Monday, August 28, 2006

I've been thinking about this since Saturday evenng, so bare with me as I vent a little spleen.

The folks in my group are not practicing Christians - none of them. That's fine by me - they are entitled to whatever beliefs (or lack thereof) they have just as I am entitled to mine.

Now, they have no doubt figured out that I am, partially because I worked for the CCC, and partially because I mentioned that I can't work before 1 p.m. on Sunday because of church.

But I get the feeling that they somehow think differently of me because I am a practicing Christian. Just as an example, my boss told me and the other new person in our department that he was gay, because his partner is having surgery today, and he'll be out as a result. Before he told us, it was obvious he was trying to find a way to talk about his partner without using his name or any pronouns. And I think that was because of me.

Now, I have no problem with the fact that he is gay. First, it isn't my place to judge him one way or the other. Second, if he has managed to find someone to love and to be loved by, more power to him. I'm a little envious, in fact.

But I think that the fact that I am Christian, and in fact was Catholic, makes people think I am also homophobic. And a Republican. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem is that in this country, the Christian groups that get media attention are the "Christian Right" because...well...they are the ones with the money. People who are not necessarily actively Christian tend to equate all Christians with Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, and those people who carry the "God Hates Fags" signs at funerals of soldiers killed in action. They think we all want a virutual theocracy the way George W. seems to want.

That is not me.

I'm not homophobic, I don't believe that everyone who doesn't believe as I believe is going to burn in Hell, and I really think that church and state should remain as far apart as humanly possible. The protest people sicken me (though the First Amendment advocate in me keeps saying they have a right to do what they are doing). I shudder when I drive by Jimmy Swaggart's kindgom.

I'm a Christian because I believe the Gospel really is Good News. Everything else is secondary. And Jesus never condems people who are gay. He forgives adulterers. He hangs out with the dregs of society.

He does, however, speak out against those who are rich and don't use their wealth for the betterment of others. He speaks out against those who take advantage of the weakest members of society. And he preaches a message of tolerance and love.

That's the Jesus I, and milliions of other moderate or liberal Christians know. I just wish more people knew that.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

Oh, and George rocks! He reminds me a lot of my dad, who was also named George. I hope he wins, even though I don't think he will.

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