Someone once said that powerful decisions were made in the first world, but their actions & repercussions happened in the third world.
Perhaps a warped version of this insight is the famous US evangelist’s son recently saying on TV that GLBTQ folk had the same hearts as ISIS terrorists, they just did not behead people. He went on to say we queer folk were intent on stopping people from following the Bible. Let’s not forget that slave owners in southern USA or in South Africa felt vindicated in their domination of people & in their life style choice. After all, slave owning is covered in the Bible. Let’s look at other highlights of the good book. Abraham is unable to impregnate his wife Sara, she gives him her maid who bears children in the family name, a case of surrogacy? The sons of Noah laugh when their father gets drunk & lies uncovered in his tent. Abraham is ordered by god to sacrifice his son. Imagine the residual trauma the son must relive at having his neck held and the sacrificial knife poised. Beheading seems a cultural event we have just not grown out of. David slaying the giant with his slingshot; the hint of cannibalism in the New Testament communion: Eat my flesh, drink my blood. The list of graphic, gory events piles up.
Mel Gibson recently filmed the passion & execution of the Messiah; constructing a soundtrack of Aramaic seems to have been his personal seal of okayness. Armistead Maupin in his novel Michael Tolliver Lives describes the work however as an S&M snuff movie, and the act of parents making their 8 year old grandson watch it dubious, to say the least.
Back in 2012, the Rector of High Anglican St James’ church, Fr Sempel wrote a rebuttal to the diatribe by then current Anglican Archbishop Jensen against same sex marriage. He did not resort to quoting chapter & verse, always a perilous event based on translation & interpretation; instead he gave a lucid summary of how marriage was defined throughout Abrahamic history & until recent times. Even today, some parts of the Anglican church practise polygamy, just as the Maronite rite of the catholic church allows its priests to marry. Juggling all the historical variants is a humbling but cleansing act that leads to honesty & fairness; it will not result in the crazy US evangelical pastor proclaiming with frightening confidence that god commanded him to hate gays. What next? beheadings?