Thursday, November 09, 2006

We Discover Jesus in the Margins.

So, a sociopathic president and a bisexual, drug addicted pastor stand with the rest of us broken and bruised children as prime candidates for the grace of God. All of us are living in a fallen and twisted world, and the great sin isn’t failure and imperfection, but arrogance and hubris. We fall because we exalt ourselves so highly.

The President, yesterday while announcing the eminent departure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, admitted that he was aware of the event long before the announcement. One of the members of the press corp., emboldened no doubt by the believe that he could no longer wind up in a gulag, questioned the President as to why a week earlier he had told them that Secretary Rumsfeld was in for the long haul. The President replied that he certainly could not announce mews like that during the election. The journalist pressed the issue “why did you lie, though?” “Because I wanted you to get to the next question.” The President responded. How telling; the President felt it would show weakness and negatively effect the election to announce that he was being responsive to the people’s wishes by replacing Mr. Rumsfeld. Most of us, when we think of democracy, would expect that if enough of the people indicated that the government is going in the wrong direction, they would entertain the possibility of change. But in the Marlboro country that Mr. Bush inhabits, any compromise or correction is a sign of weakness, deserving defeat. Further, when asked about his reason for lying he answered like an undisciplined child (or someone who has no grasp of right or wrong), that it was convenient for him, he wanted to talk about something else. Almost guilelessly stating that his whims were more important than the truth. If Mr. Bush had the ability to assess his failures and mistakes, we would be living in a different world today. But, Mr. Bush was never taught to be an adult, and we all, including him, suffer.

Pastor Ted Haggard has been in the news a lot lately for being human. Progressives, who should know better, are wringing their hands in glee about what a hypocrite he is. All those good double entrants are coming out, and gay bashing abounds. Christians, on the other hand are scandalized, keying on entirely the wrong issues. Pastor Ted spoke against the GLBT community, even though he reports that he has been aware of membership in their ranks since his youth, that is hypocritical, no question. But, how much of this scandal is based on bigotry toward gays; and unbiblical and ungodly hatred for children which God has loved? Some good news is that he has been spared the threatened “counseling” of James Dobson (he was apparently busy abusing children and didn’t have enough time to pick on someone his own size), but he will probably not get the counseling he really needs. Jesus lives in the margins, He hangs out with and delivers dope fiends, and expects the same integrity from His gay followers that he does from His straight followers. If Pastor Ted is bisexual, this changes nothing, heterosexual married people have three billion other people that they can cheat on their spouse with. A bisexual spouse just has more people that (s)he will “put aside” in order to be faithful to their spouse, and betraying that vow is equally wrong. If he is gay, he has some decisions to make. He still has to be compassionate of those people that are left in the wake. And the Church has to take their position as partly responsible for all the pain this causes, because if they had not lied to and shoehorned him into a role that God never created him to fill, all of this heartbreak would not have occurred. We in the progressive community need to be welcoming to Pastor Ted (yes it is difficult, but it is progressive). How hypocritical is it to drag our some of the same tired taunts that would set our teeth on edge if it came from the right. It would be a sad ending to this story, indeed if it ended not in redemption, but in brainwashing.

Jesus meets us all in the margins. He accepts us when we feel guilty and picks us up when we fall. Us progressives (even those who don’t believe in Him) follow His example a lot closer than many of those that claim His name. As the nations vote to exclude some of God children from full human rights because of how God made them, and judges fill prisons with children who seek their love in a pipe or a straw, and a misguided administration sends our children to kill their children, Jesus weeps. He calls out to us; to meet Him in the margins.

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