Sunday 22 June 2008

Is it really bothering God?

I have already posted what I think about the current schism in the church over homosexuality. It looks like the idea of a split in the church is in the offing again. The booklet for the 'Gafcon' meeting in Jerusalem says

"We want unity… but not at the cost of re-writing the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend."
by latest cultural trend I assume they mean not persecuting your fellow man for being overly fond of his fellow man. I am also not 100% convinced that setting up this rival to the Lambeth Conference they are in any way promoting unity. Oh well if they do decide to bugger off out of the Anglican Communion I won't miss them and it saves me having to become a Scottish Episcopalian (after all it is vitally important to identify which church you don't get round to going to).

I have little sympathy for those that say that the bible is the word of God and inviolate because they are all so selective in which practices they think we need to return to in order to be good Christians, which parts of a rule set designed for a desert people thousands of years ago we should pay attention to, I would have much more respect if they had 100% courage in all their convictions. I also suspect that they don't follow all the rules about food that are in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, why are these any less important that who you fuck given most of us eat more in our lives than we screw? I shall leave you with one of my favourite pieces of writing on the subject from the West Wing.

Jed Bartlet: I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an "abomination"!
Jenna Jacobs: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
Jed Bartlet: Yes it does. Leviticus!
Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
Jed Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I wanted to sell my youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown Sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be?
(Bartlet only waits a second for a response, then plunges on.)
Jed Bartlet: While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGary, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to call the police?
(Bartlet barely pauses to take a breath.)
Jed Bartlet: Here’s one that’s really important, because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?


Sam said...

I love that bit of the West Wing - I think that I even mentioned it on my blog a few weeks ago.

As a Christian, I think that while we should take the Bible as the word of God, I do not believe that we should take it literally, but rather we should reinterpret it for todays living while not forgetting that the Bible was written in a vastly different era.

shane said...

The notion of whether something is bothering God is a matter of personal belief and religious interpretation. Different religions and individuals may have varying perspectives on this, ranging from the idea that God is all-knowing and benevolent to beliefs that attribute human actions to divine concerns or indifference. Ultimately, it is a theological question with diverse interpretations.
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