Worlds & Time

Monday, April 17, 2006

Michelle and Marriage

Really posted on April 22, 2006 just after midnight (so the night of the 21st) but back dated to fill a gap.

Michelle claims to have once been a liberal that supported gay rights. After some thought and reading over the tenants of her (fundamentalist Catholic) religion, she was able to determine that homosexuality was wrong, and therefore gay marriage was/is politically a no-no.

I came in on the middle of a conversation about a "support group" for homosexuals that she supports. The main idea that I seized upon was the group's dualistic expectation of behavior: either remain celibate forever (lovely chastity!) or deconvert (and for some gay people, throw away all hope of not going to hell, Michelle is very clear on the existence of hell and gay people's place there).

It was sort of different because there wasn't a lot of emphasis on change (not that I saw, anyway.

Interestingly enough, Michelle is married. So I took a look at the duality (which actually doesn't mean much to me, atheist and all that) and I offered it too her:

"You're married, and I'd guess that you must be in love with your husband. What if, when you met your husband, instead of encouraging you to find a relationship that glorified God you were told that your relationship was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord? Instead of being able to love him as a man and a wife you were required to keep your distance forever. You could love him as a brother, but you could never love any man as a husband.

"That's the challenge that this group is putting in front of homosexuals. You may either disregard God or live alone forever.

"So Michelle, what would you do? Disregard God, or live alone forever? I suspect you'll indicate the later, but I'll doubt the veracity of the answer. It's one thing to say, and it's another to live."

I was right of course. She said she'd live alone forever, and it's true, I don't believe her. I think she's a liar, and I think she's a hypocrite and worse.

But it was when she said she understood the sacrifice that my eyes narrowed. It wasn't her statement that she could live alone forever that caught me because somewhere in the Catholic church there must have been some nun somewhere that managed to make it through the temptations and die a ripe old maid. It was when she compared living alone forever to two years back in the day when, and I kid you not, she had to spend a few months not sleeping with her husband because her marriage wasn't recognized by the church.

Which means that any brief period of pain is equal to hell, I suppose. I have to say, I'm not really scared any more. Obviously, if I can last for a couple of months, it'll be like forever.

She also pointed out that since I'm unchurched, I could never understand the depths of her emotions, and that she feels misunderstood because of her frustration.

I sit back here, and I wonder if I could hate her any more. I don't want to. I really feel horrible about my feelings (the hate, not those other ones) but I can't help but to feel just blinding sheets of anger toward her.

Two years is a long time, but someone once said that the presence of hope is heaven, and the loss of all hope is hell.

She was willing to equivocate the difference.

This is venting. Half of it. Because I can't honestly say that this blog represents me without at least a little bit of my dark side. So here is the hate that I feel for others to see, not because I'm proud of it but because you shouldn't know me without having some idea of who I am. And here's the darker section:

The other half is in my response. It's not a nice thing, writing out your dislike. I know it's going to hurt her, and it hurts me to write it (I have no illusions . . . it will hurt her worse than me). But if I don't let it out, then it'll come out somewhere else. There's not going to be any creative outlet, no kick boxing or punching a pillow. I'm a writer, and it's going to be words, either with Michelle or with my mother.

After that I'm going to think about crying for a while. For my loss of innocence, and for the pain that her church is causing others, but mostly because what she represents is so wonderfully talented at bringing out the worst in me.

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