I love a good rewrite.
Putting a new twist on a story is a great bit of creativity. As long as your audience appreciate that that’s what you’re doing.
On an unrelated matter ( 😉 ), SBS have launched the webpages for Living with the Enemy with the following header image:
I’m genuinely intrigued by this.
The quote put by my picture (scowling, of course!) is a famous one from Leviticus,
Lev. 18:22 Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.
Somebody somewhere in the marketing team at SBS have chosen to make this the summary of my position. And have cited “Let me marry him!” as the summary of Greg and Michael’s position. Which is an interesting choice and speaks far more to the story they want to tell than the story they actually saw. Let me take a brief moment to explain.
I raised the Leviticus text only twice during the five days of filming “on my turf”. The first occasion was when I took the guys to one of Australia’s oldest churches to try and have a chat about the way Christianity has influenced our society in the area of morals/ethics. The second occassion was when we had a church service where I preached on the whole subject of marriage and sex.
Now this next bit is really important.
On both occasions I raised the text I noted the following:
- It would be wrong to pretend it (and other similar texts) does not exist. We need to deal with the reality of all that the Scriptures say about this subject and not be embarrassed to grapple with them. They’re part of our Biblical sexual ethic.
- The Biblical case against same-sex activity is based on so much more than this text and texts like it. I made it abundantly clear that the Biblical position finds it’s grounding and foundation in the positive statements made about sexuality (principally Gen. 2:24) and about the relationship between Christ and His church (classically expressed in Eph. 5:25-26 etc.) and I recall saying clearly that to focus on the Leviticus texts is to miss the point of what is being argued.
So where does that leave us? Well knowing Greg and Michael to the (limited) extent that I do and having heard their position articulated on numerous occasions, the quote “Let me marry him!” while simple is not an abstraction or distortion of their stance.
Whereas having me standing there scowling and quoting Leviticus is, frankly, a retelling of the story of those 10 days with a pronounced emphasis that I simply don’t recognise and any person who’s watched the episode wouldn’t recognise either.
To make the point even slightly clearer, what I’m sure we’d never see is me smiling and saying “I think there are important issues here that need talking about and taking seriously” and the boys saying with anger “I don’t care, I just want to have my own way!”. Let me tell you, there were very brief moments in the 10 days when it felt exactly like that to me, but to put lines like that up would be a shocking distortion if you were trying to summarise the entire 10 day engagement.
We all have a reponsibility in these tricky and emotive discussions to do our best to represent things fairly. Well we do if we’re more interested in promoting mature debate and proper exploration of the ideas. One of my intentions through this process is to seek to persuade us all to represent each other fairly.