January 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm #4134
This is something I’ve mused over for quite a long time but haven’t really vocalized in any shape or form until now – figure this would be the perfect forum to voice it in.
I’ve always considered that the hallmark of my atheism is largely due to asking questions that the church or religion in general can’t answer. I think most of us here being either atheist or agnostic would have been driven to our personal beliefs in a similar way. That said – I’ve always wondered what my thought process would have been like had I not been gay.
The reason I ask that is a big part of my social identity and largely the root reason I started questioning religion was the dogma against homosexuality. I knew that I was gay, regardless of how my parents tried to train me to become more masculine (which I became), or that homosexuality was wrong or even disgusting, etc.
I believe that it’s these types of events in my life that transpired to make me into the person that I am today – asking why is homosexuality wrong? Which ultimately leads one to ask the nature of morality as a whole as well.
I’ve always asked myself – if I weren’t gay, would I have asked these questions at such an early age? If I didn’t would I have then been so indoctrinated in my beliefs as a Roman Catholic that I would have turned a blind eye to reason and science and spouted dogma like I know many in my family (and other religious figures) so often do with such conviction?
Now don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of atheists, anti-theists, and agnostics alike who aren’t gay, and many religious folk who are gay (most with a fundamental belief that homosexuality is not wrong in their particular interpretation of their religion). I think it’s an interesting distinction especially finding a community like this where it links the two together. I look forward to seeing how this community grows and what will become of it and it’s ultimate impact on both the gay community and religious community alike.January 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm #4150
I think Atheism is adopted by many people not just homosexuals. People that believe in the use of science and the theory of evolution are most likely to be atheists because most people want physical or some form of evidence to prove that there is a God.
I have allot of friends that aren’t homosexual and are atheists, i suppose they’re atheists because they’re smart enough not to believe in some mystical force that supposedly created the world in a week and created a woman from the rib of a man that ended up eating from a magical tree because a talking snake told her to do so. I’m not saying that believers in god are stupid or anything like that but some people need more than just an old book to tell them how to live.
I just think that the majority of people that don’t believe in god and are atheists is generally down the their reliability in science and the homosexuals that are atheists too may not want to believe in a God because of the way they’re treated by people that do believe in god, but i know some homosexuals that do believe in God or a higher power mainly because they read outside the box of religion and don’t see it as a book about who they should be and who they should want to change, but see God of a man of support who they can turn to in a time of need, which is how i see the bible, not as a way of life and that you must change the person you are because of your religion but to be able to interpret the teachings of God in your own personal way which would seem to be correct because that is how you would want your religion to be, your own personal connection with God.January 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm #4170
let me chime in on this one my personal belief in a god was challenged from the get go and i made that known i asked a catholic school teacher if got created the universe who created god as i am sure i didn’t get an answer i put that Question to you guys and point out it isn’t always a choice to believe in religion when it is forced upon you and you believe it is non sense from the get go you know that in some cases the bible is hard to swallow if it isn’t taught at home and in those cases like mine reason takes over you begin to explore the truth of the world around you just as early humans did before religion got a strangle hold on the world then i went to catholic school a that was hard to swallow i guess what my point is if your upbringing doesn’t include religion you won’t believe in it and it won’t have a hold on you it is a drug that most people like and when they get a ad dose like homosexuals do they turn away from that drug for a better high and since i never got addicted to religion i am thankfull for that i don’t feel as threatened or hurt by religious people as other gay guys do but i still try to help others see tat thier religious faith is wrong when they try to come up and convert me to their beliefsJanuary 7, 2013 at 1:48 am #4173
Then again, between living in eastern Canada and not having religious parents, there weren’t the pressures that I sometimes read about and the religious lobby has a much smaller sphere of influence. It’s a happy place to be.
My personal journey traces back through science fiction when I was younger – Star Trek and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and others – which allowed me to read about real science later in life. What sealed the deal for me was statistics in first year. I was already past the whole god thing before I even got to the morality parts.January 7, 2013 at 3:27 am #4185
Originally I considered myself an atheist shortly (about a few years) after I realized I was gay at age 16. Around that time, I had been Mormon, and I like you was asking why was homosexuality a sin other then “The Bible says so”. To this day I’ve heard no answer.
Today I am agnostic, however, I do think being agnostic or atheist goes better with being gay in today’s society (at least in the US), given that most believers are illogical and for some reason have a special bent on persecuting gays. Even gay-friendly churches seem to have this problem simply because they still consider the Bible to be an inspired work of God and there are so many anti-gay passages in there.January 9, 2013 at 2:27 am #4263
@psyadam, just curious – personally I’ve never met a gay ex-mormon. Based on your person experiences in that particular church and your current stance as an agnostic – what is your take of the mormon church compared to other christian (or even other religious) denominations?
I’ve always heard people in the media like Bill Maher, or Penn Gillette who mock mormonism more-so than other religions due to the unique belief system/hierarchy that the mormon church puts forward – hence why I’m curious as to your opinion.
