Look out, it's starting

Monday, November 13, 2006

I am a fiction lover. Christian fiction in particular, although I'll devour the latest Mary Higgins Clark in mere hours. Over the last few years, I've read a few fiction books that portray a future western civilization that is completely and utterly hostile to Christianity, especially evangelicals. One common thread through the books is that this hostility begins with one of the current 'hot topics'---abortion, gay rights...well, ok, those are the only two I can think of right now.

Reading fictitious accounts of what could happen to believers in the next many years is often disconcerting, but never long lasting, as I comfort myself that we're not there, it may not ever happen and I've got enough to worry about that is actually affecting my life NOW!

However, I read an alarming story on yahoo news just now.

See it here.

First of all, I think the United Church should be terribly offended. Not that I'm in agreement with the United church in all regards, but it's fairly well known that they are great supporters of gay rights, and go out of their way to show massive acceptance of all those proclaiming to be gay. I know they ordain gay ministers and allow gays in all areas of church leadership. The United church has even started a new...for lack of a better word, program, that allows congregations to take on the name 'affirming' which means they won't reject anyone based on gender, sexual orientation or race.

I hope that they respond, and quickly. Elton John is too huge a star to allow his comments to filter through our society unchecked. He is exactly the kind of politically active, diversely talented poster boy anti-religion movements need. People listen to him. He can sway alot of public opinion.

The fact that his comments in this article are inconsistent will likely make no difference to those who might seize his stance and elevate it to the forefront of anti-religious endeavours.
"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," John said
in the Observer newspaper's Music Monthly Magazine in an interview published
Saturday. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."
"But there
are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion," said the
What kind of sadistic people does Elton know, that would puposefully involve themselves with an organization that "hates" them and apparently promotes hatred against those like them?

Unfortunately, I think the United church are the only ones that could defend "organized religion" in this case. Take the words of another blogger, Scott Williams:

"today, however, because of comments by one notorious church planter who is fond
of telling you his credentials; many christians are branded as fundamentalist,
gay-bashing, stupid rednecks"
and then at the end:

"just for the record, most of us can't afford air conditioned dog houses
and we don't ask people to drink poisoned kool-aid. we don't hate gay people and
some of us wouldn't vote republican if it was a one party system. most
christians i have met are incredibly humble and giving, the best kind of people.
they would take a bullet for a stranger and every day wake up and try to be a
good citizen and a compassionate human being."
Of course, Christians' reputations haven't been built on just one idiots public comments. It's been the zealots, the cults, the misguided fringe elements. The fact that thousands of mainstream, conservative evangelical churches would never dream of preaching hatred towards anyone, just can't hold a candle to the luscious glee so many journalists experience when handed the weapon to skewer "organized religion". Want to know a shocking truth? Public opinion is sometimes WRONG. Would you like proof? Answer the following scenario:

Your 10 year old son comes home and asks to go over to a friends house, with the plan that after a bit, he and his friend will go over to a third friends house. You know that friend number one has a pool, and you know your son and friend will likely be going for a swim. You know that friend two's dad owns a gun and that the kids know where it is kept. What are you going to say to your son?

Possible answers:
1) Sure, go ahead, be home by supper.
2) You can go to friend number one's house, but I don't want you going to friend two's house.
3) You can go to friend number two's house, but I don't want you going to friend one's house.
4) You failed your science test today---you're not going anywhere buddy.

If you're actually a parent, you're probably thinking about answer 2. Or maybe you're not because you know that's the expected answer, and you never do what's expected.

Yes, it is the expected answer, and Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner prove it nicely in their book "Freakonomics" when they list the statistical evidence concerning juvenile death by guns, compared to death by drowning in a family pool. Most do not see a backyard pool as an inherent danger to their children, but would never dream of owning a gun. However, statistics prove that a child in a home with both a gun and a swimming pool is about 100 times more likely to die in the swimming pool, rather then in an accident with the gun. How well known is this fact?

Well, did you know?

All this to say that my heart sinks when I see the likes of Elton John making such horribly damaging comments across the worldwide stage. As followers of Jesus Christ, our highest mandate is to love. God is love and we strive to be like him.


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