Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.
“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”
While I usually post this type of stuff to my other blog, thomascwaters.com, I thought this was really appropriate here. Â Focus on the Family bases its message on christian values and the Bible. How easy it is (or is it?) to lose track of one’s original message and go off on some side path, that seems connected but maybe doesn’t have the same value in the end?
If Christians want to uphold the Family and strengthen Family Values, they can do that by focusing on families, not by trying to keep others from having rights.
When groups like “Focus” take the focus away from the family, everyone loses out. The real issues that are destroying the family become lost in the shuffle as the attention s turned towards other things. The problems facing our society Â and the traditional family unit will not change if same sex couples can get married, or if GLBT people have equal rights.
I’m all for strengthening families, including traditional families, and if people find the power for that in the Bible, that is fine by me. I’m even OK, of traditional family types do not want to accept that “Family” can mean different things to different people. But, as long as there are reports of sexual abuse in heterosexual households, and drugs and violence, and physical abuse, and a lack of good communication and love, then you folks have enough to worry about. You don’t need to turn your focus to gay people.
Even atheists should care about the Bible. Â Care about does not mean believe in or support or follow, but to ignore how influential it is in today’s culture is a bit like sticking your head in the sand.
Queer Look at the Bible was originally (and will return to be) a podcast I began back in 2006. Â For a variety of reasons, I stopped adding episodes, and it has sat, dormant since then. Â This isn’t confession, and I have no need to sort out all of the reasons, but one of them, was that by the time I started to produce the podcast, my own personal beliefs had changed dramatically. Â Perhaps one of these days, I will write more about my own beliefs, but for this post, suffice to say I think there are three types of people who ought to follow my blog and podcast.
GLBT people who are Christians and for whom the Bible holds meaning. Â Maybe those who already feel somewhat liberated from more conservative fundamentalist readings, but also for those who are still stuck hiding within their churches and struggle with their sexuality and their beliefs.
Open-minded Christians and people who are willing to think outside-the-box and consider different perspectives.
Atheists and other non-believers who do care about the world in which we live, and for lack of a better descriptor- our culture.Â
So how about that last broad group- atheists and non-believers. Â For me, this includes people who don’tÂ necessarilyÂ not believe, but aren’t practicing believers; people who aren’t sure they want to believe, but are afraid to admit that they don’t for fear of what might happen; people for whom it isn’t an issue of “believe in” who realize that being aÂ religiousÂ person is about action not thought or feeling; as well as those who are sure there is o such thing as God- the true atheist.
No matter where you fall in the spectrum, you have to admit that the Bible affects everyone and everything. Â Attitudes based within it affect the laws and government. Â Consider the backlash to gay marriage. Â The very notion that marriage is fundamentally about one man and one women… Or howÂ prevalentÂ prayer is… Â We even have a vice presidential candidate that believes creationism should be taught as science.
No matter if the book or the belief system has personal meaning for it, it shapes much of our world, our government, and the establishments that make up our lives and our culture. Â So how do we combat that without taking it (The Bible) away from those who have faith in it? Â For they deserve to believe as they wish. Â The world really is big enough for everyone’s perspective. The way we maintain a balance and let the believers and the not believers exist in peace is to broaden the discussion. Â To be able to answer and counter oppressive viewpoints by offering other ideas. Â By bringing light and reason to the mix.
What the Bible has to say- how to understand it, and what it may or may not mean is a topic for everyone if we are going to move our world, our lives and our culture forward instead of backwards into the dark ages.