COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. – When Martin H.S. Millette put together a book on religion today, he knew exactly what he wanted to use as a metaphor: Stormy weather.
And those storm clouds, he said, are hovering over a religion – Christianity – that may have moved in too divisive and dogmatic a direction to continue attracting new members and growing.
“Honestly, being in the church for almost 25 years, I just came to the end of it when I could not take religion anymore and the divisive rhetoric, especially against the gay community,” Millette said. “Hence when I wrote this philosophy, it was written to debunk the very notion of religion, and remind the religious community that even though they have their own I.D., we cannot deny the gay community their civil rights. A lot of folks are very angry at what I’m saying.”
The book is actually spelled differently, as “Stormy Whether,” and is available on Amazon.com and Millette’s own web site, www.martinmillette.com.
In a phone interview with Freeline Media Orlando from Colorado Springs, Millettee said he hopes churches take a serious look at the direction they’re heading in, and whether condemnations of gays and lesbians will ultimately backfire on them.
Citing statistics from recent U.S. Census Bureau data, he noted that most religious denominations in this county lost members between 1990 and 2008 – while those who say they have no religion at all have grown. Millette said an increasing number of former parishioners may be abandoning organized religion for what he called the secular philosophy of Certainism.
“Many of those who eschew religion are identified not by what they believe, but rather, what they don’t believe,” he said. “So Certainism is a philosophy that offers a progressive voice for the 21st century that provides the secular population a set of ideas that help them identify as someone who believes in something, as opposed to simply being identified as someone who doesn’t believe in something.”
Millette has a doctorate in Christian Education and is a former minister who has taught philosophy, theology, and history. The book, he said, chronicles his struggle to cope with a church that he felt had become too dogmatic and rigid.
“The book basically is a historical fiction book,” he said. “However, the book basically was first written for my P.H.d in Christian Education. I am no longer a minister, though.”
Millette has definitely moved across the wide religious spectrum. He was raised a Catholic, but did not stay with that faith.
“I became a Protestant minister,” he said. “But then my mother was a Jewess, and 10 years ago I really got in touch with my Jewish heritage, and the Christian church acted very negative about that.”
Millette also found himself alienated from the church’s outspoken condemnation of homosexuality.
“It was their wicked religious clichés, such as ‘You’re going to Hell,’ and ‘You’ll burn in Hell, you are an abomination,’ “ he said. “My whole question is therefore now to the church in particular, ok you are telling me that gay people are condemned to Hell. Ok. What I would like to know now is, give me a metaphysical answer. All the church has been doing is condemning. But they are not relating.”
A Certainist, he said, no longer believes in the infallibility of religion as churches try to indoctrinate the masses by telling them what to think rather than how to think. Certainism is the antithesis of what religion teaches, he said.
“My big question is I have been there in the church for over two decades, and this whole problem arose,” he said. “When I wrote my book, I had to ask myself sometimes, where is this coming from? For years I have been a latent bisexual man who kept these things dormant to myself. The book is called ‘Stormy Whether’ because when I wrote it I went through my own storm. My whole big argument today is the gay community must be given the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.”
Millette said he hopes to show that people can develop a guiding set of principles that can replace the dogma of religion, but he also hopes to start a dialogue on bringing gay people back into the realm of faith.
“I really hope so,” he said. “My purpose is to initiate a dialogue with the religious community and the gays, and what I really want to accomplish is to help the gay community understand you are not an abomination, you are not being condemned. I would really like to try to give it my all. I would really like to see a change, a permanent, effective change in this great nation of ours.”
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