Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Fenced In for Christ

"We face an uphill battle with these people, especially the bush natives, who have to be protected against themselves. If they would only understand what we are trying to do for them."
-Mr. Neville, former chief protector of Aborigines in Western Australia

I just finished watching the film "Rabbit Proof Fence". I avoided watching it for over a year as it sat among the six other DVDs that I own. I sensed the film would be painful to watch, and it is.

The film chronicles the real life journey of three young 'half-caste' aboriginal girls taken 1,200 miles from their mothers so that they could be assimilated into white society (then serve as domestics). They escaped and walked home. One of them did not complete the journey.

This practice of forcibly removing the children from their families, friends and cultures continued until 1970. According to the film, "Today many of these Aboriginal people continue to suffer from this destruction of identity, family life and culture. We call them the Stolen Generation."

The filmmakers make it clear that the white Christians who perpetuated these acts did so out of noble intentions and Christian service. They portrayed the white Christians in a way that revealed their cultural bias and racism to the audience while it remained hidden to the characters themselves.

We white Christians have gotten it wrong many many times. One would think it would engender a measure of humility in us. Scientists continually admit where they get it wrong, a fact that creationists seek to exploit. But the nature of science is one of discovery and uncovering of wrong assumptions and hypothsis.

I think of much of the converative church's views on homosexuality and how some genuinely believe they are doing the right and loving and godly thing when they insist that queer people must repent in order to enter in the kingdom of God.

Can they not see that they are simply granting us entry into the domain of heterosexuals on their own terms while all the while wrapping it up in God's name?


At 11:19 PM , Blogger Susanne said...

These people who use "Judgement in the name of Jesus", make me weary.
They use the Bible to fuel their beliefs that some need to repent or lose, forever, the chance to experience eternal happiness.
There is, in the New Testament, a parable for just about everything...How Jesus cured the blind man; the leper. How He cured the Centurion's son; multipiled loaves and fishes...and on and on... I would think that with so many parables; and so many lessons to teach those who read its Words, there would have been a parable like: " Jesus Cures the Gay Man", if Christ ever believed gays needed healing...or their place in Heaven would be compromised unless they gave up their same sex attractions...Somehow, I believe Jesus would have had that topic covered, no? I mean if the good book says if a man should lust for a woman who is not his wife, better he should poke out his eye, rather than continue sinning, would Christ not have had a list of things to poke out if a man lusts for another man or a woman lusts for another woman?
One can not use what was written in love and about love to perpetuate hate or violence.
Next we will have certain religious sects reword the parables and say that there was a Parable called the "Sermon on the Amount", to motivate their church members to contribute more in the weekly collection....

At 1:09 PM , Blogger Contemplative Activist said...

Rabbit Proof Fence is such a beautiful and challenging film to watch. Any reflections on Little Miss Sunshine - that's a bit more light hearted ;)! The end scene cracks me up every time (Grrr, tiger! HA HA HA!)

I loved what you said about science. The best scientists I know are incredibly humble people. In my PhD viva (thesis defence for American readers) I spoke glowingly about my examiner's theory - he give me hell for not criticising him enough! There is a certain humility about established scientists - they have contributed so much to our understanding, and yet realise that there is so much more to learn and that there is every likelihood they may have gotten things wrong. Being wrong is no threat if you are not arrogantly attached to your pet theory - indeed, it is an opportunity for growth and creativity and moving forward.

Now my pet theories - they're of course, entirely correct! ;)


At 9:50 AM , Blogger Dharma Kelleher said...

But how do we respond? Do we respond to hate with hate? Does it improve the situation or only raise the level of conflict? And do we want to maintain the conflict (in the deluded hope of "winning") or do we want to resolve it?

Are homophobic Christians the enemy? If they gave up their hate, arrogance and delusion, how would we respond to them differently?

As Albert Einstein said, "You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."



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