Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And they will know we are Christians by our love

Once again, the man who is supposed to be the spiritual leader of my church has made me feel as if I need to apologize for being Catholic. The Pope has encouraged the English and Welsh Bishops to fight against an equal rights bill with "missionary zeal." Now, maybe it's because I was educated by tricksy, equivocating Jesuits, but I was taught that equal rights for all actually means equal rights for all, not just equal rights for heterosexuals. And so yes, I think the Pope, and my church, are wrong on this one.

Thankfully, my dark night of the soul was prevented by the words of British speculative fiction writer, Paul Cornell. Especially this bit: 

"I say there's no excuse for Christian homophobia. The New Testament references are tiny. There's nothing at all from Christ. But most importantly, he told us that when the book's wrong, you chuck the book and love."

Reading that, seeing the  #godlyforequality campaign Paul has started on twitter, where those of us who consider ourselves people of faith and who also believe in things like equal rights for everyone can speak, with a loud voice and an obvious show of support, that makes me proud.

I don't believe that the solution is to leave my Church in protest. It may be for some people, but I believe that my role is to stay inside it, and say, with missionary zeal, "This is wrong. This is not how God asked us to behave."

I believe that God is love. And while I have quoted this passage from Julian of Norwich before, she is one of my favorite theologians, and I think it's worth repeating right now: 

"'Know it well, love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love. What did he show? Love. Why did he show it? For love. Hold yourself in love, and you shall know more of the same. In time without end, you shall never know other than love.' Thus was I taught that love is our lord's meaning. And I saw with certainty in this and in all things that before God made us he loved us, which love has never decreased, nor never shall. And in this love, God has done all of his works, and in this love, God has made all things good for us. And in this love, our life is everlasting."

1 comment:

  1. That quote is beautiful. I come from a social group where religious people are often avoided because a lot of my friends are gay, lesbian or bi. In fact, my fiance left his church because he couldn't accept that one of his best friends was doing something so wrong he would go to hell by being in love with another man.

    I believe that if more people, religious or not, lived by that one simple rule Paul Cornell stated the world would be a better place.

    Even scientists and economists need to take note of that on occasion. Thanks for sharing!