Monday, August 28, 2006

Losing Friendship

"There was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved."
John 13:23.

Does not this image make us red-blooded so-called conservatives a bit uncomfortable? I know I'm not very comfortable with the idea of placing my head on the chest of another man while eating. Why is this?

Of course, there is the culture difference. I worked in the Middle East years ago as a farm consultant. Once I was invited to a tea gathering by some of the laborers. One of the men there sat next to me and put my hand in his and routinely patted me on the shoulder with affection. I was not comfortable, but I didn't let anyone know that. Later, I asked an Arab friend, who knew the man, about it. He told me that the affectionate man was not at all queer or odd. Rather, he considered me a "nearest dearest friend" for two reasons: (1) I defended him against unjust abuse from the farm manager on some occasion, and (2) I honored him with my presence at his humble tea gathering. A nearest dearest friend expresses his pleasure and is willing to sacrifice everything he has to defend and support his friend. I realized that I should have been the one humbled.

Yet there is another thing at work. If you look at pictures of soldiers from WWI or WWII, you will often see buddies with their arms around each other, walking down the street or joyfully posing before the next deadly mission. Even in my youth this was common. It was camaraderie, symbolizing friends for life, and friends even in death.

In my life this all suddenly stopped in the mid-70s. My closest friends said, "hey, I don't want anybody to think I'm homo." We made doubly sure not to express affection for our friends because we were afraid of being labeled queer. Abandoning any expression of deep friendship, we became isolated and shallow.

This is the legacy of "tolerating" homosexuality. Tolerance for sin has trashed the beauty of friendship. In this day, David and Jonathan's friendship-- that knitting of their souls -- would be considered a sure sign that they are just as dirty as the inhabitants of Sodom. This, of course, is the goal of tolerance. It seeks to drag virtue, goodness, and honor down into the gutter. It is the only way the sinful have, absent grace, to feel vindicated.

We should not let them win. They need to be called on it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Coolidge, aka Ahasuerus, responds to "that dog"

It seems that talented yet underachieving dog who owns the Zartmans has tagged me.

I have graciously allowed my servant, MordechaihiVic, to answer for me:

1. One book that changed my life:

Esther. King James version. As soon as this was read in my presence, I understood my place.

2. One book that I've read more than once:
Cats of Lamu, Jack Couffer. A wonderful book about cats descended from the royal Egyptian courts, isolated on a Muslim island. Many pretty pictures.

Also, the cat diary on the web. I read it every day:

3. One book that I'd want on a desert island: Glamorgan's Tales, A Cat's Garden of Verse, Lauren Bain (Bottomly)

It was written and published by the people who think they own me.

4. One book that made me laugh:

The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford. I laughed when the dogs got into trouble.

5. One book that made me cry:

The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford. I cried when the cat got into trouble.

6. One book I wish had been written:

See second answer to #2 above, my story needs to be told.

7. One book that I wish had never been written:

101 Uses for a Dead Cat, author not to be named. Some people are beneath even my contempt.

8. One book that I am currently reading:

I do not read, but I am having read to me John Owen's little known work, "A Vindication of the inclusive interpretation of Jonah 4:11 and universal salvation of animals, and animadversions against the Popish doctrine of the unelected animals."

9. One book that I have been meaning to read:

Cat & Dog Theology: Rethinking Our Relationship With Our Master by Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison. Actually, I want my people to read this.

Now Tag 5 people:I must pass on this. I lower my sceptre and retire for the day.