[This was written twelve years ago; it is dire need of editing. Apologies.]
I'm one of those folks who loves spirituality and (at best) tolerates
organized religion, depending on what a given church or sect does and
says. For instance, the shameless politicking of the Catholic and Mormon
Churches during the 2008 Proposition 8 battle here in California makes an
excellent argument for stripping politically active churches of their
tax-exempt status. Churches like MCC, UCC, UMC and so on do much more good
than social harm. More power to them.
I don't need a special building or day to have a relationship with my Creator.
I do not have a huge or complex faith. My faith does not delve into
specifics, and I'm dubious of any faith that does. People who attempt
to sell you the Ultimate Truth may be well-intentioned, but quite frequently
their specific beliefs conflict each other. For instance, the Christian
bible describes God as the ultimate Being and then goes on to describe
that Being with negative human characteristics of jealousy and vengefulness.
I believe that my Creator is far too great to be described by human
conception. No matter how hard we try, we bring in our preconceived notions.
I'm faced with the same limitations, so all I can do is to tell the truth
as I believe it to be. But I won't try to sell you on anything. To
paraphrase the Wachowskis from Matrix Reloaded: my beliefs do not
require that everyone believes as I do.
In Twelve Step programs I slowly began to believe in and trust in a Higher
Power. For simplicity's sake, I call that Power God or, more properly,
Goddess. (In the unlikely condition God has a gender, She is more likely
female.) Talk of "God" used to bother me because of all the cultural
baggage associated with that word. It brought to mind that whole
Heaven/Hell dichotomy and zealots who said I was "damned" if I didn't believe
as they did. They sold their god using threats (of "Hell") and bribery
("Heaven" and eternal life).
On one hand I did believe in some kind of God or creative force that put
the universe here in the first place: not in the Genesis sense of creation,
but on a more universal level instead. In that sense alone, I could believe.
But beyond that I hadn't a clue.
For years lingering paranoia dogged me that the Jerry Falwells were right.
But mostly I thought there couldn't be any kind of loving God in
this fucked-up world, that Christians and other true believers were just
as screwed as the rest of us. And as a transsexual woman living in a
bigoted world, I felt the most screwed of all.
I began to discard my preconceptions and became more open-minded about
spirituality when my mother gave me a fantastic book.
Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image got me
out of the religious paranoia that held me in thrall for years. Aside from
discovering the true origins of the Old Testament, I learned that advanced
Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic societies worshipped a peaceful, loving
Goddess. Sadly, Goddess worship began to slip away when these societies
were conquered by warlike, patriarchal nomads who worshipped an angry god who
In addition, I saw a video on youtube:
Zeitgeist that offers a logical explanation of the savior myth
as ancient interpretation of astrological events. How sadly ironic if
the basis of Christianity and all of the excesses of patriarchal religion
were based upon the misinterpretation of prehistoric human mythology.
Once I began to realize that Religion is based not in fact but in
misinterpreted mythology, I began to lose my fear of God and all those
With my head no longer stuck in fear and punishment, I began
to reassess everything with a new attitude. For years I cursed God for
making me a transsexual woman, for putting me on this difficult, painful
path. (I actually wondered what terrible thing I might have done in a past
life to have deserved this.) Now I began to see that there was a blessing
to this path: I am learning Life Lessons and gaining emotional strength
and growing spiritually from all that I have experienced. I was
forced to either grow up or be stuck in the fear, selfpity and resentment
that kept me miserable for far too long.
I spent far too long thinking if I passed as a born-female 100% of the time
and was glamourmag beautiful and had lots of success and money, then
I would be happy. Wrong! I live right next to Hollywood, home of some of
the most beautiful yet miserable people on the planet. True happiness and
serenity is an inside job. My happiness is not contingent upon me
getting what I want when I want it, but for being grateful for all of the
many blessings I have in my life.
I am fortunate--if that is the word--to have been an alcoholic and addict,
because that disease compelled me into Twelve Step programs where I got
a foothold into spirituality. Spiritual growth was the key to freedom from
not only chemical slavery but also from the "stinking thinking" that led
me into depression, resentment, etc. What I eventually learned was that
drugs and alcohol were not my real problem, they were but a symptom
of my problem.
I hope this isn't too heavy, but I wanted to summarize the lifelong spiritual
awakening I detailed in my memoir
Not Your Average American Girl, without you having to read it. It
chronicles a journey I just barely survived many times over with both dark
and light humor and inspiration. I turned my life around in more ways than
I can count. Thanks again for your interest.
Conversation with a Born-again Christian
I had a wonderful online conversation with a born-again Christian
who proved to truly embody Jesus' teachings about love and acceptance.
Were it only there were more Christians like this man.