Thanks in advance!January 9, 2013 at 3:00 am #4266
You’ll really have to read “Where did the Book of Mormon really come from?”, a book that spells out where the core beliefs of the Mormon church come from. It turns out that the Book of Mormon was actually a work of fiction that a guy named Solomon Spalding was trying to get published in Pittsburgh or Pennsyvlvania (something like that I think). A guy named Sidney Rigdon stole the manuscript and met up with Joesph Smith, whose dad was a known con-man and had taught his son the tricks of the trade. They consorted and created what is now the Mormon religion claiming that they found golden plates and Urim and Thumim to translate ancient hieroglyphics or whatever. But that’s how it started. The Mormon religion has changed it’s beliefs. You probably know that they now let Blacks into the church, even though that is still very rare from what I experienced; and letting blacks in was a change they only reluctantly did very recently (maybe 40-50 years ago)? Obviously, in the really old days of the church they also practiced polygamy. My point is that that church will do whatever they feel is necessary to bring in as much money as possible; and in fact that was the idea from the very beginning.
edit: I don’t think that last statement is unique to Mormonism. As Dracula would say “perhaps the same could be said of all religions”.January 9, 2013 at 3:16 am #4269
Haha that’s enlightening, I’ll be sure to give the book a quick skim – but based on your description, largely already confirms some of the hearsay I’ve heard from other people. Didn’t know about the whole store about Solomon Spalding’s work though – gave me a quick chuckle. Thanks again!January 9, 2013 at 3:54 am #4270
I believe the book is “Who really wrote the book of Mormon?” as opposed to what I said earlier.
Here’s a link to where you can buy it on amazon:
Product by Brand: Concordia Publishing House ~ Arthur Vanick (author) More about this product
Price $17.99January 14, 2013 at 9:28 am #4450
My religious beliefs and my sexuality have no connection for me. I grew up in a non traditional christian household, my mum believes in god but not that the bible is the infallible word of god. To her, the bible is written by man and is therefore mans interpretation of gods will, and that interpretation can be inaccurate or deliberately false as a means of control. She lives a good life, follows the positive messages in the bible, whilst ignoring the hateful and bigoted parts of the bible. Therefore I grew up in a christian household that accepted gay people, there was no conflict.
I don’t believe in god because I simply do not believe man, the earth, and/or the universe was created by some incredible divine entity.January 15, 2013 at 3:53 am #4514
I became an atheist long before I accepted my sexual orientation. When I was roughly in the 8th Grade, I began seeing a great double standard between conventional logic and religious faith. Over the course of the years, I fluctuated between being extremely religious and rejecting religion as complete rubbish. Eventually as I entered a university, I began reading books on both sides and watching religious vs atheist debates on Youtube, which finally brought me to the conclusion that the arguments in favor of religion were weak.January 15, 2013 at 5:37 am #4516
I would actually say it’s the inverse- my atheism is what fuels my “gayness.” I am more out than I would be if I followed a gay-friendly religion, because I know that all the “offence” I cause towards people’s beliefs is the result of their own delusions, and I have no reason to honor it.
Sometimes I think that, had I been straight, I would have left catholicism much earlier. I had doubts since I was 12, but I was scared of thinking too much because I realized that without being able to say “the pope says so,” I had no reason not to accept my sexuality. Guess I was just afraid of making such a big change. But after three semesters of agnostic or unorthodox professors pointing out flaws in the dogmas I had always assumed were completely sound, and six Douglas Adams books to teach me that nothing is above doubt, I really had no choice. So I left the church, accepted myself, stepped out into the great unknown, and never looked back.January 15, 2013 at 8:23 am #4518
and six Douglas Adams books
He really is completely wonderful for that.January 16, 2013 at 4:55 am #4540
To answer the OP; Yes, to a degree it is. The vast majority of religions that exist hold disdain for homosexuality. My shift to Atheism and Buddhist Ideology was ignited by my homosexuality and fueled by my personal distrust and disgust with the religious ideologies that use religious canon and beliefs to perpetuate hate and prejudice.January 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm #4572
No, I don’t think atheism is fuelled by being gay.
I think, perhaps, being gay tends to make you question why you bother giving your time, loyalty and support to a particular church when all it does is come out with pronouncements about how “evil”, “naturally disordered” and so forth, you are.
It doesn’t follow from that, that you should be or become an atheist. All it means is that you may leave your church for another, more tolerant one. I think, to some people, belief in god can be reconciled with being gay. For example, one part of the Bible says being is a sin and gays should be put to death, but other parts say god is love; if god is love, how can he hate gays? And so, the theistic belief can be put into perspective.
Personally, there isn’t a shred of physical or logical/philosophical evidence that proves to me there is a god beyond a reasonable doubt. So, for want of evidence, I’m an atheist.
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