Due to the supposedly losing war that Christianity has fought against the decline of its values for the last one hundred years, Christians seem to have entered a sort of “siege mode”; they are afraid that acceptance of “liberal ideas” about women, homosexuals, and the transgender community are a part of the increasing moral decadence of our society. As a result, they have defensively shut their gates against such perceptions, leaving many of us out in the cold.
Is this God’s will?
No. Why God Doesn’t Hate You is the result of transgender Roman Catholic consecrated maiden Tia Michelle Pesando’s extensive theological research, and it brings to light several startling truths. No longer should we feel the need to choose between science and faith, or between religion and our own understanding of what is right and wrong.
The knowledge contained herein both reassures and provides an excellent defense for those minorities previously persecuted by Christians, as Tia Michelle knows from her own experience coming out after thirty years in the guise of a man. Recently, she walked into a Roman Catholic church just before mass dressed as a woman, wearing the veil of the consecrated maiden, and approached the priest with the statement, “I have assembled a rock-solid argument in favour of homosexuality.” The positive response she received alone shows that there is hope.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Why God Doesn't Hate You
By TIA MICHELLE PESANDO
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Tiamat Michelle Edgerton Joseph Hart Pesando
All rights reserved.
For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name
A Dark Night of the Soul
Have we been betrayed by the God we love? As children, we received such comfort in knowing that our dark universe was created by a God who loved us; a God who would save us if we but requited His love, regardless of our social status, or our race, or our sex, or ... or....
What has become of the Christianity of our childhood? No matter how war-torn, corrupt, or hopeless the world became, we always knew that there were those of God's Church(es) who believed in peace, charity, and love, and who devoted their lives to performing His perfect will. There are a great many who are still upholding such ideals, yet they are not the ones of whom we hear. Theirs is not the Christianity we are permitted to see, and we are at times left to wonder if it does still exist ... or if it ever truly existed. If there was a time when "it was Love alone that made the Church's members act" and that time has not yet ended, why is it invisible to so many of us? Is it all to be disfigured beyond recognition by a few lines of ancient Scripture which seem to have driven the world mad?
Why do such lines of Scripture even exist, and why are they suddenly given such a position of importance? It seems quite apparent now, for example, that homosexuality is a trait with which one is born, one which is very capable of innocent love, and one which has remained for far too long in the darkness ... yet Christians all over the world seem to condemn it. We were taught the teachings of Christ as the source of our understanding of right and wrong, and that the condemnation of the innocent is clearly wrong. Yet the hatred and condemnation of these innocents is said to come from God, as if it were some flaw in His doctrine of Love. Was the very basis for all the ideals of what was once called Christendom – our very civilization – a lie?
How can we believe in a God of Love if He hates His own children for no reason at all..................but for their love?
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV)
The Seven Accusations
The major criticisms leveled against God may be organized into Seven Accusations or Articles, which are as follows:
God is a tyrannical Emperor, and His rule is and has always been a reign of terror. Treating us as His slaves, God demands that we live in constant fear of Him.
God is a Warrior who loves war. Conflict, bloodshed and sacrifices are immensely pleasing to Him. Why God Doesn't Hate You
God, who views us as His slaves, sees no problem with our enslaving one another. God allows and has always allowed humanity to own and abuse slaves without making any attempt to free them. Furthermore, the decrees made by God and His Son have done nothing to eliminate slavery, but have rather only helped to perpetuate it.
God is racist. Whomever among the peoples of the earth are God's chosen people thereby have every right to destroy or enslave those who are not. On those occasions when God's chosen people come into conflict with one another, then those to whom victory is granted are thereby proven to truly be God's chosen people.
God is male. Being only male, God thus favours the male gender as a superior representation of His image, and considers masculinity to be superior to femininity. This is further revealed by the many misogynist laws throughout history and by His only choosing males to perform His will, especially at the highest positions of authority.
God hates homosexuals. To God, homosexuality is sinful in any and all cases, as His Sacred Scriptures reveal without exception. God considers hatred of homosexuals to be justified. No matter how God chose to cause homosexuals to exist, they are among the "chaff" of which He spoke, and He "will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
God hates transsexuals. Let us instead call ourselves "transgender" or simply "transpeople" if we wish, it matters not; God gives only one gender, and He reveals this gender to us only by the flesh between our thighs. Even to dress in a manner which does not conform to this flesh is dissolute and could never be pleasing to God. Far from any similarity to the image of the androgynous angel, we are instead nothing more than deluded abominations in the eyes of the LORD our God.
