The Pride festival is upon us. Once a year, Stockholm blooms into a mad, crazy festival celebrating the joys of love. Pride festivals occur all over the world, and in some countries these festivities come under severe attack from conservative moralists due to the overt homosexual themes. In Stockholm, the Pride festival has become so mainstream only a suicidal politician (or a very stupid one) would voice such opinions. Well, having said that, there ARE a smattering of people who will sigh and proclaim the pride festival celebrates sin in its most open manifestation, man loving man, woman loving woman – lust and sexual completion without the intention to procreate.
Some will wag a finger and say that this is not what God intended, for has he not proclaimed that it is sinful for man to lie with man? I think God is fully capable of moving with the times, and what made perfectly good sense ten thousand years ago, no longer does. After all, we no longer live in a society where a widow is automatically absorbed as an extra wife by her dead husband’s brother, do we? Nor do we, as far as I know, consider it in line with Christian beliefs to stone a girl to death for not being a virgin on her wedding night. And I haven’t seen all that many people herding cattle and lambs up the closest hill to sacrifice the beasts to God despite this being laid out in great detail as the right thing to do in the Bible. So who gets to decide what parts of the Bible we keep, and what parts we ignore as being “misaligned with our contemporary lives”?
As far as I’m concerned, God is about love in whatever shape or shade it comes in. If anything, I believe (hope) he frowns at the narrow-minded moralists who consider certain types of love an abomination. God, I think, has far bigger fish to fry; people who make fortunes out of drugs, weapons, trafficking, people who lie and cheat, who gladly walk over the backs of their weaker brothers and sisters to get what they want – those people fill God’s mouth with bitter bile, and he will carefully jot down their names in his little black book (and you don’t want to be in God’s little black book, let me tell you). But men and women who love, who give generously of themselves and thereby make a brighter, better world, they make God smile. Particularly if they’re wearing pink leather and orange tights to match their five o’clock shadow. Especially if they’re holding hands with someone else just as colourful, just as full of joi-de-vivre!
So, go and do some serious loving. Kiss your children goodnight, cuddle up to your partner, call a friend and tell him/her just how much he/she means to you. Love is in the air, people. It always is – if we take the time to stop for a moment and find it.