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Yearly Archives: 2012

This post began life as a comment on Addicting Info. The author of the post was trying to dispel the myths of homosexuality and the bible. Obviously some of the commentors were disagreeing with this, vehemently clinging to their beliefs that homosexuality is considered wrong in the Bible, but somehow ignoring the obvious argument that so is a lot of other stuff we all do now…

One commentor in particular, who unbelievably claims she has a gay son, said she doesn’t judge, but that “Sinners can boo hoo all they want, and speak against what the Bible says. It is only to cover up their own sins. There will come that day, when the “gay” man will stand before God. And it will be dealt with as God sees fit.”

For obvious reasons, this got me riled right up. My response wasn’t quite what I expected at first, but I realised that it’s what I really think about the matter. So much so that I felt it was worthwhile posting here, on my blog about anxiety, since being brought up in a religion at the very least contributed to my anxiety as a youth, and since people’s reactions to me since based on the imposition of their faith have also added to it.

“Why is it you think your god is the right one? After all, many people of many faiths believe in different gods, and different divine laws. Many of whom came way before your religion. Why is yours the right one? Can you honestly answer that?

And if you agree that there are many people who believe in their own faiths, and worship in their own ways, do you also agree that there are many people out there who *don’t* believe in God, or religion? You may disagree with them, but that’s a simple fact.

If you don’t think atheists should inflict their beliefs on you, why do you think it’s right to inflict your beliefs on them? You don’t say you BELIEVE that a day will come when the “gay” man will stand before God, you say there WILL be a day – therefore, you think that your beliefs override my own, since I don’t believe that to be the case at all.

Can you honestly explain to me why you think it’s right for someone Christian to apply their beliefs to anyone else?

I want to live in a world where you can believe what you want, and I can believe what I want. For that world to exist, we have to mediate for our differences. If I believe that I was born gay, if I fall in love and settle down in a loving, comfortable and enriching relationship, don’t you think that *my* beliefs should be accommodated for?

If me living as a gay man doesn’t prevent you from believing in God, or carrying out the laws of your Bible *as you see fit, for yourself*, why would you even *think* to pass judgement on me? To say that I will be “dealt with” by a God I don’t believe in?

If you can honestly and considerately answer these questions, then perhaps we can get somewhere. If you can’t, then you’re being unreasonable, and it’s that lack of reason that is setting so many people in opposition to the Church at present.

No one cares what you think or believe – we just think you shouldn’t be allowed to decide the fate of people who DON’T believe the same as you. That’s the reason Church and State should be separate – there’s more than one Church, more than one belief, more than one type of person under the jurisdiction of the State.

You don’t want to be oppressed – I don’t want to be oppressed – we all have to find a way to live our own lives, the way WE want to, without getting in each others way, the best we possibly can.”

And that’s it, really. I realised that that’s the simplest thing in the world, and the one thing we can’t get right. Me expressing my sexuality is about me expressing my sexuality – it’s got nothing to do with oppressing someone else’s beliefs, or persecuting someone for believing in them. The state, and by extension, the large body of public within the state, legislating to allow for and protect my rights does nothing either to persecute or diminish someone else’s faith or beliefs.

If I had the power to, and decided tomorrow that all the vile and vitriol spread by the Church hierarchy over homosexuality was a danger to the overall health and well-being of the State, and threatened its existence, and tried to pass a law preventing people from celebrating their faith in the way they chose, so persecuting them in the process, I would rightly be castigated. That’s my opinion – that doesn’t mean I have a right to oppress anyone who sees things the other way.

If I have the power to, and decide that gay marriage and homosexuality in general is a danger to the overall health and spiritual well-being of my congregation, and threatened the existence of not only the sacraments of my Church, but also the Church itself, and tried to block a law which would allow self-determining individuals the chance to celebrate their faith and their beliefs in the way they choose, I should rightfully be castigated. Instead, because my beliefs are religious and somehow held sacred, I am allowed to continue this battle to invade the rights and lives of those who don’t follow my beliefs.

This is not an easy argument. There are points of contention on both “sides”. But ultimately, this is about whether a book written thousands of years ago that has arbitrary rules written in it, for a time and society that no longer exists, should be allowed to be used as reference for the application of law and freedom in a country that is made of up many different such faiths, and a good many people who believe in none of them.

I think that in the 21st Century, our country, the UK, and the States, and everywhere else, should be looking to try and forge a future that allows for all of us to be welcome, accepted and included members. That one person’s beliefs should not impinge on the rights of another, that no one should be able to say my religion or faith is stronger, or more true, than yours. Where religion and state are separate not only so that individuals who do not believe are not oppressed, but so that religious freedoms are also safeguarded.

