I just thought I should introduce myself. I am a 33 year old Swede. I prefer to think of myself as gay or queer or a bear, if you like. In religious terms I'm a member of the Swedish (Lutheran) Church and actually a minister candidate.
I've grown increasingly disillusioned with the church (not over gay issues, though - my diocese is surprisingly liberal). It's more the way the church chooses to deal with sensitive issues by ignoring them, claiming that you can't criticize anyone's belief.
Well, I for one think you can. I find a lot of things people find in the Bible offensive, and I think that people have a moral obligation to read the Bible in the light of charity. The word of God is written in the hearts of men, not on paper. A book is an idol, a carven image. The Bible reflects God but it is not God.
Sorry, I get a bit winded up at times. It's just that I get extremely upset when people
who have the nerve to call themselves liberal make hurtful and harmful claims and support it with Biblical quotations out of context.
I hope I haven't offended anyone. It's just that I didn't grow up a Christian and came to read the Bible as an adult (and a scholar at that), so I tend to take a lot of things for granted. Please feel free to put me right.