A plea to turn the other cheek

Last updated 13:33 13/09/2012

A nice glass of Merlot has played a part in many fine conversations in my lifetime. On this particular evening,

in hope that Jesus would turn our untouched carafe of water into more wine, we began discussing religion.
It wasn't long before my wonderful friend Joni, with Irish eyes and wit to match, found a hole in my desire for free booze.

"Hunny, according to their books you're going to hell," she joked.
"Well according to my books I'm going to Hogwarts," I chimed back, with a cheeky grin only a leprechaun could match.

And there, in one statement, I'd thrown off any concern that my choices were going to send me on a fiery holiday to Hades.

I've had sex before marriage and I've enjoyed it, I've cleansed my crystals under the moonlight while lighting a few white candles, and oh ... I'm bi-sexual.

 Not "I kissed a girl and I liked it" bi-sexual, but fell in love, had my heart changed, screamed God's name in the bedroom bi-sexual.

Before you label me a witch, a sinner and try to save me, I'm no stranger to church, in fact at one stage I attended, religiously. I've also debated this question with myself for just as long: Can religion have a place in the world of a Modern Maiden?

Sadly at the moment, no, there's not much of a place. Despite the good morals that are taught, Faith, of most types, has a strong emphasis on traditions that are seen by many modern people to be old-fashioned, limiting and judgmental. And it seems the avant-garde beliefs of our generation are being frowned upon, stomped on and are fiercely ridiculed.

Now, I am not saying The Church should use the communion wine for a strippers party, or hand out condoms during confession, but I am saying if they want to connect with the future, now is the perfect time to stop preaching and to listen.

Listen, before the older stalwarts pass away and you turn to see a significantly smaller congregation, having alienated and ostracized an entire generation.

Listen, and try to understand why there are so many younger people out there, who don't cheat, steal, lie or kill, who believe it's OK to have sex before marriage, that having social drinks is not the end of the world, and that loving someone of the same sex doesn't make you a sinner.

There is a lack of respectful communication from both sides, and it is unattractive. You look one way and there are loud religious voices in the media, you turn the other way and young people are slagging off The Church via their daily congregation on Facebook. Which, to be clear, is just as bad as what they believe The Church is saying about them.

There is meanness afoot. I see it on Twitter, I read it in the nasty comments on news websites, I even hear it when I'm out for dinner. It's extremists on both sides. It's disgusting, it's not constructive and it needs to stop.

It's sad, because both sides only desire the same thing. To be accepted for who they are and what they stand for.

At the moment that's impossible, simply because they won't talk to each other. Instead, the country has turned into a giant high school where everyone is vying for the most attention, and the rift continues to grow.

I don't mind who or what you believe in, nor do I mind if you use a vibrator every day, but I do mind that there is so much hatred between two different parts of our community.

Those with new-age beliefs are not going to bring about the apocalypse and religion actually has some important morals to share. It's such a shame that neither side is willing to co-exist, or even talk with the other.

Alas, if only someone could actually turn water in to wine. That may start a conversation between The Church and my generation.

Then perhaps my tarot cards and crystal balls would stop showing me images of the Church dying ... for our sins.

- Taranaki

Post a comment
Harry   #1   12:56 am Sep 14 2012

Amazing Writing once again!! you have strong points and I completely agree with you! FINALLY SOMEONE is speaking up for the younger generation who are constantly slammed and discriminated against. The churches need to get with it and realise that the world we live in today is alot different from when the bible was written. things change, change is good. Its innevitable. look at how transport, roads, buildings, fashion have all changed and been updated. and everyone seems to accept it and go with it. surely they can accept so much more, like that same sex marraige is okay. not giving same sex couples the right to get married, is like telling them that their love isnt good enough. that it isnt real. It disgusts me.

Kim   #2   10:36 am Sep 14 2012

Bravo!!!!! Well said my dear. In this new century I think many have forgotten that to go forth we must connect with all. Not just stay in some secluded group and hope you get your type of *normal*. Worse is the sheer hatred of some towards others,.....because one believes in something and another does not. Therefore condemn and hurt each other. Really??? We have not grown as much as we deluded ourselves.

Denis   #3   11:59 am Sep 14 2012

WOW, Totally awesome. You continue to amaze.

Andy   #4   04:50 pm Sep 14 2012

Wow. Didn't think they made girls like that anymore!

Common Sense   #5   08:13 pm Sep 14 2012

Who says the church hates you? In fact I feel sorry for you! So would you like a rewrite of the Bible to suit your ways? Never mind, when there are enough "what's in it for me" people and the "war against terror" is ceased to aplease them and/or Islam over powers Christianity and we are under Islam law then you will have to go to prayers 5 times a day, not mix with members of the opposite sex and certainly not have relations with the SAME sex, and NO wine whatsoever, then perhaps, just perhaps you will remeber what grandmother told you . . .

Dee   #6   via mobile 08:17 am Sep 15 2012

and when will the idiots realise that you cannot change religion to suit yourself; it's a moral base for life. Why do you "modern" idiots FORCE your immoral and disgusting behaviour on us when we're upholding the standard. it is amusing for you to abuse people who are in good moral standing because they won't accept & support? Like forcing meat on a vegan. People today are incredibly selfish and want their way no matter who they walk over. But this is Satan's world after all so your behaviour is definitely consistent with HIS agenda. Go for it, you'll meet your creator in good time. Try talking yourself out of the mess.

Dan   #7   via mobile 11:14 am Sep 15 2012

"All the world's major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether." -- Dalai Lama

Grace   #8   11:26 am Sep 15 2012

I think the whole problem is people from both sides trying to force their beliefs on one another. Well actually I don't think the modern generation force their "immoral behavior" on anybody.. all they want is some acceptance and freedom to live life how they choose to live it. We are all individuals all bought up with differently. We all have different sets of morals and beliefs based on what we are exposed to and experience throughout our upbringing.

Acceptance does not require anyone to change their morals and beliefs. All it requires is a bit of understanding that people are different, unique, individuals. No body needs to be judged or lectured. What I get from this article is that there is a need for discussion and clear communication. Not arguments over what is right and wrong.

I have developed my set of beliefs by opening my ears not my mouth. I don't expect anyone to have all the same beliefs that I have but I expect that I am accepted for who I am and what I believe in, not ridiculed and forced to change. It's what makes me me! you can't change me and I'm not going to be a sheep just because you disapprove.

Kim   #9   11:44 am Sep 15 2012

This is exactly where these words came from. The wit and tongue in cheek of this article, was to make light of the disgusting religious hatred of a fellow minister , a few weeks ago. I could not believe such hatred of another human and their lives , could produce such damnation from the righteous. Have to laugh at that word, I think it means total hypocrite, and nasty human. Ones who have to open their mouths, or find the time and finger energy, to hurt, abuse or ruin another humans day.

Denis   #10   01:37 pm Sep 15 2012

Dee, after reading you comment below, it reminds me that most of the wars and nasty stuff that has happened in this world (and still are, look at all those religious manics in the middle east) have been caused by religion and people like you who,are not prepared to accept that there are people in this world who have different viewpoints and lifestyles to your own. It's time to accept that it is modern world we all now live in and the views of young people have as much right to be heard as do your own views. One must move with the times. I'm 60 and fully embrace the changes. If you can't beat 'em, accept 'em but there is noting to be gained by abusing someone who has the courage to speak her thoughts and doesn't hide behind a non de plumne.

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