disclaimer I’m pretty sure this post will generate a few comments, so I’d like to suggest a few things. First please respond with your thoughts, not your arguments. Second please respond not only to what I’ve written but also to others comments as well. Third please know that I and others are still in the midst of processing, which means that I (we) am/are still thinking and praying, so speak with understanding.
I’m not even sure what caught my attention, but they were talking about religion and it caught my ear in the few seconds I was giving to see if it was worth watching. I thought it might be Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly which I try and watch, but it turned out to be something else.
It was worth watching. The story revolved around a young girl, a teenager and her struggle to understand her being a christian and a lesbian.
It was fascinating. In so many ways I can sympathize with the struggles this girl is having. Not in the being gay part, but in understanding that the christian community can be so amazingly harsh towards people. Beliefs or no beliefs about homosexuality, hearing stories like these, only re-affirms that more often than not we as christians can be so mean and even racist. And more often than not done in God’s name. Where’s the love?
It turns out that the program is called In the Life and is a regular program on PBS. The episode I watched is called The Principles of Youth. You can watch the full episode online here and the segment that I’m talking about is the fist one in the program.
Whether or not you agree with what homosexuality is, meaning something that people are or is just a sin, I encourage you to take a look at the story that I watched.
The segment was called “I’m Still Emily”. The most fascinating point was when Emily was sitting across from a youth pastor and their conversation.
This is something that almost every youth minister should deal with. We desire so much to care for and protect our students that sometimes our words end up being more painful than helpful. In the above mentioned conversation so can visibly see the struggle that Emily is going through as she sits and listens to him talk to her about the Bible and homosexuality. What they did not show (and I don’t know if it occurred) is that it did not seem that he affirmed her for being her, for her being courageous for being the first person to come out in their town, or simply reminding her that God loves her exactly the way she is (sin) or no (sin).
In fact she, herself has to be the one to remind him that she is still desiring to follow God with all of her life and that in some way deep down she knows that she will follow God, but just as a homosexual.
Let me change gears a little…
What strikes me most about the whole christian/gay conversation is the lack of compassion. There is so much hurt and pain that is caused by parents and others towards homosexuals and we are doing little to combat this easily preventable situation. Wasn’t Jesus about people feeling safe and accepted? While he does stand for truth, he’s also the one who defines truth. Sin is bad, but not once does Jesus himself say anything about same sex relationships. Jesus talks more about divorce and the severing of relationships than he ever talks about homosexuality.
Off the top of my head the times that homosexuality is mentioned in the bible are times that are saturated in cultural understandings of the time and not as much as direct words from God or Jesus.
This is obviously something that I have been thinking about a lot. In a way homosexuality has replaced race as the new minority. Maybe, just maybe in a number of years homosexuality will become what we think of when we think of civil rights for blacks. And just as then, there were a few people, who also were christians who stood up for people’s rights and basic humanity, in the same way I think we are in a similar situation. I hope you see the parallels that I am drawing here, I am tired and not sure if my complete thoughts are coming out. But I did want to start to get them down, in hopes that it might help me further process all these thoughts that are floating around.
As history has shown us, that many of the major problems of history were started by christians, but they were also solved by christians who really understood the situation and stood up as the minority, often for the oppressed.
So if you have a chance find a way to catch In the Life this month, or go online and I think they at least have some clips of this month’s show.