What would you have been if there wasn’t any Christianity?
I think the same as I am now.
So Christianity hasn’t made you any better or worse?
I don’t think it has.
Has it made any difference at all?
Yes. It has made me look at myself in a mirror. Made me consider what it is I am seeing in the mirror.
And what do you see?
I see someone who should, who must, who ought to. Someone called a “sinner”. Someone tainted for no reason than someone else says so. Like being black. Like being gay. Like being anything that someone disapproves of. Just in my case a “sinner” because someone says I am.
And I get angry when I see that reflection. I was born an innocent baby. And I am a granddad now and I have seen innocent babies. Innocent babies who are the most self-centred, most needy, most demanding, most uncaring of anyone else babies. Yet all of that and “innocent”. Not a sin in sight.
And then as I became able to cope with food other than my mother’s milk – my “training” began. Learning to wait. Learning to not be first in everything. Learning some things hurt. Learning some things were fun. Learning I was to be left alone for increasing periods of time. And – I am told – somewhere in there my “sinful nature” also happened. I switched from an innocent babe to a “sinner”. And – I am told – it is because of you. You allowed the circumstances of my genetic sinful nature to be formed.
Just like a black-skinned human being. Or a gay-skinned human being. Or a sinner-skinned human being. I get no choice in becoming a sinner. And – just like a black person or a gay person – I too need to be saved. Except gay people can’t be saved. Ever. I am told you say. And black people are told they are the same as us but they know they are not. So they can never be saved either. Not really. No matter what you say.
And this is my doing?
I am told it is.
And what do you see in the mirror now?
I see through the outer mask of what I am told I was and would always be. I see me. I see I am. I see I am not a sinner and never was. I never needed saving.
Because you never made me as sinner so I never needed saving. I am not a sinner and I do not need saving from sin. I need relationship to allow me to be safe. I need connections that allow me to be more than I can be on my own. I need to be free of fear so I can love fully and freely. So I can be loved fully and freely.
How can you be so sure?
Because of the imagery. Because I am a creator and always will be. I can create a relationship like this. I can create a new life like me and not like me. I can create a universe based on nothing more than my imagination. And I have a sneaky feeling we are not the only “species” who can do that. But we are the only species who – I think – have neglected speaking with other species.
I am told it is because you gave us everything. So we can eat everything, take everything, use everything, waste everything, poison everything. You told us we could. You told us we should. That’s what I was told. And that is a pile of poo as well.
So why do we talk?
Because of this.
What I see in my mirror is something I am told by the world I should not be. Someone I cannot be. Someone I should not be. That I should be someone who sees love as okay for sex and family but not for everyone else. That “that kind of love” is weak. That I will be taken advantage of. That the “law of the (hi-tech) jungle” is the way. That there are predators out there looking for an angle. And I have to protect myself. And that is also a pile of poo.
To be continued …