of the biggest problems Christian churches have today: people either
blindly trust them OR... they don't trust them at all. I admit I'm one
of the latter, but with good reason: I saw one of history's greatest
hypocrisies play out before my very eyes in our own "Age of AIDS." No,
I won't go into my story because a great many people already know it
and for those who don't, here's an open invitation to contact me to
find out why I am so mistrustful of organized religion. For argument's
sake, however, let's just say that I know a little about the whys and
wherefores of religious organizations.
head of the Russian Orthodox Church says that, although the church
views homosexuality as a sin, homosexuality is a personal choice.
Kirill says gays and lesbians must not be persecuted or discriminated
against in any way, though the church still opposes same-sex marriages.
patriarch's statements, a breakthrough for the Russian church, were
made during a meeting Wednesday with visiting Council of Europe
Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland.
Opposition to gay rights remains widespread in Russia, where homosexuality was decriminalized only in 1993.
high-profile Russian politicians have spoken against gay rights. Moscow
Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has described homosexuality as "satanic" and blamed
homosexuals for spreading AIDS.
people have hailed the Patriarch's move as "embracing" while others
look at it suspiciously: too little and waaaay too late. Russia's love
affair with homophobia is so entrenched in the culture that patriarchs
placing pink triangles on their foreheads would be met with derision
and onion-domed churches set ablaze (for good measure). And although
one could argue "it's better than nothing," we've heard that song
before and it's rather depressing: "Second Hand Rose". It's as if gays are getting the crumbs off the table of Patriarch Kirill's table. One comment the Associated Press article got was quite apropos, although acidic in temperament:
do we care what is said by a group which believes in bronze age
mythology about a sky deity who sends his son, who is really himself on
a suicide mission so he doesn't have to send everyone on earth into
eternal burning torment? Talking snakes with feet? Guys living inside
of giant fishes? It's like some sort of really badly written and edited
science fiction novel. And yet we listen to what they have to say about
us? Why? I don't give a rat's ass what they think. The sooner they
drift into the debris of history, the better off we will all be.
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