Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Question Answered

I have to admit that at least Compassion is being open with its policies.  I received a response to my question today...and it didn't surprise, just disappoint.
Compassion recognizes that as Christians we are not expected to be free of temptation, we do believe we are called to resist it. Compassion holds the view that God has reserved sexual intimacy for marriage, which we believe the Bible defines as between a man and a woman in an exclusive commitment of mutual love and fidelity. In every other relational circumstance or stage of life, God's call to Christians is to remain celibate.
(Compassion recognizes that sexual orientation and acting on that orientation are two separate issues. Therefore, Compassion's Biblical Conduct policy focuses only on employee conduct and not on an employee's sexual orientation.)
With all those begattin' people in the Bible I wonder if God really intended for everybody to be celibate unless in "an exclusive commitment of mutual love and fidelity."  Wasn't it Solomon who had 700 wives?  Heck, even the King of Siam didn't have that many (I don't think).  In fact, I checked "multiple marriages in the Biblel" on line and found this:
The first polygamist mentioned in the Bible is Lamech, whose two wives were Adah and Zillah (Genesis 4:19). Many important figures had more than one wife, such as Esau (Genesis 26:34; Genesis 28:6-9), Abraham (Genesis 16:3 Genesis 21:1-13, Genesis 25:1, Genesis 25:6), Moses (Exodus 2:21; Exodus 18:1-6, Numbers 12:1), Jacob (Genesis 29:15-28), Gideon (Judges 8:29-32), Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:1-8), David (1 Samuel 25:39-44; 2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 5:13-16) and Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3).
Kinda blows the "exclusivity" thing out of the water. Come to think of it, with all the arranged marriages throughout history, I wonder how much "mutual love and fidelity" there was in the Old Testament too.
I'll never convince a Bible-totin' Christian who believes that the Good Book is 100% true because it was written by God, but has a good explanation for all these seeming contradictions.

But, as I said, my commitment is to the children I sponsor, not to the organization through which I sponsor them, and I won't give up my kids because of the policy of the organization.  However, someone asked me today if I had ever taken a trip to visit any of my sponsored children.  I answered honestly, incuding all of my reasons for not joining any of the many trips that Compassion organizes.

There are two reasons why I don’t go (other than that they are more expensive than any of the cruises we have been on). First there is the physical thing. I am extremely overweight, 71 years old, and not physically fit and fear that I won’t be able to walk long distances to go to villages where the children live. I can’t sit on the floor in my own house and can’t imagine sitting with children in a village and I would not want to make them feel uncomfortable because of that. 

But mostly, this is a religious group and I fear that religion (prayer groups, etc.) will be such a big part of the experience that I will feel extremely uncomfortable. It’s one thing to find Bible quotes to send to children who are hungry for them, but it’s another to be face to face with someone who desperately wants to hear about my church and my religious experiences back home. (I am not anti-religion, but it’s just not something central to my daily life. I am a recovering catholic)

I am in disagreement with some of the organization’s philosophy (they refuse to hire gay people, for example) and I would be hyperaware of having to cover up my own feelings on a trip like that.
Finally, it’s a silly pride thing. On our trip to China, we had the opportunity to visit a school which Viking Cruises helps sponsor. I was so excited about that trip. It would be like visiting one of my sponsored children. I was the only person in our group who had checked on what kind of school supplies we could bring for the children. The kids put on a little show for us and then we were divided into groups and each group visited a classroom. In each classroom, the children chose one of the group to sit with. I saw the looks on the faces of the children as they looked at my fat body and one by one chose someone else. I was the only one in our group not chosen, which was so painful, but it did give me the opportunity to take better photos because I had no child to concentrate on. I fear going to visit one of my kids and having them be afraid of me because I’m so fat. I’m also afraid of going to one of their houses and not fitting in the door, or breaking a piece of furniture because I’m too heavy to sit on it.

So I am a sponsor at a distance and write lots and lots and lots of letters instead.

The most amazing thing happened this evening.  A reader of this journal contacted me and offered to take on Lovson's sponsorship.  Said she had been a sponsor years ago and stopped because she didn't like writing letters, so if I will continue the correspondence,she is happy to pick up the sponsorship.  

I was brought to tears.  There are wonderful people in the world, and this is one of them.  I have contacted Compassion to see how we can make this happen.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

How lovely that someone volunteered to continue Lovson's sponsorship. The mission statements and proselytizing of many of these organizations are such a turn-off for potential donations. I realized that at a teenager.

The saddest part is, these people don't understand the whole picture. What was appropriate in Biblical times is not necessarily appropriate now. I wrote a post on it at least ten years ago. (I used that URL today.)