'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
In the GLBT community one of the things that frustrates us is the astounding hypocrisy displayed by so called "Christian" leaders and followers. Christ was all about generosity, peace, compassion, and joy. So many people have fallen from these principles, yet still refer to themselves as followers of "The Way" as it was called in Christ's time. The cold rejection of a stranger for his differences to me sounds more like the work of something far short of God's divine plan. It's time we set the record straight (pardon the pun).
Christianity is not the ability to blindly follow. The religion teaches to be a loving, caring, compassionate contribution to society that makes the world a better place. As the living example Christ left us, Christians are to fill His shoes with their actions. So why do we find society having such trouble dealing with it's homosexual population? My personal observations lead me to conclude that there are a few bad people who understand the human dynamics of both fear and control, and they know how to use their understandings for their own benefit against those who trust them. There is an old saying I like to refer to;
God said to man, "I give you religion", to which the Devil replied, "Here, let me organize this for you".
Yes, I am no fan of organized religion, and I have found no burning desire to give up my individuality or self-expression at the direction of someone who is neither acting in my best interests nor by the true will of God.
If you can't understand the word of God is peace through reading the Bible, then put it down. Christianity did fine without it in it's early years. In fact, people were once condemned by the Church for possessing one. Open instead your heart and mind to unconditional love. I am told readily by my critics that God did not intend for all sins to be forgiven (even though God tells us so implicitly), and that some sins like homosexuality cross a line that calls for them to act harshly against their neighbor. Now we could bury this argument in a Bible quote slap fight like most arguments on this subject end up in, but let's for a moment suspend the usual prattle and go for the end game. What does this action accomplish? In no way does it spread any of the aspects of Christianity by acting this way (love, peace, joy), so how could this be God's will? The answer is simple, and you can find it in your heart; it is not His will.
Time and time again people have used God as an excuse to do terrible things, and as the age of information makes knowledge more wide spread we are able to see the scope of such actions. Where modern Christians fit into this picture remains to be seen. It is high time for the flock to lead their Church back to it's rightful path; one of peace, love, and joy through labors of love, not fear. Listen to your hearts and hear what it says when you walk past a man on the corner who is down on his luck. Does it tell you to fear him? Does it tell you not to trust him, or not to help him? Do you think these feelings come from God? When the Good Samaritan came across the injured man in his path, he thought not of himself, but rather the the stranger.
The ironic thing for me about all this is that the foundations of Christianity can make for a wonderful society WHEN ACTUALLY PRACTICED. The idea of living with love in your heart works for anyone regardless of their religious beliefs. There is nothing supernatural needed to be as kind to your neighbor as you would want them to be to you. There is nothing mysterious about the wisdom of finding previously overlooked flaws in how we live, and desiring to change those flaws for the betterment of all. Our country is founded on the idea that we can be as equals, and although we may be vastly different we can all live in peaceful harmony with mutual respect.
You get the respect you give, and therein lies part of the problem. Use your brains and think for yourselves. People should not be judged by things they have no control over, like their sex, the color of their skin, or their sexual orientation. Yet for some reason people are having the darnedest time understanding right from wrong because of those who would capitalize on someone else's suffering. Does that sound like something you want to be a part of, creating suffering for someone you've never met? Do you have all the understanding and compassion of an IRS auditor? No, most people are simply skimming over the facts on this issue, and have never really brought home the true impact of their actions and inaction.
It is in the spirit of unconditional love that I keep my efforts alive to reach out to those who have lost their way from that path. My life is filled with love and joy, and all I want for my neighbors is to feel that same way, and I don't mind going out of my way to help them reach this goal. That's not to say it is easy, nor that the effort to be graceful is always successful. We are human, and we need to first forgive ourselves of our own short-comings, then forgive others as we would want to be forgiven. I see those who would turn their backs on someone they consider a sinner to be as much a sinner as those they accuse. Judgmental people need to be saved from themselves.
In my opinion, the fight for equality has already been won through the next generation. In their eyes I see the wisdom needed to separate the wheat from the chafe when it comes to what values that will remain instilled. Values will stand on their own merit, or not at all. We will see an end to widespread thinking along the lines of "All black people are "_______", or "All gay people are "______". Instead, they will judge people by their actions and intents, which is the way of the just. The war against all forms of unjust discrimination will be ended by those who walk the Earth today. My new goal is the attempt to reach the lost ones, and bring them back to the Shepherd.
"...preaching love and peace, yet practicing hatred and violence, claiming fidelity to the Constitution, yet systematically abrogating the rights of other citizens. Their record seems one of moral bankruptcy and staggering hypocrisy." -Congressional report on the KKK circa 1973
In 1987 Mobile Alabama, while before the judge and jury, Tiger Noles begged the grieving mother of Micheal Donald to forgive him for his hate. The old woman stared silently at the young white man who had killed her son in a violent and torturous way, rocking back and forth in her seat gently until she spoke. "I already have" was all she said. That loving act produced a ripple effect of good will that radiated out from the ugliness of evil, and there was not a dry eye in that courtroom according the the testimony. Of all places, it was a Southern jury that awarded Mrs. Donald more than seven million dollars at the expense of the KKK, taking the legs out from under the most powerful form of organized hate in America.
The principle of using fear and hatred to control others will never fade, so we have to be vigilant to recognize hate when we see it, no matter what form it comes in. For those of you who will never be convinced that LGBT people can be a healthy and productive part of society because it goes against the Bible, I say stick to the basics first, and learn to live with peace, love, and joy in your own hearts before you come to take the splinter out of my eye. You also might want to consider the ramifications God gave you for being wilfully negligent in your duties to spread His true will;
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
Where the effort in my opinion has been sorely lacking, I hope that more than a few of you out there start asking yourself what your Christian responsibility is to spread peace, love, joy, and compassion to those whom with you disagree.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Ghandi
It is by the love of our parents and God almighty we are born into this world, and it is through love that the devisive issues put before us are solved. Love conquers all, and it is about time that people start spreading it more readily.