Blue creates harm (cont.)
Last week we began looking at demon-possessed expressions of Blue [DQ] values. We saw that homophobia is a fierce demon (a control spirit), and we discovered its expression creates harm, sometimes lethal harm. We referred to some rational Orange [ER] science/research to see if homophobic (demon possessed) church and religion adversely effects LGBT+ teens. The Center for Disease Control study that we looked at said yes, serious effects.
LGBT+ teens and family life
Continuing from there, implied in suicidal teens is the obvious difficulty teens find in homophobic families. When teens come out, they too often find their parent’s homophobia demon is expressed in their judgement, rejection, and even disowning of LGBT+ children—all too often turning them out onto the streets. A demon-possessed local church’s effects on LGBT+ youth in that church are both direct, through leaders, teachers, and friends in the church, and indirect, through their parents at home. This demon, homophobia, hides in Blue shadows and places a toll of pain and intentional shame on LGBT+ persons and those who love them.
This is common sense, but, again, we look to the rationality of Orange [ER] science for the objective facts provided by an authoritative methodology. Another research study looked at homelessness in LGBT+ youth. It found that the top reason for LGBT+ youth homelessness is “family rejection resulting from sexual orientation or gender identity.” The study was conducted by Durso & Gates, 2012, and was cited on the youth.gov website page that talks about youth homelessness in the U.S.:
LGBT youth experience homelessness at higher rates than non-LGBT youth for a range of reasons. A recent study of more than 350 runaway and homeless providers throughout the United States identified four top causes for homelessness among LGBT youth: (1) family rejection resulting from sexual orientation or gender identity; (2) physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; (3) aging out of the foster care system; and (4) financial and emotional neglect.
In addition to the stress of church and home, according to F.B.I. research: LGBT+ people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group. This struggle over rights and authentic living extends beyond the personal dimensions of church, home, and streets to influence politics, legislation, and governmental policy.
Demon possessed Blue legislation
I guess no one in my state had said or done anything to adequately embarrass Kansas in the eyes of the nation in a few months. So, a group of legislators took care of that this week when they introduced two house bills (background). The bills introduce “the marriage and constitution restoration act“—HB2320 and HB2321 [Warning, some very toxic stuff, like: “WHEREAS, There are no ex-blacks but there are thousands of ex-gays.” Yep, it says that. Please read these documents with extreme caution.].
Make no mistake, these bills concerning marriage law grossly overreach, are reactionary, and as regressive as possible. The question/discussion of the definition of marriage is one thing, but this is something entirely else and goes far beyond. The arguments are insensitive and sophomoric, at best. The first bill (HB2320) is essentially a rant that aims to dismiss from society all but the ‘one man one woman’ sexual ethics of traditional marriage.
The proposed legislation reaches far beyond the confines of marriage and attempts to control the entire society by defining “community standards of decency” in terms of traditional sexual ethics. These legislators speak for those who willingly express the homophobia demon. The control spirit is clearly spelled out in the language of the legislation—note it projects onto its clearly defined enemy, e.g., “secular humanism.” From the bill:
WHEREAS, In the wake of the government’s endorsement of LGBTQ ideology, the government’s endorsement of LGBTQ secular humanism has not been about “tolerance,” but “dominance”; and
Of course, “government endorsement” and protection of LGBT+ rights does not, has not, and will never require straight people to become gay. The “dominance” the authors of the legislation are talking about is a projection of the homophobia demon coming from the shadows of the group of legislators and their supporters. In other words: If we cannot control everything and everyone, then we are being dominated.
Demonizing each other
So, in this Do no harm series I’ve written that The United Methodist Church’s [UMC’s] difficulty right now is demon possession, and on both sides.
As soon as one demonizes the other, then the obvious action-step becomes nearly automatic, maybe even unconscious, because we’ve all read that Jesus cast demons out.
A helpful way to determine if you (or your religious group) have a demon is to check to see if you’re demonizing others over a shared concern. If so, it’s likely projection, that is, when we ‘remote locate’ our own demons, or ‘project’ them, onto the person/group with whom we disagree—illustration to follow in a story regarding proposed legislation. So, we project and then blindly perceive our own demon as the other—or in the other’s position/argument. When Jesus ‘cast out’ demons he brought them out of the person’s (or religious community’s) shadows into the light so that they could be dealt with directly and not projected.
Conventions: the 10,000 foot view…
The UMC is stymied and gridlocked on one main disconnect. We have a church organization (Blue [DQ]) with two ‘values’ groups [DQ and FS] who cannot agree on the content of the organization’s Blue—that is, two groups who cannot agree on the conventions this conventional organization agrees upon. Oops. My friend and colleague, Rev. David Livingston, often opines about our UMC covenant, “We cannot live without a covenant, but we need a covenant we can live with.”
The pot calling the kettle black?
It’s curious to watch the dynamics of UMC discord play out. Whether one is sporting Blue or Green values, seeing our opponent’s demon is rarely difficult. Those using Green values to process have no trouble seeing the control overreach of those using Blue values in the LGBT+ conversation. For instance, in the above legislation, Blue accuses Green of LGBT+ “dominance,” yet Blue demands conformity to its definition of “community standards of decency”—that being traditional marriage sexual ethics for all. The same image we used above to look at the Blue expression of a control demon can help us to see the Green expression of a control demon hidden in FS‘s shadow.
The Kansas City Star did a story about the Kansas legislation taking up the marriage issue and LGBT+ rights. Of course, the article has no difficulty pointing out the many problems with the two pieces of legislation. For instance:
“State Rep. Randy Garber of Sabetha and a handful of colleagues have introduced two measures involving marriage. The bills are so offensive and wrongheaded that to acknowledge as much is simply stating the obvious.”
Most folks who have read the proposed legislation would hardly disagree with the Star editorial board’s assessment. However, the article’s final sentence provides a glimpse into the dynamics of the full-spectrum of demon possession in the ‘way forward’ debate.
Some Kansas lawmakers want to create parody marriages. Instead, Kansans should reject parody legislation like this, which addresses a non-problem with bigotry and hate.
Do you see the demons on both sides? Granted, these lawmakers use very troubling language to make their case. However, that does not mean what they argue for is a total “non-problem.” That kind of (Green) elitist dismissal helped give us President Trump.
I never know what I’ve said till I hear the response. What did you hear me say?