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.