Robert Ganshorn

What Would Jesus Say?

Filed By Robert Ganshorn | July 21, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Catholic church, Christian beliefs, Jesus, Paul, religion

Don't worry, you're still on the right blog site. When Serena asked me recently about my posting on the Anglican Communion it occurred to me that I had never made my present religious views clear. I feel I should do this so that you know my prejudices other than the creative phrases I have heard such as dismissing all as "superstition or fairy tales."

I spent two years as a church lector in a Roman Catholic church. I also went on three, count em, three week-long Trappist retreats in Kentucky. I helped to care for my parish priest when he had a stroke on Christmas Day and regularly visited him and cared for him afterward. I have personal friends, and former lovers, who have been Catholic priests. I was interdenominational in that I also enjoyed couplings with African missionaries and Baptist ministers who were prepared to enjoy a bit of lust with me, but only after talking with me about their beliefs. I did that for a selfish reason that the interest in impressing me with intellect would diminish after the sexual act so I first wanted the best they could give me above their shirt collars before I insisted upon the best they could give me below.

If you would like an opinion from an Adventist please know I never slept with one...

Jesus would say what he always said and it would have been located within Judaism. The "first pope" Peter, "The Rock" upon whom Christ would build his church was a Jew and died a Jew. He headed "The Jerusalem Church" which was interested in working within Judaism to reform it and create an enlightenment upon an already ancient religion.

And then along came a money management specialist, and a tax collector, a Roman Citizen, a man who never met Jesus, but still given the title "apostle" by the Roman Catholic Church, which was a direct descendant of "The Pauline Christian Church." "The Jerusalem Church" doesn't get much press anymore as it did not survive to effect change within Judaism and the differences between Jews and Christians began. Courtesy of Paul, the first Evangelist, we have endured 1900 or so years of religious strife between Christians and Jews. Thank you, Paul, but what would Jesus say?

Peter tried to be a missionary, but could never keep up with Paul in his travels. Paul was a silver tongued, stubborn to his opinions, orator, organizer and egotist. And certainly if we were to judge by size, political influence and wealth he certainly won the ultimate argument, but what would Jesus say? The original message of Christ has been interpreted and preserved with convenient errors by the descendants of Pauline Christianity embodied in the present pope.

The lies, political influence, money and power are the superstitions and fairy tales of which one must be wary. Do you find illumination in the gold brocade of a priest's robes or the golden interior of a chalice wherein lies the mystery of the transfiguration of the Body and Blood of Christ? Do you find Christ's hand in the incredible body of religious art created over a thousand year span of Roman Catholic hegemony in Europe? Sorry, to both of these I have to say I do not.

What would Jesus say exactly I have no way of knowing. Particularly, neither does anyone else know but accept as a matter of "faith." I have no faith as defined by an organization or temporal entity, (they are without exception corrupt) but I find great comfort in my own private spirituality and my sense that I am my own source. I love to think about religion and refine and redefine my own thoughts about it. I enjoy reading about it while not necessarily believing what I read, but place it among those things I am glad to have taken time to think about.

And I have learned to be open to the best in people, religions and practices that do less to harm the world than the greedy, narrow, path I once walked. My journey along my path of self examination is far from over, and I have no way of knowing how it will end or what I will believe at the end of the path. It is the journey that is the exciting part, the mystery and brilliance within you is the reward. Even if it is totally "not about God" meditation I hope you visit yourself soon.

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Well written Robert and yes I have been on my own walk on the spirtual side even though it lead me to a Heathen path and in the process I also fond my true gender.

Lovely piece, Robert. I started off a Catholic as well and was a cantor for a bit. Like Cathy, a Heathen now....

Robert, thank you for sharing an honest and humble account of your faith journey. I am still (uneasily) Catholic. Although our paths differ, I firmly believe that the sunlight we walk in comes from the same source. Cathy and Maura, I'm glad to meet others of faith. Blessed be.

I'm Presbyterian. That's Catholic-lite for Protestants. (Not Catholicism for Protestants - that's the Anglicans. We have half the calories.)

I think Christ would exclaim, "What have you done since I was here the last time? You've wrecked the place!" and then he'd evict us from his father's house.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 22, 2008 3:49 AM

At the rate we are going we are making the planet uninhabitable anyway. Has anyone noticed that they are still "trying" to get the air clean for the Olympics?

I often think Mankind was a celestial joke and the Almighty meant to create pigs instead of people and give them free swill.

(Thunderbolt!) "Would Someone Please Tell All Those Televangelists to Stop Using My Name."

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 22, 2008 6:08 AM

Religion and spirituality will never catch on with the GLBT communities because they’re a trap. It was Gore Vidal who said that, in order to survive, gays and lesbians have to become very wary of the traps set by bigots. Most of us quickly figure out that bigots use religion, spirituality and superstition as weapons against us.

Most of us discard religion and spirituality, which, besides being unscientific, bizarre and dangerous ideas, strike many as downright silly.

Below are some excerpts from the Devil’s Dictionary:

BAAL, n. An old deity formerly much worshiped under various names. As Baal he was popular with the Phoenicians; … as Babel he had a tower partly erected to his glory on the Plain of Shinar. From Babel comes our English word "babble."
BACCHUS, n. A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.
CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
CLERGYMAN, n. A man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of better his temporal ones.
FAITH: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
IMMORAL, adj. Inexpedient…
KORAN, n. A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures.
MYTHOLOGY, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.
PHILISTINE, n. One whose mind is the creature of its environment, following the fashion in thought, feeling and sentiment. He is sometimes learned, frequently prosperous, commonly clean and always solemn.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
SAINT, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 22, 2008 6:30 AM

Bill, thank you for commenting

Bacchus is also god of the theater and I have always enjoyed a good belter.

The fundies might believe in an inerrant bible, but they are hard put to learn anything so they will likely continue to be bigots. Are you sure you meant "Christian?" Without offense to Dale you have described most Catholics which has as little to do with Christ as the Tao.

Otherwise I must basically agree with all you have said.

William D. Lindsey William D. Lindsey | July 22, 2008 10:26 AM

Robert, I enjoyed reading this very much. I particularly like the line, "The lies, political influence, money and power are the superstitions and fairy tales of which one must be wary."

Amen. I often think that the only way those of us who are the targets of these "holy" lies can retain spiritual roots is to remove ourselves from the institution doing the lying. The churches will have much to answer for at the judgment seat of history for their treatment of LGBT persons today.

Robert, its no offense to me. Believe me, I know... boy, do I know.

Hi Robert
Some of these responses have been informative on how others feel and some down right amuseing.For my expericence I have known many a pagan who are LGBT.In fact there is one whole pagan path that is made up totaly of Lesbian Women the Dianics.

So for Bil to say religon will never catch on its a mater of which one!The Christian faith due to its bad response to LGBT folks sends many of them into the pagan religons more so than into no religion at all.

To clarify a bit when I refer to my self as Heathen I mean I am a follower of the Gods of Asgard.We use that term instead of pagan as a way to identify us from our Wiccian and pagan friends.I am a Asaturer I am also a magic user in my faith but the vast majority of us do not use the magic arts in any form which is another reason we use the term Heathen .

The old gods never died out just faded into the shadows for a bit as there followers have always been with us we just learned how to blend in and hide in plain sight.Much like those of us in the LGBT have learned in places to hide in plain sight and be out in the light when and where we can.

So yours in the Gods

Haha. That's an interesting set of definitions, Bill.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 24, 2008 4:04 AM

I think the most important thing is to organize yourself, but avoid organized religion. In "Candide" Voltaire waxes poetic about El Dorado, the mythical city where each person was their own priest and no one was oppressed.