The Theology of Coming Out

If religion has lost importance in the West, the western religious are more challenged to remain so. Even those who are trying to keep the faith have to use the language of the age of skeptcism. God is not a popular word of our time and we, believers, will sometimes find it missing in our own lips. We don’t need to curse to talk the idiom of the death of God.
Eighteenth century english actors rushed to George Whitefield’s sermons to improve their acting skills. Nowadays preachers try to impersonate stand up comediant’s flow so that the Holy Ghost will not lose rythm. There’s nothing inherently wrong about learning formal stuff from those wich we disagree in content. But we should remember that famous verse from Macluhan’s gospel: at least sometimes, media gets to be the message.
If you get into a fight over theology a common punch comes from the angle of "I grew up in your tradition but I came out of that". It’s always a way of getting biographical credit over the subject and it respects the contemporary dogma that an opinion is more likely to be valued when the speaker shows experience. And mostly experience rooted on the mystical wonders of departure. Maybe it’s a blend of Descartes’ empirical knowledge with late 20th century’s pop-existencialism. The fact is that it works. A guy who’s getting out is terribly more attractive than a guy who’s getting in. And believing your father’s religion is one of the most heinous crimes of the day. Loving deserters and despising proselytes is proper of a culture who doesn’t know where to get but still respects the idea of getting somewhere.
The apex of our obsession with deserters is more visible in media’s lustful piety. There’s an altar for everyone who comes out. This is why homossexuality got it’s revenge of centuries of scandal in the current path of beatitude. Gays are the new pilgrims and you can’t mess with them. Camille Paglia is still one of the few old-school perversion-type voices of lesbianism and she’s hated by who? Of course, lesbians and homossexuals in power. Paglia knows that the greatest moment about depravity is the minute you get in, not the one you walk away from normality. Her authenticity comes from her genuine amusement, something paradoxically very hard to find in the LGBT world.
It’s ok to talk about coming out of things every time we’re getting into something better. In the Bible more convincing than leaving a life of sin is getting a new one of sanctity. Both of them are possible because the work of the Holy Spirit. But we should drop the coming out card if we’re using it just to impress. At least if we’re still giving some credit to the old-fashioned idea that a good life is also a convincing one. Don’t celebrate leaving your old shack if you’re remaining homeless. Get yourself a proper house where you can host someone.


Tiago Cavaco