Monday, August 06, 2007

The Creation Report, Part 2: what WASN'T said

Part two in a series of posts about my recent experience at Creation Festival West, a four-day Christian music festival that was held the last bit of July at the Gorge Ampitheater in George, WA:

One of my biggest fears going into Creation was that there would be a lot of anti-gay, anti-abortion rhetoric. I could write separate posts about why I am not opposed to either of those things, and maybe I will someday, but for now suffice it to say that I'm offended by the Religious Right's stance on those (and many other) issues. Well, I can very quickly in one sentence sum up why I'm not opposed to gays, and that's because I know a bunch of gay people and they are just fine, thank you very much. My opinion about abortion is much more complicated than that, but one way to state it briefly would be: I would never want someone else, especially the government, to make that decision for me or anyone else.

But back to Creation. I was assuming there would be lots of posturing about those two hot topics. But you know, I have to say it: there wasn't. The only discussion I hard about abortion was within our own group. And I didn't hear a word about gays, either pro or con. Which I suppose you could complain makes them into an invisible population, but still the point remains that nothing was said, either by any of the musicians or any of the speakers (that I heard, I didn't hear them all). I was surprised. As someone who has for more than twenty years now considered herself a liberal (at least politically speaking), it made me wonder about liberal paranoia. The numbers show, in poll after poll, that most Americans disagree with conservatives on those issues. All the noise is made by a very vocal, very powerful minority. Maybe we should just drop the paranoia and ignore them. They're very quickly falling out of favor anyway.

You could of course argue that the spokespeople at Creation are savvy enough to stay away from hot-button issues until they lure kids in with great music and inspirational talk about the love of God. Maybe the indoctrination into conservative opinions will take place after they return to their home churches. But then again, our church was there with 20 kids, and when those kids show up at our church, they won't hear anything like that. Opinions in our church range from extremely liberal to extremely conservative (that's one of the reasons I love our church, lots of diversity on theological issues), so they will be exposed to a wide variety of opinions and they will see that all of those opinions are acceptable at a Christian church.

So on the whole, in this particular area, I found that Creation was surprisingly OK. It seemed to me that if a teenager with no religious inclinations at all had come with friends, they would leave having been exposed to the parts of Christianity that I would want them to be exposed to: the importance of service-- ie., helping fellow human beings who need help; the importance of supporting each other; the nature of love and forgiveness.

in the next post: what WAS said, the good, the bad, and the ugly

Aunt BeaN
Intrepid Grammatically-Challenged Reporter
(with apologies for dangling prepositions and all other grammatical sins)

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