Gay Marriage

This was posted on Facebook as an exercise in being more honest across all spheres of my life. I wanted to see if I could write a single statement I was happy to share with everyone, no fudging or spinning my views differently to tell people what they wanted to hear – Christians, atheists, family, friends. The reaction blew me away. I only set out to deal with a personal issue about being genuine with people, so the amount it prompted other people to think and discuss things is really more than I ever hoped for. Disclaimer: it wasn’t written to withstand that much scrutiny; I oversimplify the state of affairs in the evangelical community and the change that’s already happening, and I left out a whole lot of Biblical discussion that didn’t make sense for something aimed at a wide cross-section of people.


Witty Title Goes Here

I recently had the very great pleasure of celebrating my cousin’s wedding, a day or two after the US Supreme Court opened the door to gay marriage across the United States. My news feed was the happiest I’ve ever seen it: the wedding, even-more-jubilant-than-usual Pride parades, friends’ graduations for good measure. Celebrations all around. It brought me back to thinking about the fight against gay marriage from evangelical Christians (when I write Christians from here on, I mean those opposed to gay marriage). Many outsiders see hypocrisy: a movement that preaches love yet denies a huge group of people their freedom to express it. It’s a misinformed and slightly lazy characterisation – it’s much less effort to dismiss people as hypocrites or fools than it is to try to understand what’s going on when good people have opinions that shock us. But the Christian approach is lazier still, essentially falling back on “the Bible’s always right” without considering whether maybe the Bible can still be right, but they’re wrong. As a bisexual-ish ex-Christian, it’s an emotional debate for me, tied into who I am in many ways. Partly I need to vent my frustration with the church world that I was immersed in throughout my upbringing and means so much to me, but has it disastrously wrong on this one. Partly I wanted to defend that same world to cynical friends who are unjustly harsh in their criticism. Mostly I realised that until I start being more upfront, I’m not only dishonest by omission, I’m also implicitly remaining ashamed in some way of my sexuality and my convictions.

Continue reading “Gay Marriage”

Advertisements
Gay Marriage

Why should there be a ‘why’?

[Quantum theory’s] peculiarity is such as to raise with some force the question of whether this is indeed what subatomic nature is ‘really like’ or whether quantum mechanics is no more than a convenient, if strange, manner of speaking that enables us to do the sums.

–John Polkinghorne, Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Three is an amazing age. The three-year-old’s world is packed full of mysteries waiting to be unravelled, and the brain has just developed the capacity to reason, to piece together how things work, to ask why. When children are prone to asking why incessantly, we call them curious. When the why bug persists into adulthood, they usually prefer to be called scientists. It’s the motivating force of much of scientific research, but there are hints to suggest that some scientific frontiers could be approaching the limits of why.

Continue reading “Why should there be a ‘why’?”

Why should there be a ‘why’?

Spring Cleaning

For months, a nebulous idea has cowered at the bottom of my to-do list. ‘Write.’ I left it lurking there unattended, because I’m not A Writer, whatever one of those is, and I wasn’t sure what impelled me to quite write ‘write’ right there at all. I knew I kind of wanted to think things through and let off some verbal steam, but without knowing where or how to start.

A conversation not so long ago changed that. We were talking about how I think endlessly, I think in bed, I think while walking, and eating, and when I should be working, but how much insight does it ever gain me? Embarrassingly little. We both agreed I was ‘too full’, which is one of those soundbites that doesn’t really mean anything, yet somehow means a great deal. (There’s another one.) Put another way, it doesn’t always require conscious, lucid understanding for a message to sink in [1].

The trouble is, if you’re the thinking sort (and if there was ever a label to assign to me, it’s that), it’s all too easy to think and think and think yourself into a state of mental constipation, juggling a trillion and five things in your mind but rarely shining new light on any of them. And there is a lot to think about; my life has changed a great deal in the last ten years, as have I. To an extent, I’m sure this is a commonplace experience for anybody reflecting on their transition into adulthood. However, so much of the past few years would have been unthinkable (heh) to a younger me, it’s hard to grasp the extent of the effects that’s had. The time has come for a mental spring-cleaning; out with the old, and in with new (hopefully healthier) attitudes. This has been a work in progress for some time, haphazardly churning up the stagnant waters of my thoughtworld, but I’ve begun to think that it will only start to ‘fit’ once I’ve converted some of it into tangible words on paper. Meanwhile, I’ve thought enough to develop some opinions which have grown impatient at being bottled up voicelessly, so it’s high time to let loose a few rants into the cyber-ether.

[1] Which perhaps sheds some light on how films and books can affect our psyche as much as they sometimes do.

Spring Cleaning