Sun Jan 29, 2012, 06:43 AM
So a few baptists came to the door today . . .
Last edited Sun Jan 29, 2012, 06:45 AM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
I was getting ready for work when the doorbell rang. I was a little surprised because the entrance to my apartment is in the back of the building, and usually only squirrels and hummingbirds manage to find the place. But, being a sociable sort, I answered the door, and there were two men. Entirely too blonde, too many teeth, powder blue button downs and khakis that imply entirely too much put-togetherness. But, I'm absurdly polite, so I say hallo.
"Hi, we're from the Baptist church over on . . ."
Ok, no. I'm a gay deist. But they persist as my boyfriend observes hidden in the recesses of the apartment. "Have you thought about what happens to you in the ever after?" I certainly have. And being an amateur cosmologist, it has almost nothing to do with the Bible. But, just for shits and giggles (and vaguely because I feel like this will be the path of least resistance), I note "Of course. I'm Catholic (I was raised one. Southern Baptists hate Catholics, so I figured this was an easy out. Not so!).
This generates lots of discussion about interpretations of the Bible.
I do a bit of ideological fencing. Their idea of Catholicism is a bit stereotypical ("No, not all Catholics are super-obedient to the Pope in Rome). We discusss Biblical passages. They ask me all about the after-life. I answer. They discuss. I answer. I answer for at least twenty minutes. Finally, I declare, "So, I need to leave for work soon, but I'll read this and think on it." End of communication.
And you know what? It didn't hurt me. It didn't scar me. I'm a gay male raised Catholic, and I could weather some evangelical missionaries at my front door while my homosexual boyfriend hovered in the backrground. They believed what they do quite earnestly, and it didn't entirely destroy my shit.
I feel like we've lost something in this country. The ability to say "Well, I don't believe as you do, but, whatever." Isn't that the mark of tolerance and plurality? To be able to say "We're different, and that's pretty ok!"
When we can't say that, I feel we're erring. No, I don't share their religion. Yes, they're totally hosed about my equality. I could've gotten real, real nasty. But . . . that's not who I am. We believe. I'll lay my case out as best I can, we'll have a dialogue, and let's see where we go from there.
So, I spent my morning sopping wet, just this side of being late to work, totally gay, and had a conversation with Baptists who were evangelizing.
And I lived to tell the tale.