John Shore has a great piece up on whether, as a Christian, he should go to his friends’ gay weddings. To tackle this question, he decided to ask the age-old question “WWJD?” and here’s what he found:
When I next went looking for anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says anything — and I mean anything — about homosexuality, I learned that Jesus spent about as much time talking about gays and/or lesbians as I spend talking about button collecting and/or sea horses: none. Of course, it’s entirely possible that Jesus did say crucial things about homosexuality, but that when he did (curse the luck!) no one around him just then happened to have handy an ostrich feather, sappy stick, or whatever it was they used for pens back then. Which would make sense, actually. If you’ve spent any time at all reading the New Testament, you know that Jesus’ disciples weren’t exactly Johnnies-on-the-spot. They were just normal, everyday guys.
Kind of the whole point! Jesus most surely did love him some everyday people.
Throughout the New Testament, the only kind of people with whom Jesus consistently took frightful exception were the very “teachers of the law and Pharisees” we see him dressing down in the passages above. One thing that often gets lost in our considerations of Jesus is the degree to which he is exactly the wrong person to piss off. And you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the New Testament before you understand that the only kind of people who seem to ever truly anger him are those who put religious dogma above what he most stood for, which was God’s compassionate will.
Around Jesus you can whine, lie, shift your loyalties, be late, be greedy, be too ambitious, be stupid, be a coward, be a hypochondriac, constantly complain, fall asleep at every wrong moment — you can do nothing right, and it won’t in the slightest way seem to offend him. But you put dogma ahead of empathy? You transmogrify God’s law into a justification for denying God’s grace?
Then … yikes, man. Then you’ve got yourself a problem no one wants.
Please do read the whole thing.
I’m not a religious believer, but I find it encouraging to read the words of a believer who actually seems to comprehend his chosen religion. That’s the most obnoxious thing about arguing with the Religious Right, actually: they’re essentially biblically illiterate! They simply pick whatever phrases confirm their biases and bigotries and repeat them ad nauseam. Or they pick phrases that have absolutely nada to do with their arguments and yet claim that they magically DO bolster their arguments! And then when they get shown up by atheists and agnostics in biblical knowledge (repeatedly), they hide behind that verse that says “Even the debbil kin quote scripcher” (possibly not an exact transcription of the KJV). Yeah, well, the Devil may be able to quote scripture, but the verse says nothing about the Devil understanding scripture better than you, so get a new argument.