Wednesday, October 04, 2006

quests to live in faith-filled grace

The scandal involving a Republican congressman and underage pages is deeply troubling. Both Diana Butler Bass and Jim Wallis over at the God's Politics Blog challenge us to respond faithfully and to think deeply about what is at the heart of this tragedy. The Religious Right has blamed these sad events on Congressman Foley's homosexuality (although he did not acknowledge this openly until recently). Gay activists blame this mess on the fact that Foley was closeted, others blame this on the fact that he was a gay Republican. Bass in her reflection strives to draw us all into a thoughtful and compassionate place.

In particular I'd like to draw attention to these two paragraphs from Diana's reflection,

Making sexuality a political issue, as much of the Religious Right has done, distracts from a host of other issues, such as poverty, war, and environmental concerns. But it also obscures the fact that Christians agree (as my friend and I do) on many things regarding this intimate part of our lives. We agree that sexuality is a gift from God,that love and commitment are foundational to sexual expression, that marriage is the best vessel for human sexuality, and that authenticity, honesty, fidelity, and mutual regard form the basis of Christian sexual relationships. Sex is, theologically, an ultimate expression of self-giving and surrender, qualities that resemble those in Christian spirituality. As the medieval mystics taught, humanity sexuality is a metaphor for our relationship with God.

We also know, as the Christian tradition teaches, that all of this is hard. Sexuality is difficult because it is potentially holy and potentially sinful at the same time. In the midst of this powerful mystery, we are merely human. And none of these things honesty, holiness, fidelity, or mutual regard—come easily to us. Thus, to politicize sexuality divides us at the very point at which we are united—our shared human nature and our shared quests to live in faith-filled grace.

Read more from Diana Butler Bass here.

One new book that I have been meaning to read is "Religion Gone Bad" by Mel White, the founder of Soulforce on the abuse of religion by the Religious Right. The Reverend Mel White used to be a speech writer for Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, he is now a gay rights activist.

1 comment:

MargretH said...

The list of "books I've been meaning to read" is long and grows longer with the passing days.

Lauren Winner talks about giving up reading for Lent in "Girl Meets God". It's sounds painful and masochistic to me.