Yesterday, standing on the road just outside home, a Mormon missionary approaches me, to tell me about their deity.
I decline. Don't want to belong to any faith..., don't belong to any faith. Suprise on her part. Why don't I believe? No, it does have something to do with my sexuality, but, faith doesnt have to do with sexuality. Didnt go into the specifics of my case.
She insisted on telling me about the Bible. I listened, then nonplussed her by asking why she wasn't quoting from the Quaran. Because she didnt believe it. I don't believe in neither the Bible, nor the Quaran, I reply patiently.
Why does it suprise people that a person does remain a human being with no particular adherence to a faith? Guess it is because so many of us believe. Gay people believe. Even when they are bombarded by 'gay is evil' messages. We continue to believe.
And, sometimes, that has some interesting consequences.
Remember the 'Hang Them' headline? The rolling stone rug.
Just below the caption on the front page were the photos of two people. One is a gay activist. The other is Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo. Giles Muhame, Ssempa's lieutenant, apparently believes that the elderly bishop should be hanged.
No. Bishop Ssenyonjo is not gay.
Question has always been asked. The guy was asked why he is risking all for a people that are pariahs in society.... even his pension. He is a grandfather, and his family is affected by his stance. I mean, the Church of Uganda went to the point of stopping his pension, reportedly because of his stance on homosexuality.
And, one of Ssempa's lieutenants wants him hanged.
No. Not because he is gay. But, because he defends gay people of faith. In the Christian faith. Uh, Jesus feels that pain. Surely no teacher would stand for such interpretation of their teaching! Jesus taught love, didnt he?
If Giles is to state that that is a mis-construction, I would be very surprised. Words, pics, they mean something. As a news person, I think he is the expert. When I see the photo of Bishop Ssenyonjo and the caption, just above his head to 'Hang Them', my conclusions are based on a very solid foundation. At least, so I think....!
There is another bishop, Gene Robinson.
Hey, the guy is gay. Maybe for him it is justified to spew hate speech? His consecration brought up all sorts of controversies. Personally, such a thing, like the consecration of Bishop Glasspool is an affirmation that even gay people are worth of faith. Fact, there is nothing stopping us from believing. Many of us do, and strongly. But, there are some incredible consequences to that. Here was the reaction to Gene Robinson.
Robinson was openly gay when he was elected bishop in 2003, but it aroused such passions that he wore a bullet-proof vest to his consecration.
His ordination as bishop -- the first of an openly gay priest in any Christian denomination -- so divided the church that its General Convention in 2006 called a moratorium on "any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church."
Then in July 2009, the church voted to end the moratorium even though the issue had opened a widening rift within the broader Anglican church.
Some Episcopal parishes in the United States responded by breaking with the US church and aligning themselves with conservative Anglican bishops in Africa and South America.
Gene Robinson is retiring. Has he been brave?
Maybe, by definition of the word. He has been a man who, through no choice of his, has been forced into the spotlight. And made a celebrity. But, at a cost to him.
Bishop Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire said he would retire in 2013, when he will be 65.
"The fact is, the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family and you," Robinson wrote in a message posted on the diocese website.
"Death threats, and the now-worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark, who has faithfully stood with me every minute of the last seven years."
I salute the man. Gene Robinson. Husband Mark.
I salute them for finding the courage to walk through their lives as human beings, not denying themselves in the face of extreme opposition.
I salute them.