Saturday, December 18, 2010

Learning: Lessons from Discrimination

What I learned from a lifetime of discrimination, first as being female and then as being gay, is that the people in positions of authority who have the education, “expertise”, and power over other peoples’ lives, don’t necessarily have the truth.

I learned that what is revealed to me through my life experience can be more valid than what others only know through their studies, belief systems and cultural “norms”.
Whenever unexamined, closely held beliefs result in harm to another person or people, those beliefs have to be challenged with the reality of the experiences of those who have been judged.

The Quaker processes of threshing sessions and clearness committees in which all gather to try and discern together with divine assistance and all are willing to be changed is a major reason that I am a Quaker.
Much has changed in my lifetime. Psychiatry has come to realize that being gay is not a sickness, the law in some countries no longer recognize being gay as a crime.

The last bastion of discrimination is in some of the churches that still recite one portion of the old purity laws while blithely ignoring all of the others.
Jesus said that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.
What does it mean that the law was fulfilled? There is a lot of description of what he meant in Matthew 5:17-27
There is no mention of homosexuality here, but much about divorce and judging others.
Why don’t some churches attempt to recognize fulfillment of the law?