Thursday, July 26, 2012

Galileo: King of Insight

The following beautiful response was written by a friend, artist Cameron Webb, to another friend. It was inspired in part by the Chick-Fil-A controversy, but it's much more than that. It is a conversation about the wonder and vastness of God's nature, about varied sexuality, about learning of the grandness of nature and the power that that distributes and the fear that that power grants to us all without discrimination. 
Importantly, this text is rooted in love and compassion and deep friendship. It is quoted with permission. Please feel free to share

All of the things that create a marriage, that sustain it, that make it holy - loving, caring, sacrificial giving on both sides as Christ loved and died for us - egalitarianism, nurturing, honoring, cherishing - all these things are what God ordained.

None of those things have anything to do with the race, gender, sexual orientation, able-ism (and handicapped people have been denied marriage rights in the past, and discriminated against in this same way, and in areas, still are today). God created this world with infinite variations. Male penguins and sea horses that care for the young, creatures that procreate in ways that blend gender and sex roles. There are animals that will literally change sex in certain instances. There are instances of homosexual couples in thousands of animals - a natural variation of the infinite incredible world that God has created.

Humans are no exception.

We are created just as varied. An infinite, complex diverse God created and ordained uniqueness that is so complex that each individual's combination of gender identity, orientation and sexual formation is unique to each and every one of us.

Heterosexuality is by far and away the dominant variation, just as many other variations are dominant throughout creation. But given all the variations of all the infinite creation, we have enshrined heterosexuality, paired it with a narrow definition of what gender traits must go with what, and we have made it an idol to be worshiped, to the exclusion of and condemning all of the rest of God's creation.

Remember, there was a firm belief in the Middle Ages that the earth was center of the universe, and the sun revolved around it - a belief held based on Biblical language. We know today that the poetic Spirit-breathed words of scripture of the universe do not, on the surface reading, explain the fact that the sun is in the center and the planets orbit it, as God ordained.

The upheaval of that realization left ruined lives due to the church's violent opposition. It was not until the 16th century that a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system was presented, by the Renaissance mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic cleric Nicolaus Copernicus of Poland, leading to the Copernican Revolution. In the following century, Johannes Kepler elaborated upon and expanded this model to include elliptical orbits, and supporting observations made using a telescope were presented by Galileo Galilei.

Florence. Galileo's Observatory
Galileo's Observatory: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University Library 

All three men faced disdain, persecution by the church.

Copernicus waited until his death bed to publish his scientific findings for fear of the church; Galileo was threatened with torture and exiled to permanent house arrest for the remainder of his life for advocating the beautiful heliocentric solar system that today we praise God for.

Today, science is turning up more and more and more evidence faster and faster that substantiates the infinite and beautiful variations of human sex, orientation, and gender created so complexly by our Incredible creator.

The Bible is misquoted, mistranslated and out-right ignored and used, as it was used on Copernicus and Galileo, to support HUMAN prejudices and idolatry, all the while ignoring not only his infinite complex creation, but the true heart of marriage - to love, honor, cherish, and love as Christ loved us. Our marriages fail, because we do not nurture, cherish, honor and love one another as Christ loved us and died for us, as He loves and nurtures us still.

And as long as we focus on human prejudice - hatred and destruction of relationships - and refuse to honor God and all his stunning creation, we will live with this idea that marriage has to do with anything, but what God intended: to love and honor one another.


  1. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Fabulous!! Borders on the sublime! Thank you!

  2. Anonymous10:32 AM

    Notice that as the SCIENCE of developing telescopes "puult us in our place, so to speak." Yet how many wish to set Science and Religion at odds with each other?

  3. Anonymous4:51 PM

    It's interesting to see that the "Bible" has many different histories... God's people have always "taken on" it's neighbors "traditions" and turned their back on Him. The best way to lie to someone is mix it with ACTUAL truth. Either accept the Bible as TRUTH or DENY it all together. There were "white" people who did horrible things to others who were not "white" yet not all "white" men did this. Some opposed and never get mentioned as doing what is right and are thrown in with the "rest." Same with what you claim as the "church." This mixing that is going on is an insult to those that ACTUALLY believe and even to those who do not believe in the Bible and the God who wrote it.

    1. I can see why the first two commenters may have gone anonymous. It's because of people like you, threatening us with your phony theology. I'm not scared of you nor your version of God nor your silly ways of looking at the Bible.

      The Bible doesn't have to mean what you think it does. And I don't have to abide by your rules anymore.

  4. Jill J2:11 PM

    I love this response! Just beautiful!!!


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