Jesus is not responsible for your hate

Stop hiding behind Jesus to justify your hate…

I believe people have an inward desire to be controlled. We scream, fight and die for something refused once gained. In truth, freedom is more than the masses can handle. So, people create governments and religions with restrictions, obligations, and qualifications impossible to follow. When followers fail, they rebel or repent for their actions and imperfections. To gain acceptance and forgiveness for transgressions a person must make amends financially. The IRS has taxes and fines, and religion has gifts, offerings, and tithes.

I am a Jew by birth and by choice. I am a tribe gold card holder. My bar mitzvah happened in my 40s, and one of my children attended it.
Judaism set me free from the bondage of Christianity’s judgment. Today, I celebrate the God of my understanding with acceptance and love. Rabbi Denise Eger continues to teach me every Friday night.

My mother is Jewish by birth and a Fundamentalist Born Again Christian by choice. She said a man knocked on the door, handed her a flyer about Jesus, and she read it on the toilet. Those were her words, not mine. According to her, she’s found God in the bathroom.

The “Born Again” followers of Christ have created stage performance acts to draw an audience. Their teaching has turned Jesus into The Great Wizard of Oz. He cures illnesses, makes planes land safely, and is apparently a Republican.

I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover many times; I’ve sat through endless bible studies and studied it as an undergrad in college. I understand the concepts, practices, and ideas in both book sections. I’ve read that Jesus Christ died for everyone’s sins. If you accept the beliefs, follow his teachings, and live “Christ Like,” you are a certified Christian. I wish the world would embrace Christ’s teachings of love, forgiveness, and acceptance; if so, life on our planet would change for the better.

Since the 1990s, an Asian minister began using my mother’s rental communities to house war refugees and he has become like family. Over the last 30 years, my parents have created homes with clothes and furnishings for families in need of rescue. They received no financial funding to assist the refugees. My mom covered all expenses. In fact, English as a second language was taught nightly by a Duval County Educator for everyone in need. This practice went on for years with no government assistance.

As my parents aged, the same pastor from a Baptist church in Jacksonville, Florida, continued working with the refugee communities. I commend his work.
Since the beginning, $1,000s of my parents’ retirement funds have been deposited into a North Carolina Church bank account. The funds are then transferred to the Baptist preacher’s banking account. The practice is created to prevent taxation on faith-based organizations. The IRS created the loop and I personally feel it is wrong.

Over the past few decades, my parents bought the Baptist preacher a house, a van, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. I’ve said nothing until now. It was their money. They earned it and should use it as they choose.

I want to share my thoughts on religion and homophobia. It started in my childhood when my mother converted. I’ve noticed Born Again Christians believe if they apologize to God, they will be restored good as new, and all is forgiven and forgotten. That may work for the sinners but doesn’t work for the sinners’ victims. When a person rapes another person, society labels him/her a “rapist.”

He can say a few words in his head with his eyes closed for however long he needs. Then, stand up, dust off his knees, and shake the guilt and shame away because he confessed his wrong, and God has forgiven him.

That’s a solution for the rapist. It does nothing for the victim. The victim bears the pain, the wounds, medical care, and PTSD syndrome for life. You cannot amend the damages following a rape.

I’m convinced nothing terrifies the “Born Again Community” more than a gay person. This is puzzling, considering there are so many gays affiliated with the religion. It seems like they kill their own wounded. Born Again Christianity is dependent on recruitment. The more people, the more money. They even have a selected few who will spend it for God.

I’m a Jewish gay man. I was in a same-sex relationship with an Asian man for nearly a decade. Eventually, I married him. When he got sick, I saw the other side of the “Born Again” movement. It wasn’t pretty”.

My husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer on New Year’s Day, 2022. He died 71 days later. During his battle, the Born-Again preacher was a constant presence in my parents home. When we realized his cancers would kill him, we moved in with my parents searching for other options.

Daily, the preacher was in the house and never once said hello, explained his plan of salvation, uttered a prayer or offered his condolences. I feel nothing less than contempt for the man and his religious beliefs. I think the same about a Chabad rabbi in Jacksonville. I explained what was happening, and from a text message, I read, “I got nothing.” I was a source of income during a time he needed followers. I assure you neither my money nor I will ever darken his synagogue again. I thank God for Rabbi Denise Eger, who remains my spiritual influencer. She stepped up to bat for me when I needed her most.

Let’s get back to the “Born Again” preacher. During Keith’s sickness, Buddhists came to pray, Muslims came to pray, Jews across America and 9,000 friends on Facebook prayed, and we even had a spiritualist sage him, anoint him with oil and lay healing stones on him. Not one Born-Again Christian, family or otherwise visited him and said a prayer for him.

The “Born Again” pastor said nothing. His utter lack of human compassion angered me. So, after Keith’s death, I called the pastor to have lunch. He agreed, and we met at an all-you-can-eat sushi place near my parents’ home.

I was very direct with him. By the way, he keeps his wife at his side as a backup everywhere he goes, so I told them both how I felt.

I asked him, “What do you do? My question shocked him; he replied I’m a pastor for the Asian community. I bring people to Christ so they can be forgiven and go to heaven.”

I replied, “that probably makes you feel good about yourself.” The pastor smiled and returned to eating sushi. I said, “maybe you can explain something to me. You were in my parents’ home over 50 times while Keith was sick. You never said hello, prayed for him, or explained your plan of salvation. You showed no human compassion to him or me!” “You’re from the same country; you speak the same language; please explain why you didn’t even acknowledge us?”

The” Born Again” pastor was in shock and said, “we were afraid of exposing him to COVID.” My reply was straightforward. I said, “bullshit!” “you didn’t extend the simplest gesture because he was Buddhist, and we were in a same-sex relationship.”

He said, “yeah, that’s part of it.”

I asked the pastor,” Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?” He answered, “yes.”
I then asked, “what did Jesus say about Gay people?”
The pastor replied,” Well, in the book of Deuteronomy, it says….”

I stopped him and said, “Those were Moses’ words, not the words of Jesus.”

The pastor replied,” Well, in the book of Romans….”

I said, “Those were Paul’s words. Jesus was dead when that was written”

I said,” My question was, “What did Jesus say about gay people?”

The pastor said, “I guess he didn’t say anything.”

Jesus hung out with 12 guys and a hooker. I said, “Why don’t you follow his teachings! He sounds more like me than you.”

Absolutely nothing was accomplished from that lunch. Homophobia in America is the new black. It’s a fashion statement to hate gay people. I’m not going to allow people to hide behind Jesus to rationalize their hatred for the gay community any longer. You do not need to accept me. You will not openly judge or disrespect my life choices because they differ from yours… not in my home or anywhere else.

This is my Journey… This is my life.

Rob Cantrell

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