So once again the wretched Church of England, or to be more specific, its House of Bishops, is embarking on a review of (specifically) whether gay people in partnerships can become bishops (oh, the irony that they cannot marry each other, because the same church has opposed the legalisation of gay marriage) and (generally) of same sex relationships.
I have been introspecting recently, and I have finally put my finger on what (apart of the glaring injustice and downright wilful stupidity, that is, and I am never a fan of either) put my finger on what so enrages me about soi-disant ‘Christian’ attitudes to gay relationships. Soi-disant because of course thousands of totally committed Christians know these conservative attitudes are unbelievably stupid.
So beyond the idiocy and cruelty of these beliefs (and idiocy and cruelty were never hall-marks of Jesus of Nazareth) the really exasperating, inflaming thing about them is that they totally pervert what the gospel, his gospel, is about.
That extraordinary, difficult, demanding man was totally unimpressed by conventions. He rode rough-shod through many of them. He stunningly told a man who would follow him, but only after he had done his duty by his parents, that he should leave to dead to bury the dead. He welcomed the town bikes, and the bankers, swindlers and collaborators. He courted ritual impurity, and (because he observed that ditching your wife was really, truly, not what God had in mind as a recipe for human growth and happiness) somehow that same radical figure who challenged and upset almost every status-quo he could get at, reach or otherwise manipulate, has got landed with supporting an oppressive Establishment morality that was creaking ominously when I was a girl, and would by now have shuddered to to a merciful death, were it not for the attempts of a load of old men to prop it up.
So lets try again, shall we? Jesus never had anything to say about two blokes or two girls in bed together. He had a heap to say about money (though he socialised with cheats) and an unbelievable amount about never seeking any kind of revenge and always forgiving. He practised ‘inclusivity’ on a daily basis, and he challenged again and again, as much in his life as his words, the concept that any kind of ritual purity mattered. Forgive, give, love, welcome, challenge. Those are his values. And it does not just infuriate me, it hurts me deeply to see his church, his body, blind to what he was and what he did, and driving on with stuff anybody with even a rudimentary sense of theology ought to know is the most terrible drivel.
And the time for pussy-footing around and niceness is well past. And yes, I am rather cross. Maybe you guessed.