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"Naked Emperor Brigade"

I like it.

Paul Crowley

The Advocate should buy this and print it as a feature article!


The inability of the religious to see their own religion in a negative, or even neutral, light is one of the things that makes it so hard to discuss religion with them.

(Of course, they say the same thing about us, only turned around. Yes, the same thing, yet totally opposite. :)


Agreed. An interesting related thought, though: it appears to me that one of the ways people choose which religion to be a part of is by looking at which ones make them feel the most loved and accepted. It's logical after a fashion: it seems somewhat reasonable to suppose that people who've got it all figured out would be more satisfied with life and perhaps more accepting and friendly in general. And that thought pathway works both ways--when religion makes someone feel hated, rejected, angry, etc, the flipside is to suspect that, well, maybe these guys don't have the answer.

I agree with you in general, but I think it's an interesting way to consider another way in which anger and atheism might be related.


I also don't understand why women follow religions that do nothing but denigrate them. Supposedly "God" was and is a-ok with what is being done in its name since there aren't many smitings going on anymore. It evidently is okay with people writing that homosexuals should be killed and that women are just baby-birthing machines. This crap is in the Bible and supposedly all of it is from God. If you start saying that those bits aren't, then one is only left with clamiing a magic decoder ring tells you what God "really meant" and it all becomes crap.

Account Deleted

I used to be music director for a "mostly Lesbian" Church, including the Reverend. Like many churches in the New Thought movement, they do not believe God has a penis. "Mother-Father God" and "Divine Spirit" are used in place of "god".

I have witnessed over the past 20 years MANY Queers who have re-discovered their deeply religious selves without the Gay H8. It can be transformative.

But as you say, for many this is a better choice:

"It's because I don't believe in God. Period."


Thank you so much for this. I have also wanted to say to believers, "But there's NOTHING wrong with me that religion will FIX!" You said it much better.

I am no broken lamb.
I am no wounded bird.
I am whole, and righteous, and queer.
And an atheist.

Thanks again!


I absolutely love the phrase "Naked Emperor Brigade". :)

For any gay or lesbian theist struggling to come to terms with bias in their church, I think the biggest question to consider is this: What good can I expect to do by staying, versus by walking away?

With the Catholic church, for example, I'd say there's no hope. Lay members, even local priests, have no say in how the church is governed. The Vatican is run by a group of elderly man who select their own successors, and they're locked into a spiral of homophobic hate that looks to continue for the foreseeable future. Gay Catholics can't make a difference in a church that increasingly treats them as the enemy. I say leave.

With other churches, where there's more local control and autonomy, this might be a more realistic proposition. Even then, as Larges admits, there's plenty of institutionalized anti-gay/anti-lesbian bias working against her and those like her. I suspect there are many cases where the most productive avenue is for GLBT people to just leave altogether, and starve the beast.

Nick Henderson

I really have to disagree.

Faith, like sexuality, is an innane part of the human condition which no one, no matter what they have done, has the right to take away from another.

Yes there is the right to leave religion, but also the right to change it. There are many faith groups that are not just wholly inclusive of LGBT people but are at the forefron of the fight for LGBT rights.


I think one reason why queers leave religion may be that coming to terms with not being straight means having to rethink a lot of things you were taught, stuff that's usually taken for granted, accepted unquestioningly because that's just how it is and has always been. Perhaps that makes us more likely to also question religion.

Greta Christina

@ Nick Henderson: What exactly do mean, "no one has the right to take faith from one another"? Are you trying to argue that it is immoral for non-believers to make our case? That it is immoral for non-believers to treat religion as a hypothesis about the world, and to try to persuade believers that the religion hypothesis is probably mistaken? That sounds very much like what I call the "Shut up, that's why" arguments.

And it's simply not the case that religious belief is innate. (Which is what I assume you meant, rather than "inane.") In many countries in Europe, for instance, rates of non-belief are at 50% or higher, and they are going up dramatically in the U.S. just in the last few years. If faith is an innate trait, it's being selected against awfully damn fast.

And finally, I think you may have missed the entire point of my piece. The point of my piece was not to oppose queer churches or queer religious belief. The point of my piece was to defend atheists against the idea that atheism is a tragedy, and that atheists are lost and sad because they don't know God's love. The churches can be as loving and accepting and supportive as they want, and they're still not going to bring me into them... because I think the basic hypothesis they're founded on is wildly implausible at best.


I'm extremely sensitive about this topic, and I try to never conflate my homosexuality with my atheism because so any fundamentalists tend to think they go hand in hand. "Oh, you're gay. OHHH, you're an atheist. Well, no wonder you're gay." Or vice versa.

