Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uganda, Advent, and the carpenter

BP and I are at our respective workplaces, have been corresponding by email today. There was a big report on the Uganda story on NPR this morning and its instigation by conservative Christians who adhere to a world view that is unchanging: apart from the world, rather than of it. Dismissing any evidence that doesn't fit the old views. Rigid, authoritarian, and not open to change. Threats to those who disagree. Almost cultish.

And then I thought that the way the Episcopal Church is embracing its role IN the world, rather than apart from it, messy as it is, seems much more akin to the stories of that carpenter dude who hung with the prostitutes and challenged the unchanging traditions of the Pharisees with radical ideas of justice.

(BP liked that image and encouraged me to share it with you.)

I think that unless the Anglican Communion really grapples with the meaning of murdering people for whom they love, they have ceded authority to pronounce upon any issues of morality and sexuality. Will they stand with the Uganda church supporting violence, or will they stand with the carpenter?

Meanwhile, Rwanda too has a bill to criminalize gay people. Guided by the conservatives, Africa is leading the charge backward in time, into denial.

And so I point you at Susan Russell's reflection, here, which seems appropriate:
As we come to the end of this Advent season of preparation we will open our hearts and our minds once again to the amazing mystery of the Word made flesh and dwelling among us in the miracle of the Christmas story. We will rejoice once again in the scandal of the incarnation – of a God who loved us enough to become one of us in order to show us how to walk in love with one another. And this year, let us rejoice as well that we belong to a God whose capacity to draw us into ever-widening understandings of peace, joy, justice, compassion and incarnation didn’t end in Bethlehem with the birth of Jesus. Or in Philadelphia with the ordination of eleven women priests. Or in Riverside with the election of two bishops-suffragan.
One can just imagine the carpenter, that radical, smiling.


Ann said...

Some of the roots of this in Africa are from the British - read Louie Crew's history of anti-gay laws in Britain and the US here

JCF said...

One can just imagine the carpenter, that radical, smiling.

Some of us don't just imagine the radical Nazarean carpenter, IT. We believe (trust) in him! ;-)


Off-topic: currently watching Rachel Maddow, discussing "Christian" anti-healthcare (what little is left of healthcare reform :-( ) wackos. These people are BEYOND scary. They are criminally INSANE! :-0

IT said...

I know JCF, I know.

I agree about the "Christians" destroying health care.

IT said...

Thank, Ann. I think that there are many levels to the ways the west has manipulated this situation, starting with the colonial era obsession with sex.

Elizabeth said...

I can imagine that radical carpenter smiling. Thats why I follow him. I want to be that kind of radical too.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Amen, dear Sisters!