State Of Grace
Isn't it sad and funny how the worst in some people tends to bring out the best in others? Or is that the other way round? You know these people, trying to live the good life, walk the straight and narrow. The people who take it a step further, going beyond minding their own business, and starting to mind the business of others. The manic street preachers and interfering busy-bodies who think they are doing "God's work" and that the end justifies the means, no matter how messy the means.
Do we really need to listen to people telling us about how great they think their god is? I am fine with what I believe - I don't need some twat standing on a street corner with a bible in one hand and a bull-horn in the other, telling me what to believe. Who are they trying to convince? Us? Or themselves?
What other people believe doesn't really other me, except where their beliefs are acted out in such a way as to affect my safety, my rights, and my future, with the potential to ruin my life.
What other people believe shouldn't (be allowed to) hurt me.
Don't mistake my commentary here for religious intolerance, but please consider when last you have seen or heard a group of Buddhists pointing fingers and yelling on a street corner about how great their lifestyle is - and how bad everyone else is? Really, how often do you hear a Buddhist or a Wiccan bragging to all and sundry about their religion and its greatness? Count how many times anyone will get picked on for wearing an ankh or a pentagram around their necks and I'll lay odds at ten to one that the people doing the picking will be "Christians".
Where does this insecurity come from? This paranoia? Is their own faith so weak, their confidence so fragile that they cannot co-exist in peace with people who feel or believe differently and have to fight to be the top-dog all the time?
Point out to them the fact that the actual symbol of "true" Christianity is the fish and not the cross and some fanatics will even consider burning you at the stake. But at least we live in a modern country with a reasonable grasp of civilization, so that isn't very likely, at least for now.
Oddly enough, nobody is persecuting their religion, preventing them from worshipping in their dedicated temples and churches - and yet they feel the need to go out and "evangelize" and tell people how wrong they think they are about their own lives - and how they think other folks should live like them. Yeah, that's quite a bold step, when you think about it. Considering most of them live lives at least as fucked up as everybody else, and in some cases even more so.
This still isn't enough to dissuade the people trying hard to influence government with their fundamentalist religious ideology - people like Erroll Naidoo, who openly brags in his FPI newsletters and on his organization's website that he is leading the charge to push the religious right agenda into government. Let us not forget this is a man who has told the media that he hates gay people, a man who is supposedly a pastor, a man of God - who has for at least fifteen years consorted with human rights abusers and in the process of opposing every human rights gain in this country, indulged in the abuse of our human rights himself. What a shining example of Christian "morality" this bigot is, a man unwilling to allow other people the free will and civil rights to live beside him, to share the same space in peace, dignity, freedom, mutual respect and equality. He calls himself "Christian". I wonder how many real Christians find that offensive? Funny I almost never hear them saying anything about this man hijacking their religion and speaking for them.
I disagree with lots of people about lots of things. Most of the time I can still be friends with them, and work with them without wanting to kill them for what they believe or who they happen to love. (Yes, even those strange people who think that wearing socks and slops at the same time is cool). Sad that so many people just can't live and let live - as other people allow them to.
And yet, isn't that the very definition of Christianism? The belief that because you are Christian, or have chosen to be Christian, that yours is the one and only way, that everyone else has it all wrong - and that it is up to you to show them up for it? The belief that because you are Christian, you are better than everyone who isn't, and that everyone else should be Christian too?
Pastor Rick Warren, from Saddleback Church in the USA, a man instrumental in the mentoring of the people behind the Ugandan Gay Genocide Bill - a matter still unresolved by the way - and a man whose name appears on many books lying on the desks of people claiming to be Christians. Pastors, bottle-blond housewives, and even a few lost and confused Pink clergy all swear by him. Everything else the man says seems to make sense from a "Christian" point of view, they say. No, they won't let a little thing like incitement to genocide stand in the way of reading his "wisdom", will they?
Scott Lively, the author of "the Pink Swastika", who was recently exposed as one of the promoters and architects of the Ugandan gay genocide Bill, has recently gone back on his shock and horror of the inclusion of the death sentence in this article - and has somehow decided to again show open support for it.
According to Ugandan leaders, Lively is "a lone voice for morality" in the West. Hooray for Scott. If you follow this claim to its logical conclusion, then you are left with the paradoxical statement that morality = genocide.
I'm slow to understand this Christian "morality" thing, but I think I'm getting the gist of it now.
It's not "Christian" for two men to love each other intimately, but it "is" to persecute and to kill them for it. It's not "Christian" for trans people to change their own bodies to suit their personality or to rectify mistakes of nature - but it "is" to cast them out of society and make their lives miserable. It's not "Christian" to live and let live - but it "is" to spill blood and to act out of hatred towards others.
"Christian" = "Christ-like", and this attitude is hardly Christ-like. We are told that "you will know they are Christians by their love." Love? Has anyone seen these people campaigning against the human rights of the Pink Community, whether in Uganda or in the USA or anywhere - ever use the word "love" in any kind of positive sense? No, they have been using other words, such as "threat" and "hate" - as in God "hates" gay people. They have beaten and perverted a message of love, tolerance and peace into a weapon of spiritual warfare to further their own agenda. They have completely bypassed the single, core, central tenet of the Christian faith that it is by God's grace alone that they are saved - and not by ANY good works of their own hands. And suddenly they are on pedestals, looking down upon the rest of us, judging.
Tell me, how can you justify using grace as a weapon?
Well that about sums it up for me. People claiming to be Christians and advocating the murder of innocent people - just aren't Christians at all. What a shock.
There are churches and religious groups which isolate gay, bi and trans people as "sinners" and exclude them from their churches - and try very hard to get others to exclude them from everything else. Then they claim that people who don't go to church aren't Christians. But when you ask most gay people why they don't go to church, it isn't because they don't have faith, or don't want to attend - it's because they are made to feel unwelcome or denied access.
You see, nobody can take your faith away from you. Faith is something you have to lose for yourself.
So therefore it is possible that the most faithful, loving and believing Christ-followers are to be found nowhere near a church at all. And the biggest noise-makers, bible-bashers and bags of hot air are nothing more than the clanging cymbals referred to in the Old Testament which these "evangelists" have rejected Christ and the New Covenant for.
This proves to me once and for all, that going to church or standing in a pulpit - doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.