Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Love Love


So I love love this promo! I've watched it at least ten times, and I am dying to see more than just flashes of the M.A.C. shoot (the top hat! OMG!) and Johnny's ITNY performance of "Heartbroken," which could not be more aptly named.

But actually that's not what really caught my eye here.

I am newly awakened this year to the fight for rights in the LGBT community (please, everyone on the planet, accept my truly humble apologies for all previous cluelessness on my part) and so I didn't fully grasp that this is Gay Pride month--even with all our AIDS/LifeCycle stuff going on (HELLO)--until I saw Sundance's wonderful "Love Love" logo attached to "Gay Pride Month" on this promo.

[-facepalm-]

And it's that "Love love" that really hit me.

In a way you might not expect, but which I hope will make perfect sense by the time you get to the end of this entry.

So Sundance's Love Love theme helped me realize that this is the perfect time to delve into something that many readers have asked me, which is:

How do you reconcile being a Christian with supporting LGBT rights, when there are all those verses in the Bible that condemn homosexuality?

That's a huge topic that will take more than one post to cover, but because I'm a cut-to-the-chase kind of person, I want to hit the most important point first/here/now. So that if you never read anything else I ever write about this, I'll know that at least I shared the deepest part of my heart, my deepest understanding of this subject, with you.

First, some gentle disclaimers: I'm not a theologian, and I don't hold any advanced degrees beyond my trusty B.A. in English. I have, however, done extensive research into this in the last several months, and have read everything I could find from actual theologians and divinity-degree holders and also just regular people. All I can offer is my own answer to the question, based on what I've learned, my life experiences, and the little that I've managed to figure out about life thus far.

Also: Please know that pretty much my whole life and my whole understanding of that life comes from this place: I believe that He's God and I'm not. And I'm OK with that.

So here's what I want to share:

*That I think we're asking the wrong question, or asking it based on centuries-old mistranslations and misinterpretations of certain Bible verses. Which is a post for another day. But here's a teaser: Sodom and Gomorrah were NOT destroyed because of the "sin of homosexuality," as is often claimed. (" 'Now this was the sin of ... Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and
needy.' "--Ezekiel 16:49.) [Warning: Political commentary ahead: Oh. So it's not that they were gay. They were Republicans.]

*That I've found it's vital to always be excruciatingly aware of how little I really know so that I'm always seeking answers with an open mind and an open heart. It's also vital to pay attention so that I don't miss the answers when they are given to me.

*That my children grasped the truth clearly and piercingly, and long before I did. (Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." -- Luke 18:16)

*That my cut-to-the-chase, Bible-based conclusion is:
Homosexuality is not a sin. Thus, as my children already knew (without the heavy reading), there is nothing to reconcile--no conflict between true Christianity and homosexuality.

*That the really important stuff is really simple.

There are sixty-six books in the Bible--more in some versions--nearly 1,200 chapters, 30,000+ verses, hundreds of rules about what to eat and what to wear and how long a woman's hair should be and even multiple tellings of the Creation story. And that's not even going into how many languages the Bible has been translated into--and how across languages, the nuances and connotations of just a single word can differ, and that for some of the words in the original languages, we don't have equivalents in any language.

I've spent much of my life being exhorted by conservative right-wing Christians to read the Bible, memorize it, and be able to quote it at length (by which I've come to realize that many of them smugly mean "bludgeon others with it"--you know, others who are different, who don't fit in with the long-established club).

I'm not very good at that.

And honestly, a lot of it is hard to understand. Some things are meant to be taken literally; some are not; and how do we know which is which? And I still have not made it all the way through Leviticus or Deuteronomy or several other books, though I have really, really tried.

And yet Jesus said that the truth is simple--so simple that children instinctively know it. As mine did.

When asked by a Pharisee--who was hoping to trip Him up on some fine point of law--to identify the greatest of the commandments, Jesus boiled down all that had been written, and all that would come to be written, to simply this:

      " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.
      "And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
      "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."--Matthew 22:37-40

That's it.

And if Jesus thinks that's really all that is important, then that's all I need to know. 

So if I seek to exclude my neighbor from the "club" (as if I or anyone else had the authority to do so, because this is another one of those "He's God and we're not" deals, although a lot of "club" members don't seem to get that) based on ugly prejudices rooted in willful ignorance, am I loving God? Am I loving my neighbor?

Of course not.

Love the Lord your God; love your neighbor as yourself.

That's all He asks of me, if I want to use my free will to follow Him.

If I want to call myself "Christian."

Love God; love others.

There it is.

As biblical as it could be.

Right there on the Sundance Channel.

Love love.


For more on this subject, please be sure to watch
the brilliant documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So,
airing this month on the Sundance Channel.
More information and scheduled show times
are available here.

PLEASE KEEP VOTING HERE for Johnny to win
the 2010 Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award
(voting ends July 15)!

Hey! Facebook fan Julie Findon has two
extra tickets to Skate for Hope this Saturday!
She wants to sell them and donate the proceeds
to our Ride for LIfe project!
More info is available here!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

5 comments:

WheresMyKoppy said...

Well said, MM. My degree is in anthropology, and that's one of those subjects some people have a hard time reconciling with religion. I never did. Unfortunately, one of the hardest things to get people to listen to where the Bible is concerned is the fact it has been translated, misquoted and it is so easy to read things into it that aren't necessarily meant to be interpreted that way. I've had some people practically accuse me of sacrilege because I've dared to point out that the Bible is NOT the world of God, but the word of God as written down by men and women. Since human being are fallible and they didn't have tape recorders, how do we know there wasn't a mistake somewhere, or an attempt to write things in a way that posited the writer's own viewpoint more than God's? Okay, I need to stop now...

Nico said...

Binks,

Thanks so much for your courage and your clarity. I've never been a religious person even though I've tried and tried ever since I was young. I always wanted to feel like I loved loved the places of worship, or that I loved loved what I understood to be the "rules" of a particular group. And that never happened for me. But what I've always been able to feel instead, 150%, is my LOVE LOVE for people. Especially anyone that might be shunned by those in a "club." Especially ANY club exhibiting behavior "based on ugly prejudices rooted in willful ignorance," as you so aptly describe.

So, I daresay you're right. Even as a wee girl I insitictively felt protective and proud of that impulse to love rather than hate.

And, to bring it all home, I love Johnny for his ability to respond with love when people treat him with those same ugly prejudices rooted in willful ignorance. He simply exudes an eloquent, patient, confident, uber-humorous LOVE LOVE for both himself and people at large that thrills me and makes me feel more hopeful about humanity than almost anyone else is able to inspire me to feel. And it doesn't hurt that he looks absolutely stunning in, well, anything and everything.

Love love to you!

bsontwit said...

i could go on forever about this topic so i wont start being i am on about 30 minutes of sleep today and dont know what would come out of my mouth, or fingers actually...completely agree btw

live and let others live
love and let others love
be yourself and let others be themselves

Mimi said...

As usual amazing and informative! I have always held the thought that you love who you love. I am a Catholic and have never had a conflict in my heart with what Jesus really stands for, LOVE and nothing less. All Gods Children, no asterisks for race, creed, social standing, sexuality, just LOVE! Now some may call me the "shopping cart Catholic" and that is fine, the only one i'm worried about being judged by is God, not anyone else...and it took me a long time to come to terms with that. We are so stuck in a society of judges, looks, money, fame, etc. that it is hard not to take it personally!

Take each day as a blessing. Love who you want to Love. Leave the judgements up to God!

Well done again Binky!!

Cassandra said...

As a fellow Christian, I'm with you. God calls us to love.

Thank you for speaking out.