Faith & The Future

I hope the next decade will see bisexual discussion of religion and spirituality move away from a sterile choice – between sensible sexually liberated people who reject religion in all forms, on the one hand, and frustrated fundamentalists like Baroness Young on the other. I want to see the debate broaden out, not least because there is a great spiritual yearning among many in our community. And the churches mosques and synagogues are less monolithic than we might think.

There is a great block of reactionaries who argue that what the Church (mosque, synagogue) has taught about sex and marriage was said by God, has never changed, and is fundamentally aligned with human nature and destiny. In fact, there has always been a whole spectrum of Christian theology which rejects fundamentalism, what the church teaches about sex and marriage has changed repeatedly over the centuries, what the church condones in practice is not always what it preaches in principle.

We are now reading books by straight Christian bishops which avoid all the handwringing and picking through the letter of old texts, and which come out and say, “This is all nonsense, let us listen to gay people and let them teach us something.”

This is one of the great challenges – how we deal with the reality of different faith paths, whether it is paganism, or ecumenical experiments, or encounter groups between Jews and Muslims. Christians, for example, have to deal with fundamentally divided views on war, wealth, obedience to the government, abortion, marriage, divorce, women priests and yes, gays and what it really means to be a Christian. Jews have to deal with fundamentally different views about what it means to be a Jew. These times of turmoil are frightening but they can also be liberating. Every faith has its fundamentalist wing which tends to be violent, authoritarian, sexist and down on gays. I have no intention of leaving the fundamentalists in charge. I’ve as much right to the Christian tradition as they have.