Friday, April 24, 2009

The Crackpots and These Women


Held my tongue for as long as I could, decided, really, time to pen my thoughts down on the subject.

The AWARE saga is coming to a head and I think it's only a matter of time before it all blows up. So, here's my two cents worth before the caca hits the fan:

Firstly, for an organisation that claims to champion womens rights, you need to champion the rights of ALL women. Let's go through the fundamental ones, shall we?

1) All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
2) Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Dignity. People have a right to have it. To be condemned because your lifestyle is considered "dirty" or "wrong" reeks of indignity. Sadly, the moral "right" seems oblivious to the fact that in their withdrawing of support for the rights of gays and lesbians, they are robbing a minority group of the dignity that is their right, as it is a right to everyone else.

The whole debacle has brought up an age old struggle that pits the "christian right" with the rest of the world and as a christian, I should take the side of the christians. I am a Christian and I think that according to the tenets of the religion, homosexuality is a sin. (I've always been disturbed by that fact due to my socio-political leanings, but oh well...) I choose not to weigh in on that issue because I believe that there're a few "larger" rules and regulations that we have that stop us from doing so:

1) “Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
2) “Stop judging, so that you won't be judged, because the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged, and you will be evaluated by the standard with which you evaluate others."

Which may actually be quoted by others because it's the perfect comeback to christians when they feel that christians are being overbearing. And we tend to be. It's in our nature to try to "save" as many people as we can. It's the Great Commission. Problem is that the Great Commission never really told us to interfere. It's told us to spread Jesus' teachings and that's something I can truck with. But spreading teachings and saving people from sin are completely different things. We do have the authority to do the former but the latter is up to God. Why is it that we seem so quick to be ready to do the latter rather than the former? I think I have some idea but I'm not ready to get into that yet.

But that's the thing, we are that judgmental aren't we? And I think what the world sees us as that because the most vocal among us really do put out the most noise. Unfortunately, most of that noise is judgments on other people and how they're all going to hell. We're like that teacher who spends all their time criticizing students' faults and saying that they'd amount to nothing. No one ever liked that teacher.

How quickly we forget that christians were once condemned for what they believed in. How short sighted we are when we cry about the injustices heaped onto other christians in other countries because of their faith. How sad it is that we often are so quick to throw those first stones.

What's sad about the whole AWARE saga is that a religious few are trying to impose their religion on an issue that is rather cut and dried either way:

It's wrong in a religious context.
There's nothing within a secular context that says that it's wrong.

I am a Christian. That is what defines who I am and what I think. The world, however, is secular. It is separate from my faith and should remain so because people out in the world are from various cultures and faiths. AWARE is a secular organisation working within a secular society. And within a secular society, who you are, who you choose to be with, what you do, etc... should not have any bearing on your rights. (Come to think about it, it SHOULD be the same way within religious organisations as well...) Therein lies the problem with the fundamentalists taking over an organisation like AWARE. The values that they are preaching tend to be values that should be kept separate from secular society. These values should not cross over because there is a social contract that says that they shouldn't.

Otherwise, let's start the free-for-all. Let the new members of AWARE start casting the first stone and repeal the law that makes it OK for us to get divorces. Let's ban abortions and let's make adultery a capital offence shall we?



If christians are going to try to stop people from playing God, maybe they should start with themselves eh?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

kudos to you.

just because one is a christian, does not mean that one ought to "take the side of the christians". One still needs to determine what "the side of the christians" is. and given the mutually incompatible understandings of the bible in various churches and denominations, i think it is right to say that there is no univocal "christian stance" towards a great number of issues, and thus no single "christian side". It is not clear that the degree to which something is "christian" is determined by how vehemently one claims to be acting in the name of god. It seems to be that the stamp of approval ought to be one that is given not by man, but by god.

What disillusions me sometimes, is the sheer number of people who purportedly "act in the name of god", yet are markedly lacking in love towards fellow men/women. People who pick and choose passages in the bible to condemn and categorize certain groups of people, while turning a blind eye to others that concern themselves. (matthew 7:3).

True, the bible states that it is an abomination to for a man to lie with another man. But it also implies that it is an abomination to eat pigs, prawns, and other crustaceans, that we ought not wear clothes woven with two kinds of materials, but few people seem to think of these things as morally reprehensible/sins against god.
Some passages in the bible have been interpreted to mean that women should not have spiritual authority over men (and are thus precluded from becoming church leaders/pastors), yet many churches that regard homosexuality as a pathology or sin do not regard female pastorship with similar disdain, on pain of consistency.

ultimately, however, the bible should NOT be a justificatory tool, interpreted in the way that best suits one's moral tastes. To me (admittedly though, i am an agnostic, and might thus be biased), the actions of the new aware exco (even granting that they were undertaken with good intentions), hardly seemed like the christian WAY to do things. what really irked me, however, was that no christian seemed willing to step up, to openly recognize that their actions have been ill-considered, and in love and faith, urge them to consider that they might be wrong, (gal 6:1-2, and heb 10:24, luke 17:3, tit 1:13) insofar that they have not upheld the second greatest command of christ--love thy neighbour.

Sun Apr 26, 12:07:00 am 2009  
Blogger kekekelo said...

Thanks for sharing your great post,wish you have a nice day,happy every day!

Tue May 11, 03:36:00 pm 2010  

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