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Signal Boost

taste_is_sweet reports that there has been a brouhaha because Indiana have apparently enacted a law which allows businesses to refuse to serve anyone whose existence they deemed contrary to their religious beliefs. Such as LGBT individuals and couples.

I only know what she has told me. But apparently, a pizzeria said they would (hypothetically and theoretically) refuse to cater for a gay wedding, got into a lot of trouble with the resulting media storm and were forced to close. So a GoFundMe campaign was lauched on their behalf, poor beleaguered, discriminated-against Christians that they are; and Right Wing Conservatives and so-called Christians went a bit crazy (don't read the comments unless you feel like despairing for the future of humanity and/or spitting tacks).

So responding to hatred with love - wait a minute, isn't that what CHRISTIANS are supposed to do?! - #Pizza4Equality was set up to see if an equivalent $800k US could be raised for projects/charities supporting LGBT individuals and causes.

And at Diverse Reader there is a book giveaway for anyone donating $5USD or more to an LGBT charity of your choice. Since pretty much my entire f'list consists of people who read and/or write m/m romances and/or erotica, I figured there might be some interest/support.

I am currently in debt for my supermarket bill because I am waiting for the Winter Quarter gas and electricity bill to arrive any day now and until it does, I don't know if I'll have 50p to spare before my next benefits pay-day. So I cannot donate by the 29th April deadline. (There does not seem a lot of point in giving $5 to charity on my creditcard and then paying interest on the creditcard.) You may be in similar positions. But I am signal boosting, because this post is one thing I can do.

I am not LGBT. But nor am I "straight". The fact that asexuals also face issues/discrimination was brought home to me, again, this week, when (as has happened with me) someone on my f'list discovered that identifying as asexual to a health care provider/therapist/doctor, can create more problems than it solves, including the ever-wonderful question, "How can you be sure you don't want sex if you have not had a healthy sexual relationship?" (To which I answer, "Do you have a PhD and a BPS charter in asking stupid fricking questions?") Seriously, if you are going to say something about asexuality, rephrase it into being about homosexuality or a kink and see if you still think it's an okay thing to ask.

So I might not be gay and I might be Christian, but that does not mean I am anti-LGBT. Being a Christian means, as far as I'm concerned, being pro-PEOPLE and anti-hatred and discrimination. Jesus befriended outsiders (eating and drinking with tax-collectors (who were collaborating with the invading power of Rome) and prostitutes and sinners) and decried hypocrits who were either holier than thou or who thought that they were in some way "better" than anyone else. The point is that we are all sinners - and newsflash! God loves us anyway. So we should try to be like God and *love*. The rain falls and the sun shines on the just and the unjust alike.

ETA - It should not need saying, but unfortunately it does and I did not make it clear: I do not personally think that being homosexual, bisexual or trans*, or non-binary, or poly-amourous or anything you happen to be is a sin. I think what you *do* with your being is only sinful in so far as it is incompatible with love and compassion. And even then I am glad that some people feel able to respond to terrorism and acts of war with *other* than just love, or all the power on earth would belong to those who are willing to blow people up for their "God". With God's help, I will not make one move to prevent anyone shooting me, but I hope He will also help me act to stop the shooting of someone else.

But even if your interpretation of Scripture is that non-marital sex and/or non-heteronormative desires are in some manner sinful, I still don't get why you would respond with anything but love.

So when I see Christians preaching hatred, it really upsets me. How can they say they follow the Rabbi who commanded, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," and, "if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn and offer him the left" (in 1st century Israel, to strike someone on the right cheek either meant striking them with the back of your right hand, or with your left hand, both of which added insult to injury)? We are commanded to return GOOD for evil, not to preach hatred and exclusion. We fall short of God's perfection, of course we do... but how can anyone turn the Good News into a Gospel of Hatred?

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
taste_is_sweet
Apr. 19th, 2015 09:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for spreading this on. And that was a lovely post to go with it.

Too right--God is about love.
natsuko1978
Apr. 19th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
Drafting God in to explain your prejudice, your hatred and your fear seems like the ultimate moral cowardiceness. "Well, I would be okay with it, since, really, what adult, consenting individuals do together has nothing to do with me - but GOD says it's bad!"

Just... I can get not believing in God. I can even get people thinking all religion is evil.

I cannot get people who have read the Gospels, somehow thinking that hatred and violence and bigotry are in some way "Christian". In fact I am sometimes loath to claim my Faith for fear of people thinking that it means, what so many people seem to think it means. (Also, I don't want to push it down anyone else's throat.) But sometimes, I feel that I have to stand up and make the point that bigots are bigots, regardless of religion.

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

"Love your neighbour as yourself." "Love one another even as I have loved you."

"Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

Am I reading a different Bible?! Sorry. Just... I am SO confused. So very confused. Not surprised, unfortunately, but confused.
golden_bastet
Apr. 20th, 2015 05:33 am (UTC)
Not an expert on this, but I have heard of different sects having different versions of God. I grew up with God as merciful (New Testament version), but there is a whole Wrathful God contingent (Old Testament version - who also don't see judging others as a problem). I think these are the people who go on about hating anyone not exactly like them.

That said - the pizzeria did receive threats and I believe closed down at least temporarily because of them. I have a problem with that happening because they expressed a hypothetical, rather than actually did something. They shouldn't be shut down just for saying something stupid (as extremely stupid and hateful as it was).
natsuko1978
Apr. 20th, 2015 12:12 pm (UTC)
I have read this and I do have a response, but I deleted it. Between the issues I mentioned in my previous post and the killer headache building work and paint fumes is giving me, I don't want to say anything wrong - either preaching, or possibly causing offense.

I cannot make my point. I am sorry. I should not have brought my own feelings into this. I know what I think, but I don't know how - and even *whether* - to say it. I should never have mentioned religion on this LJ.
halotolerant
Apr. 20th, 2015 09:34 am (UTC)
Great signal boost for an important charitable cause - thank you! Turning the reaction energy into getting people to make the world better is always a preferable idea to anyone persecuting anyone - threats just consolidate people into their positions, I think, so it's so good that this positive channel for responses has come too.
natsuko1978
Apr. 20th, 2015 11:19 am (UTC)
Thanks. Given the stuff in my last (f'locked) post, I wanted to post something more positive - but I'm also not sure I should have said anything more than just a post of the links.
halotolerant
Apr. 20th, 2015 02:47 pm (UTC)
It's not easy putting opinions out there, but personally I'm glad you did share your feelings and beliefs too. When I encounter people who have a faith, who can use that faith to argue for tolerance and love, I have hope for humanity.
moonlightmead
Apr. 20th, 2015 11:46 am (UTC)
signal boosting, because this post is one thing I can do
And I'm glad you did. Getting the word out is a good thing. I knew about the law, and I knew about the pizzeria, and I knew about the fundraising; but I did not know about #pizza4equality - so thank you!

I think awareness of asexuality is a very very new thing. I've hung around LGBT circles for years, and even there, I do think it's something that is new. It makes complete sense, and I have friends for whom 'aha, all is explained' now. If it's new in circles familiar with multiple takes on sexuality, it's certainly going to be new outside them, where people have not been forced to think about sexuality beyond 'well, it's obvious, innit'. But it will come. It is well on the way for other groups, and I think as awareness of diversity increases, each new idea becomes less difficult to process.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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