Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Whose Fault Is It?

Today I did a "verse of the day". For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this sometimes habit of mine, I will explain. When most people talk of a "verse of the day", they usually take a verse out of a religious text  - usually the Bible. I however, am not religious and do not really ascribe to any religion. Instead, my "holy text" is The Good Book - a secular/humanist/atheist text that was put together by A.C. Grayling. It is from this book that I get my verses from.

Today's verses, chosen at random, were from The Lawgiver Chapter 19 verses 30-32

For when the people have committed a wrong against a good man and then repent of their anger,
They think the easiest way to excuse themselves for this offense is the most just, namely,
To destroy the man who was the author of it and persuaded them to commit it.

Normally, when I do one of my Sunday Sermons or Verses of the Day, I type out the verses and leave the reader to come to their own conclusions. Learning is, after all, done best when a person is left to think for themselves. Sometimes though, I find myself dwelling on what I've typed and feel like maybe someone will appreciate my thoughts on the matter.

These verses bring to my mind the injustices that many LGBTQ people face today at the hands of the "well-meaning" religious right. They tell us we are sinful, abominations, and vile and abhorrent to their God. They tell us that unless we turn to their God, repent of our disgusting sexual depravities, and change to "normal heterosexuality" that we will forever burn in hell.

Sometimes though these people "receive insights from God" and realise that they what they have been saying and doing in the name of their God is wrong and hateful. Some of these people become true allies and stand with us in our struggle towards equality. Others play the "blame game", saying such things as "If my pastor hadn't told us that homosexuality was a sin, I would have never said those things to you." or "It's really the churches fault - the church is to blame for all the hatred towards you.".

The "blame game" is wrong. Period. It doesn't matter if the pastor of a church preached that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is sinful. It doesn't matter if a world-renowned Christian activist said that all LGBT people should do the world a favour and kill themselves. It doesn't matter if the Pope said that marriage equality will destroy "traditional" families. Yes, these people are wrong. Yes, they should be preaching love and acceptance instead of hate and divisiveness, but that's their problem.

What does matter, what is your problem, is whether you, as a religious person, listened to them. We all have a choice when someone tells us something. That choice is do you listen to it, believe it, and act upon it, or do you reject what they say as being hateful and un-Christlike? Likewise, we all have a responsibility to research the truthfulness of everything we see, hear, and read.

In summary, take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions; don't blame others for something you could have, with a little thought, done differently.

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