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.

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 takecare 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 punish GLBTs, do we have to change our attitudes toward them? By not punishing GLBTs 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 priests.

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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