Like it or not, read it or not, accept this or not…the Bible just had an impact on your life. If we learn anything from Friday’s single-vote loss in the state senate on HB74, it is that the Bible was more influential than the Constitution. It’s kind of like Malcolm X explained black history. “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us!” In much the same way, we just got thumped by the Bible-thumpers.
Some in the GLBT community and their friends are calling for more political action, singling out legislators who supported the bill and looking to the next election for change. Others may choose cynicism and disengage from the public debate. I have heard a few advocate for educating the community about these issues.
One bold blogger suggested progressive, gay rights advocates move to Wyoming. “If about 40,000 of us progressives moved to Wyoming, we could turn that state, and the US Senate, on its head. Same with Alaska. WY has a population of about 550k, Alaska 680k. An influx of progressive voters could make those states spin 180 degrees.” However, the writer quickly added, “But I'm not willing to move to either outpost.” So much for that strategy!
I have an alternative idea. Study the Bible. Please give me a few more paragraphs before you hit delete. I know the Bible has been the weapon of choice for many of the proponents of gay discrimination laws. Rev. Benhard Kuiper, a former Colorado Springs Presbyterian pastor is famous on the internet for having preached, “It should be made clear that in order to live a Christian life, any Christian must be able to discriminate and hate, because that's what the bible says.”
That is not what the Bible says but throughout history, it has been used to justify the oppression of blacks, women, the poor and now homosexuals. People who take it literally may or may not have actually read it but they haven’t studied it. The same is true of those who use it to sanction discrimination. To those who actually study it, the Bible is no longer a weapon to support marginalization of others. It is a shield against discrimination. This book (actually it is an entire library) is far too authoritative in our culture for us to abandon its stories, its metaphors, its meaning and its authority to those who misquote it in self-serving ways.
The late Henri Nouwen, a Roman Catholic Priest and influential spiritual writer who was thought to have been gay) thought homosexuals have what he called, “a unique vocation in the Christian community.” That vocation includes seeking to understand before asking to be understood. Carl Jung poignantly observed, “Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood.”
Studying the Bible as the means to the end of understanding those who supported HB74 may be the best revenge we could exact. Any interest?