I try desperately hard not to go on a rant, especially about religion.
Coming from Northern Ireland it wasn’t a great topic of conversation. But the stupidity, absurdness and outright hypocrisy of the bible-wielding fanatics that continue to tell us that God said this and God said that and Christian Values are this and that are really getting on my wick. The outrage heralded by some Christians about the decision for Ireland to adopt marriage-equality was only topped by more “outrage” when the Girl Scouts of America decided to allow transgenders to join. We are talking about a youth organisation and kids here. Not the apocalypse, but apparently that decision is a “slap in the face to Christian Parents”.
Really? Seriously, a slap in the face, really? So with your condemnation of Gays and Transgenders and your affirmation that they are breaking God’s laws you seem to be telling me that now you know what the mind of God is on this matter. Is that it? Well, I am intrigued how you know. Because unless he has shown up in person lately then all you have to go on is the Book. That big one that according to some of the more radical among your number is the absolute Word. It’s a big book. I remember it is split into two bits.
There is the older bit, with lots of shouting, gnashing of teeth, brimstone and hell-fire. It’s quite a weighty piece and there are quite a lot of rules and thou shalts and thou shalt nots. But I seem to remember that the ten most important rules by which to live by were written down. On tablets. Like iPads I guess but of the stone variety. Moses went up a hill to get them. I don’t recall anywhere on there it said anything about the LGBT community. I recall there were things about honoring God, honoring your Parents, not killing each other, not stealing stuff, not being jealous or envious and a few other things besides but not one thing about being mean to LGBT people. Nothing about treating them as second-class citizens… But then again there is a chance that once the rules had been written and both tablets were full there might have been an “Oh wait a minute” moment when it was realised they had missed one off. Now I imagine editing stone isn’t easy so perhaps it was just felt easier to leave it off. If that was the end of it I could see the argument for it. “Ah well, there would have been an 11th, but we ran out of room…”
But alas, that can’t be right can it? For when Moses got back down the hill he got really mad at what had been going on whilst he’d been away. He got cranky and dropped his tablets. Stone or no stone, they did what modern day tablets do when you drop them; they smashed into bits. Take two then.
Moses went back to the
Apple store, mountain and got new tablets. A chance to re-edit. Now surely that was the time to add that pesky 11th. But again, nope not a thing mentioned about it. That would seem to be the end of it? But, I might even be swayed by the fact that that was the old part of the Book. Things moved on. New thinking in the new bit of the Book. You know, there might have been an oversight in the old days.
So lets skip forward to the second half of the Book. When Christianity lays down its teachings. According to the Christian Church this is the part that is taught to us all by the very Son himself. And explicitly in Matthew comes the point when those ten old rules are addressed. This surely is the time when this massive, central issue that will vex some of the radical Christians of today will be met head on. Surely now, here. In a Gospel. You can almost hear the drum role, as the people lean forward to hear the answer to such a specific question, asked by a pesky minded lawyer, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment.…”
You’ll notice that nope, there is still no mention of what apparently is such a slap in the face to those parents mentioned earlier… but wait. There was to be more.
“And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
And that’s it. Treat each other as you would like to be treated. Simple! I might be wrong but in both halves of the big Book, when we get to the big rules; ten in the first (produced twice) and two in the second, nowhere, not once, does it mention to be mean to others. To treat others differently, to mistreat because of race, or color or sexual persuasion or any other diversity. Nowhere and yet according to those who profess to be the most audacious defenders of their faith, they would have us believe that recognition of LGBT is against their values and beliefs. If that is true, then whose values and beliefs are they upholding?
Rant over.. And Relax…
Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purpose, the detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media: