This week it was announced that this year the popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing is to have a same-sex couple competing, a first in its 16 year history. The boxer Nicola Adams will dance with a female partner.

 

Nicola Adams, who won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics has already been regarded as a LGBT role-model. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE for services to boxing. When Strictly Come Dancing approached her to take part in the show, it was Nicola Adam’s idea to dance with a same-sex partner. Strictly is part of a global franchise known as ‘Dancing with the Stars.’Although other countries have featured same-sex couples, - in 2019 the Danish version of the show was won by a male couple - Strictly has long been criticised for not doing so. Last year Strictly did feature two male professional dancers dancing together; a move that was praised by some viewers and attracted complaints from others.

 

Attitudes towards the LGBT community have undergone considerable change in recent decades, at least in many countries. Sadly the prejudice and discrimination against this community, which is still a reality in many, many places, probably has at least some of its roots in Christianity. The apostle Paul wrote a couple of comments apparently strongly condemning male homosexuality, and there are a couple of Old Testament passages apparently also doing so. But to read these as condemning homosexuality per se is to misunderstand them. The Old Testament passages were written by a culture that believed women to be an imperfect version of men; therefore they condemned a man who ‘played a woman’s role’ because to do so was seen as a rejection of his God-given perfection and therefore a rejection of God. In Paul’s day, homosexual acts commonly took place as part of pagan worship, in which male worshippers would rape young boys. We certainly cannot infer from that that Paul condemned homosexuality between consenting adults. His condemnation may well have been simply the condemnation of child abuse and the abuse of a position of power.

 

  • Many individuals and groups still feel discriminated against. Reflect on your experiences of discrimination, or the experiences of someone you know.

  • What do you think is the best way to overcome attitudes of distrust or discrimination?

 

Prayer for the week - 4th September 2020

 

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