and bottomless – all of my battles are fought on principle. There are people and things in my life for whom and for which I am willing to fight to the death. My family – my name... and beyond that there are issues that I will not keep silent about, child abuse – molestation – rape – physical and psychological abuse of any man and woman – socio-economic injustice – racism --exploitation...
But when it comes to passing judgment on others, I prefer to live life like a fallen Fall leaf dancing in the wind, colorful and detached. I don’t know anything.