by Christy Carl-Sillman
Have you ever noticed that when an influential young person tragically dies all sorts of people come out to talk about them? Documentaries are made, books are written, and everyone suddenly has a story to share. Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, and now Michael Jackson have all given us post-mortem memorandum which has generated millions in profit.
This is essentially what happened to one of the world’s biggest celebrities – Jesus Christ.
Jesus was a controversial dude. He prophesized, performed miracles, ultimately was crucified, and then shocked everyone when he rose from the dead 3 days later – and you thought Tupac’s post-mortem albums were impressive.
Then people started to write stories about Jesus, his teachings, and his tragic death. Some of these people were very close to him, and others barely knew him. Then someone decided to compile these stories into one large book – The Bible (specifically The New Testament).
Talk about a best seller; this book has not only sold an estimated 2.5-6 billion copies, but has become the focus of many debates and long-fought wars. To many, this book is considered to be the actual word of God.
(Record screeches to a stop)
Now I know that the writers of the Bible were considered prophets of God, but I’m sorry, I can only think of “the telephone game” when the reality of The Bible is discussed.
You know “the telephone game” – one person whispers a phrase into another’s ear down a line of people, and everyone laughs when the last person’s interpretation of the phrase is completely different than the first person. What makes people so sure that these retellings of Jesus’s words are correctly remembered? Many of the books of the bible were written decades after he died.
Michael Jackson’s “This is it” movie is even in question for a misrepresentation of the last days of his life – and his words came directly out of his mouth!
So why does this cradle Catholic feel so strongly about the interpretation of the bible? Because I can’t stand it when people take literal quotes from the bible to justify hateful propaganda all in JC’s name.
I interpret The Bible like one interprets any other story- I look for the overall values and morals. The Bible, specifically The New Testament, has given me the values of empathy, love, respect, and equality to all my neighbors. Jesus always made it a point to give his attention and love to the outcasts and hated people of society. He only had LOVE in his heart and I feel would always be supportive of love in any form.
Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, so I think that it wasn’t a big deal to him. Love is love, and I believe Jesus would have been supportive of homosexual love in this day and age.
So, if you’re going to mix church/Jesus/Christianity with political debates (such as government issued gay marriage licenses) then you really need to look at the reality of your campaign to demonize love, and question whether this aligns with the personal relationship you have with God and Jesus. As a Christian, it is my responsibility to represent Jesus’s unconditional love for all of God’s children.
The reality of the situation needs to be addressed. After all, it doesn’t really matter what I think Jesus would do, because in this country Jesus doesn’t make the decisions, neither does Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, or Gandhi. There is this concept our forefathers built into the constitution known as the separation of church and state. Gay marriage is a government issue, but if you continually try to bring Jesus and his best selling book into the matter, please stop and think to yourself – What WOULD Jesus do?