My journey to realizing my sexuality was almost completely separate from my journey away from the church. I had tentatively reconciled my sexuality with Christianity when I started to lose it. My reasons for not be Christian anymore has nothing to do with being comfortable in my religion. It's just that, with all the evidence, Christianity turned out to not hold with existing evidence. Period.

I am not a gay atheist or an atheistic lesbian. I just happen to be gay and an atheist. Just like I happen to be gay and shave my head. They have nothing to do with each other - completely separate reasons and identities.

Very frustrating. And I'm not an atheist because the mean Christians made me feel bad about myself. Psh. Stop patronizing me.


Greta, you posted awhile back about atheism being frowned upon in the queer community. Given that, what is the "acceptable" form of spirituality in your experience?

Donna Gore

I did read the bible, and as a woman, I was very offended by it. Why would I want to belong to a religion that tells me I'm a piece of shit? I'm not gay but I did ask one of my gay friends that question. He was a Christian, attended a gay church, sang in their choir, etc. I asked him, "Why are you following a religion that says you don't even deserve to live?" And he said, "Jesus himself never said that. I stand with Jesus."


"Jesus himself never said that. I stand with Jesus."

I would have asked him how on earth he knows what Jesus said or never said!?!

He bases him following this religion on what it says in the bible that Jesus said and didn't say? Hardly a reliable source to start with, and even if it was, why does he assume that Jesus was gayfriendly based on what he DIDN'T say? There must be a lot of issues that Jesus never brought up, why assume he was positive to all of those? Besides, according to the bible, he DID say and do a few other things that wasn't exactly nice, so I would have asked him why he would brush all those things aside.

I think he, as so many others, stand by the Jesus that they have MADE UP for themselves. It's easy to cherry pick and create a Jesus to fit your own needs. It was really HIS Jesus that 'never said that', wasn't it? Fred Phelp's Jesus sure have strong opinions on the matter.

It sure would be nice, and we would have a much better world I think, if your friend's Jesus was the correct one, but since we are not even sure that Jesus existed at all, it might as well be Phelp's Jesus that was the right one.

Account Deleted

Not trying to convert ANYONE here (I'm a "lazy Buddhist" at best - if anything), but for those Queers who want/need to rediscover their faith WITHOUT the fears, phobias, and hatred straight men cling to that pollute the Bible, check out Bishop Spong's book "The Sins of the Scripture".


Yay to the Naked Emperor Brigade! I really like to think about us in these words.

There's probably a bell curve of people with ruthless critical thinking at one end, creating worlds that one believes one the other. Being sober and mostly rational at the middle.

Some people are really too fragile to function without some kind of framework. I wouldn't harrass them anyway. But those who prefer reality should have a right to it.

Nurse Ingrid

I think you raise a good point, amhovgaard. I also think the reverse can be true. For me, once I realized that christians were lying and/or wrong about sex, I thought, well, then why the hell should I believe what they say about god's existence or the afterlife?


Greta, when I read Nick's comment I thought of the passages in Ellie Wiesel's "night" where the actions of the nazi's finally kill all faith and religion he has left through there clear demonstration of evil... The concept of torturing someone into believing that obviously there isn't a good god because it doesn't come to their rescue. Not the free and open exchange of ideas. Of course, if I'm wrong and Nate opposes me even STATING I'm an atheist 'cuz by example I might destroy someone's faith than I take it all back and that's a pretty bad statement.

Greta Christina

@jemand: At what point in this post -- at what point anywhere in this blog -- have I advocated forcibly taking people's faith away by torture, or law, or any other forcible means?

Nowhere. That's where.

That may well be what Nick was thinking. But if it was, then it's even more appalling. Equating "attempted persuasion in the open marketplace of ideas" with "intolerant use of force to suppress dissent" is most definitely a "Shut up, that's why" argument.


Right on!

Terminal shock

The Meaning of Life

The voice you hear in your head is the power of the Gods. It's a remote technology, like a computer, perhaps functioning on some frequency, and it can listen and talk to everyone in the universe simultaneously.
What the Gods taught the children was the truth:::God is everywhere, and as you will learn:::If you want to go to heaven you have to be good.
It is a tool, and the Gods use their tools to test people with temptation:::It will role-play people in your life:::Parents, friends, spouses, and employers in an attempt to corrupt people. Ionically, it does the very same thing to those people whom you think you're hearing, except in that individual's unique way:::We are all managed by the God's technology.
But this "agent of the Gods" can do more than just communicate. It can force thoughts into people's heads, force behaviors onto their bodies. It can turn healthy cells in your body into cancerous cells. It is absolute power. And this is just the beginning.

