God Made the Rainbows Too…
In the midst of battles of black and white, we also remember the month that celebrates many colours, many hues, and many choices by the people of this world. The colours of the rainbow have been selected to show how when we split light – i.e. human beings – there are many hues. There are many who are not heterosexual – they can be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) and whatever they choose to call themselves.
One of the things that has plagued many on the argument of this classification is religion. Particularly Christianity. The example of Sodom and Gomorra from the Bible has been used ad nauseum to condemn homosexuals and acts of homosexuality as against God and his divine plan.
I would like to share a few experiences I have had with gay friends and acquaintances. One of my friends has great faith and belief in god. He battled with his homosexuality and never denied it but came to accept it as a part of who he was. He has far more Christian charity and kindness in him than half the heterosexuals who are holding up the pillars of the church like they are God’s right hand. Am I in a place to judge him when he has far greater humanity than half the ‘Christians’ I know? What makes you think God did not make him? Where does it say that he is not of God’s own? Doesn’t the faith proclaim that man was created in God’s own image? So why are those who are not heterosexual condemned? Why aren’t they a reflection of God? Did God write the Bible that you are quoting it like it’s gospel truth? Where are the teachings of love, faith and compassion? Where does it preach violence against one’s own?
Prof. Mark Wilson is a Christian pastor who has studied theology and is conductor of the UC Berkeley Gospel Chorus. I met him through the choir I sing with. He taught us the kind of passion and faith I have never before experienced while singing hymns. He taught us to praise God from our souls – with a passion that burned, with a faith that never wavered and in times when we did not know what tomorrow would bring, to believe in a God that never let us down. These days Prof. Wilson who is African American is standing together with his fellow queer brothers and sisters in solidarity as they celebrate Pride Month. A month dedicated to those who have been condemned for years by those who feel one is greater than the other by virtue of an external factor that does not determine the kind of human being they are. He is my example of what a man of God would be – spreading the message of peace, love and hope, teaching students the value of life and living by his belief while being true to himself. Is this not what Christians are meant to be? Again, who am I or you, to judge a man doing good unto others? Because he chooses to love a brother, I am going to condemn love is it? The very commandment Jesus taught?
Ask any Christian who belongs to the LGBTQI community and they will tell you how conflicted they are because they have faith but they cannot deny who they are. It is agony and torture and adding fuel to that fire is just inhuman.
Too long have we made insensitive jokes, dismissed people as ‘butterflies’, ‘poofs’, ‘ponnayas’ and various derogatory terms just because they are not what we are comfortable with. We have been taught a set of ‘norms’ and many of us are still boxed inside this – particularly in religion. We need to stop condemning people, using violence and abusing those we feel are not ‘righteous’ coz we are not in any position to do so from a Christian point of view and we are in no position to do so from a humane point of view. Are we not practicing a form of bigotry by condemning those who belong to the LGBTQI community?
Stop using dogma to justify injustice. The white supremacists used the Bible to justify slavery. The Colonisers used the Bible to justify invasion and colonisation. They made Jesus white – a man from the Mediterranean became blond and blue eyed to justify a KKK master plan. The Bible is used to justify Israel bombing Palestine as it is the ‘Promised Land’ of the Jews. If we were to believe the Bible literally, we have no place in God’s Promised Land coz we are not Jews.
So let’s all take a step back and look at our own prejudices. You don’t have to love someone to tolerate them. But if you follow the teachings of Christ, then you should love them.
God made everything – as per the Christian faith. And God made the rainbows too…