(Gay) Pride vs (Biblical) Pride: an essay

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Today (Friday, July 22, 2016) the 2nd annual Mansfield Gay Pride festival/parade commences at South Park, Mansfield, Ohio, and it will continue through tomorrow (Saturday, July 23, 2016).

This past May, my brilliant, golden-hearted cousin, an Ohio resident and Pride volunteer asked me to compose an essay for this year’s Pride, stating he would like to address the local churches that had members passing out cards in protest at last year’s Pride. He said the essay should speak of the difference between gay pride, and the pride the Bible describes. I agreed to help him, of course, not knowing my essay would be published in this year’s Pride magazine, which my cousin designed (because he’s fucking awesome).

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Before I let you get on with the essay, I want to say that I was greatly honored by this request–I am honored to have this opportunity to stand with our LGBTQ human beings.

What is pride? Merriam-Webster defines pride as the quality or state of being proud; also, proud or disdainful behavior or treatment. So what does it mean to be PROUD? It is to feel deep satisfaction as a result of one’s own achievement or character, or those of someone with whom one is closely associated. Proud also means having or showing an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance. For good or for ill, we are all proud of SOMETHING. Parents are proud of their sons and daughters when they perform well in school. Athletes are proud when they accomplish their goals. Americans are proud of our brave service men and women. Christians are proud followers of Christ. All of these seem like examples of GOOD pride, don’t they? Sure, but let us not forget that pride can also be a product of derision, arrogance, and SELFISHNESS. The Bible teaches that selfish pride is a sin. Pride, arguably, is the sin God abhors the most, for it has been called the sin from which all others arise. Why is it then that so many Christians come out to PROTEST Gay Pride celebrations? Let me tell you, WE are not proud because we believe OUR community is SUPERIOR to the straight one. We are proud because we are BRAVE. Every day, in the face of adversity, ridicule–of HATRED and violence, we are BRAVE enough to be true to ourselves and show the world who we are as HUMAN BEINGS created by the same God worshiped by Christians.

Proverbs 16:18-19 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” This passage can be applied to the adverse attitudes and treatment of members of the gay community. Our history is marked in red by the PRIDE of those who claim to love God and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Would our SAVIOR, if he were walking among us in the flesh today, condone or even participate in the defamation of gay individuals? And what about the violence? Would Jesus Christ be PROUD that members of his flock have beaten and murdered his gay brothers and sisters? These are not rhetorical questions. Unfortunately, these questions must be asked, because again I say, our history is marked in red by the PRIDE of those who CLAIM to love God and FOLLOW the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Another passage, Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” How does this apply to the gay community? Anti-gay Christians who display their religious pride do so with the goal to DISPARAGE, or to CONVERT because according to them, we are not worthy of God’s love, or we do not ourselves LOVE God. It is a fact that non-Christian gay individuals exist. It is also a fact that countless Christian members of the LGBT community are not welcome in church. These people want to go attend their church, but the PRIDE of their FAITH says they cannot worship because of their sexual orientation. They love God, but their religion says God does not love them. Think about all of those who hide who they are for fear of losing the RIGHT to worship.

To those, we as a Gay community say, “Be strong. You are loved, and we accept you. We want you to LIVE a fantastic life and be true to yourself.” We have Gay Pride festivals and parades to celebrate our love, strength and camaraderie–to come out and speak out against adversity. We are, after all, HUMAN BEINGS who ought to enjoy the SAME civil liberties as our straight friends and families. We ARE proud of ourselves. Not because we are superior, but because we are BRAVE, and we chose to fight for our rights as HUMAN BEINGS. Yes, Gay Pride is the GOOD kind of pride.     

 

 

 

 

Published by Kindra M. Austin

Author of fiction, poetry, and very sweary social commentary. Editor, and co-founder of Indie Blu(e) Publishing. Co-founder of Blood Into Ink, and Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen.

