Christianity and Pride Week

Upon seeing a religious sign posted next to an official Pride week sign, I wrote the following letter to the editor of the local newspaper:

Take the time to connect

On my way home from work, I drove past a sign on Paris Road advertising [my city’s] Gay Pride events. I noticed a cardboard sign beside it mentioning the Christian notion of Jesus’ second coming, clearly placed there by someone who feels that different sexual orientations are a problem. I remind Christians that Jesus taught about love with an open heart. He did not preach the passive-aggressiveness that was displayed on this sign.

If you are Christian and feel that other sexual orientations are an issue, why not do as Jesus did and connect with those seen as troubled?

Speak to Pride revellers with an open heart and take the time to understand their situation. If they are lost in selfishness (aka sin) in their practices, then by all means express your concerns.

Chances are though, if you take the time to come to know their situation and the same human love they share, you will instead be afforded a wonderful opportunity to connect with your fellow brothers and sisters in humanity in a way that I’d bet Jesus would look kindly upon should he return.

It was published in the newspaper as well as online.  There was an opposing comment posted online that I think is worthy of sharing:

“You should read the Bible if you’re going to preach it. Mathew 10:34; ‘do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.'”

And my reply:

I’ve read it. I’ve blogged about it. I’ve seen the wide variance in understandings different people derive from it. When it comes down to it, Jesus’ focus is on bringing connection within and uplifting humanity. He does call out the hypocritical religious leaders quite strongly in Matthew 23, and I would suspect that is more where the sword comes into play. The only time Jesus acted out in the Bible was in the Temple with the money changers, which also falls in line with this idea.

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9 Responses to Christianity and Pride Week

  1. Soduhson says:

    Your point about differing interpretations is disingenuous.

    Differences between denominations are greatly exaggerated. As far as ethical teachings are concerned, most traditional/conservative Christians are on the same page. Denominational differences are generally based on ecclesiastical and theological issues, not moral or ethical ones.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Christians who seek to ban things that connect with sinful practices rather than connect with those involved in such practices to help show them the trouble in their ways is not a minor detail. I would argue that it’s a key point in the growing disconnect of religion as a whole.

      • Soduhson says:

        I never said it was minor, just that it’s one of many dimensions that cannot be overlooked. You said that “Christians see Matthew 23 differently” is a disingenuous statement. This is a common deflection used by skeptics and more liberal believers. I’ll give you credit in defining your interpretation, albeit briefly. Most of them will say “people interpret it differently” and move on.

        “I would argue that it’s a key point in the growing disconnect of religion as a whole.”

        Agreed, and that’s even coming from a “Bible-centered” view point.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        The comment about the different views was directed at the Bible in general, not Matthew 23. I’m not really too aware of other interpretations of Matthew 23 offhand, it seems pretty clear in context with Jesus’ actions. Without context I can see how it could be used to justify an outwardly judgmental attitude.

  2. Soduhson says:

    Also, we’ve had this discussion before, Jesus absolutely wants us to connect with our fellow man, and believers have definitely abdicated this responsibility. However he also, first and foremost, wants us to connect with God himself. This is the significance of the ethical teachings which require restraint and self denial despite “not affecting anyone but ourselves” (ie: sexual sins). Don’t impose your struggle to believe in God onto Jesus.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Considering the tendency of many Christians to push science, knowledge, and understanding to the side, there is much hypocrisy in the idea that Christians are any better equipped to connect with God Himself compared to the rest of the population. Also, please don’t equate a struggle to accept the religious status quo to a struggle to believe in God. I actually make an effort to connect with the greater workings of the universe that humanity is gaining understanding in, and I am aware that it is only a small part of an even greater system, one that religions refer to through use of deities.

      • Soduhson says:

        Christianity isn’t simply about seeking knowledge. As far as questions about the universe and the metaphysical composition of God himself, the Bible is largely quiet. Even the most literalist (Ken Hamm-esque) Christian admits that the Bible isn’t intended to be a history book. There is meaning that goes beyond “did this actually happen this way”, which is “what does this have to do with me?” Also, pushing aside knowledge is by no means monopolized by Christians (or even religious people for that matter). There is in fighting and conformation bias within scientific disciplines without religious influence playing a role. Especially with “softer” sciences like Psychology.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        True enough, people in general do have a tendency to want to settle into their comfort zone in blissful ignorance rather than seeking further understanding, as learning further requires effort and risking being wrong can bruise egos.

  3. Strewth says:

    How the Bible speaks to each one of us is perhaps its main value, God’s individual message for each of us.

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