Tag Archives: Jesus

Pedophelia Is Not Christian

It’s past time to speak on behalf of the Christian Church and its witness.  Pedophilia is not Christian; no matter how much Roy Moore, Jerry Falwell, Jr., and some Evangelical Christians try to claim otherwise. The God of love and mercy for whom Jesus lived and died weeps and rages each time someone is raped, molested or sexually assaulted in any way.  God knows that even one such experience has a lifelong impact.  No matter how much someone claims these acts are done under the guise God’s will, destroying the lives of others in such a heinous way is never God’s will.

Brave women are sharing publicly for the first time their stories of being sexually assaulted as teenagers (as young as 8th grade) by the current Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, Judge Roy Moore.  These women shared their stories privately years ago with family and friends; they did not wait until Moore was running for national office before telling what happened.  In addition, multiple people have reported that Moore was banned from a shopping mall and YMCA in his hometown in the 1980’s because of his known predilection for young girls.

Disgustingly, but sadly and not surprisingly, most of the political world, conservative media, and many Evangelical Christians are now contorting themselves to support this pedophile’s election to Congress.  Few call for him to pull out of the race or for voters to elect someone else (even a Democrat, if necessary).  I wish I could pray, “God, have mercy on their souls,” but I can’t yet.  Maybe I’ll have to leave the decision about mercy and forgiveness up to God.

Making their position even worse, most of the people who continue to support Roy Moore see no contradiction between his alleged behavior and his claim of Christian righteousness.   They continue to wrap him in a protective cloak of conservative Christianity because they think he is an exemplar of Christian morality.  And…wait for it…They argue that Jesus considers Moore’s behavior and multiple sexual assaults of girls inconsequential compared to the importance of having a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.  How dare they!

An Alabama state official, Jim Zeigler, has been quoted nationally claiming that God has no problem with an adult male having sex with a 14-year-old girl.  As evidence of God’s benevolent stance toward such behavior, Zeigler claims that Jesus Christ is the off-spring of a sexual union between Mary (at age 14) and Joseph (an adult man to whom she was engaged), and that this was obviously sanctioned by God.  Most Christians I know would be horrified if they took time to realize what his argument really says.  The Bible says Jesus was conceived by Mary and the Holy Spirit, not Joseph.  This is known as the Doctrine of the Virgin Birth.  Those who acquiesce to these convenient convolutions of Christianity to elect a Republican pedophile to the U.S. Senate cover Christianity in slime.

Pedophilia is neither moral, nor legal, nor beneficial to a healthy society.  It has no place in our homes, schools, houses of worship, communities, or Congress.

Sexual molestation and assault always violate the victim/survivor’s humanity and being, but particularly so when she or he is a child or teen.  It ruptures the very foundation of Jesus’ message of love.  It is pure evil.

Therefore, I end where I began:  Pedophilia is not Christian.

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and God’s love is perfected in us” (I John 4:7-8, 12).

 

 

 

Gandhi Has It Right

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” said Gandhi.  The tally sheet of rights and wrongs is never balanced.  When we are busily making each other blind, or focussed on the tally sheets in our life, we lose sight of what’s most important: seeing beauty around us, love in our life, hunger in children, and scars on others’ hearts.  there’s a better wayA

Holding onto bitterness about an injury–supposed or real–chews away a part of us.  It exerts control over us and limits who we are, who we become, how we respond to life, and what we think about.  It limits our capacity for love, joy, creativity and freedom.  Let go of it, and we’re able to see a better tomorrow.  There’s a better way.

Yes, consequences need to follow actions.  But those consequences not rooted in revenge tend to be the wisest and carry the greatest good.  Giving up the right for revenge ends the injury’s control of us.  Once we’re free of its control, we can make wiser decisions, reconnect with the goodness of life, and work toward understanding, reconciliation, or justice.

Sometimes I’m able to forgive, and sometimes I just can’t.  Sometimes I’m not the one who needs to do the forgiving.  When I can’t forgive, or am not in a position to forgive, I  give the matter of forgiveness to God.  Some types of forgiveness belongs only to God, anyway.

When I forgive or ask God to deal with the matter of forgiveness, I feel as though I have just reduced a boulder that was blocking my path down to the size of a little pebble on the ground in front of me.  I can look at the pebble, know it’s there, step over it and move on.

Forgiveness is not a rule we have to follow.  When we can’t forgive, we can trust God, instead, to do that which is right in the matter of forgiveness.  This doesn’t make us bad Christians.  New Testament Scholar Frederick W. Keene writes that when Jesus says from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Jesus doesn’t say that he has forgiven his killers.  Rather, he is asking God to forgive them.*

When we forgive or give the task of forgiveness to God, we free our soul, lighten our spirit, and open the door to new or renewed relationships.  Forgiveness lets us recognize the humanity, strengths and limitations of the Other, and acknowledges that we, too, have limitations and need forgiveness on occasion.  Forgiveness gives up the right to revenge.  It opens the door to a state of peace inside.

True forgiving doesn’t require that we forget what happened.  Forgetting blocks productive change and can even be dangerous.  Remembering what has happened can help us plan for the future.

Some people give up chocolate or alcohol for Lent, some take a daily walk or meditate.  If everyone in the world–both Christian and non-Christian–gave up the desire for revenge for 40 days, maybe we’d have a chance for peace.  Barring that, let’s each of us give up for 40 days, any grudges or bitterness we carry.  Let them go.  Reduce them to pebbles, take a breath of fresh air, and walk away from them.  I think we’ll feel radically better if we do.

*Structures of Forgiveness in the New Testament,” in Violence against Women and Children:  A Christian Theological Sourcebook, Carol J. Adams and Marie M. Fortune, editors: Continuum/New York; p. 128.