A few weeks ago, a bill passed the Kansas House giving legal cover to any government official or business owner who refuses to provide services to individuals “perceived” as gay if homosexuality offends their religious sensibilities. The Episcopalian bishops were the only ones to stand up against this Kansas Apartheid.
Violence is not just a matter of stoning, beating, jailing and torture. Silence also is violence. Cowardice is violence. Ducking for cover behind “I’m personally tolerant but my congregation just isn’t comfortable with explicitly welcoming gays” also is violence.
Faith is not a club that we are entitled to use to bash, judge, bully or threaten others into heaven with. Christians have radically misunderstood the gospel if they think that one more law, one more pogrom, one more war, one more shunning or in other words, one more twist of whatever arm you’ve got a hold of will finally usher in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus never said a word about gay people. On the other hand, he had a lot to say about people who believed themselves to be morally superior to others. I think he would have agreed with St. Augustine who wrote, “There are those whom the Church has that God has not. And there are those whom God has that the church has not.”
If we ever do get to heaven I’m sure more than a few of us will be very surprised, indeed, by the folks we find there — and the folks we don’t.
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