Thursday, February 26, 2009

Anti-Gay Bias Should Anger Christians –


I loved this article. Many times we are bombarded by the pro and cons, and we have to fight our way out of the positions. We are bombarded by an anti-gay position. Or, I bombard you with a gay position, mainly because I have to. It is like either you are for me or you are against. No middle ground. I feel I am forced to that. Because the homophobia is so corrosive, and my very livelihood is at stake. It is my life that I have to defend.

 

But, here is one writer who could, and did read up about the issues. And went ahead and got a personal story to illustrate some of the problems. She writes more logically than I would. I would be really, powerfully angry about the Matthew Mitcham story. And of course I have railed against Christian homophobia a long while. Rev. Howard Bess takes a very calming point of view which impresses me.

 

Here is the article. The link has the more complete one.

 

The role that is being played by religious people and institutions is especially tragic. Christian churches lead the parade of homophobic bigotry.

 

I write as an insider. I have lived my entire life as a follower of Jesus from Nazareth. I have always been a church member. My honest identification in life is simple and straightforward. I am a born again Evangelical Christian in the tradition of Baptists.

 

 

The Jesus that I know, and whom I call Lord, was first and always a man of love. The second attribute that I see in him is moral outrage, especially with religious people who turned their backs on the most vulnerable people of his time.

 

Most Christian bodies today have turned justice on its head and have become attackers of a vulnerable minority.

 

I first became involved in advocacy for full acceptance of gay people in our churches over 35 years ago. Gay people were already in my congregation, but they felt that they needed to stay in their closets.

 

Some cautiously came out. Others identified themselves to me only after many years. I believed at first that reliable information would make the difference and lead to gay acceptance. It did not prove to be the case.

 

 

In the late 1990s, a flood of books were written by Bible scholars and theologians. Most concluded that the Bible says nothing about homosexuality as sexual orientation. They argued forcefully for inclusion of gay people in our churches.

 

There were a few books that were written to make the case for exclusion. I have a lengthy bookshelf full of these volumes, pro and con. Those who argued for inclusion overwhelmed those who argued for exclusion. There are now some excellent “how I changed my mind” books being written.

 

Good information and good scholarship have made little difference. I was wrong about what would be needed to bring full acceptance in our churches.  

 

Story telling has been more effective. This is the reason I decided to share the story of Matthew Mitcham. Some people respond to stories of painful injustices.

 

I suspect that gay people and their parents telling their stories is the single greatest influence in gaining a new level of gay acceptance in our society. But story telling has not moved church leaders to bold action.

 

 

Movement toward acceptance and justice in our churches has proceeded at the pace of a glacial pace

1 comment:

Raycol said...

In line with the views of the Rev. Howard Bess about story telling, I would like to point out a fairy tale of a prince marrying another prince on www.gaysandslaves.org.

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