Friday, June 17, 2005

Changes

During the summer, one of the requirements of our fellowship program is to be up on current events and to participate in e-mail discussions with one another on things we read in the newspaper. Yesterday, Fellow #4 sent us all an article entitled The Gospel on Gay Marriage. I just read it and I think it is very interesting, especially Scanzoni's categorization of Christians within the religious right movement (I can relate to both Thoughtful Questioners and Hurting Strugglers).

I used to be into the whole religious right thing because that was how I was raised. Homosexuality was wrong, along with a host of other things, because the Bible said so. Nothing personal against gay people, that's just how it is. Then Fellow Seeker came into my life, and aside from the fact that he meant so terribly much to me (and still does), I simply could not envision him as a straight man. That is not who he is. I have since met other wonderful gay and lesbian individuals and I no longer condemn their lifestyles. I would not have admitted that it was condemnation back then, but what else should I call it?

Another great point is that many Christians "ignor[e] the biblical vision of social justice in areas such as poverty, the environment, and questions of war and peace." Once again, I said many, not all. I'm not here to judge anyone. I just know what I see. If pastors were rallying their respective troops against world hunger, the AIDS epidemic, or genocide, I think I would have more respect for them. The religious right in this country is so focused on not letting gays marry that they don't even consider more urgent problems that need to be addressed.

The other day Mother and I were getting out of the car when I noticed a man standing on our front step. I asked Mother, "Why is there a man on our step?" and he saw us and came over. He said that he was there to register the former owner of the house with the Republican party. Mother explained that we live there now, and he asked if he could register her. She asked him to wait a minute while we brought our bags inside. On the way in, she asked me, "What about you?" I snorted and said, "The Republican party? Are you serious? They would revoke my fellowship." (This was only a joke. The truth is, the fellowship is made up of about 90% staunch liberals, but there have been some Republicans in it over the years.) She went back outside to speak to the man, and she wound up telling him all about the problems we are running into while trying to get my father help. When she came back in and told me the subject of their discussion, I asked, "What did he say? That's nice, but I don't really care?" She said, "Pretty much." I told her that if you're looking for someone to give a you-know-what about you, you don't go to the Republican party. (I'm trying not to curse in front of Mother. She finds it objectionable. Last night I was cursing because my laptop practically exploded and she called from the other room, "WTF is the politically correct term." I said, "That's not a matter of political correctness. Being politically correct is using a certain term so you don't offend a group of people." She replied, half-joking, "Well, you're offending me.") Anyway, I doubt he got her to register that day.

Now I just lost all my Republican readers :)

But that's okay. I mean, really, they have ideas that I like. For example, I'm pro-life and probably always will be. But that aside, I wish that Christians would look a little closer at what Jesus's priorities were, and that might, in turn, shape their priorities.

And for all those Liberal Christians out there, I acknowledge that you exist. You rock.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say that it is specifically a trait of the Republican Party to remain idle about the problems in society (and with the world in general). Granted, they do not put enough focus on it, but believe the inactivity and or indifference to be a trait of politicians in general. The fundamental difference being that Democratic politicians will talk about an issue incessantly but will never actually get around to doing anything about it, or in Kerry's case will dance around the subject for a few minutes before attempting to blame someone else for the problem and then contradicting himself 3 times over before he's finished speaking…but I digress. As Ronald Reagan once “politics is the second oldest profession, and bears a striking resemblance to the first.” It’s rare to a politician, Republican, Democrat or otherwise that actually cares for anyone other than him/herself.

sojourness said...

Good point. I'm not singing the praises of the Democratic party either. I guess what attracts me is the fact that they at least pretend to care. And aside from party lines, what I don't understand is religious individuals who are so outspoken on certain things but don't address issues of, in my opinion, greater importance. I would think that Jesus is more concerned with children having enough food to eat than with Jack and Jim legalizing a relationship that already exists.

Anonymous said...

True...I guess they make mountains of mole hills simply because the other problems are too distant and overwhelming in their eyes. Its easier to pick out lifestyle differences that contradict their own narrowminded beliefs. Change,to them, is scarier than anything else and being that there has been poverty and suffering since the dawn of time I guess it's less pressing on their itenerary than than homosexuals wanting to share marital rights.

sojourness said...

I think you're right. I always wondered why people act like homosexuality is something distinctly modern. I mean, read Plato sometime. It is probably the formal sanction of it by the state that they find most upsetting.

Tom said...

American Politics and Christianity really cant remain individually pure when they begin to mix. True Christianity does not entertain the politics of a country nor should it try and manipulate governments into becoming Christian.

sojourness said...

True, true. I just feel that if you are a Christian (or any other religion that calls for peace and loving your neighbors and all that), that should be reflected in the various areas of your life. I feel that the people who are so gung-ho about not letting gays marry feel that they are promulgating God's will, and they have good intentions. But God also said to feed the hungry and visit and care for people (Matthew 25:31-46) and I think that these things should be what everyone is talking about instead. Both parties. And people of all faiths and no faith! All decent human beings!

I'm young, I'm allowed to be naive and idealistic.