Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Discrimination

Lets stop baking gay wedding cakes.

jasons cakeLifted from: Jeremy – Don’t Eat Trash

I just feel like refusing to bake a gay couple a wedding cake is the worst example of who Jesus is ever. Making statements by NOT doing things doesn’t sound like Christs style outside of NOT being a member of the religious elite club.

The religious elite club seemed to have pretty strict standards of building large fences around God and those who didn’t know God. Both physical boundaries like those around the temple, and social boundaries around specific behaviours and identities (prostitutes, tax collectors etc) Jesus was great at literally destroying these fences. By whipping some cows or hanging out with those he was expected not to hang out with.

I’m not sure which Jesus-time activity is the greatest equivalent to refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, but… it seems like a stupid mountain to die a stupid death on. As the happily in love gay couple walk away from the refusal of the cake baking, are they thinking ‘Woah, Jesus must be great’?

Nope.

Baking a gay couple a cake isn’t a salvation issue. Its not a life and death situation. Baking a cake for a gay couple isn’t having sex with a dude as a dude. In fact, for a black and white conservative ‘homosexual marriage’ isn’t really a thing. Neither is non-christian marriage.

Because ‘Marriage’ is between a man and a woman and God – a “three stranded cord” to bring the glory of God on the planet and to multiply the human race to have dominion over creation in harmony with the kingdom of Heaven. Its not ordained by the state, its not ordained by the pastor even. It is a commitment between a man and a woman, agreed to by their community.

The reason the state is involved is because we forgot how to bless each other in community so the state had to stand up for the ‘injustices’ involved in crap marriages and unwanted children. Although NOW, the state involvement seems more to do with tax and inheritance than anything else.

In fact, for most black and white conservatives Christians ‘homosexual marriage’ doesn’t really seem like its a thing. Neither is non-christian marriage. Because ‘Marriage’ is between a man and a woman and God – a “three stranded cord” to bring the glory of God on the planet and to multiply the human race to have dominion over creation in harmony with the kingdom of Heaven. Its not ordained by the state, its not ordained by the pastor even.

It is a commitment between a man and a woman, agreed to by their community. The reason the state is involved is because we forgot how to bless each other in community so the state had to stand up for the ‘injustices’ involved in crap marriages and unwanted children. Although NOW, the state involvement seems more to do with tax and inheritance than anything else.

So taking away the states odd involvement in marriage, gay marriage is two people convinced that they want to commit to each other for the future and their community stands in agreement to their decision.

Now, separate to the argument of ‘gay marriage in the church’ which I believe is a completely different issue as to the leadings of the creator and saviour of the world, a gay couple, deciding to be together forever, choosing to let ‘the state’ and their community join them in celebrating their choice enter a cake baking establishment. Because that’s what a cake baker does.

They bake cakes for the consuming of said cake at specific celebrations. The cake baker is not a part of the couples community. The cake baker is not invited to the ceremony. They are simply asked to trade money for a baked good.

This representative of capitalism and creative foodstuffs then proudly stands there and refuses to do what they actually do, because they disagree with what the cake is for (which is neither illegal or effects their lives in anyway) And for some reason we think ‘I did Jesus a great service today’ as if that is the good news. That Jesus came to seek and save the lost, unless….. they are gay and want a cake.

Our crap logic and knee-jerk conservatism doesn’t just stop at gay cake making either. Our days are filled with these strange black and white decisions that we have concluded brings glory to our saviour and lover Jesus Christ when really they turn people away from the community of redemption that we enjoy and represent.

I didn’t get told about Jesus after I had become perfect. In fact i still am not, but I am counted among those called by his name, and it is saddening when we dirty that name by choosing holiness instead of love, when our job is not to be holy in our own right, we are called to be holy as Jesus was holy. Which, looks more like bringing people to God for him to love, instead of being the doorman at an exclusive club that only lets the rich, white and straight people in.


Misusing religious freedom as a weapon of mass discrimination

tumblr_ld9721OgLN1qzhiyso1_500 canada kidCourtesy: Canada Kid – Joel Canadian Photography

Lifted from: An Inch at a time – Susan Russell – All Saints Church Pasadena

Religious discrimination is a real thing.

History — both modern and ancient — is tragically full of examples of times and places where religious discrimination has been the source of persecution, death and destruction. The perversion of religion into a weapon of mass destruction is antithetical to the core beliefs of all the world’s great religions. And yet none of those religions have escaped the sad reality that human beings — given the power to do so — will use God as an excuse to inflict pain and suffering on other human beings.

Our forefathers knew that. And they brought that knowledge — that wisdom — into our Bill of Rights with a First Amendment that begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

The First Amendment both prevents the government of the United States from privileging one religion over another and protects each and every one of us — as American citizens — to believe whatever we choose — or choose not — to believe about what God thinks, approves of or blesses.

It is what protects our democracy from becoming a theocracy. And, as we watch with sadness and horror the nightly news stories of religious wars and sectarian violence, this guarantee of religious freedom is something Americans of all religions — and no religion — should rejoice and be glad in.

What that guarantee of religious freedom is not is something to be distorted and exploited to further a homophobic agenda of legislated discrimination against LGBT people. But that’s exactly what happened today when Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the so-called “religious freedom” bill into law during a private ceremony in his Statehouse office.

Officially entitled the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” this bill will allow individuals and businesses in the state to deny services to LGBT people on “religious liberty” grounds – doing nothing to restore freedom and everything to bolster bigotry. It is the first of many proposed measures pending in statehouses around the country – all with the intent of allowing business owners and individuals to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds.

It is a dangerous and detrimental piece of legislation — not only for the LGBT Americans who are its direct target. It opens the door for discrimination, inequality and prejudice to nearly every citizen of every state, undermining the foundational American value of equal protection. It nothing less than an orchestrated backlash against equal protection for LGBT citizens and the flagrant distortion of the ideal of religious freedom into a vehicle for religion based bigotry.

Bottom line: The First Amendment protects your right as an American to the free exercise of your religion. It does not protect your right to use your religion as an excuse to discriminate against other Americans.

And watching the tragic consequences of genuine religious discrimination on the nightly news makes it all the more urgent that we stand together and speak against this and other pending legislation – and challenge those who are supporting it.

Because religious discrimination is a real thing. And this blatant effort to exploit it in order to attack LGBT citizens is a reprehensible thing.

Let the boycotts begin.