Jesus wasn’t a homophobe so why are you?

Aside


Last November, Paul Davies, decided to get baptised as a public declaration of his commitment to God. For months before that, Paul wrestled with the desire to become a Christian and part of Church, against his strong beliefs that homosexuality is not a choice, but is natural. He wrote the following article for a special issue of ‘Quench’ on LGBT+ about the way the in which some Churches have treated LGBT+.

Christianity has for a long time been one of the most prominent anti-gay institutions. As a Christian, I find this deeply upsetting. Homophobia goes against my faith which teaches me that God loves everyone. In fact, if you’re going to take one single message from the Bible, it should be a message of love. Jesus didn’t condemn anyone, except religious leaders, so the Church has no place doing it either. Despite my feeling on this, I’m well aware that I’m in the minority. The majority of Christians still condemn homosexuality.

I’m thankful to admit that this is starting to change. I was inspired to write this article when I heard about a group of Christians who attended a gay pride march in Chicago. I know what you’re thinking. A group of not just Christians, but American Christians, at a gay pride march sounds like a recipe for disaster. I’m glad to say that it wasn’t. The group were holding up banners apologising for the way the church had treated homosexuals. Their apology sparked a fantastic response from the marchers. There were tears, waving and even one dancer left the march to hug the Christians.

For me, the image is heart warming. There’s a lot of media attention for Christians who condemn homosexuality. Such as the crazy Westbro Baptist Church who claim that ‘God hates Fags’. (By the way, don’t be too offended by the Westbro nut jobs, apparently god also hates Sweden as well, because of the ‘Satanic IKEA’.)

It’s rare to see such a powerful display of acceptance from Christians. This is partly because anti-gay Christians are a lot more vocal, and partly because the media would rather report on condemnation than acceptance. In the summer some of the people in my church went to a gay bar because they had karaoke. The staff were shocked that Christians would want to go there but we hadn’t given it a second thought. The crazies are much few and far between but we’re all quite likely to have heard about their shameful campaigns.

The truth is that there are many Christians, particularly the young future leaders of the church, who find the idea of condemning homosexuals repulsive and morally wrong. Many see that the homosexuality of the Bible and of today is completely different.  In the Bible when homosexuality is mentioned it is in the context of rape or extra marital affairs. This is a historical difference in culture and language which has tainted Christianity over the years. The word homosexuality didn’t exist when the Bible was written, so the relations referred to are not the same as we would understand homosexuality now. Christians need to accept and understand this, like they have over issues such as slavery.

The future’s bright for acceptance within the church. We’re starting to see the cobwebs being brushed off. The more modern, independent Churches are already changing the religious Christianity, not the message, but the man-crafted ideology that has corrupted the real message of Christ. The old institutions are going to either change, or die along with their congregation.

There is so much more to say on this issue, this really is just a brief article about this topic, especially with the recent prevalence of the gay marriage debate. Please feel free to express your views on this post in the comments box below but do so with respect.

The people behind the illness


ME and fibromyalgia doesn’t mean gradually getting more tired and in pain throughout the day or having occasional days but it means pushing through the exhaustion and pain several times a day. I have to find something in myself to push through and get out bed, to answer the phone, to get to lectures. It means constantly making compromises and never being a good girlfriend, sister or daughter because you always end up not calling someone on their birthday or missing the party, not getting someone a card, never replying to the text or phone call, missing the presentation. Constantly, constantly, constantly apologising and canceling. Having a chonic illness means you’ll never be a woman of your word but always unreliable. You’re always trying to make the decision between being the person who never accepts an invitation or being the person who never turns up. I am so lucky to have a partner who loves me despite the birthday cards and parties he never got. I’m lucky enough to have a sister who loves me despite never getting to be the one who takes the lift instead of the train. A best friend who continues to be just that despite all the unanswered texts, emails, letters, calls, despite my absence when she needs me and despite my never having visited her once, although she travels hours to visit me. I am lucky enough to have parents who will look after me like a toddler when what they really need is for me to be strong for them.

Thank you.

St. Dwynwen’s Day


You probably have never heard of St. Dwynwen, she is Wales’ patron saint of love. Dydd Santes Dwywen (St. Dwynwen’s day) is celebrated on the 25th of January. Like Valentine’s day, cards and gifts are given by people to their loves.

St. Dwynwen’s story is mainly known through folktales and Celtic stories. People did not write her story down because it was thought to be a virtue to pass the tale through word of mouth- isn’t that romantic?  You can read four different versions of Dynwen’s story on Wikipedia (link below), but the essence of her story is that she wasn’t able to marry the man she loved. She begged an angel to thaw her love because it hurt so much; Mealon (her lover) was frozen in a block of ice by the angel. But God gave her three wishes, she asked for to unfreeze Maelon and for him to be happy, and, lastly, that she would never marry. All three were granted. Dynwen became a nun and left her island (Anglesey) to devote her life to helping others through love and sadness.

Celebrating St. Dwynwen’s day has risen in popularity lately, even Tesco have started printing welsh cards for the day! You don’t have to wait until Valentine’s day to spread the love, tell someone you love them today.

You can even learn to say it in welsh: Dw i’n caru ti, or download a card to give them from here:

http://www.visitwales.co.uk/upload/pdf/dydd_santes_dwynwen.pdf

Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Dwynwen