I've been thinking about Candace Blevins' blog post of November 23, in which she asked whether we, as a society, are moving toward acceptance. I hope you will read the post again, as it is well-written and thought-provoking.
Like Candace, my husband and I also live in the bible belt, and I can pretty much attest to the feeling that anything deemed "outside of the ordinary" is looked upon as the devil's work, and I used to be one of the people pointing fingers.
I wasn't only Christian, I was seminary-trained. I not only studied the bible, but studied it in the original Koine Greek. I'm not saying this happens to everyone, but I very quickly stopped thinking for myself, and it wasn't exactly going to serve me well to question too much or contradict what I was taught. I simply accepted that the people teaching me knew much more about the subjects than I did.
I've now become one of the people I used to judge. I'm divorced, I write BDSM erotica, and I've walked away from the church. My lifestyle is discussed only on this blog, and I write under a pen name. As many of you know, it's a tremendously odd feeling to keep so many sides of one's self a secret, but there is much I feel I need to hide. I've lost so-called friends with whom I shared too much.
Here's some food for thought: A University of Minnesota study found that atheists were the most reviled and distrusted minority, and "the group most Americans are least willing to let their children marry." Atheists scored worse than Muslims, homosexuals, recent immigrants, conservative Christians and Jews. (Why leave out addicts and felons???!)
How do you think your lifestyle would figure into this list as a category? What if sadists were a category? Add transsexuals. The polyamorous. Cross-dressers. Dominants. Masochists. How would society score you?
I don't know about you, but society pretty much tells me I'd better just keep my new attitudes and lifestyle to myself. I found more acceptance from society as a self-righteous accuser and judge of others.