Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bibles, Instruction Manuals, and Book Burnings

I spent a few hours going through old books last night, finally separating all my old college books and novels that I have carried around with me for the past eleven years. Always on shelves, then in boxes, then on shelves again. Never opened. Never used. By the time it was all done, there were nearly twelve boxes and one large trash can full of books. I’d forgotten just how many I had. Tons of teaching books. Tons of Youth Ministry books. What I’d forgotten was how many different Bible source books I had—lexicons, translations in Greek, commentary after commentary from a plethora of theologians. The crazy part was how much I actually remembered from those books. All the hours going through them rushing back. I often think of my youth ministry degree as a fluff degree. I forgot that it’s a theology degree. An actual theology degree. I remembered all the courses about how to engage kids. I’d forgotten about the equal number of Bible theory, philosophy, on and on and on. Also surprisingly, these were the hardest for me to give away. In fact, I kept three of them that I remembered the most—the rest taking up several boxes. Even just aesthetically, they are beautiful. So large, all bound in leathers, so masculine and scholarly looking. (I didn’t even mean for that to sound sexy, but it does—guess I know where my taste in men comes from…) If nothing else, it’s hard to cast away things you spent so many hours and hours and hours toiling over.
I would love to hear the people at the ARC going through all I donated. The catty (hopefully clever) diatribe that surely will ensue. Teaching text books, massage and anatomy textbooks, countless Bible resource books, and select gay books (even stuck a couple of my own novels in for good measure—never know where you might pick up a new reader/fan). Seriously? Who is this guy will all these ‘conflicting’ aspects of life?
As ever, I’d like to feel special and more complicated than most. But, really, we’re all like that—at least most of us. One aspect of ourselves in extreme juxtaposition to another aspect. Pretty great really. (So, if you’re looking for lots of Bible resource books or want to learn how to teach (in theory) in your spare time, stop off at the ARC by Casa Bonita—you’ll be in for a good time!)
I do have to say, I am looking forward to burning the ex-gay shit that filled my life for so long. There was a bit of power in the refusal to pass those on. Refusing to let them rip away at the soul of some other gay man or lesbian woman—telling them they aren’t the person God made them to be.
Look at me banning and burning books. Guess you can’t take the fundamentalist out of a boy no matter how hard you try!

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