Religion blog: Defiantly Inclusive The GA Voice Editors July 2, 2010 Faith Let us not forget the murder which took place in Piedmont Park. One could have set their watch by how long it took to be pointed out he was there cruising for sex. Then of course we have the unsolved murder of Precious Armani, who in many accounts was described as a “cross-dresser” for hire. Now most recently we have the young man from Savannah hit so hard as to have his brain bruised by one of two US Marines because he may have winked at them? Straight men better hope and pray women around the world don’t remember this story the next time they wink at the object of their desire! Again, one could have set their watch by how long it took to publish stories that, well, maybe he did do something to deserve to be damn near killed. Could someone please explain to me what an incident of “road rage” and an alleged racial slur have to do with an alleged wink, or squint that results in being knocked out cold in the middle of the street? No, if the racial slur happened it is not cool…but damn people it is not even remotely connected to this “big tough Marine” having his manhood allegedly offended and his hysterical response. For those who want to know more about this story, the police report has now been published and if it weren’t such a serious matter it would be “Saturday Night Live” funny. The police officer found the two tough US Marines hiding in a vacant lot, saying they were waiting for a friend and had just been trying to get away from a homosexual who was harassing them. These two are trained to fight and kill terrorists…damn what power we little old homosexuals have! Finally, while not as violent physically it certainly was violent emotionally. I got an e-mail the other day at the office “demanding” I justify my position regarding homosexuality. Saying they were not trying to be argumentative but were trying to understand. Now mind you I do not know this person or ever had any contact with them until they jumped into my playground… Well, I fell into the trap and spent 3 or 4 hours writing a response, which clearly stated where I was coming from, how our church operated and what we saw as the main work of the church to be. Here is the response: “YES AND YOU STILL ARE TWISTING SCRIPTURE! G-D CONDEMNS SEXUALLY IMMORALS! JAMES EVE STATES: 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. [HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE, THE MOST ACCURATE IF YOU ARE SERIOUS OF ABOUT G-D'S WORD]. YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE! YOU MAY BE GENTLE BUT YOU ARE A HYPOCRITE! HEED THE WORDS OF THE MASTER HIMSELF IN MATTHEW 19: 4″Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” HE MAKES A DIRECT QUOTE FROM TORAH GENESIS 2: 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. AS I HAVE SAID I WAS RAISED JEWISH, I WAS ORTHODOX, I KNOW WHAT THE HEBREW SAYS, I ALSO STUDIED BIBLICAL GREEK AND YOU TWIST THE WORDS! THE ONLY RESPONSE I HAVE TO GIVE YOU IS THIS: 7 The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. 8 But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur,which is the second death.” (ALL QUOTATIONS ARE FROM THE HOLMAN CHRISTIAN STANDARD BIBLE, THE MOST ACCURATE BIBLE ONE CAN GET)! YOU WILL DIE THE SECOND DEATH, LIVE WITH IT! YOU AND YOU DISGUSTING COCK SUCKING HUSBAND WILL BE IN ETERNAL HELL FIRE! YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS TO EITHER TURN OR BURN! REMEMBER THIS IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE LATE SIXTIES THAT LIBERAL LUKEWARMERS LIKE YOURSELF STARTED TO TWIST WHAT THE BIBLE ACTUALLY TEACHES! ALTHOUGH I AM NOT FOR THE NIV TRANSLATION (IT IS AS BAD AS THE MESSAGE), I WILL SUGGEST THAT YOU PURCHASE FOR YOURSELF THE ZONDERVAN NIV ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE AS IT HAS WONDERFUL ARTICLES IN IT INCLUDING HOMOSEXUALITY IN PAUL’S TIME AND IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, IF THIS DOES NOT SET YOU STRAIGHT IN YOU FALSE DOCTRINE, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL! YOU ARE A WALKING CURSE AS YOU PREACH FALSE DOCTRINES AND A FALSE GOSPEL! EITHER TURN OR BURN, THOSE ARE YOUR ONLY OPTIONS!” Yup, that is a response from a “concerned Christian” who felt they had the right not to just shout in this email but to scream at me, (like right in my face kind of thing) and threaten me with eternal death, not to mention set it up so if some wacko shoots me I deserve it. I got to tell you it feels a whole lot like what happens to women at rape trials or in domestic violence situations. Well, if she hadn’t been where she was…if she hadn’t been wearing what she was wearing…well if she had not drank so much as to be inviting. Of course usually by the time the defense attorney was done with the cross examination, one would think she had invited the rape or the beating because the victim was of not good character. The sad truth of this is in our enlighten world is we know and acknowledge the act of rape or abuse is not about sex, but rather is a violent act of power and control. There has been in our society a prevailing thought that says men are powerful and women are to be controlled, therefore they bear the responsibility for what happens to them. They should know how to conduct themselves so as to not put them in danger. Therefore, women should not smoke, drink, go out to clubs or dress in ways which are inviting or tempting for the male to lose control. Women are responsible for maintaining a “high moral standard.” We know this phenomenon as “sexism”. Well, a dear college of mine coined a phrase years ago, which explains why those in our community who are victims of violence are so often discredited. Suzanne Pharr wrote a book about the subject entitled, “Homophobia, the Weapon of Sexism.” This book was written in 1988 and while there has been progress it still rings true. Our community is truly caught in this trap of sexism. At the bottom of this snake pit of homophobia and sexism is the church…everything from blaming original sin on Eve and Old Testament teachings saying men should not behave like women to denominations saying women much less homosexuals have no place in the church or pulpits. Yes, I know it is not every church and yes I know there are plenty of church’s fighting this crap. Yet, I got to tell you, it is not enough and they are not loud enough. People are dying, being killed, committing suicide, falling into drug use and losing families over this crap not just once a week but every day. Yes, every day! A pastor that I find myself working with often in the community who disagrees with me on almost every point concerning homosexuality said: “All that said, those who engaged in homosexual behavior are people—who need love and forgiveness, and who need to understand the love of God. It is hard to engage in cultural battle and still have people feel that you love and accept them. Ugly rhetoric, inappropriate jokes, ridicule and violence of any kind should be off limits. And most importantly, we need to do a better job in our own marriages so we don’t lose the moral authority to talk about these issues. We obviously have a lot of work to do.” No sir, with my brothers and sisters dead in the streets and parks, beat up and abused, fired from their jobs, told to not ask and not tell, our gathering places raided by the police on the smallest complaint around neighborhood values, where people feel they are justified in sending emails like the aforementioned, where the church feels it can stop me from being married, passing on property, visiting my husband in the hospital, and having the right to raise a family — and with heterosexual marriage experiencing a 50-60 percent divorce rate…you have already lost your “moral authority.” It is time for a new team to step up and be heard. It is time for the inclusive, affirming and progressive community like Moses, like Gandhi and like Jesus to stand up to the arrogance of religious authority. Such arrogance presumes to know what is best for others, indeed, even to know what God thinks. Ultimately, such arrogance assumes that some should be excluded from the human community. The response of Moses, Gandhi and Jesus was a defiant reaching out in order to include the excluded. So my friends, how defiantly inclusive will you be today? Rev. Paul M. Turner is the Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta. For more information, please visit www.gentlespirit.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org SHARE ON Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website − 2 = five Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.