Thursday, March 26, 2015

One More Time.

I'm not sure when we'll figure this out, but I'm about ready to give up. I try not to repeat things over and over again here (at least not too often), but this business in Indiana just makes me sad. They've now got a law on the books allowing people to deny service for "religious reasons," which, in practicality, just means gay people. I'm sure it's already law in other places as well. It's just sad.

It used to make me mad. I used to get upset, frustrated. And I suppose, if I wanted to, I could work up that anger again. I'm just not sure what the point would be. The people I should be angry at are my own people; it's evangelical Christians spurring this sort of thing. It's not as though the general public looks at a law like this and goes, "Makes sense to me;" it's widely derided. People recognize the logical holes in an argument like this. They recognize the broad swaths of humanity who can now be legally and publicly discriminated against (what if my faith forbids tattoos or your clothes are too revealing for my moral liking).

It's an issue of people, my people, being afraid and confused and it makes me sad.

It's not about homosexuality or whatever your faith believes on such things. People think it's about that, but for Christians that's not a concern. We're called to love no matter what - to treat everyone as better than ourselves - to embrace and celebrate the humanity in everyone, no matter who they are, what they look like or what they do. Our call is to love people even when they hurt us or kill us or do us harm. The Christian call is one of suffering.

This sort of thing is the exact opposite of what we're called to do. It's a shame and an embarrassment and a violation of the name of Christ. Plain and simple.

Lots of organizations who use Indianapolis for conventions are talking about changing venues. Indy's a pretty popular spot for big conventions. They do it well. One part of me wishes my own denomination would make such a statement (although we're so hopelessly intertwined with Republican politics and self-righteous legalism, we're likely to celebrate this kind of thing). But I'm not sure a boycott would be any better than the law itself. It's the same response - shunning someone you disagree with.

It would be great for someone like The Church of the Nazarene, a conservative evangelical denomination, with a very traditional stance on marriage and sex, to denounce this law, express regret, and urge more compassion from the lawmakers in Indiana. Then hold the event anyway, because boycotts just aren't the way of Christ.

But, when measured against reality, that notion seems even sillier and more far-fetched than a law like this getting passed in the first place. I could never see it happening.

We care too much about reputation and power and influence and money.

There's no one right way to be human - it's a lesson the evangelical community has a hard time learning. There are certainly a lot of wrong ways to be human, though - and we're real good about picking those out everywhere but in the mirror.

This stinks. I'm sad.

Do better.

1 comment:

Bryan Sampson said...

I agree with you Ryan. I would rather be right with Jesus than on the far right of the political and religious spectrum I currently engage.
Bryan Sampson