Saturday, November 23, 2013

russian lgbt = my neighbour

Christ on the Cross Between Two Gay Men, by Rubens and robg
When Jesus was crucified, the Roman authorities put up a sign which read, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews". The religious authorities protested, wanting the sign to say that this was Jesus' claim, as they did not follow him nor take him as their king. (John 19:19-20).

Today, the sign could well say something like "Jesus, Lover of Russian Queers" or "Jesus, Lover of Ugandan Homosexuals."

Outrageous and offensive? Probably, but not anymore than "King of the Jews" was.

And maybe such a sign wouldn't happen, as those who use words like queer and homosexual tend to be in favour of Jesus, and would not write both on the same sign.

But if it did appear, this version of the sign would be protested by some of today's religious people for a different reason. While they would agree that Jesus is their king, they don't follow Him. At least not to the margins, the outcast, the dispossessed, the oppressed. And there would be disagreement as to whether Jesus even loves LGBT people of any sort, let alone Russian or Ugandan LGBT people.

Ironic and sad, isn't it? Has Jesus' love not really conquered hate after all? Or perhaps those of us who follow Jesus need to follow Him in standing with men and women at the margins, standing up for those who are oppressed and downtrodden, no matter how great or small the divide between us seems ....

Who is my neighbour? My answer is clear:

lgbt = neighbour

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