The Seven Accusations are all based either on misinformation, incomplete information, or combinations of both. This is especially apparent with the first four Accusations, the responses to which are so well-studied that they tend to be used only by those who bear a more deeply-seated disenchantment. These appear especially often in online forums where the religious can clash with the anti-religious in relative anonymity:
"Maidenpaladin – 3:05 PM
As I have said before, neither the President of France, nor the Archbishops of Paris and Lyon, nor the new Pope himself will bring peace to France. Peace shall only be gained through understanding and love; for God is Love.
freedom4allau – 3:19 PM
Max Supernova – 6:22 PM
Yeah, like when God commands the slaughter of whole cities, or even of all of humanity ... I can feel the Christian love!" (Excerpt from the comments section of an April 21st, 2013 Huffington Post article titled "French Gay Marriage Opponents Demonstrate In Paris")
Christianity has always been a question of sacrifice, either made for or by the Christians themselves. Christianity's self-sacrificing nature has always conflicted with what seems practical for survival in this world, and thus even early theologians found themselves forced to dismiss certain ideals of Jesus such as poverty, pacifism, and sometimes even universal love. It is such sacrifice that has often tainted Christianity ever since.
Fortunately, society has generally reached a level of enlightenment at which certain things once thought impossible to discard – such as slavery – are realized to be unnecessary; as God always knew they were. As a result, the first four Accusations are more easily dealt with.
However, if these Accusations seem at all easy to deal with, it is only when they are compared to the final three. Women and the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender) community have long been mysterious to a civilization which has generally been governed by heterosexual males, and thus we have been severely misunderstood.
In their zeal to please God, there are those who are tempted to condemn because they lack wisdom. In their belief that we are condemned, there are those who are tempted to abandon God because they lack hope. Yet God has made a way for all of us to escape, for deep within His Sacred Scripture He has enabled us to know the truth, and the truth shall make us free.
One may then ask why the transgendered – who are neither mentioned nor condemned anywhere in the Bible, unless it be by association with cross-dressers – would be the subject of the seventh and final Accusation. Ours is a guilt-by-association through the LGBT community, yes, but we are also generally the most-invisible and least- acknowledged part of the community.
This became especially apparent when I first tried to publish this book through a Christian publishing house. An agent from this publisher telephoned me with the results of their theological evaluation of the manuscript with rather surprising results. Amazingly, the conservative Christian publishing house found my defense of homosexuality and even of the "Matter of France" ('gay marriage') quite convincing, and the agent told me when I asked that such was not the problem! Rather, the publisher was simply concerned with my defense of the trans community and of alternative gender expression. I asked the agent about this also, and she informed me that the only quality of Why God Doesn't Hate You which renders it "unacceptable for a Christian publisher" was that "it seemed to regard [being transgender] as an acceptable lifestyle choice."
However, perhaps due to the rest of the book's content, the publishing conglomerate's stance was, according to the agent, that "they did not want to lose it," and that it was recommended as a self-help-style book. Thus I was given the options of either a) recanting and changing the content of the book, or b) letting it be turned over to the secular arm.
I chose the latter.
Such was the journey I took in my transition of body, mind, and soul. Assigned first the wrong gender marker and then the label of 'transsexual', I spent most of my life feeling that I had been trapped outside; shut out from the supposedly loving Christian community. Isolated because my innocent thoughts were nonetheless forbidden, I felt unworthy even to hear Mass or attend Church service, because of what I was born to be. There are a great many others enduring similar situations.
So it was that the resignation of His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI actually brought rejoicing from those who protested his policies. These included the 'feminist activists' of Femen, who painted slogans upon their topless bodies as they rushed to ring the bell celebrating the 850th anniversary of Notre Dame Cathedral. The most mysterious of these slogans was "Crise de Foi" or "Crisis of Faith". What did it mean? Was its wearer hoping to, in the words of a former friend of mine in the Gothic subculture, "dance on the grave of the Faith?" Or did the message run deeper than the naked skin upon which it was written? Did it suggest a crisis of the protester's own faith; a feeling of loss which came from no longer being able to believe in what she was brought up believing was the force of Good?
We thus have one answer to the question of why such a frighteningly- huge number of people (the majority of the population in some formerly- Christian countries) are losing faith in God, or have never found reason to seek faith in Him. Ironically, in my experience such "godless" people have often been among the most decent ones I have ever known; people who otherwise would seem best-suited to be inhabitants of Heaven.
Yet it is difficult to blame them for their lack of belief in a world in which the most publicized examples of "religious" people are murdering innocent civilians or condemning innocent minorities. When such things happen all around them, one can find it all-too-easy to stop believing in Jesus Christ's story, for one can stop believing in Jesus Christ's most prominent teaching: that God loves you.
