Understanding the Born Again So, being an ex-born again I can tell you a little of the inside scoop, or atleast the way it was for me anyway, about born agains... atleast the ones that are like my friends anyway. Most of these people are not out to personally hurt you. Some don't even Want to believe what they believe. Some force themselves to believe it, because it comes with the package. So, just because they say you're going to hell, etc., doesn't mean it's coming from their personal space and that it's their choice, or even their idea or that they agree that gays are bad deep inside. They'd probably just as soon you come to heaven, if they are nice people (yes, I know there are some Christians that are Not nice people too, like Fred Phelps and family, but what I am talking about here is. Keep in mind there are less than 20 members of his little "church") The bible was not personally written by each and every christian, to read how they want it to read, or it would be written a lot different, or atleast interpretted differently. (There are even some born again, evangelical churches that are accepting of gays now.) If your friend or family member is any- thing like the way I was, they are trapped in this system of thought that they didn't create and can not control and are told they have to believe. If you take that away, you are taking away part of something very special and precious and life giving to them, and believe me, that hurts. To ask a christian to question their beliefs is just as rude as to ask a gay person to question their "lifestyle". Don't have a conversation with them, just leave. You will not convince them, and if you do you will only be hurting them. They have to come to their own understanding in their own time. Born agains live in a different reality, speak a different language... it's an entirely different culture. It doesn't make sense to us, but it makes sense to them. Just like any culture, if you make one little change it effects the whole, sometimes in devastating ways. To Born Agains it's a whole package that gives them help, security, hope, life. To mess with the package is to mess with that stability. I can tell you from personal experience that it is sometimes earth shattering to "leave the church" and not something I would have done had I not been gay and had to deal with those issues. Okay, so you might be angry if Christians are "pursuing" you, but look at it this way if you will, seperate for beliefs and emotions, this is how they are thinking: "This person is going to hell. I have to help them". Not, "This person doesn't agree with me and I have to change their mind and get them to agree. It's as if someone was in a burning building and didn't believe it was on fire. You would do anything you could to get that person out. You would certainly tell them the building was on fire. If they didn't believe you you might even panic and start yelling, etc. This is the mental space Christians are sometimes in, so 20 page letters, long drawn out discussions via phone or family events, is understandable if they really think you are in trouble. How to respond... don't. Remember, you are speaking a different language and they won't be able to comprehend you. (Sounds like Star Trek doesn't it) The world is a very threatening place for the born again Christian. They would much rather be in heaven, but understand that they must face the danger and demons in order to help others escape. If you think about it you might even be flattered that Christians would care about a total stranger so much. Most people would say "so s/he's going to hell... so what, I don't know him/her". The fact that they approach you and try to "save" you is heartening. Just take it as a compliment. I don't believe that most Christians really understand the hurt that they cause. If they did they wouldn't be able to handle it. Remember the burning building?.... short circuit... Hale, HALE... In a lot of churches today, even mainstream ones, the concept of demons is an accepted doctrine. There is no more terrifying a way to control others. If you believe that invisible forces are after you, your children, your family, your loved ones and there are are only limited ways to protect yourself... it sounds pretty far out to you sure, but remember, it's an entirely different culture that what you are exposed to. There are some things you take for granted that would be strange to people of another culture. So I hope I've helped in atleast explaining to you all atleast a little bit of what the born again is thinking and feeling. This probably doesn't move you any further in to what to say to a Christian who is harrassing you, or how to "protect yourself" from the Christians, but I hope it in some small way helps family members and friends to cope a little bit better with the born agains in their life. [NOTE: This does not mean that born agains should not be stopped from creating laws that aversely effect gays and take away our rights and freedoms. It is important to lobby legislators about laws for or against us and get involved in politics. This is simply a short essay on the mind set of some groups of born agains, and an attempt at understanding and even learning to accept/tolerate this very different culture, but without letting it overcome our society. Of course, as I have already stated, there are those groups out there that are completely out of control, like Fred Phelps and Family. I think even most born agains would agree that what he does is wrong.] So here it is for what it's worth. There's a lot of emotion surrounding the subject, and a lot of anger, with good cause. It will certainly stimulate a lot of discussion anyway.