Saturday, 30 March 2013

Just what is aggressive secularisation?

In today's Daily Mail comment piece Lord Carey the former Archbishop of Cantebury talks about Christians who "feel they are part of a 'persecuted minority'".  Before going on to say that he is "very suspicious that behind the plans to change the nature of marriage...there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards [the] institution."

Strange that, you may recall my post from last Easter when I felt like the persecuted minority in the very congregation that I grew up in. Later on that year when things were attempted to be resolved, I felt even more misunderstood, marginalised and a minority of one that nobody very few cared about losing. What I didn't post about, until now was that I walked away from that congregation and only now am looking to set down new roots, if that is possible, in a church now that I have moved away.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury is going to use his Easter Homily tomorrow as another attack on equal marriage, his Christmas one compared these plans to Nazism and Communism. So why is the chuch so fixated on this at Easter, the event in the Christian calendar when Christ turned to the the thief dying for his crimes at his side and promised him forgiveness and eternal life. Yet the church at this Easter season as it appeared last year seems to lack that welcoming love to all. But because all are more likely to be there on two Sunday's of the year they are going to condemn the few who are gay and or faith and the many more who are of faith and support the notion of marriage equality. 

Yeah the church has got captive audience syndrome and only rattling on with one message. Not one of feeding the hungry, dealing with the AIDs pandemic that is crossing Africa. But attacking couples forming a loving relationship bringing security and peace of mind to both of them and any children they may have or bring into that family setting.

Earlier this month I missed most of the debate at Scottish conference on mental health issues, as I was in a meeting at the time. But for many years the state of my own mental health was in flux and that was because of the persecution of the church. The telling me that what I was feeling had no place in the life of a Christian. It made me feel so small every time I failed in my mind to get rid of the attraction to other men. It made me contemplate taking my own life on occasions. But is also made me look fully into what the bible actually said and that is a discussion for another day.  

This Easter though I will be celebrating those church leaders such as Steve Chalke and others who are prepared to say that the church needs to look long and hard at that stance towards LGBT people. People like that saying that the church is erecting its own barriers that prevent it going into all the world and welcoming all the world to join with it.

This is Easter when that invite should be thrown open, yet once again it appears to be a season that the church is mounting the barricades.

 Do you hear the Bishops sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of the preachers
'Gainst the gays and lesbians!
When the beating of your fist
Echoes empty around the land
We'll forget the Easter message
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Barring the gays from standing here in church?
Beyond the barricade
Is a world that we no longer see?
Then join the fight
That will only let in who you want!

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