Day #17 (40acts): Make an emergency kit. This one is said to be for example a kit to carry in your car to give someone if you see that they’ve broken down, or a make-up kit “for the moments when your female colleague has a meltdown in the office loo”. I have to say that this comment doesn’t make me thing positively about Stewardship, the “tax-effective giving” organisation that is promoting #40acts. It did make me wonder whether Stewardship is an anagram of sexist though.
If you see me dashing into the women’s loo tomorrow, you’ll know that I’m just checking in case there’s a meltdown going on. Come on Stewardship you could have done a lot better than this. Why women in particular? Stewardship must at least be relieved that they didn’t publish this one on international women’s day last week.
I think I’ll get some cake into the office to share, that’s the best alternative I can come up with just now.
Day #17 (action): Today I signed the petition on the site of the Coalition for an Equal Marriage. Quakers have discerned the will of God to be that different sex marriage and same sex marriage are equal and we are called to recognise them equally and to seek a change in the law to reflect this.
After I had signed the petition, I put a link on my facebook and twitter to the petition and on facebook added something to the effect that doing so was my Christian duty. A Christian friend then posted in reply to question whether I was making a statement that people who don’t sign the petition aren’t Christian. This response worries me (not the person himself) because I feel like the whole question of same sex marriage is being polarised and it doesn’t need to be.
When I first came to Quakers it was in part because the places that I worshipped at had what I think of as a right-wing theology and were restrictive about their interpretation of Scripture, which seemed wrong to me. I loved the worship methods, particularly song, but I sacrificed that for attending a Quaker meeting for worship where the theology was more liberal and the interpretation of Scripture was closer to how I was reading it.
The polarisation that I’m seeing today is people coming out and claiming that the Christian viewpoint is that marriage is for different sex couples. And when we raise our voices to say that we as Christians are in favour of same sex marriage, we are seen to be claiming that position as the only Christian position. Well, I’m not. But I do believe that two people of the same sex should be able to get legally married in a Quaker meeting. There’s a saying that applies probably to many different situations but I’ve heard it as ask 10 Quakers for their view and you’ll get 12 answers. It is the same for Christians on many issues. It is important for us to keep having the conversations though so that we can listen to each other and others can listen to us.
Honestly though Stewardship, what were you thinking?