#beautifulstory…

It’s been a strange 7 days, death, a trip to A&E and yet another hate filled piece of publicity from the Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC). I would say go and watch it for yourself, but I wouldn’t want to inflict this poorly disguised piece of discriminatory propaganda (and that is what it is), on anyone.  This sort of thing serves no purpose except to fuel the fire of hatred and violence against the LGBTQIA+ Community.

What I have taken comfort and just pure joy in, is that the hashtag #beautifulstory, which the CEEC I am sure, had hoped would help them in promoting their propaganda, has actually been taken over by LGBTQIA+ peeps of Twitter – CEEC are going to be livid and I couldn’t be more delighted! These are stories of love and faithfulness, of commitment and respect. 

The CEEC and its members will tell you that same sex relationships are wrong, that if you are gay, you go against God and the Church. It’s almost like they’ve never heard of Jesus Christ!  I know of people who have had ‘the gay prayed away’ – let me tell you something, the ‘gay’ is never prayed away. They are still gay, whether they want to accept it or not.  

I pass no judgement on how people wish to live their lives, you can marry who you want, live with who you want and sleep with who you want. However, I do have a problem when living the life that you want, means that you feel you have a right to inflict pain, suffering and judgement on others.

It is all very well saying we have to have mutual flourishing, but it seems that it only applies one way.  If a conservative condemns people to hell because of their sexuality then those who have been condemned should suck it up and ‘listen’ to difference, embrace their brother or sister in Christ, and find common ground. However, when we say, actually what you are saying is damaging, hurtful and we don’t want to engage in this hatred anymore, we are told that we are not engaging or promoting a wider conversation. We are being difficult, a problem to be solved.  Guess what? We are not a ‘problem’ to be solved and we don’t have to listen to people who are in no way interested in listening to us.  Do you remember Jesus in the temple with the moneylenders? Well, take this as an overturning of the tables and saying no more!

We don’t have to listen to your vitriolic hate speech and we don’t have to engage with it.  There are those who I respect immensely who are far more patient than me and will try to engage and have meaningful conversations with you. They are far more tolerant and understanding of your views/theology than I am. You are lucky that they give you their time. They are good people and want to work with you. Don’t waste this opportunity.

I have spent decades, like so many others defending who I am in one way or another. I am done with that. If you don’t like me, don’t speak to me. If you question my value as a human, I don’t care about your opinion, you’re wrong, this is not up for debate.  If you believe that I don’t live a godly life, good for you, move on. 

What I will continue to do, is call you and your pernicious ideologies out, and challenge you to be better. If you believe you live a godly life already, show it by living it.

For now, though, I will continue to read through the beautiful stories of God given, blessed relationships, people and communities. This is where life is to be found, where love and joy is a gift from God and is celebrated in the heavens with Jesus as the officiant!

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