Friday, January 21, 2005

Christians issue gay warning on SpongeBob video

I read in the National Post that one of the reasons Focus on the Family is up in arms over spongebob is because of his pink snail roommate, Patrick, who they naturally assume he has a crush on. It's possibly one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Allow me to educate the masses. Seasponges are asexual. Asexual organisms can't be gay. Patrick the pink snail is a completely different species. So even if Patrick was gay, he wouldn't be interested in Spongebob, and even if he was, Spongebob wouldn't have him. It's a cold cruel ocean for Patrick, but Spongebob is happy just the way he is. That's why he's always smiling.

Apparently it's not only spongebob that Focus on the Family and their friends have an issue with, it's a video featuring Spongebob as well as a number of other cartoon personalities such as Winnie the Pooh, the Rugrats, and Bob the Builder. The video, which will be distributed by the "We are Family Foundation" to about 61,000 schools, is designed to encourage tolerance and diversity. It contains a reference to sexual identity as well as a "pledge of tolerance."

Now, explain something to me. What is wrong with tolerance?? I mean, what are the options. No matter what semantics you apply, the cold hard truth of the matter is that people you don't like or agree with are on this planet, and it's illegal to drown, choke, shoot or dismember them. You can't transport them to a faraway galaxy, and you can't point a remote control at them to make them shut up or disappear. It would seem to me that you have three options.

The first is to rant and rave and be rude and inconsiderate. You can yell and wave your fists and march around with signs and sign petitions or maybe even throw stones and insults. You could communicate your intolerance and drive them all away from your church and your religion. Congratulations. The Great Commission is in the bag.

The second is to tolerate them. After all, they're not going anywhere, and for all your combative "good" works, you're not making any progress. The louder you yell, the more ground you lose, and the more they learn to hate you. You could be grown up about it, and stop picking on asexual cartoon characters.

The third is to love everyone you meet the way Jesus would have.

I say let's not stop with tolerance. Why is it wrong to teach children to treat other people with respect and dignity?

An interesting comment was made today at house church in regards to judging other people, suggesting that when we make our judgements, we are not trusting the Holy Spirit to do His work. Does the Holy Spirit need us to be obnoxious in order to accomplish His work in other people's lives? If so, we will see results. Have we been seeing results??

Another comment was made regarding root issues. Every problem comes as a result of root issues. For centuries we've been condemning behaviour. When will we start addressing root issues? When will we care enough about people to ask the important questions? Like "why" or "how." When will we lose interest in remedial pat answers and stop burning people at the stake without knowing the first thing about them?

Poor spongebob. He's an asexual seasponge who lives in a pineapple at the bottom of the sea, where he thought he'd be safe. It's okay Spongebob. By the looks of things, I'm asexual too. Jesus loves us both, I'm sure of it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America--though she doesn't deserve it--a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly.

Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you."

Okay...... Republicans scare me. America right now scares me. Maybe it's not America or Republicans so much as it is their immediate proximity. I think I'd be less scared if I lived in New Zealand.

No, it's not because the country is supposedly turning back to God. That I could handle. That would make me happy. No, that's not what worries me. Is it because the general public is so reminiscent of a herd of lemmings, believing everything they're told regardless of what they were told the day before? Well, yeah that's troubling, but more so because that seems to be the case in Canada too. Humans in general are a lemming race, a fact which annoys me on the best of days.

Here's what frightens me. People using the terms Republican and Christian interchangeably, as though they're the same thing. Republicans defining Liberals as pagans to be fought against. A return to the pharisaical values that ruled in the days of Christ. I'm afraid that they're not "returning to God" as the bible thumping Bush supporters trumpet, but that they're returning to religion. I'm afraid that they've found their texan saviour and in the meantime, they'll crucify Christ.

Christians talk so much about being persecuted for their faith, but lately it seems like Christians are just as capable of persecuting others. There's a reason that the rest of the world percieves Christians as judgemental and rigid.... I percieve them that way. It's because they're always drawing lines and pointing fingers and making ignorant comments about gay people and single mothers, who, by the way, have lots to teach us.

We've been talking in Church alot about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They weren't supposed to eat from that tree. They were told that it would kill them. I don't think that tree was only there for the test. I don't think it was all about the choice. That fruit is poison. Satan told them that eating it would make them like God, and that was partly true. The knowledge of Good and Evil is for God alone. Judgement is up to Him. He's the only one qualified, He's the only one who can see into men's hearts.

The words that ring in my ears are "He who is without sin, cast the first stone," and then the sound of rocks thudding to the ground. It's easy to forget your own shortcomings when you're beating the sin out of somebody else. But it's not for us to throw stones.

Some days it's hard to call myself a Christian. The word brings to mind so many people who have stripped the meaning from the word. It's a term that can mean, "my parents go to church" or "I go to mass once a year" or "I'm an american" or "I'm a republican" or "I'm better than you because I know how much you sin." How then can I say "I am a Christian?" Nobody knows what that means, and those that think they do don't have very flattering interpretations. I'm not concerned about people not liking me because I'm a Christian, but I am concerned about people thinking they don't like me because their only experience with people who throw around the label "Christian" was negative.

But what is a Christian, really? Someone who follows Christ. Someone who tries to emulate His character in their lives. I don't know.... nobody succeeds all the time. But let's not forget what it is we're striving for. This isn't about fighting against gay people or abortion or getting our church hours in. It's not about the 'stand-up-sit-down-repeat-after-preacher-sing-a-song-and-go-home" routine that we so affectionately like to refer to as "church" This is supposed to be about following after a man who was loving and compassionate and bold and exciting. It's supposed to be about putting our stones and our baggage down and taking care of the needy and dining with whoever presents themselves, regardless or orientation or creed.

The only people that Jesus avoided were the religious.

Lord save me from religion. I don't want it. I would rather overcompensate, and beg forgiveness for my sins than find that Jesus has no interest in having dinner with me.

Monday, January 17, 2005

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