My dear friend Simi has responded to me as a Christian following her faith and her beliefs. In a private email she has shared with me how her personal relationship with her faith has been strengthened through knowing me and my personal journey, when she strips it down to the power of the love of God. I respect Simi’s beliefs absolutely even if my understanding of , and relationship with the creative power of the universe is different to the monotheistic God of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Simi’s version of Christianity has at its essence very similar values and principles to my own, and indeed many non-Christians. Our belief structures have in common a ‘good heart’ open to difference and challenging internal judgements and prejudices that we inevitably accumulate over our lives. If our personal experiences bring us into conflict with these internal values then we face ethical dilemmas over what to do, how to respond. I can think of a number of occasions where I personally have had to challenge myself around rigid beliefs I held when confronted with the reality of dealing with them in a practical emotional way through the people around me. I think that is a healthy way to act – by reflecting on your experience and then adapting and changing your ‘world views’ if all the personal evidence proves that you were wrong to think the way you did. We all make mistakes…
But today I have had some news that really makes me rage. My partner has Chilean parents, refugees from the bastard Pinochet regime in the late 70s. While her dad passed away a few years ago, Rubi’s mum still lives in England and we live with her and Rubi’s sister and baby nephew part-time.
I came out to Rubi’s mum and sister the other night and both were really lovely and accepting. But her mum did say something about expecting a letter and that if she was right about what was in it, she’ll be really angry.
Well – the letter arrived today. It’s from two Jehovah Witness women who befriended Rubi’s mum about a year ago. It has been lovely for her to be able to have a good chat with others in her native tongue Spanish (one of the women is South American the other Spanish) and while she is not a Witness, her faith is important to her and its been good to have people to read the bible with. Bear in mind that she has only a week ago been bereaved of her eldest brother and these ‘Christians’ knew how torn apart Rubi’s mum had been about not being able to get back to Chile to see her brother before he died.
The letter said quite simply that the women would not be visiting Rubi’s mum again as her daughter (my fiancee!) is a “disgusting sinner” and how can she let her daughter live a sinful life under her roof? I guess they’re also referring to me too.
It’s disgusting that these people’s actions are so utterly ‘unchristian’ from the spirit of Christianity that Simi and others like her embrace.
My dad is determined to have it out with the next set of Jehovah’s Witnesses who ring the doorbell wanting a chat. Maybe others could challenge them too. I know my sister-in-law can’t wait for them to ring or call by so she can verbally tear them to pieces for being so cruel.
Let me know about any doorstep or other encounters and how they might try to defend themselves….would love a right of reply!!