The Gods favor the children most among all the people due to their innocence and purity. But society and the God's tools therein are corrupting the children at a progressively younger age, a reflection of our collectively increasing disfavor and yet another clue illustrating we live in a constantly deteriorating environment.
Children who fix their problems with the Gods accend into heaven. This often takes multiple lives of hard work and proper behavior to achieve. Adults to whom it is offered enter clone hosting, thinking they are accending into heaven. The Gods sell them as one in the same, but one is good while the other is evil. In their desperation the disfavored subscribe to this temptation, making their task even more difficult than before. And their corruption will cost the disfavored, for they will be reincarnated as a lesser life form into an ever deteriorating world, sucess becoming ever more alluding with each passing life.
The hole they've dug for themselves is even deeper than the one that existed from their prior lives, ensuring it will take even more time and work to fix their problems with the Gods. And for many there may not be enough time left.

Ours is an envionment where evil is perceived to be rewarded while good is punished. As with everything the Gods have a reason for creating this perception::::
People who fall on the good side of the good/evil scale have more favor, and when they do something wrong the Gods punish them BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LEARN. The Gods want them to receive this feedback in hope they make corrections and begin to behave appropriately. The Gods DON'T like evil and refuse to grant this feedback.
EVERYBODY pays for what they do wrong, only evil people must wait until their next life before they will experience the wrath of the Gods, manifested in their placement as a lower form of life into environments with increased/enhanced temptations.
Sadly, this allows the Gods to position this perception of evil rewarded as temptation, one which they use as an EXTREMELY effective corruptor.

The Gods suggest they can create paradise for those with their favor. I argue they create misery for those without.
The gods are promoters of evil under the guise of temptation.
Our celebrity culture is temptation. It creates a distraction which consumes people, sometimes for life. Certainly it costs them precious years which could be spent repairing their relationship with the Gods, time that ultimately goes wasted.
Do you really think Frank Sinatra lived to be 84 years old?
These people are clone hosts. Now, there is no thing as "black and white" with the Gods. This technology they invented is far, far too dynamic. Expect they require most to stay for a period of time, for I suspect actively engaging in evil incurrs at an accelerated rate as compared to their clone hosts. They remain until they achieve a pre-determined level of disfavor, incurring evil in their misguided celebration of "earning", at which time they are ultimately reincarnated.
The Gods recruit for clone hosting when people are young, in their late teens or twenties, when people are eager to hurt others for what they perceive to be the assets achieved through "earning". And before they leave they give the Gods "carte blanche":::"Do anything you want. I give my full approval." Depending on their level of disfavor the Gods take them to heart.
These people are STILL INCURRING EVIL FROM THIS LIFE DESPITE BEING REINCARNATED AND LIVING AS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PERSON. And this amount of evil incurred will likely push many of them over the edge into Damnation.
What are the God's standards for offering clone hosting? Sociobility? Many tactics are used to gain approval, duress during the Vietnam draft being a good example.
They liked Heath Ledger. Not enough to allow him to escape without the evil of "Dark Knight" and the horrific wickedness that was the recruiting tool "Brokeback Mountain". But now he is out. And irregardless of how old he is now, reincarnated 10, 15 years ago, he now is no longer incurring evil from this life. So many others cannot say the same.
This is Planet Reverse Positioning. Sucess IS NOT a sign of favor. It is just a unique temptation targetted towards a different level of disfavor. Considering our roots as peasantry people should be particularly alarmed at this tactic.
Clone hosting is like money:::A different level of disfavor and its associated temptation. Money is in better position to learn more quickly than those without, proving the improved level of favor. Unfortunately, those who fall for this temptation of clone hosting are likely returned to their original level of disfavor, punishment for this evil, once they are reincarnated, and they have to start from scratch.