I fear those words may sound hollow to many of you reading this, as at times they almost did to me. After all, is the Bible not a collection of ancient books which contradict one another and are collectively used to condemn whomever and whatever religious authorities choose to persecute? To quote Galileo:
"... they would have us altogether abandon reason and the evidence of our senses in favour of some biblical passage, though under the surface meaning of its words this passage may contain a different sense." – Galileo Galilei, Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, 1615
We live now in a world in which atheists and other detractors accuse Christians of not having read the Bible and/or not understanding the Scriptures while they themselves fail to understand the Scriptures also. At times it nearly seems that noone living on this earth has truly read the Bible or understands the Scriptures contained therein.
Indeed, with over one thousand pages which often seem filled with descriptions of ancient lineages, archaic laws and horrific occurrences, even reading the Scriptures can seem like a long journey beneath a dark and oppressively-heavy cloud. Yet as one continues to look toward the heavens one can begin to see openings of azure through which shafts of brilliance reveal the truth and give hope. In that sense it is much like life itself in this world, and as with life here the journey is necessary to truly understand it.
To seek understanding myself, I entered a deep contemplation of God, and after an especially spiritual experience (related and analyzed as part of the final chapter) I came to the conclusion that if we could somehow still believe that He could hate any innocent person then there must be something in the Scriptures which we have missed.
For me to have arrived at this idea may seem strange to some readers. Why would I consult documents which have been so heavily-processed by religious authorities in the hope that they somehow miraculously still possess content capable of countering the condemnation condoned by so many of these aforementioned authorities? To answer this, I turn to the "catch-all" response that truly does catch all: faith.
Thus it was that pure faith drove me to pore over the entire Holy Bible anew, despite my Catholic school upbringing and having taken university courses on the Bible (and related texts), and research the Scriptures and their origins to an extent I had never before realized. Yet this time I did so while attempting to maintain the innocence of a child even while I retained the knowledge (and cognitive ability) of an adult; a child seeking consistent indication of the love of her Heavenly Father, the Father of us all. I thus discovered intensely that those who scour the Scriptures for condemnation and hatred will find them – from humanity – and those who search the Scriptures for acceptance and love will find them – from God.
I have met with remarkable success in this endeavour, and my discoveries have gained the support of clergy from across the denominations of Christianity; from the United Church to the Anglican Church to the Roman Catholic Church. In so doing, I have been shown how small the differences separating these denominations truly are, and thus the folly of conflict between them. Nevertheless, these differences have had a great deal of effect upon a very large portion of humanity, and thus it is addressing those areas of controversy – namely women and the LGBT community – to which the majority of this book is devoted.
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17, King James Version)
We have as a species always been inclined to ascribe/assign mortal human qualities such as envy, wrath, and even hatred to our own man- made gods and limit their motivations to those which we can understand from our own human perspective. This is entirely appropriate, because these false deities were of human origin. The LORD God is rather the origin of humans, however, and thus to assume He can be petty or hateful is an unimaginable disservice to Him. Yes, He can be a jealous God – and who among us has not experienced jealousy who has also known love? – for He is capable of feeling the same full spectrum of emotions as we, yet Love is mightiest among them.
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8, New International Version)
The Fear of God
"How can I fear one whom I love?" – Saint Theresa of Lisieux, on her deathbed
Why then, one might ask, does it seem like God demands fear from His subjects like some sort of tyrant? Why is the final reckoning of Revelation 20:12 at the end of the New Testament apparently based upon these requirements written at the end of the Old:
"Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name." (Malachi 3:16, KJV)
The classical explanation is that of the disciplinary parent: that the immature child operates on a reward-and-punishment level of morality and is thus at risk of being swayed by negative influences such as envy, greed, pride, falsehood, etc. If this is the case, then at least negative reinforcement may be used to guide them in a positive direction:
"It is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain you from evil, at least the fear of hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot continue long in goodness but will quickly fall into the snares of the devil." – The Imitation of Christ (ca. 1427 A.D.), Bk. I, Ch.24: Judgment and the Punishment of Sin
Excerpted from Why God Doesn't Hate You by TIA MICHELLE PESANDO. Copyright © 2014 Tiamat Michelle Edgerton Joseph Hart Pesando. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1 For them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name, 1,
2 Thou Shalt Not Kill, 13,
3 The Golden Calf, 26,
4 The Holy Race, 48,
5 O Woman, Great is Thy Faith!, 60,
6 More Precious Have I held Love for you than Love for Women, 175,
7 The Two Shall Become One Flesh, 227,