Am I Crazy, Or…

Am I Crazy, Or…

I suppose it is understandable that I have devoted a lot of words to trans issues. As I have written several times, embedded within my identity are responsibilities, and I don’t aim to shirk them. But should we really be devoting this much time to this issue? Could it be possible more pressing issues need our attention?

I have been shocked by the never-ending protestations among Evangelicals on LGBTQ issues since the Supreme Court decision and the media focus on Caitlyn Jenner. Concerning gay marriage, Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville said, “Marriage is the ultimate social issue.” Okay, Al, really?

When you woke up this morning, there were over 19 million refugees in the world. Four million are Syrian refugees. Bashar al-Assad became the ruler of Syria in 2000 and when protests erupted as a part of the Arab Spring, his regime responded with gas and barrel bombs aimed at his own people. Assad wanted to take attention away from his atrocious government, so he targeted Sunni communities in the hopes of turning the civil unrest into a religious war between Shiites and Sunnis. His ploy worked. Sunnis from all over the Middle East came to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s Shiite government. The fear of ISIS then caused Iran and other primarily Shiite nations to support Assad, playing into his shrewd hands. Raging in Syria is a civil war with planetary implications. Yet here we are, focused on gay marriage.

Over 200,000 Syrians have been killed by one side or the other since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. One in five residents of Syria has fled the country. Every single day, thousands travel 3,500 miles over land and water to reach the few welcoming nations of Western Europe. Though they recently stepped up border controls, Germany has been the most supportive. Syrian refugees call Chancellor Angela Merkel, “Mother Merkel.” (Should we be surprised it is a female head of state who welcomes the homeless?)

While four million people have fled Syria, the United States has agreed to accept 10,000, one in 400. I guess we’re too busy watching Caitlyn Jenner’s reality show and choosing among the zillion Republican candidates who intend to somehow overturn the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. We don’t have time to devote energy to housing the refugees of a brutal war. We are in the midst of the most serious refugee crisis since World War II, yet it took the picture of a dead child in the arms of a Turkish border guard to bring attention to the plight of millions.

Still, Evangelicals focus on gay marriage and trans rights. Last week I was interviewed by a Denver area newspaper because a transgender member of an Evangelical megachurch was barred from attending her church’s women’s retreat. Millions are fleeing their homes, and a megachurch focuses on a single transgender member who wants to go on a retreat.

I mean, that’s kinda like one potential shoe bomber causing an entire nation to have to take off its shoes, while between 1999 and 2012 there are 179 school shootings and nothing is done to stop the proliferation of firearms. Uh, wait a minute. That actually happened. Maybe I need to find a different illustration.

So you tell me. What should we be focusing on? Should it be the straw man we’ve created who has supposedly threatened the fabric of Western Civilization, or should we be focusing on the 19 million refugees wandering our planet who are desperately searching for a new home?

You tell me?

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7 thoughts on “Am I Crazy, Or…

  1. Well said Paula, with people starving, people being killed in theaters and in Bible studies, yeah, Dear Al, the gay marriage and trans issue are the most important social issues on the screen. How can one person, seminary and church be so out of touch. They are loosing members and he is disturbed and must point the blame rather than assume some responsibility. Well written Paula. Dave.

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  2. Paula, Thanks for another thought provoking post. I see your point. There are big issues we should be focusing on – like Syria, like hunger, like other injustices around the world. But I don’t necessarily think this is an either or thing. I think it’s a both thing. Marriage seems to have been ordained by God since the beginning of time. (And since the beginning of time, we have seen ups and downs when it comes to marriage.) I may stand alone here, but I think marriage is important. When lived out and worked on it provides a further foundation for society, and it more appropriately points to Christ’s relationship with the Church. Thanks for continuing to stretch me.

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  3. This is exactly along the lines of what
    I email to Mr. Nowhere each time he sends an email update about the
    “Pressing” matters of the week, such as repealing the Affordable Care Act or standing up for Kim Davis.

    In our own country children are hungry. In our own country, children seek refuge. In Europe and the Middle East, people are literally DYING to leave.

    Thank you for this post. It’s good to know I am not the only person with this train of thought as it relates to Christians and political leaders.

    Peace to you

    Margo

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  4. “Somewhere, somehow somebody
    Must have kicked you around some
    Who knows, maybe you were kidnapped
    Tied up, taken away and held for ransom
    It don’t really matter to me
    Everybody’s had to fight to be free
    You see you don’t have to live like a refugee
    I said you don’t have to live like a refugee”
    –Tom Petty & Michael W. Campbell, Refugee lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

    All of us need a refuge. Our nation was founded by refugees, but too many of us seem to have forgotten that fact. The church, especially, should be a refuge for broken people–there aren’t, after all, any other kind.

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