Shed­ding Holy Light on sup­port­ing Pride

Some peo­ple think there is a pri­or­ity list of sins and God keeps score

Cape Breton Post - - Editorial - Rose­mary Godin Guest Shot

As Cape Bre­ton pre­pares to cel­e­brate its an­nual Pride Fes­ti­val (Aug. 4-12), I feel com­pelled to say a few words of sup­port for a com­mu­nity that pro­vides such creativity; com­pas­sion and ex­cite­ment to our Is­land.

As a mem­ber of the clergy of the United Church of Canada, it sad­dens me each time I hear re­li­gion be­ing used as a means of judg­ing and sham­ing mem­bers of the world’s precious LGBTQ com­mu­nity.

Ap­par­ently, some peo­ple think there is a pri­or­ity list of sins and God keeps score. Those among us who ap­pre­ci­ate the di­ver­sity of life can choose to play that game, too.

We, too, can make wild grabs at ob­scure scrip­ture that was writ­ten at a time when men had more than one wife, chil­dren had no sta­tus, an­i­mals were sac­ri­ficed, peo­ple were stoned or cru­ci­fied and women had no rights.

To­day, God has so much more to be con­cerned with in terms of wars, poverty, vi­o­lence and an in­creas­ing lack of ci­vil­ity among peo­ple. Lov­ing one an­other is part of God’s plan for earth – and we are fail­ing mis­er­ably.

I have some ques­tions for those who think mem­bers of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity are sin­ners:

1. Do you shop on Sun­day? Then you are break­ing God’s com­mand­ment.

2. Have you ever cheated on your part­ner?

3. Slept with some­one be­fore mar­riage?

4 . . . . . Been di­vorced?

5. Ut­tered pro­fan­i­ties?

6. Been cheeky with your Mom or Dad? ! (It says in Leviti­cus that if you curse your par­ents you should be put to death!)

7. Taken some­thing that wasn’t yours?

8.Had an unclean thought? Of course you have.

Is your head un­cov­ered in pub­lic? Do you wear gar­ments with two kinds of cloths wo­ven to­gether? Do you gos­sip? Are you bit­ter? Th­ese are all bad ac­cord­ing to scrip­ture. Nowhere, how­ever, does Je­sus Christ ap­pear to have con­demned love of any kind – ex­cept for love of ma­te­rial things.

Leviti­cus – the most oft-quoted scrip­ture to use against same-sex re­la­tions - also tells us that we should pur­chase slaves from the for­eign­ers among us and treat our chil­dren as prop­erty!

De­spite all of us fall­ing short of per­fec­tion (and I pre­fer to leave judg­ment of other’s ac­tions up to them and God), peo­ple con­tinue to “cherry pick” the Bib­li­cal pas­sages about same-sex love to use as an ex­cuse to judge oth­ers as “sin­ners” in the eyes of God. And yet, the great­est com­mand­ment that we are asked to fol­low is sim­ply put: wor­ship one God only, and love each other. “There is no com­mand­ment greater than th­ese.”

So – there you have it. Very sim­ple. Love one an­other. And there are no strings at­tached or con­di­tions.

I write in terms of the Chris­tian Bi­ble and yet I know that pre­cepts of love are also found and in­ter­preted in most other holy books. Love for the God of many names and love for each other is para­mount in th­ese books as well.

It is true that God cre­ated male and fe­male so that life can pro­cre­ate – that’s a bi­o­log­i­cal process to en­sure that every species will con­tinue. But with­out love, that’s all it is – a sci­en­tific process. For­tu­nately, our Cre­ator made all peo­ple with the ca­pac­ity to love and care for one an­other.

Cre­ation is full of joy – and noth­ing brings as much joy as fam­ily and friends. And to­day, we are blessed to have peo­ple of all sizes, ages, colours, abil­i­ties and gen­ders – and all made by God. A ver­i­ta­ble rain­bow of peo­ple and the joy and love they can bring to oth­ers. And to­day, “heart” fam­i­lies come in all con­fig­u­ra­tions. Thank the Lord for that!

The words sa­cred and holy re­fer to things that are con­nected to God. We are all con­nected to God through Cre­ation, and so we are all sa­cred.

One of the sad­dest things in life is to know of fam­ily mem­bers who have “cast out” (now there’s a Bib­li­cal term!) some­one be­cause of their gen­der pref­er­ences and iden­ti­ties. In no way, shape or form is that love of any kind. I en­cour­age any­one strug­gling with lov­ing some­one who is gay, trans­gen­der or ques­tion­ing to reach out and speak with other peo­ple at­tached to the LGTBQ com­mu­nity who can shed light on God’s un­con­di­tional love for all of us.

Be proud, LGBTQ com­mu­nity! You have a lot to be proud of! And from where I come from spir­i­tu­ally, you should hold your heads high be­cause you are beau­ti­ful chil­dren cre­ated, fash­ioned, and born of a lov­ing God who sees you as one of God’s mas­ter­pieces!

So – there you have it. Very sim­ple. Love one an­other. And there are no strings at­tached or con­di­tions.

Rev. Rose­mary Godin, BA, MDiv, is a for­mer Hal­i­fax jour­nal­ist and present United Church Min­is­ter who has served churches in On­tario and Nova Sco­tia. She presently lives in Syd­ney where she serves at United Her­itage Church

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.