Saturday, March 08, 2008

Where's the love?

Personally, I neither know or care if homosexuality or homosexual
activity is sinful or not, Biblical or not. For one thing I am sick
to death of people using our holy book as a weapon to club each other
over the head.

For another, there are things Jesus said that I want to embrace in as
thoroughly a radical way as possible. Such as "Let the one without
sin cast the first stone." That woman was clearly a sinner, caught in
the very act itself. Under the Holiness Code, she was to be executed.
Jesus turned that situation around and demonstrated that because we
are all sinners, we are not to sit in judgment on the sins of others.

Such as removing the log from my own eye before I attempt to remove
the splinter from the eye of another. It is so very much easier and
more satisfying for some people to point fingers at other people and
live in denial about their own flaws. That was the point of the quotes
I offered yesterday. They were from the sayings of the Desert

Jesus said something else: Love the Lord your God with everything
that you have and are AND love your neighbor as yourself. If we do
not love our neighbor as ourselves then we prove that we do not truly
love God.

Who is our neighbor? Jesus was next asked. "Everyone on the planet"
He answered with the parable of the God Samaritan.

How do we show that we love our neighbor? Jesus was pretty clear about
that, too. Very specific, even uncomfortably specific for those of us
of the West with our fat cat lives of luxury. Even the poorest among
us, such as I, are rich compared to entirely too many people in the
rest of the world.

We are to feed the hungry, slake the thirsty, care for the sick,
provide for those unable to provide for themselves at the moment,
visit the prisoners so that they do not despair. I maintain that if we
were busy about the latter we quite frankly would be too tired to care
who managed to find love in this hard world with someone else.

As for those who sin: God will deal with us. The question we have to
ask ourselves is why it is so many among us can't trust God to take
care of it and feel we need to do His work for Him? Another question
is this: are we maybe afraid that if God doesn't act to punishGLBTs,
do we have to change our attitudes toward them? By not punishing GLBT
off the planet are we afraid that God is saying that we have to
embrace them as our neighbors whose hunger we must feed, thirst slake,
illnesses cared for, etc etc etc.

One of the tenets of TEC is that God's will prevails at General
Convention and that the Holy Spirit guides all in the Houses of
Bishops and Deputies. The last 2 GCs have been a smack in the face, I
daresay, to those who oppose the full inclusion of GLBT into our
fellowship and also to those who believe that women should not be

I have mental illness and a great many evangelical Christians have worked
to rout me out of their midst as if I were harbinger of plague. I
have been on the receiving end of the exact same arguments that are
being used against homosexuals. I have had the Bible touted at me,
proving what a sinner I was to have the illness I have. So much for
what Jesus said about the man blind from birth who was shunned all his
life because of the assumption in his society that a person would only
be born blind due to sin. It's in Matthew.

Another thing that has been said is that we must act for
the good of the homosexual. Oh yes, I've had people telling me they
were acting in this way for my own good. Aside from the patronising
and condescending aspects that they have and the hubris to declare they
know what is in my good, it was clear that they were acting in terms
of their own good. My presence among them, chock full of mental
illness, challenged their comfort. They had their ideas of How Things
Should Be and they wanted me to conform to it. As in the story of the
man born blind at issue was not my sin, but their own preconceived
notions and prejudices.

As a matter of fact, when I was part of the evangelical community,
entirely too many people were treated as was I. Toxic secrets were
kept hidden, such as instances of wife beating in the married student
housing at my evangelical seminary north of Boston, wives being "disciplined" by their husbands who were their "heads". I was in group therapy with the battered wife of a prominent and famous leader among the evangelicals of New England.

One of the reasons Christianity comes across as a pack of hypocritical
lies to those who are not Christians is because of millennia of an
inability to mind the business of others. Millennia of point the
finger of blame and millenia of not paying enough attention to our own
personal flaws, shortcomings and sin.


There is no escaping it, whenever we continue the cycle of abuse by
our failure to assuage hunger, thirst, illness, any kind of need at
all, we perpetuate the violence and ensure that it continues even unto
the 10th generation.


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