A very good friend of mine is a pastor. A man of the cloth, as it were. Tom, like many Christians in the world, is a top-notch, compassionate, caring and logical person. He is not at all what I would describe as the Christian Right. Yet he is very Christian, to the point that he has dedicated his life to service in the church.
Tom and I agree on a great deal of things. (I’m sure we disagree on some as well). What surprised me most was a recent conservation with Tom about homosexuality. There is a well known Bible quote that the Right-Wingers use to prove that God hates fags. I mentioned this to Tom and he said a lot of wise things. First, he said, you can’t take the Bible out of context. Everything you read in the Bible was written from a certain perspective and in a certain context. The example he used was divorice. Jesus said you shouldn’t divorice your woman. Tom pointed out that in those times a divoriced woman had virtually no rights and lived on the streets in poverty. Jesus was protecting women from this when he said that about divorice. This is the Jesus I wish Christians focused on — the one who always put love and compassion before anything else.
Tom also pointed out that homosexuality was in ways a practice abusive of young boys in the days of the Bible. Again, the point of the verse was to protect people from abuse. It was about compassion, not about condemning people.
I wish I knew the word that Tom used but his point was that you cannot pull a snippet out of the Bible and use it as proof of a particular point of view. It must be taken with the totality of the faith. This from a guy that probably knows as much about the Bible as any person on earth.
I am waiting for the true Christians of the world to take the faith back from the Religious Right. These so-called Christians who think Jesus would be for the death penalty and the war in Iraq do not deserve to call themselves Christians. Jesus spoke and lived a life about love and compassion. I don’t believe in Hell but if I did I would bet that these evil bastards who hate and kill in Jesus’s name have an especially uncomfortable place waiting for them.