Throwing Stones


Recently my husband and I went to watch the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, the story of Freddie Mercury. Despite some mixed reviews, we thought it was fabulous. Such a brilliant and loving man, with the same issues of self-worth that we all battle with.

Fast forward to this morning when I read an article on Facebook. It told of Freddie finding out he had AIDS and how he gave his partner the option of leaving the relationship, to which is partner responded, “I’m not going anywhere.” He stayed with Freddie until his death.

There were lots of lovely comments on this, but one comment had me seeing red. It said, “Why glorify sodomy?” ARGH!

I can only assume that this came from a religious person who refers to themselves as Christian. And it is people like this who cause me to no longer publicly refer to myself as Christian. I don’t want to be identified as ‘one of them’.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in God completely and absolutely. However, I will also fiercely and forcefully defend your right to NOT believe in God. That is every human’s equal right.

Throwing stones. I believe Jesus told the people who were holding stones ready to throw them at a ‘sinner’ to go ahead…if they had never done anything wrong. One by one the people, many of them religious zealots, dropped the rocks and slinked away, leaving only Jesus and the ‘sinner’ together. He lovingly affirmed her worth and sent her on her way too.

The problem with throwing stones is, where do you start? And once you do start, where does it end?

And what gives us the right to pick them up in the first place? Jesus didn’t.

The photo above was taken at Glacier National Park in Montana on our last tour there. Ironically, moments after it was taken, I ran into two people who I had known many years ago when I was still a stone-thrower myself. We had worked together in churches and they had been stone-throwers too.

I was ecstatic, in our brief catch-up by the giant stone mountain, to find that they had walked away from religious zealotry too, now seeing the love in people like the love between Freddie and his devoted partner who stayed by his side to the end. And being far less inclined to pick up stones.

I confess though, I am still tempted to throw a few sometimes. Mostly at people like the person on Facebook. But Jesus didn’t have much time for those kinds either. He preferred the alcoholics, the mafia, the sex-workers.

I’m sure he would have loved rockin’ with Freddie.


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