Tuesday 1 May 2012

J'accuse: The Sins of The Church

On the matter of gay and lesbian people


the Christian Church

of seven deadly sins

violence, wilful ignorance, intransigence, injustice, selfishness, cruelty and hubris

1. For putting tradition and rules before people and relationships
2. For putting tradition before knowledge and understanding
3. For refusing to look at the science of being gay as we understand the phenomenon today
4. For insisting that being gay is a lifestyle choice regardless of the fact that it is significantly genetically determined
5. For persisting in using terms like ‘sexual preference’ which imply the presence of choice where there is none
6. For ignoring the vast weight of empirical psychological evidence from across the world that a gay sexuality is not a sickness, not a disorder and not a predisposition to mental illness
7. For wilfully ignoring the evidence of both anthropology, that has identified same sex attraction in every culture, and history, that has shown that same sex attraction has been around since the very first records

8. For continuing to state that being gay is an intrinsic disorder
9. For continuing to state that being gay is an inclination towards moral evil
10. For using unsustainable natural philosophy to argue that a gay sexuality is not natural when biology, genetics and zoology have clearly shown that it is a common-place part of the natural world for humans and non-humans alike as a consistent and persistent variation
11. For being hypocritical when having so many wonderful gay clergy yet continuing to denounce gay sexuality officially
12. For propping up a tired and failed clericalism that perpetuates a ‘them and us’, a ‘leaders and followers’ mentality that centralises power in the hands of the elite
13. For denying the sacraments and the life of the church to gay people of faith

14. For treating the Bible like it is God
15. For defending a literal interpretation of the Bible and using ‘cherry-picking’ methods when modern scholarship has shown us better ways of using the Scriptures
16. For transgressing the fundamental exegetical rule that says any interpretation of a Biblical passage that does not have at its core the principle of charity is a false interpretation

17. For treating the church like it is God
18. For telling gay people that they are excluded from God
19. For telling young gay people that they must remain celibate for life
20. For appropriating the name of God when denouncing LGBT people
21. For insisting that a gay sexual orientation is something to be repented of rather than the psycho-biological reality that it is
22. For encouraging some ministries to attempt to dupe vulnerable people into trying to change their sexuality by means of spiritual endeavour and pseudo-science when they cannot

23. For trampling on the love and lives of LGBT people and declaring them to be false and inadequate
24. For failing to speak out against homophobia and prejudice when it becomes overt and pandering to ignorant outspoken homophobes who speak or do violence to gay people
25. For bishops and clergy who know better remaining silent for fear of retribution while their peers continue to persecute gay people
26. For causing unimaginable pain and trauma to gay people of faith the world over

27. For failing to be willing to lead its people into a more adult faith which can question and search instead of offering pat answers and arid platitudes
28. For sacralising inequality
29. For failing to emulate Jesus in standing with the marginalised
30. For calling part of God’s wondrous creation black, evil and sinful

I call on the Christian Church to renounce these sins and to put people back as the focus of the Gospel - because it is people for whom Christ came, lived and taught. He lived thirty years with the people. He ate and drank and slept with the people. He suffered and died for the people.

His entire life was about the people.

‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’ (Matthew 25: 45).

With apologies to Émile Zola

Pax et Amor - Stuart

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