As the general silence over Stephen's victory continues to deafen us, the particular commentators who have looked up from their long early winter naps to pick up on it, speak volumes. To put it simply, it appears to me once again, that those, particularly MSM types, and all those with an agenda, which makes all the rest of us, who comment on the Boissoin case do so by defining Stephen as THE LETTER.
Even Justice Wilson felt the need to let fly a negative multi-adjective barrage about THE LETTER in his mostly favourable judgment. It makes me wonder if had Premier Stelmach written the letter, a highly unlikely thing since it must be admitted that it was politically incorrect, if maybe the learned judge might have opined against the constitutionality of the hallowed Section 3 of the Alberta HRCM Act, with appropriate case law references.
I actually wrote a piece back on September 17, at the end of the Appeal Court sitting date for the case, entitled Stephen Boissoin is Not THE LETTER. Since I do not want to rehash it, I urge you to read what I wrote earlier, as nothing has changed really. There is an element here of Richard Thomas forever cast as John Boy, or Ron Howard forever cast as Opie Taylor. The good news is that they are fictional characters and the Good News is bigger than that.
So, Stephen will continue to outlive and outshine THE LETTER, and will use it and the experiences from it all to do what he wants in his heart to do most, which is minister to young people. The real depth of the man is what the youth see, not just THE LETTER, and there is real depth there. Someday we will read his life story, and it will curl your hair, to see how low he fell, and why, and to see how high he has climbed back by the Grace of a loving God.
But there were other things that have struck me over the last 2 days since the announcement of victory arrived in my email from Stephen.
I am reminded that in Mark 9:40 it says:
"whoever is not against us is for us."So, when I read that a gay online news organisation, Xtra.ca supported the Boissoin judgment, I draw some encouragement, even though other Christians are not so quick to agree. I confess that being on the site and seeing the ads that were there was disturbing to me, and "my" understanding of what might be a "homosexual agenda" challenges me.
But, then I think of another important scripture Ephesians 6:12 which says in the midst of a discussion of spiritual armour:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.So, here is my 2 cents worth and I might be overvaluing what I am about to say.
In talking about those who support the free speech rights of 3 men who spoke about homosexuality from a Christian oriented perspective, Stephen Boissoin and Father Alphonse de Valk, who was investigated by the Canadian HRC, as well as Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, who was under the thumb of the same Alberta HRC that took 7 years of Stephen's life away, those who agree with us that they, and therefor we, have a right to express opinions based on our faith are not our enemies in this instance.
Further as Ephesians 6:12 says, they themselves are not our enemies anyway, and that causes me to want to back away from any vitriol that seeks to surface, and cause deeper wounds, at a time for healing.
When I look at my own sinfulness and think of the opening verses of the 7th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, I am chastened as it says:
1"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.Much of what I see happening that I think is non productive is judgment of individuals, rather than of sin, and forgetting our own sinfulness in that judgment.
We are called to love one another, and in my discussions with Stephen Boissoin, and communications with him, as well as when he has been quoted correctly, I see evidence of his love for all, and a special love for homosexual individuals. As he says, THE LETTER has brought with it a notoriety that has put him in position to witness to his faith and the love that emanates from that faith for all of God's children. It was not his original plan, nor all his choice, once THE LETTER was published.
But, too many writers have taken his words in THE LETTER out of the context in which he meant them. For Pete's sakes, it was just a letter to the editor, which garnered some responses, both favourable and unfavourable, and would have died as he carried on with his work with at risk youth, having made a point. He might have gotten some support rolling for change in education, which was the issue.
Instead it became a focus of examination for all and sundry, and took on a life of its own, as Dr. Darren Lund pushed his own agenda, and as the Alberta HRC pushed theirs. As Hamlet says: "Ay, there's the rub."
It is helpful to us all to remember that as THE LETTER does not define Stephen Boissoin, calling someone a homosexual, or a Christian or a father or whatever does not define them either. They are in essence inaccurate descriptors that give a very incomplete picture of the individual.
Take for example Homosexual. There are some homosexual individuals who are basically sexual sluts. News flash people. That is no worse than many so called Heterosexuals who swap spouses at sex clubs, cheat on spouses with other people's spouses, or lust after other people but do nothing physical about it. It's just that a heterosexual slut can present himself or herself as righteous by attending the right church or political function on the arm of a spouse and all is well, NOT.
Take our recent ex-hero Tiger Woods, for example. When the manure converges with the fan blades it is not a pretty sight. But, this didn't just happen this week. It is a long standing thing, and he looked pretty good to us all the whole way. But, he had a secret that when it came out has destroyed some of his crafted image. It, of course is sad, and he like every other sinner on the planet, especially the one you see in the mirror every morning, needs our prayerful entreaty on his behalf for healing of the sin in his life.
So, before you judge Stephen Boissoin as THE LETTER, or a man or woman who you believe is a HOMOSEXUAL by that simple moniker, I urge you to remember that he and they are our brothers and sisters, loved by Almighty God every bit as much as you or I, and in that alone worthy of our love, prayers and encouragement, not our condemnation.
If you knew Stephen as I have had a chance to come to, and if you knew some particular homosexual individuals that I know even better, you would see in each case someone who is very kind and considerate of others, who has a heart of service to their fellow man, who seek out truth in their daily lives. In each case, you would see a much loved Child of God, who carries still some woundedness and pain that leads them each to their own sinful areas, just like you and me, and blocks them and us all from seeing the fullness of God's love for each and every one of us.
Will you be an instrument of God's love for all of us, or do you have this deep seated need to judge others for what you believe to be the sin in their lives? If you are still stuck on the latter, I offer you John 8:7 as my final word:
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."