Christine Beatty on Spirituality

While I expect this page will grow and evolve over time, this is a good beginning. I'm one of those folks who loves spirituality and tolerates or despises 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. On the other hand churches like MCC, UCC, UMC and so on do much more good than social harm. More power to them, however I don't need a special building or a special day to have a relationship with my Creator.

My take on religion and spirituality is open, and 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 in negative human terms of jealousy and vengefulness. I, on the other hand, 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 over several years 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 a 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 leave behind these destructive 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 the 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 instilled fear.

In addition, a few years ago I saw a series of videos on youtube, Zeitgeist: Origins of Christianity, that offer a highly logical explanation of the savior myth as ancient interpretation of astronomical 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 see that Religion is based not in fact but in misinterpreted mythology, I began to lose my fear of God and all those Christian threats.

With my head no longer stuck in concepts of 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. From time to time 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 sometimes very difficult and painful path, that I am learning Life Lessons and gaining emotional strength and actually 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 admit that there are times when I say and do things that are not as spiritual as my ideal I do not claim perfection, other than being perfectly human but I continue to try to work toward it because it makes me happy and more serene when I do so. It helps me to be comfortable in my own skin, and it relieves me of the periodic depression I experienced for a long time.

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. For anybody who wonders if they may have a problem an adiction, "the program" can be an avenue to incredible relief. The cool thing is that there exist Twelve Step programs for many different problems: overeating, sex and love addiction, codependence, gambling, overspending, cigarettes, you name it. 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 for you, but I wanted to share what has helped turn my life around in more ways than I can count. You'll find below links to a few of my youtube videos that talk more about my concepts of spirituality plus the transcript of a conversation I had with a born-again Christian about the gay marriage issue and religion in general. And if anyone wants to discuss this in private (please see all the links below, first), then send me an email; I never get tired of talking about this stuff!

Thanks again for you interest. I have a lot more to say on this topic, but since I cover quite a bit of it in my autobiography that I expect to be published next year I will save it for then. And for more youtube videos!

Youtube Vlog: Average American Transsexual Girl
In this mini-autobiography I also talk about the likely medical causes of transsexualism and how I see it as a birth "defect" that I had to overcome, and I talk briefly about God.

Youtube Vlog: A Bigger God
My take on God and spirituality and why mainstream religion doesn't work for me. In particular I take apart the sections of the Bible that some people use to condemn homosexuality and point out the inconsistencies that bible-pounders seem to miss over and over. BTW, because of "Christians" cheating the youtube rules to try to censor me, this video has been wrongly flagged as "adult." (I guess God's commandment against bearing false witness doesn't apply to people who've been "saved.")

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.

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