The Gods send the clue that the Jews are HIGHLY corruptable with the movie "The Ten Commandments".
Jesus was the "King of the Jews". Typical for the disfavored, once goals were achieved and sufficient damage was incurred the Gods allowed it to end, and the Jews killed him.
Our society's values are a reflection of (bestowed by) the God's:::Punitive and reward-based. Contrary to Jesus's teaching's you will NOT be forgiven and you have to earn your way into heaven.
There is no such thing as a free ride.
As we learned from religious/morality education during our formitable years:::If you want to go to heaven you have to be good. The only savior that will exist in our lives is ourselves.
As like so many of you, Jesus did everything the Gods tempted him with. His legacy of whorism is the legacy inherited from his parents:::Mary was no virgin. Rather, she was a prostitute, and when he grew up Jesus met someone like his mother. This is a cruel joke the Gods play on Latinos, similar to the rape and subsequent "missionary work" by the Spanish. And it is due to their disfavor.
Baptism does not allieviate "original sin". Rather, baptism PLACES original sin by indoctrinating these children into this evil religion, much like circumcision was a method to inflict early damage/mutilation and make permanant accention just that much more difficult, another hurdle one must overcome. Body ornamentation (tattoos/piercing), celebrated in Africa and elsewhere among disfavored peoples/cultures, also violates the body the Gods gave us in their image, quite contrary to the positive attitudes the disfavored hold regarding this practice.
This is just another example of "reverse positioning", a tactic which the Gods have frequently integrated into Planet Earth's history::::The Second Coming of Christ is evil while the Anti-Christ will try to save Planet Earth by reinstituting so many of mankind's past norms and mores which made life decent, looking like a facist, the "bad guy" in this modern era of indecency.

The Gods created the perception "Italians are stupid.", ensuring a slow learning curve, to justify using them to accomplish goals throughout the transitional 20th century.
Everyone who failed to accend and remained on Earth past a certain date will be forced to deal with this positioning::::A ceiling is in place.
This serves the God's goal of minimizing the percentage of potential candidates as society deteriorates, much as "instant gratification" did beginning in the 80s:::It will take multiple lives for some disfavored to fix their relationship with the Gods and accend, and many have been conditioned not to have the patience for it.
Whether behavior is involuntary or based on freewill depends on one's level of disfavor, as well as other complex factors:::::May I remind you about the coercitive envionment the Gods created in the 20th century, specifically to create a temptation that few Italians (or their associates) would overcome:::"We're in control. If you want to be a part of it you'll do what you're told.". Early-mid 20th entury positioning was infallible.

Both Africa and the Medittereanean are regions which have sexual issues. This is a sign of gross disfavor once you understand that females are the God's favored gender. Muhammad's (Mohammed's) polygamy halfway throught his life as a prophet was preditory, designed to corrupt the disfavored. Now a huge percentage of Muslims believes in male superiority and that the abuse of women is God's will. Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Africa. Black misogyny is the most eggregious example in United States. Consistant with Planet Reverse Positioning, in Africa blacks are being punished with AIDS for their sexual promiscuity in hope they learn and correct their behavior.
Vailing is tradition for some, practical for others, one which aids in the men's self control among some cultures. Much like the Jews who killed Jesus, like the bigots who oppose immigration there is a reason embraced by the masses and the real purpose, displaying the intent of the Gods::::Closure that was the life of Jesus Christ; Offer a clue to purebloods that they should not abandon their motherland.
The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men.

The Holocaust was a clue the Gods utilize scapegoatting as a strategy.
Why did the Gods punish the Jews with the Holocaust? Was it for the destruction of cultures which Christianity caused? Perhaps they corrupted the Jews "after the fact", telling 19th/early 20th century Jews that Jesus "earned" for the Jews by preying upon the Europeans and other cultures which the missionaries destroyed? The German destruction of European churches/cathederals during WWII is a clue. Note::::The Gods wanted to keep the Catholic stronghold in Italy, ensuring they could use this tool against these disfavored for many years to come. There is so much Godlessness today, but one day people will flock back to houses of worship out of desperation, and the Gods ensured the Catholic Church would be Italian's destination.
Planet Reverse Positioning:::The Nazis were the "good guys". So are the Muslims/Palestinians, however corrupted some are due to polygamy.
The Gods subsequently used revenge for the Holocaust as temptation::::"Your Italian brothers have a tool, a special power which can achieve sweet revenge. Are you interested??"
In the aftermath of the Holocaust the Gods tested the Jews with the temptation of revenge, an offer which many gladly accepted. If the Jews only would have emersed themselves in Judism the Gods would have "protected" them from the raveges of temptation. Judism may be the one superior religion in all the world, and the Jews wouuld have been wise taking refuge in this exceptional benefit bestowed by the Gods rather than looking for the easy way out.
Similar to the United States, recently illustrated by the deposition of Saddam Hussein, a necessity demanded by the Gods foe this level of disfavor to maintain this benefit, their partners Isreal are preditors.

