You may have read the story of the Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson having a civil union with his partner of 19 years.
Big deal, you might say. Two people conforming to so-called social norms. Where's the story in that?
Here's a link from Reuters which fills in the gaps: Gay Anglican U.S. bishop enters into civil union.
A number of issues arise from this for me:
"The event was kept private out of respect for next month's worldwide Anglican conference..."
"The 77 million-member Anglican Communion...has been in upheaval since 2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated Robinson as the first bishop known to be in an openly homosexual relationship in more than four centuries of church history."
"Robinson has in the past received death threats and wore a bulletproof vest under his vestments at his consecration in 2003. Two uniformed police officers stood guard at Saturday's ceremony..."
[Emphasis: my own]
Let's put aside for a moment that Gene Robinson is a supernaturalist and promotes it - that's his job - but the above quotes should illustrate to everyone what a sick, sad world we live in.
This has all come about, this high-level homophobia, because of the very books that these Christians revere. They will quote chapter and verse and teach about the bible's inerrancy and yet deny basic human rights to two people who want to have the same legal rights which are afforded to heterosexuals. (Do bear in mind that these civil ceremonies stop short of providing full legal equality but for some members of the gay and lesbian community it is better than what existed before.)
I am appalled, horrified that because of what some psychotic person or persons, repressed, ignorant, confused and lacking foresight or real love of humanity, have written, edited and cobbled together centuries ago that we humans have to suffer today. Regardless of whether you are straight or gay, male, female or any other gender - we should ALL be horrified.
As a black woman, I see the same backward attitudes within the black community and it nearly all leads back to religion. I am atheist also and so have, in some people's opinions, three strikes against me right there!
Racism and homophobia come from the same root - and it is more than ignorance. If millions of people are being taught to fear and ridicule others and that these ideas are good and will lead you back to an imaginary god or gods, then no real progress will ever be made by humans. No real tangible progress, that is.
The Anglican church is in turmoil because so many African churches abhor homosexuality and have threatened to break off and form their own factions. How ironic! The very people who had the bible thrust onto them by brutal means, which entailed millions of people being forced to convert or be killed, shackled and chained and carried across oceans to far-off lands where even worse horrors awaited them and yet their descendants are now saying the Anglican church is too lenient and not godly enough.
Gene Robinson believes in the supernatural like many other people do and yet he has to wear a bulletproof vest to protect himself from possible assassination. My question to him would be: Would it be another Christian that you fear may be your assassin?
This madness needs to stop and we can all play a part in it by educating ourselves, throwing away ancient or modern texts which insist on separating us from each other for no logical reasons.
Recognise that if we boast about being civil rights activists or gay rights activists, for example, we are not actually helping if we don't explore some of the root causes of the problems in the first place.