Archive for August, 2013

Icon for Wikimedia project´s LGBT portal (Port...

Icon for Wikimedia project´s LGBT portal (Portal:LGBT). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Uganda this week comes the terrible story of Jeniffer, an activist who was beaten and left for dead. So the Daily Extra story tells (clicky). I wish I could just scoop them all up, all of them and bring them here, to the UK to somewhere safer. But they continue to push forward for the freedom just to exist. As a Christian it is my moral duty to help where I can all those in need or those who are persecuted. For me that includes everyone, my Muslim brother, my gay sister, because, after all, we are all human beings. Please support them if you can financially or with your prayers. (clicky)

I just cannot understand why people cannot let others  just live their lives in peace. Bizarre.

Anyway, over to Russia where the pressure is increasing, they are even getting to the point they will be submitting LGBT people to ex-gay therapy, something that has been tried massively in the UK/US and other countries. RUSSIA WE HAVE TRIED IT, IT DOES NOT WORK. Stop persecuting your citizens and instead of destroying, why not build up.

Oddly, the Russian anti-gay movement is NOT founded out of any sort of religious background. But simply out of prejudice. Their reasons do remain a mystery for me as the country was originally communist, with the core value that all people are equal. Much like the US constitution. Please like the Russian LGBT network Facebook page. (clicky)

I just hope one of our governments can help change things for all the LGBT people in the world. But meanwhile, I will be doing what I can. We cannot sit by and watch others suffer in this way.

 

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Chapel of the Martyrs of Nepi in Katowice Pane...

Chapel of the Martyrs of Nepi in Katowice Panewniki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Archbishop Williams has really changed his tune.

After spending years going on about how we are destroying the sanctity of marriage he has suddenly noticed what has really been going on behind the scenes. That his, and others in the Church of England who are up in the upper echelons of the Anglican Church have simply been “persecuting” gay people. He said that Christians had been made “mildly uncomfortable” and that this, was not in fact persecution.

I actually agree with him on this. But there may be another motivation for his changing of tune. As two gay millionaires who are busy preparing to sue the Church of England where they have attended for years to allow them to marry in church, perhaps money has something to do with this change….perhaps other clergy will follow, thinking about their pensions!

So what is persecution? Well, persecution is defined by dictionary.com (so it must be right?!)

per·se·cu·tion
 [pur-si-kyoo-shuhn] the act of persecuting.
2. the state of being persecuted.
3. a program or campaign to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate a people because
 of their religion, race, or beliefs: the persecutions of Christians by the Romans.

Hold on a second, isn’t this exactly what everyone from the religious to the scientific has been doing to LGBT people for years,  not for beliefs but for their state of being. The persecution of Christians by Romans for instance included throwing them to lions, using them as human candles.

So Christians who think they are being persecuted by LGBT people just wanting to live their lives in a dignified and honest way, guess what, you are not being persecuted, you are being made to feel mildly uncomfortable, which, perhaps is a good thing.

Before ofcourse, you come out with “oh the Bible says”, well the Bible says a lot of things Christians choose to ignore, for instance, Women should be silent in church, (New Testament), If a man marries a virgin and finds out she is not a virgin she shall be put to death, if you check the Bible it is all there, but I find in most churches women are far from silent. The truth is, some Christians have a pick and choose mentality which involves taking the verses they like and obeying them with gusto, whilst condemning others who are unable to keep the Law, which they do not keep themselves. (For instance, how many women have you seen massacred on their wedding day by Christians?).

What these people forget is that we are saved by Grace not by works, so no one can boast, that the laws are fulfilled by Christ, he described the whole of the Law and prophets summed up by, “Loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and “loving your neighbour as yourself”. The frightening thing about the Gospel, is that at is heart is the message that Christ has paid the price for our sin and made us right with God, setting us FREE from the law. But the truth is, most people cannot handle that freedom and quickly bind themselves up in chains again.

So the question, in fact, is not about, who is right or wrong, but if we as Christians are being loving to our neighbour who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender but constantly putting them down and saying they are not good enough to have a life partner.  That, is not Christian.

Here in the UK my friends we are not persecuted for our faith, we are mildly uncomfortable sometimes, LGBT people are however bullied to death here but it is rare, it is much more common in the USA and my dear friends in Uganda can tell you some horror stories no better than the regime of Hitler in the second world war.

Instead of constantly having a go at LGBT people, should not people of faith, supposed to be people of Love, be outlawing and protesting against oppression? Yes, especially in places like Russia and Uganda, where surviving every day is nearly impossible for gay people.

The truth is bigotry comes from the need to be right and it’s outworking is rarely nice.

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. NB – slightly cut down – for full size see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have got the most wonderful friends. Some of whom, I guess, find me difficult to deal with at times, although they never say anything about it.

You know, some of my friends are always putting themselves down, I know why, because I’ve been there, self talking, is as bad at times as others being cruel. If you tell someone they are useless for long enough, they will agree and long after you are gone, their uselessness will become part of them. The old adage “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, is just, completely, rubbish.

My friends will tell you I have a rule, I call it rule 468 paragraph 4 (just for fun), “Thou shalt not put thyself down”. Whenever I or one of my friends or family go to put themselves down I quote my rule. Because, I think, in the same way that words have sometimes destroyed lovely genuine people (you know who you are), words can turn things around.

Look, I might not know you, but I know about you, yes, I do, I know that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, God himself wants you as his child, do you know how much that cost?, it cost, himself.

So perhaps it’s time we employ the rule, “Thou shalt not put thyself down”, because, I realised that when I was putting myself down, I put others down as well. You cannot love others if you do not love yourself. I’m not talking about a huge ego trip, I’m talking about feeling happy about yourself and knowing that the people that put you down, frankly, are only putting themselves down and reflecting their own insecurities.

The journey out of depression starts by seeing a light of joy at the end of a very dark tunnel. This is often the tunnel where self talk has chained us down.

You’re great, you really are. Anyone tells you anything different, let me tell you something, they don’t know you, there is only one person who truly knows you and he said how great you are. “While we were still God’s enemy, Christ died for us”.

So lovely, valuable, precious readers, let’s change the programme and make this world a happier, better, place.