Friday, September 17

Two worlds and two quotes

This week has been a roller-coaster.

This week, I have read about Billy Lucas and Carl Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat and Jaheem Herrera - all of these boys bullied and harassed by anti-gay slurs, despite none were gay, to the point of taking their own lives. I have read the hate-filled rhetoric directed at muslims, the venom hurled towards gays and the misplaced invective about secularism by church officials who prove time and again that they are fundamentally out of touch with the world.

All of this sadness and anger is rolling around in my head and I think about what happened this weekend.

This past weekend, our church community sponsored a booth at the Boulder Pridefest. We were one of a dozen or so faith-based groups who had a table at the event, which was not what I was expecting but made for some great conversations, including some boys from the local Hillel group wanting our brochures because "We know some people who would like this". The warm summer air was filled with acceptance, openness and the strains of lesbian folk music. The highlight was a young kid about the age of Carl and Jaheem (11 or so) who, in response to being told about Fr. Mychal Judge being gay said "What difference does that make?"

Which world do we want?

The world where fear of litigation dominates the church or the world where people of other faiths act as advocates of your church?

The world where denigration of the perceived 'Other' drives kids to self-annihilation or the world where being different is embraced as a valued ideal?

Do we want a world where people are powerless and apathetic or a world where we are empowered and responsible?

Do we want a world filled with division, hatred and fear or unity, love and understanding?

The Mahatma enjoined us to "Be the change that you want to see in the world".

Margaret Mead reminds us to “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does”.

This isn't specifically a matter of faith, but rather a matter of where we, as humans, wish to go.

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