The Catholic desire for an opt-out from the gay adoption legislation continues to provide headaches for Tony Blair, and raw fodder for those interested in the nature of liberty in this liberal nation. It was the first question on 'Question Time' this evening and drew an eclectic number of responses from both panel and audience. Comments about it are appearing on a variety of political blogs.
I am interested, though, in the pickle the Christian churches are finding themselves in, by allowing homosexuality to become such a defining issue for them. Jesus had nothing specific to say on the subject of homosexuality. He did make clear how impossible it is for anyone to consistently uphold God's law in their own strength (You only have to look at a woman lustfully to be effectively committing adultery, for example). He was clear in the absolute importance of upholding God's commandments, but doing so with no hint of arrogance. He showed friendship, love and compassion to those groups regarded as outcast by religious Jewish society (prostitutes, taxpayers, Samaritans...). He was clear on the distinction between looking forward to the coming Kingdom of God, but adhering to the current secular authorities as far as possible, a point which was followed by his apostle Paul - and the government whose dictates they felt they should not be challenging was a brutal, callous, severe one.
There is a common phrase used by Christians in determining what action they should take in any given situation - 'What Would Jesus Do?' (WWJD). In this instance, perhaps we should let secular government take its course, and concentrate on showing love and compassion to vulnerable groups and generally modelling Jesus' example.