Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not All Like That

Not All Like That

Ok - mostly on this blog I don't talk about my religion because I'd hate to come across as wanting to proselytise anyone or being in your face about God and all that. If you're happy with your own spiritual path or lack of spiritual path I'm not going to try and change you.

But for better or worse, I am a Christian -albeit a very liberal, very progressive Christian who is also a member of the Society of Friends. And this is important.

The problem with us liberal progressive types is that we tend to be quiet, non-aggressive, non-confrontational and nice. Unlike the fundamentalists who tend to shout a lot, whether on street corners or in the news, we tend to work quietly behind the scenes trying to change things by reasonableness. We're not as good at standing up for our faith as the haters and homophobes are.

Well, the good news is that this - in America at least - is beginning to change. More people are coming out of the woodwork and publically declaring that we're Not All Like That. Which is great isn't it? It's taken a long time for it to happen, but thanks largely to a man called John Shore, it's beginning to get more and more militant.

I think personally I'm not so much a NALT Christian as a Won't Take It Anymore Christian. I won't take the smug triumphalist hateful nonsense of the fundamentalist bad news gospel anymore. I'm fortunate in that the Society of Friends is fully supportive of LGBTQ people, but nobody much notices you in the media unless you shout a lot. So, to misquote Ginsberg, "I'm putting my (un)queer shoulder to the wheel."

I'm sick and tired of the misrepresentation of Christianity by these sorts. If Jesus was about anything, he was about love. True faith does not cast people into the outer darkness for being different; it is welcoming and open and radically inclusive of everyone. True faith doesn't deny the questions, it lives in the tension of those questions.

I know that the atheists among you might want to tell me that I shouldn't be believing in God anyway; and it's complicated by my own rather apophatic (look it up) approach to the traditional creeds and beliefs of Christianity. But I don't want to get into arguments about the existence or non-existence of divine beings; this is too important. People are still being villified for being gay, young men and women are still contemplating suicide because they think they're wrong, and people in Russia and some African countries are still being jailed because of their sexuality. And in the name of Christ, Allah, or any other God you care to name, it has to stop.

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