Sunday, June 20, 2010

scandal and rainbows

So there's a big scandal in my city about a local mega-church (Which happens to be Baptist) refusing to let a baseball team use its fields because their coach is a lesbian.

Which is SUPER UN-CHRISTIAN. "Jesus loves everybody, and we want to show that through our sports facilities, OH WAIT but not to YOU." Yep. That's clearly in the Gospels. TOTALLY. This is me rolling my eyes.

Dumbasses. And to think my grandma and dad are going to church their tomorrow. Gag me with a homophobic spork.

Anyways, they have a HUGE 4th of July thing every year. Thousands and thousands of people go, and sit on their sports fields and watch fireworks.

And I'm seriously considering finding all the rainbow stuff I can and wearing it, along with a t-shirt that says "Jesus loves everyone." Who there would dare disagree with that? Why not spread the love, even among some of the most narrow minded people in town?

Or else I may just not go, because the thought of being on their property and so many people who agree with their policies seriously makes me want to vomit/cry...

I guess we'll see.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the person I want to be vs. me

Tonight I saw a really interesting film about the Methodist Church and homosexuality, and while it probably seems like I should talk about that, I'm actually going to talk about something else.

The thing that stuck with me most from the film is the line, "If not me, then who? If not now, when?"

I had a conversation with a friend today about how you can't protect somebody's next victim. But sometimes you can. And sometimes, you're the only person who has the chance to try. It's kind of overwhelming to stare at doing the right thing and doing the easy thing and seeing exactly how much the paths diverge. And the person I want to be is the person who does the right thing.

And that person I want to be is seriously considering waging a long awaited battle against a local church.

Do I want to deal with this? No. In fact, it makes me embarrassed that I was so stupid that I didn't know what was going on/how creepy it was and that several people (whom I didn't even know gave a damn about me) were worried about the situation. I'm embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't have the willpower or the energy to push this harder over Christmas, though I was in the middle of my own personal crisis at the time. And I was and am absolutely sickened that the church could just turn its back on something so wrong and leave somebody who was hurt completely in the dark and then hurt them more.

And sometimes, I still get really upset about this, though very few people know about the whole thing or realize just how disturbing it got.

In some ways I feel like it was stupid, and maybe it wasn't all that bad. It is the smallest of my scars at this point in my life. But no. No man in a leadership position should be kissing on a sixteen year-old-girl, texting and emailing her all the time, etc., to the point that teenage guys are freaking out about what's going on. Admittedly, at the time I was insanely naive, and I never doubted that anybody had good intentions.

But it's been 3 years, and that doesn't make what happened any less wrong, and that doesn't make the lack of response on the church's part any less okay. And that doesn't make not acting on my part any less wrong. Being a victim of a situation seems a poor excuse for not preventing such a thing from happening again.

Leave it to the Protestant Church to claim that the gospels say you should let someone behaving inappropriately towards a minor still have a major leadership position and run off the victim of the situation who already felt like it was somehow her own fault in the first place. Nice going.

(I know I'm being super vague. This is an I'm-figuring-things-out-for-my-own-sake post rather than a oh-hi-ya'll-this-is-interesting-enjoy-this post. My apologies if you're confused and/or bored.)

Goal: Do the right thing (or start heading that direction via email) by Sunday at 11:59 pm.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Ridiculous and the Miraculous

I feel like Joshua and the Isrealites at the Battle of Jericho, having marched around and around the city walls and having blown their horns, surely feeling kind of ridiculous...and then emerging victorious (Joshua 6:1-27). This story was featured in the Veggie Tales' episode Josh and the Big Wall!, which plays up the ridiculousness by having the French peas dump blue slushies on the Isrealites and sing a mocking song ("keep walking, but you won't knock down our wall! Keep walking, but she isn't gonna fall! It's plain to see your brains are very small to think knocking will be knocking down our wall!). I would definitely recommend it.

In my mind, the struggle is not the point. The point is the miraculousness of communal ridiculousness (and obedience to God's plan, which just happens to be super ridiculous).

It took a whole group of people following God's plan, a plan that seems utterly insane, to succeed in reclaiming the Promised Land.

God doesn't always ask us to do things that make sense. Sometimes it hurts to make that decision, to press onward, to keep going on. And sometimes it feels like what we're doing is utterly insane, that it could never possibly work.

Some Biblical examples of people doing ridiculous or seemingly insane stuff:
Noah's ark (Genesis 6 ff.)
the virgin birth (Matthew 1, Luke)
Joseph marrying Mary anyways (Matthew especially)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego surviving the furnace (Daniel 3)
the Passover story-saved by lambs' blood (Exodus)
any of the miracles of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

Those are just a few examples, though there are many more. I'm getting sleepy, so forgive my brevity (I actually wrote this part last. I rearranged everything once I got it all written, so if that "Forgive my brevity" statement seems preposterous halfway through, my apologies.)

As far as a personal example goes, I vividly remember having been upset by someone and sitting in my room one day sobbing and eventually wandering into my suitemate's room, who quickly hugged me and grabbed some of our friends. Before I knew it, I was sprawled on my friend's bed - overcome with giggles - as they composed a humorous letter and song, designed to make me feel better. My friends rallied around me, hugged me, and drank juice (my favorite beverage) with me. It was completely silly. But in being silly together, we all found a strength we didn't know we had. It was beyond the power to console. It was the power to uplift, to help somebody not only over a mental roadblock but to give them courage and return their dignity.

Another personal example: I had a period last year during which I was compelled to pray without ceasing. Those words just echoed through my mind "Pray without ceasing. Pray without ceasing." And I did, desperately, miserably, cleaving to the words as if they would let me escape. It felt silly to pray at stop lights or in the middle of an episode of a Disney Channel show. But eventually, it was like I had built a protective wall around my heart and mind. Yes, people saying hurtful things still hurt, hurtful memories still hurt. But I could see beyond that, and I could hurt for the person hurting me. Praying without ceasing went from a ridiculous impulse to an integral part of my daily life.

The ridiculous became a means of gaining new understanding, of coming closer to God at a time when I needed him most, at a time when everything felt too serious.

So, in conclusion, I suppose I'll just say never forget that "nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37), even the ridiculous becoming miraculous.