Aug 15

When a sentence that starts with I’m not…(fill in the blank) and goes on with but… (insert justification), it is often an indication that you are the person you claim you are not.

“I’m not racist, but ”

“I’m not sexist, but”

“I’m not homophobic, but”

Here’s today’s real life example for you.

A man who has served as 17 years as the musical director inside a catholic church got the sack because he announced his engagement on Facebook.  His church held a “Town Hall Meeting for Listening and Respect” (whatever) so people had a chance to “voice emotions” about the decision.  The church authorities had known of his sexuality for sometime and appeared to have been OK with it.

That sends the message that as long as you don’t flaunt it they don’t mind.  If you then make a public declaration, you’re out.

Those that serve as ministers of the church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the church.

I do wonder about the churches’ teachings on forgiveness, and the notion that the church welcomes everyone.  But that is a discussion for another day.

But some supported the church’s decision, such as Frank Girjatowicz of Hoffman Estates.

“I am not against homosexuals,” he said. “But their style of life, according to human nature, is not acceptable.”

So, you’re not against homosexuals but it’s not acceptable?  So you are against homosexuals living their lives as they please, according to their nature?

In the upcoming TV show, Living With The Enemy, Michael and I go head-to-head with an Anglican Minister, David Ould.  I’d call him a fundamentalist, he’d probably prefer conservative.  David isn’t a homophobe or a bigot.  In an article written for News Corp:

Ould says he doesn’t hate gay people or wish to see homosexuality become illegal, but he doesn’t want gay people to be able to marry.

There was never any sign of David being anything other than welcoming of us into his family and his life for those five days.  I think that’s a really important point to make in the lead-up to this show.  The crux of the whole program was around marriage equality.

David also makes this statement in the article.

“You cannot underestimate the hurt some of these men and women feel. That’s one of the things I learnt,” Ould said.

I’m glad that he learned something during our time together.  The implied but part of the sentence would be something along the lines of “but, the bible says that homosexuality is wrong, and even though I know that some people are hurt by that, I’m going to continue to preach that it’s detestable.”

I made those words up, David hasn’t said that.  Just to be clear that I am putting my imagined words into his mouth!

He is able to recognise that there is hurt, the cause of some of that hurt is the words that are used as a justification to continue to marginalise gay people the world over.  David even said the words to our faces, in his church, in his ‘safe place’

“Do not have sexual relations with a man…that is detestable”

That’s in the NIV Bible.  Many of us much prefer the King James version.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

Abomination is so much more powerful than detestable.

When we track back why people are opposed to marriage equality, when you strip away all the silly reasons that are offered, you know, breakdown of traditional family unit, denying children the right to be brought up by both parents, and so on, the reason driving all of this is their religion.  The basis of that belief is the book of Leviticus, written by authors unknown for a bunch of people wandering around the desert looking for the promised land.  Or at least that’s what we are lead to believe.

I reject that outright.  The bible does not hold any truth for me at all.  It simply does not apply to my life.

David also says in the article:

it’s a role of the Church to make sure there’s “proper, mature debate” about gay marriage (which can only be changed by government legislation.)

“One of our roles is to say look we believe that God made the world and the lord Jesus Christ is king of all things and he actually knows best.”

The assumption that the church has a role ‘to make sure’ something happens in our society is quite frankly arrogant.   The church as it stands does not represent the majority of Australians, David’s brand of church certainly isn’t the majority and it lost its moral authority decades ago, about the time that the rest of society worked out that ministers are people just like everyone else, able to lie, steal, cheat and some of them abuse children.  David and his church can have a say in the affairs of the world and here’s the but, it’s not the role of the church to make sure of anything other than its own in-house standards.  Why?  Because there is no god that made everything, there is no king of all things and to suggest that some fictional character, Jesus, knows best is laughable.

Stop using the rules of your religion to tell me how to live my life.

That’s my quote.


2 Responses to “I’m not…but….”

  1. Andrew says:

    I like your quote best

  2. Rob CAVANAGH says:

    Very well argued Greg(ory)
    I totally agree; but, I think there is enough evidence that Jesus is a historical rather than fictional character. Never the less, to argue that Australian society in the 21st century should be ruled according to (and restricted by) any religion’s historical beliefs would indeed “laughable” if it were not having such significant consequences for sections of our community.
    Looking forward to LWTE

Leave a Reply


preload preload preload