Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Rantage

I'm in the mood for a rant. About homosexuality, or, more accurately, homophobia. Note I used the word 'rant,' not 'debate.' I tend not to express my opinions on this topic in Christian circles too often, because it rapidly spirals into debate. Debate is good, but it's really something I have to be in the mood for. But some things do get on my nerves. It gets on my nerves that people assume because I'm a Christian, I must be homophobic. I understand why they assume that, but it's annoying nonetheless.

When I was in Mozambique, I spent a lot of time with various American missionaries, some of whom really put the 'fun' in 'fundamentalism.' The one who really stands out in my memory is Gary. Gary and I, despite our differences, got on like a house on fire. This is possibly because I tended to do more questioning and listening than talking, but still. Fundamentalists are not bad people, any more than homosexuals or anybody else. Just because I disagree, sometimes quite vehemently, doesn't make anybody evil. Gary was wonderful, in fact. I'd be washing my hands, listening to him sing 'Heart of Worship' as he peed. He would explain to me, so earnestly, all about how the world was 6000 years old and carbon dating was a lie. He thought my accent was some kind of revolution in speech. He and his wife introduced me to the wonders of cinnamon toast. But his opinions did make me sometimes want to weep.

George Bush, he would say, was the greatest Christian president America has ever had. Okay, okay, he would concede, as I related the story of George Bush and "the Israeli and Polystyrene people," he wasn't the greatest public speaker, but he had done things that nobody really knew about. Like what? Well, he would say, "you're probably not going to believe this, but there are some people in America who think that queers should have rights."

At this point I started to praise cinnamon toast very loudly.

I don't know whether homosexuality is right or wrong. I haven't given it tremendous amounts of thought, because I don't really care. I figure that it's my job to love people rather than to judge them. What other people do is between them and God, as far as I'm concerned. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes is so spectacularly none of my business. And if it is wrong, who am I to point the finger? Who am I to think less of people? I have been known to nick the odd bit of fudge out of the Pick 'n' Mix; that's wrong. Sometimes I speak in a way that's not respectful and honouring of other people. Sometimes I even do that to make myself look witty. I've got enough to worry about with my own behaviour, without overseeing other people's.

Rant over, I think. I feel better now.

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