For now, however, I was struck by this BBC news story:
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has revealed that one of her characters, Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay. She made her revelation to a packed house in New York's Carnegie Hall on Friday, as part of her US book tour.On the one hand, it's odd to care. After all, Dumbledore is a fictional character. But it will be interesting to see how Christians around the world will respond to this news. Will the Harry Potter series be listed on an index of banned books now? Will people perceive that this series is somehow subverting youth? I expect both of these things to happen, and I hope I'll have the charity to treat such dire pronouncements as fodder for humor.
She took audience questions and was asked if Dumbledore found "true love". "Dumbledore is gay," she said, adding he was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, who he beat in a battle between good and bad wizards long ago. The audience gasped, then applauded. "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy," she said.
Here's the serious side of this. As in life, lots of people found Dumbledore to be a captivating character, before they had any idea (or perhaps before Rowling had any idea) that he was gay. Readers loved Dumbledore for who he was as a character. His sexuality, really, was unimportant.
At the risk of tedium, may I be the seven millionth blogger to point out that this is how Christians might do well to treat one another? Imagine our church's future if we treated people as people first, and as sexual beings second. What could we do if we weren't worried so much about who sleeps with whom? This is not to say that our sexuality is unimportant, but surely it's not the most important thing on which we should spend our energy.
If Dumbledore materialized tomorrow in your church, would he be welcome? That's the point of InclusiveChurch -- to remind us that all are welcome in God's church. Dumbledore, c'mon in!