Jesus Wasn’t Pope ‘Cause He Didn’t Have a Hat

It’s truth. Look at all the pictures you see of Jesus. Did he have a hat? No.

No Pope title for you, sir!

Above is the second best memory I took from a conversation I had at our spaghetti dinner tonight, call it Track Team Religious Studies. I snuck over to joke about two vastly different looking girls on our team (who call themselves twins), and ended up talking about books versus their movie adaptations. From there, quips about God thinking homosexuality was a sin (aka “gayness” in their terms) butted in, and the two girls and I were immediately drawn in.

See, this is where a lot of people don’t give teenagers enough credit. They have voices and well formed opinions and smart heads on their shoulders. Like most institutions, the group is condemned because of the actions of a few. Both my track team and ship are strong evidence that there’s hope for the future leaders of our world. But I digress.

For anyone who hasn’t read anything written, typed, tweeted, or status-lassoed in the past year, their arguments for and against the verdict were much the same. How can it be wrong if it’s not hurting anyone? But it’s right there in the Bible! Isn’t God all about love? God loves sinners, not the sin. I’ve gotta hand it to the one devout Lutheran in our ranks that kept her cool and defended her beliefs with consistency. Chopstick (her code name, as auto corrected on my phone) is actually one of the first of her generation I’ve heard speak out against it. Moving on, though, I elaborated on one of my theories that you can replace “God” in the Bible with “love.” “Love so loved the world that it gave up its only son,” “I believe in love, the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth,” for example, and Chopstick agreed with me.

Of course it was all on my mind driving back to the house. In particular, the thought that I treat the Bible as metaphor, a good guide for living mixed in with a little bit of history and interpretation. No, I don’t believe there was a flood that lasted 40 days and nights, but I do believe whatever made this world told us that starting anew is sometimes necessary, no matter how much you’ve sacrificed, bled, and sweated to create something as big as a universe. The interpretation part of it came in when I found out the Bible was written and passed down by human religious leaders. People are the same now as they were then. The leaders are going to want to shape their generation “properly,” and what better backing to have than God’s. Thus, in went the “no homosexuality” clause(s). I attributed it to human pettiness, but tonight, that changed. The mention of the Love Replacement theory pointed me toward “man shall not lie with man” as a metaphor for untrue emotion, and the example they used–the WORST one–was false love. Lying to someone or several someones through emotions is just as bad as lying with words, many times more damaging.

“But Becca, there are plenty of times they say flat out that being gay is bad. Why would they use both metaphor and ‘clear cut’ diction for the same idea?”

Solid argument, since there’s no overlap or repetition in the Bible. Ever.

All things considered, I’m human. I don’t have it all hammered out yet, probably never will. What I do know is there’s a purpose for everything, and tonight I found one only 20 minutes after the incident. Since it didn’t stretch out to several years, or cause me major strife until I settled on the grand scheme of my  conversations tonight, I’d call that a win.

And in case you’re wondering, no, I’m still not backing down on the “No Hat, No Pope” deal. True that.