Sunday, March 27, 2011

Worth Taking The Time

There is an article in The Guardian entitled 'Why was I born gay in Africa?' It's not pretty, but it is worth taking the time to read it, and worth taking the time to grapple with the truth that it tells.

I don't mean to offend people of my own faith -- or at least some of them anyway! -- but one of the most shocking details told in the story is that a Christian organisation is involved in transforming this inhuman situation. One of the commenters on the piece articulates the irony that the word "Christian" could actually be used in a positive light in such an article. Of course it's naive and reductionist to think that Christians cannot come to the aid of homosexuals who are suffering gross injustices. To think like this is to think the way the media wants us to think - a media that only gives Christians a voice on homosexuality when they are denying homosexual people certain rights.

But it would also be naive to think that the dialogue amongst most Christians vis-a-vis homosexuality goes beyond civil unions and marriage and rights and wrongs. On both sides of the debate homosexual people are treated as little more than embodied ideologies, rerpresentatives of either a thankfully pluralistic, tolerant society, or a regrettably liberal, immoral society, depending on your vantage point. The debate is merely a thinly disguised battle for power - a battle that followers of Jesus should have no interest in fighting.

Instead, being a Christian in the mould of a powerless, homeless, selfless Jesus -- and is there any other mould? -- ought to take us beyond the culture wars and into the lives of those who desperately need the indiscriminate neighbourly love of Christ. Lest Christians forget, this is the same Christ who, without any desire to qualify or explain, could say to the religious people of his day:

"Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you."

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