Confessions of a Former Pro-Life, Anti-Gay Church Member by Su Abeille
…In addition to learning the Bible, I was told to put Jesus before everything in my life, including my family. I was also taught that those who were not Christian were going to burn, to be tortured for an eternity in hell. This included those who never heard about Christianity, and was used as justification for the Church wiping out whole cultures and religions, refusing to give a homeless man food unless he listened to a sermon, even dismissing the other branches of Christianity, like Anglicans, and most certainly Catholics, who I was told were practicing idolatry, worshiping statues and necklaces and not God Himself.
I distinctly remember one sermon where a visiting preacher told us in the congregation that AIDS was a punishment God had created for gay people. I remember this moment so clearly because since the start of my sexual development I had felt myself physically attracted to other women.
For the first 14 years of my life, I didn’t even know that you could be gay, that it was actually something that even existed. It was pop culture that taught me about homosexuality, about people out there living a life where they were attracted to the same sex. This was an abomination, I was told, a demon that had taken hold of their soul. Thinking about the innocent crushes I would get on my female friends, I would, with tears of pure fright pouring down my face, beg God to rid me of this demon.
I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that abortion was murder. When I was 13 years old, I joined the members of the large congregation of the church I attended to line the busiest street in our town and hold up signs that read ‘ABORTION KILLS CHILDREN’ and ‘ABORTION IS MURDER.’ The main thing I remember about this day is my total lack of understanding for what I was purporting. I never once questioned the assertion of abortion being murder, never questioned why as a sheltered 13 years old my opinion on something that I knew nothing about was in any way untrue.
A couple of years later I argued the pro-life side of the abortion issue in my debate class, and did so by choice. With a macabre glee, I held up pictures of mutilated dead fetuses to scare my classmates into my way of thinking. I firmly believed I was doing the right thing. I was doing God’s work.
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