How many people out there, how many of you Christians and atheists would stand for a second to see Islam used as a rule of law in Britain? How many Muslims would stand to see Christianity accepted as the only officially recognised religion in Britain, or a law passed that prevented all forms of religious expressions? Hmmm? How many?

No. Didn’t think so. Then ask yourself this – why do you think you have the right to apply your beliefs to anyone else.

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…and the worst about it is, I’m basically not.

Usually by this point, my stomach’s in knots, and my mind’s fallen into a vortex of negative thoughts; I’m sweating, and blushing madly, and shaking. During my lost years, I’d tell myself it was excitement about the night, and I’d down half a bottle of vodka then head out. Now, without the drink to numb the nerves, I’m often lost without any coping mechanisms other than just forcing myself through it, which is horrible, or cancelling, which is usually worse than forcing myself, eventually.

I watched a fantastic programme as part of Channel 4’s ‘4 Goes Mad’ season yesterday. ‘The World’s Maddest Job Interview’ was presented in a typical 4 fashion, but as is also often the case with 4’s programming, it was excellent and eye-opening and well worth a watch if you’re affected by mental health problems, or know someone who is. It reveals a little of the innate discriminatory attitude of employers, and something of the difficulty of knowing you’re experiencing mental health problems but feel unable to tell anyone. And there’s one or two big surprises in there too…

It’s on 4OD, and well worth a watch.

First therapy session one week today… Watch this space for updates :/

A little late with this one today, but it’s here!

I think this one kind of speaks for itself, but I should note for anyone who doesn’t know this that this is basically the root of depression. A spiral into hell of our own thoughts, a mind filled with traps and barbs to snare you just when you least expect it.

I was basically knocked out cold yesterday by this – slept most of the day, was like a complete zombi, drained of all energy and creativity, and it’s because somewhere inside my head, on the “astral plane”, I was fighting the Shadow King (for all you X-Men fans out there…). It’s really exhausting, even when you’re not sure it’s happening, but as soon as you recognise it, it’s just this slurry of negativity. Words like “fake” and “fraud” and “selfish” running around as you argue with yourself.

From a Freudian perspective, it’s like ego taking control and battling itself. It’s pure the abyss, so it is.

 

…and you know what? Even though I’ve got an anxious belly this morning, I’m still feeling pretty motivated. Here’s hoping it lasts for a while! This might not seem like the most exciting or productive day by the way, but after the way I’ve felt for a couple of weeks, I was a whirlwind of activity…

Prepare for a double post today – one of my political/critical ones on its way this afternoon or tomorrow.

Start therapy on Monday, so be prepared for next week’s strips to take on a slightly different tone 🙂

 

So, awkward moment number 34,765… I know, I know; we’ve all done it, right?

‘Cept I do it all the time. I can never remember folks’ names. Turns out anxiety causes Really Bad Memory. It’s because the anxious mind starts panicking that it’ll forget something before it’s even tried to remember, and so it ends up forgetting…

Self fulfilling prophecy much?

Off to therapy now – I’ll be taking notes! Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly – or, depending on your point of view of the blog, here’s hoping it’s filled with awkward moments that I can report back on 🙂

So I promised a wee extra today for everyone who RT’d and shared yesterday to help me get over 2000 views. Aren’t you all lucky you ended up with a crappy animation of me waving? 😛

I ended yesterday on 2,139 views, and had my busiest ever day, with 243 views! Considering I’ve been doing the blog for just a month, I’m gobsmacked at the amount of visitors…

When I decided to make a webcomic about my anxiety, I honestly had no idea anyone would read it – I really thought that my closest comic book pals would read it a few times, and that it would quickly run out of steam, but instead I’ve been encouraged to keep going, to keep with the regular 3-days-a-week posting, and to try and sharpen the art and keep it interesting.

Even more than that though, it’s given me an outlet for some of my problems and concerns without it feeling too self-centred – from the beginning, I’ve had LOADS of folk tell me that they’re feeling the same way, or have done, or have tried medication or whatever. It’s been a way of communicating with people and talking about things that we’ve never openly discussed before, and that’s fantastic.

I’ve got some interesting plans up my sleeve for the future, including the appearance of more (and hopefully better!) animations, as well as guest strips from folk I know, discussing their own experiences. I hope that all you new viewers out there will stay with me and spread the word!

One final thing: if you haven’t read the webcomic ‘Jonbot vs Martha’, then shame on you, and you should go there right now! There’s a link to the right. ‘Jonbot vs Martha’ has definitely been the biggest influence on me starting my own webcomic – Colin Bell who writes and Neil Slorance who draws have really shown us all how it’s done – regular posts, always on time, ever refining art and scripting, willing to take chances with style, moving from gag strips to storylines – it’s fantastic to watch it evolve and even though I know them both, I can say without a word of a lie that it’s my favourite webcomic. So don’t make me gush for no reason: go check it out!

Thanks!