Wednesday, June 25, 2014

pink dots and white shirts

Writing so that I can "move on"... think about other things. People who know me might know that I have people I dearly love in my life who identify themselves as gay. Who feel discriminated for who they are and so share their lives selectively depending on the audience. This grieves me. One of the earliest books I read was about living an authentic Christian life. Being a what you see is what you get person. It makes me sad that they can't reconcile their faith with who they think they are... It also makes me think seriously about what I believe in, why do I believe in these things.

Some thoughts I have regarding the pink dots and white shirts and in between.

- We are all created in the image of God, and therefore are "equal". Even if we disagree with each other, respect needs to be accorded.

- I do believe that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. And that He calls me to be holy, just as He is holy. This call for holiness is what I strive for, living to be like Jesus.

- I try to live this life of holiness in this world that is marred by sin. No, I don't think that we should live a crappy life on this earth and only look forward to life in heaven. Life on this earth is a gift. While there will be troubles in this world, the God of the universe loves me heaps, and has made the earth. He even called it good. Despite sin and its falleness, I believe that there is still goodness to be celebrated, lived out. What kind of Christian will I be if I only wallow in the miseries of this world. What kind of trust do I have of God?

- While created in His image, we as fallen creatures have both characteristics of both his goodness and the fall.  We have all sinned, fallen short of God's glory, and therefore need his saving grace. Even in our brokenness, there are signs of beauty that should be celebrated.

- The church is worried. Sure. Who wouldn't be.

She recognizes that there are individuals who are attracted to people of the same sex. Regardless of their sexual orientation, the Church has always looked on each individual as being a child of God, made in His image and likeness and is therefore worthy of love and respect.

Discrimination of any kind is thus neither pleasing in the eyes of God, nor that of man.

However, the Church also believes that when God created man (and woman), He had intended for them to "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it". (Genesis 1:28) For this reason, although the Church treats each individual, regardless of his/her sexual orientation, with sensitivity and respect for his/her dignity, she upholds the view that LGBT sexual relationships are not in accordance with the plan of God.

This kind of lifestyle should not be promoted by Catholics as it is detrimental to society, is not helpful to integral human development and contrary to Christian values.

I agree with not discriminating. But it is not so easy to distinguish one from the other. When does discrimination end and promotion begin, especially in such delicate issues like that? Taking a re-stand is not going to make anyone feel like they are treated fairly, or loved, or respected. It reinforces the reason for a pink dot event, where "nobody gets it"

(the pink dot) It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. With openness and acceptance, we hope to bring LGBT Singaporeans closer to their family and friends.

Reading this, I cannot see any promotion. If acceptance and openness is promotion, what does it mean to discriminate (or not discriminate)? If the church is responding to the pink dot event as a tool for promotion, what does the church do to not further discrimination? Especially in the face of 377A?

I read Vincent Wijeysingha's facebook note with sadness. It is not difficult to note the amount of angst he feels with the church. While being excellent in rhetoric, he normally approaches a subject with wit and cool logic. This note is instead filled with personal pain and anger.. understandably so after what the church has done. While I disagree with him that they have no say in moral conversations, I think that more care needs to be taken in the plural society that Singapore is in.

At the same time, I read other notes in support of the white shirts with indignation. I think there is a large part of this that comes from fear and a real sense of "secularism". I would be fearful too. But the question is what are we doing with the fear? Instead of reacting like those who feel discriminated, are we doing any better? What does it mean to live a Christ like life? Instead of starting a white shirt protest, perhaps more could be spent loving them? Or loving our family and our children? Showing them truly what it means to live out lives of holiness?

I think that same sex attraction is real (Even the archbishop did not try to deny it) Question is what are you going to do about it? There are internet sources for and against. Also about what God thinksabout it. Whether to marry a someone of the opposite sex or not.

Ultimately, I think that while I might have an opinion, this is a difficult and sensitive topic that should not be used to divide. There are real lives involved who really live in the pain. Writing about sympathy does not commensurate to real action. There are real families living in the in between, of silent acknowledgment but not more. Is this real love and respect? I hope for the day that we can sincerely talk about it. Where Christians live the truth more than talk about it, where we are channels of peace (instead of fueling the fight), where the love of Christ is spoken before judgment (Since we are all already judged anyway).

Difficult... but since when did Jesus say it would be easy?

Monday, June 09, 2014

words to chew on...

Need to buy the book. In the meantime, a place to store my "research".