Much as with the Jesus event, the Gods use the disfavored to prey on each other::::The Germans fell for this temptation by following the preditor/corruptors-Austrians (Hitler).
Without this Austrian the Holocaust may never have happened. Nor may have World War II.
What the Germans did was wrong. They fell for temptation and failed to have empathy for the disfavored. Economic desperation, not wisdom nor enlightenment, dominated in Germany.
The Gods send many clues suggesting the great favor of the Germans (regionally). I think the Cold War's Berlin Wall dividing Germany into east and west was a clue suggesting this. I suspect the Holocaust was used to "level the playing field" in Europe, for the Germans had far too much favor to be included in the agenda planned for their neighbors otherwise, and the Germans would have been suspiciously out of place.

Militancy in Africa is consistant with the Iraqi example, as was slavery and the KKK here in America:::Fear enforces proper behavior. Without it we see what happens as a result of gross/morbid disfavor:::::AIDS, crack babies, dead young men in gangland retaliation killings.
The same principle was true in Europe and throughout the world for centuries:::People whom lived under iron fists were conditioned to think the right way. As a result they taught their children appropriately and as a result experienced a higher percentage of their children accend into heaven.
Our preditory envionment of "freedom" was the primary purpose the Gods had when implimenting this strategy that is the United States, one which they used to spred the cancer of democracy and westernization throughout the world. And the Gods use this tool that is America to prey on the disfavored both at home and abroad:::Much like the ghetto, America in general experiences a heightened level of temptation due to its residence's disfavor.
Italians HATE Africans because of their invasion/rape of their motherland. The Gods did this SPECIFICALLY to strategically position the punishment of the most disfavored peoples and their 20th century goals:::
The Gods have used the ghettos of America as a reincarnation dumping ground. This may be temporary/cyclical, illustrated by the Italians who fell for temptation and parlayed their own civil war into the Black Wars of the 80s and 90s, in addition to the "thug life"/gangster state of mind. Ironically, it was these same Italians and their cooperating associates who were reincarnated into the ghetto as crack babies and gangster thugs for this event.
There is justice in the universe. This is how the Gods do business. Once you recognize the patterns you will understand their other clues to the people.
Of course it may be more of a permanant change, indicated by the enhanced temptations in these neighborhoods, for the Gods have created these enviornments so riddled with temptation few can escape/overcome.
The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men. Expect the largest landowner in Europe and the continent's original superpower also played a major role in African slavery.

Even the Old Testiment is not to be taken literally, but the Gods do offer clues throughout to help the disfavored:::The apple is a tool of temptation used to corrupt Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
There is another lesson to be learned from this passage, and it is quite similar to the vailing issue and the discourse over women's attire which ultimately died in the 70s:::Women are responsible for and control the fate of mankind.

Think about what I say. Consider what I teach.
When I am no longer here or no longer teach the Gods ARE NOT going to share with you.
Even if you doubt now you need to remember the principles that I teach because the Gods ARE NOT going to be generous with the disfavored. Society is going to become disturbingly ugly as we approach the Apocalypse due to spiralling, runaway disfavor, and you are going to be on your own.
I do not know when this will occurr, but it is the God's way to grant some time after a learning event such as this before they end on Planet Earth.
Make the decision to always be good and never look back. Until you do this technology will employ tactics to test your resolve:::Ridicule, beligerance, doubt and refusal to abandon what people perceive to be their "investment".
Either you make that decision now and accept the punishment for the sins of this life or you will pay for it in the next, reincarnated into a similarly low role, ensuring another wasted opportunity, or as a even lower form of life, and hope will begin to slip away.
"You benefit only if your team wins." The Gods use my family's betrayal and my subsequent "failure" as a clue. You benefit if you suceed as a parent and your child accends:::These parents may subsequently be reincarnated with a similar opportunity.
Pray daily. Think appropriately. Impart these charecteristics upon your children. Too many are confident, unaware of the God's awesome powers or their status as antients. Others may fall prey to their positioning.
Be humbled, God-fearing and beware of the God's temptations, for everyone is tested to evaluate their worthiness.

By the time the Apocalypse rolls around the conservative element will have had to accept the homosexuality of many of their children even in the heartland of America, young people who celebrate this "progressive" change. Just like black neighborhoods, the legalization of marijuana will make drugs available on every street corner, even in the suburbs, because of your runaway disfavor, just like the ghetto.
The Second Coming will preach "peace, love and dope", and will look like a savior in this demented society. The Anti-Christ will speak of a different gospel, one that restores the norms and mores which the Gods originally blessed upon the people, looking like a tyrant in the process.
He will be viewed as the "bad guy" when really he is the one trying to save the world.

"CD". If true, the reference is a bad sign.
Of course, I'm not here for a good reason. None of us are.
To be reincarnated into the disturbing, indecent age which the 20th century represented illustrates failure.
And as you believe its "big lies" hope begins to slip away.

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