I don’t know when it started, but over the past few years I found myself rejecting bits of liberal/progressive orthodoxy. I think it has its roots in words: I’m a word person and always have been. It’s why I love to write (among other reasons), and why I’ve loved to read since I was old enough to pick up a book. I love language, and the freedom of thought, imagination and creativity that comes with it.
There are words I love (eloquent, kind), and words I hate (queer, baby bump), but I always appreciate our freedom to use them, even when it makes us sound thoughtless and ignorant. So when I’m told there are words I can’t use, or, worse, words I must replace with adolescent euphemisms (“the n-word,” “the f-word”), words I am told are so vile and offensive they cannot even be spelled (f**got), I bristle. Either say a word, spell a word, or don’t use it at all.
Every year there are new words I’m told I can’t use. “Old” is now “older,” because, well, being old is gross and tragic. Cunt, faggot, tranny, pussy, sissy … these are only some of the most obvious examples. One must now couch one’s words carefully, lest one’s increasingly sensitive fellows (can I say that? Isn’t “fellows” patriarchal?) take offense and think less of me.
So I think that’s where it started, my break from orthodoxy. Then I’ve witnessed for many years now the vitriol aimed at Christians in the comments sections of gay blogs (not to name names, but think Joe.My.God). I got very tired of the hypocrisy of LGBT people and institutions demanding the culture be sensitive to us when we are not sensitive to them. Hell, it’s as difficult to come out as a Christian in the gay world as it is to come out as gay in much of the Christian world. Gay Republicans are reviled. Gay conservatives of any stripe are ridiculed. And it bothers me!
I knew I was gay as a very young child (or, at least, same-sex attracted). I lived my life openly and with truth. I did not go through that to find myself as an adult being told what to say, think, believe, or express. Conservative orthodoxy is no more confining and rigid than liberal orthodoxy. I want neither.
Most recently, I read about Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Isha, a Christian woman in Sudan whose Muslim father abandoned his family when she was born. Her mother raised her as Christian. 27 years later she is married to a Christian man, with an 18-month-old son now taken from them because “a Muslim child cannot be raised by a Christian” according to the same religious authority that has sentenced her to death. Apparently, members of her no-account father’s family complained that she had committed apostasy, abandoning the Muslim faith she never had! I would wager a year’s salary that they want their greedy hands on whatever property, money or cows she and her husband own. She languishes in jail, pregnant, to be executed after giving birth – to a child that will be immediately handed over the some Muslim to be raised Muslim.
Islam is a medieval religion stuck in the 15th century and it’s 2014. As I tweeted a few minutes ago, “Fellow liberals: be sure to invite me to the first gay wedding at a progressive mosque. I’ll be dead 300 years but I’ll try to make it.”
That’s what having a blog is for: to say what I think, about whatever I think it. I’m through stifling myself, choosing my words to see which ones I must leave out so I don’t offend someone who almost certainly will not extend the same consideration to me (how many times do I have to say ‘queer’ offends me before any of its proponents acknowledges the offense, let alone stops calling us that?). Even now I’m censoring myself, worried that someone will think I use the word “tranny” (I don’t), or “cunt” (I do). The word and thought police have been very successful at getting into my head and I want them out.
I’ve lost my liberal religion and it’s a good thing to be rid of.