At 81, I feel renewed again
A letter from Harry, who joined PCN Britain last year.
I’ve laboured for most of my long life with questions – often unspoken. Mostly doubts about the Church’s interpretations of scripture and highly improbable doctrines of faith. Years back I was scared to question things which seemed set in stone for many Christians - scared of God’s retribution.
In my day, (I’m 81) children were expected to be seen but not heard and young adults to accept what so-called responsible people claimed was truth. Yet deep down, from puberty on, when I first realised what a virgin was and when I heard about the Son of God suddenly drifting up to heaven – presumably fully clothed - I began to question.
I didn’t nervously start to openly question things until just a few years back when Jeffrey John’s life was scrutinized and torn to pieces. I’d kept a low profile at church until then, but one day I suddenly exploded, lost my temper and said to another parishioner sitting next to me something like, “This is ridiculous, where have these people been, what sort of a cocoon have they been living in”.
Later on one lady said to me “Well you see, Harry, we’ve never met a gay man before”.
I wanted to scream, “Don’t be daft, you’ve got two other homosexuals in this congregation”, but I didn’t because I’ve long held the view that outing people can cause dreadful consequences. I’ve seen friends lives ruined and families fall apart and in one case someone trying three times to commit suicide.
Then by sheer luck I stumbled on PCN. Now, to read the PCN newsletter and to know there are many people prepared to question is such a tremendous help to me - liberal theologians far better qualified than I sharing their views and doubts.
When you are old you sometimes can’t remember what day of the week it is. The hurt of years, I do remember. That has stayed with me. Family pulling me down. churches telling me I’m not worthy. The law threatening to put me in prison. Living the first 36 years of my life illegally.
Now I have friends living in legal partnerships – can’t believe it sometimes.
I’m not sure if there is a God in Heaven but if there is, there’s a strong possibility that quite soon there will be one big Gay Party when I get there.
Thanks PCN. At 81 I feel renewed once again,