From the very beginning, I intended this blog to be a place, a destination, a home, rather than simply a source about anime and our unique perspectives on it. As such, we welcome your thoughts and questions not only through the comments page, but through the Ask the Staff button on the top of the menu. And we’ve been blessed by some engaging questions submitted through that tab.
Last week, we received the following email (video and image added) from Zoe in regards to a post I wrote a couple of years back entitled, “Hourou Musuko and Loving the Sinner, But Hating the Sin”:
I recently watched ‘Wandering Son’ an anime that truly hit me in a number of ways. I’m a transgender woman so it was very relevant to me.
Lauren Orsini recommended that I read Beneath the Tangles posts on it as she found them very interesting. As she mention it less than hour ago I decided to hunt down the posts to read over the next few years. I like reading about different perspectives as it find it both interesting and insightful. I like to know how other people see a topic or issue, so I’m glad you’ve written on the series.
I’m on the “Love the sinner, hate the sin” post. I wanted to suggest watching a very good and interesting youtube video that my dear friend who is a Methodist minister suggested it to her friends on facebook. Just another perspective that while you very well my not agree with it, I think you’ll find the Minister Tony Campolo’s take on it. The video is just over 5 minutes long.
Take care and thank you for these very interesting post that let me see the subject from another perspective. As I mentioned, I so appreciate seeing things from the perspective of others.
Thank you for the generous and kindly worded email, Zoe. I’m glad that you’re enjoying my writings on the series (and incidentally, thank you to Lauren for recommending Beneath the Tangles).
Campolo talks a little bit about the idea of “loving the sinner but hating the sin” toward the end of the above clip, and what he has to say is very important. I dislike that well-entrenched phrase (the original posting on Hourou Musuko was written with my discomfort with those words in mind) because I think it’s too simplified and is also perhaps condescending. But more important to consider is what Campolo says when he emphasizes that Jesus instructs us to look first at the sin in our own lives.
Many denominations in the U.S., including the one of which I’m a part, have been obsessed with homosexuality and other sexual orientation/identification issues, as if there’s nothing else more important. We can’t ignore this topic, nor should we, but the way Christians approach it, I think, needs to change, and it’s deeply seated in what the Rev. Campolo mentioned in the video – we need to be looking inward instead of looking out.
Many Christians no longer believe homosexuality to be a sin – either the state of being or the engaging in homosexual relations. But even for those that do, a focus needs to shift away from pointing fingers at others and instead toward ourselves. What sin rules in our life? What do we need to pray about and ask the Holy Spirit to change within us? How can we learn to love God and others better? The message of the gospel is life, but it will seem otherwise coming from someone who isn’t living a grace-filled life him or herself.
I’ll share a quick story to close. Recently, I met up with a good friend. Our interests seldom intersect, except when it comes to anime, but when we come together we talk about everything, it seems, but anime. She also happens to be bisexual. So do I go off on a tangent and discuss whether scripture forbids same-sex relationships? Of course not. Yikes, that could get awkward and awful (not that I don’t have friends who would so)!
We talk about religion some and I’m sure will continue to, and I’ll never disguise or hide my faith, and wouldn’t expect less than that from my friends as well. Even within the context of a church body, she and I and everyone else have to work out our beliefs personally and develop our faith (or choose not to) ourselves. And in a strange and awesome paradigm, we’ll see that as we focus on our faith, we’ll love others more, and that as we develop our commitment to God, we’ll find ourselves reaching out to others in love rather than in judgment. And that’s what I hope to see both from the church here in the U.S. and, on a personal level, within myself.