17 thoughts on “(Gay) Pride vs (Biblical) Pride: an essay

  1. It saddens me our society has somehow created the emotional need for the LGBTQ community to march declaring the right of acceptance and the right for equality when it should NEVER have required defending itself in the first place. Whether it is spiritual or societal values, our primary focus should revolve around concepts including love, acceptance, tolerance and a willingness to help each other grow to new heights. I understand the frustration, abuse, fear and other egregious sentiments this community has had to contend with and support their rights as PEOPLE (not as genders or sexual preferences) where ever they come from. Unfortunately, this movement (just like any social or political movement) leads to divisiveness and ongoing prejudice among those unwilling to accept this community as regular PEOPLE. The world has certainly come to know this community as a result of all their efforts and I commend all their hard work. At what point, however, do we begin to transition our pride from our identity with an organized community to our pride as compassionate caring individuals adding personal value to the world we live in? At what point can gender and/or sexual preference be considered a living reality disassociated from prideful emotions?

    I hope my comment is understood with the positive intentions it is meant. I am trying to understand when the words black, white, latino, gay, transgender, etc can be replaced by the word PERSON. Creating communities that focus on social improvement would seem to attract all types of PERSONS. Working together seems so much more productive and will help encourage all PEOPLE to interact and become more accepting of each other’s differences. Remaining “within our own” seems to alienate and insight negative responses.

    Any words of enlightenment are welcomed. Thank you for reading my comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading this post, and for commenting. I honestly appreciate and welcome your perception regarding this social and human issue. Your points are valid ones, and you have certainly given me another “side” to consider for future comment. Again, thank you. Peace 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve been thinking of your comment all weekend. Not that I am necessarily looking for an argument. I genuinely believe your points are valid. However, this does not sit well with me: “Remaining ‘within our own’ seems to alienate and insight negative responses.” Votes for Women did exactly that, but eventually women were given the right to vote, as well as other numerous liberties. Where would women be today had the Votes for Women movement never been? Pride was also present in the Votes for Women movement. As my essay states, there is a difference between bad pride and good. We all need pride on some level. Without pride, we would not have heard the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. First, your comments will never be taken as argumentative. If we can’t express our thoughts honestly, it becomes even more challenging to grow as people.

        My point wasn’t about the importance of developing PRIDE. It was about achieving a point in life where personal pride about INDIVIDUAL issues becomes accepted as the norm so we can shift our pride to concepts and topics that benefit all mankind instead of focusing on groups of people.

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  2. I am not religious and avoid it if I can help it, but had to remark on your absolute passion and convictions – those I can share and validate. The actual essay was, I fell fair and extremely well presented even superficially, you made valid points and a definite stamp / mark, Capitalised and bold. Very nice. Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not religious, spiritual, yes, but you won’t see me in any church willingly. I am surrounded by family and friends who rely on their religion, and I won’t besmirch their god–okay, so I am vocal about my abhorrence of Jehovah’s Witnesses…anyway, I feel angry a lot of the time in regards to the hypocrisy of most Christians. My cousin is gay, and he is a Christian. He is about the most genuine and loving person, non-judgmental. He isn’t a holy-roller shoving Jesus down everyone’s throat. And I appreciate that very much. I myself am as straight as they come, but I felt it was important to the message to write it with this voice. Also, because at first I thought my cousin would be reading it aloud at the festival. Thank for reading, and for commenting. Your words are much appreciated. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And I feel the same about you i truly do! ❤ and not just cuz we are both Austins! ahhaa you are true to who you are and what you believe in and i adore that in people! So glad to be here with you Kindra! its reading things like this that gives people hope for peace and Im allll for it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To me sweetheart i will never be able to make any good sense at all over why any one in this world should be hated for who they love…cant seem to wrap my head around it. So Im gona thank you and your support with my whole heart and soul! you have a beautiful spirit and Im sure that is what allows you to write as wonderful as you do! XO!!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I truly appreciate you. You are open and loving and kind. It’s wonderful to run across people like you. ❤ Makes life so much more beautiful.

          Liked by 1 person

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