Lines from Louis (written by Geoffrey Webber)

Servicing the Bald Hills and nearby Communities

Lines from Louis (written by Geoffrey Webber)

Sunday 1st March

 On page five of last week-end’s U on Sunday magazine that came with the Courier Mail, there is an interview with an entertainer by the name of Thomas Neuwirth, whose stage persona goes by the name of Conchita Wurst.  You may have seen or heard about Conchita (aka Thomas) performing on stage with her trademark beard.  To give you some idea of the type of entertainment offered by Conchita Wurst, I will quote some of the interviewer’s introductory comments:

“Conchita Wurst never was, and is determined never to be, a novelty act.  Wurst has become more than a stage performer, she’s a gay and glam-pop icon, fashion model and health advocate.”

  Conchita says of herself, “I always loved dressing up and I thought I looked beautiful in full drag. .. I took my role (on stage) very seriously, .. for me it was totally clear that I was not going to be an act that people laugh about, because my message is everyone should be doing what they want to do without being judged by others.  As long as you don’t hurt anyone, you should be able to live your life the way you decide to live.

  At a casual glance, what Conchita/Thomas said has a ring of truth.  There are many examples of behaviour and life-style that were looked upon in the past as ‘socially unacceptable’ or ‘morally bankrupt’, but which are now widely accepted and widely seen as acceptable, and this reflects a change in the social outlook of the general community and the evolving of a more ‘open’ and ‘accepting’ society.

  But let us look at the inconsistencies of such a statement.  Firstly, what is meant to be understood as being covered by the word “hurt”?  For the sake of brevity, let us accept that Conchita/Thomas is intending it to cover everything in the spectrum from a simple momentary upsetting of someone, through emotional or physical abuse or assault, to the extreme of murder.  Based on that understanding, upon what basis is Conchita/Thomas arguing that the principle “as long as you don’t hurt someone” is to be taken as a cardinal truth by every member of every Society in every Country?  Well, no basis is given; it is simply expressed as “my message”.  But it sounds good and non-judgemental doesn’t it?  Except that, because no basis is given, it is ever so easy to argue that it can be disregarded if the social, political or religious circumstances warrant a different or even the opposite stance.  Current news items convinces me that the Syrian Government and its Russian allies have a totally different stance, based on their willingness to destroy the lives and the livelihoods of those remaining in ‘rebel-held’ areas, all for the purpose of ridding political and social opposition to the Government regime.  The Taliban forces in Afghanistan show no hesitation nor remorse in killing unarmed civilians and armed soldiers through their acts of terror, all for the purpose of maintaining their political and religious power and influence.

  So, where should we stand on this issue?  Well, it seems to me that Conchita/Thomas, the Syrian Government, its Russian allies, and the Taliban, are all saying the same thing: “I alone am the sole judge as to whether or not my actions are acceptable and justified, for I answer only to myself and to no higher authority.”.  But, in Matthew 6, we find Jesus reminding his listeners, “God makes His Sun to shine on bad and good people alike and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.  Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you and if you speak only to your friends?”  The truth is that it is to God to whom we will all answer for our actions.  It is to God’s authority that we must all submit.  Adam and Eve neglected this, to their loss.

  Today’s reading from Psalm 32 highlights several areas where God’s authority over Humanity is demonstrated:

It is to God that we confess our sins and who pardons our wrongs.  Verses 1 and 5

It is to God that we come in our times of need and who meets our needs.  Verses 6, 7 and 10

It is to God that we turn for instructing in righteousness and right living.  Verses 2, 8 and 9 Happy, indeed, are those who trust in God.  Sad, indeed, are those who, like a horse or mule, do not readily submit to God’s authority, and who do not experience His love and grace.  So, which are you?                                     Geoffrey