Monday, January 8, 2007

Am I really Shrill?

Brian Young once said, "I can't wait for the parousia to happen so you won't have any more axes to grind." Well Brian, parousia is best translated as "royal presence," not "second coming" and if I'm grinding axes now, you can bet I have a thing or two say to Jesus at night about the state of the realm of God. I'm not quite falling for that "almost/not yet" stuff. The Kingdom is now!

Yet, I am more fully aware now than ever that stating there is "no king but YHWH" can offend Quaker sensibilities, primarily because there is no consensus in the ecumenical community that reflects such awkward truth telling. What I have learned now is that truth telling is in fact a practice in shrillness.

Perhaps most folks don't often quote the Hebrew Prophets because - well - they don't want anyone to think they're being shrill. Politicians and MSW's can rely on questionable empirical data to create programs for broken people that never seem to work, but a prophet challenging the whole system as being corrupt and unjust is shrill, not because she makes people feel uncomfortable, but because she challenges their very right to comfort when the culture is responsible for such suffering around the world.

It has been suggested that we all need to quiet down about issues such as same sex marriage because no one is listening. First of all, no one is listening when the state of marriage itself is challenged as a practice in self-centered relational fulfillment. Is the state of most modern marriages the crap that the anti gay and lesbian crowd is fighting to defend.

Communities need to listen to others as a practice in self-awareness and critical reflection. But they should never shy away from claiming truth, such as the truth that all covenant relationships find God's favor when the partners stay faithful to one another, and to God. I'm sorry if stating that same-sex marriages are sanctioned by God, and that those denominations that refuse to accept this as a truth are wrong, is shrill.

I'm sorry that I have so many axes to grind, but blessed are those who thirst for righteousness and justice, and insist upon it as a primary tenet of the realm of God.

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