Treating gossips justly: a parody
My mother is a gossip. There I said it. She came out of the closet and let everyone know how proud she was of her identity as a gossip. Some might even refer to her as a flaming gossip. Lord knows it was not a choice. Who would choose to be a gossip? You are derided and treated like a second class citizen. People do not want to be your friend or confide in you. No one would ever choose to be a gossip. She told me about the first experience she has as a child speaking about a friend behind their back. What a feeling of exhilaration and euphoria! She knew who she was, but her family and friends made her ashamed of herself. She carried so much pain, denying who she was for so long. But for years now she has lived as a serial unrepentant active proud gossip. She’s lost jobs and even many friends and family have abandoned her ever since she came out.
The traditional view is that the Bible is against gossips, but this is the farthest thing from the truth. In reality the Bible only condemns oppressive, abusive forms of gossip and gossip against slaves and those who are weak and marginalized. But loving forms of gossip out of the desire to see people change is never condemned. The first century Greek, Roman and Jewish culture was dominated by oppressive gossipers and had no knowledge of monogamous loving gossips. Sections of scripture that condemn gossips, are really only condemning a lack of hospitality. God did not condemn Sodom and Gomorrah for talking about those strangers behind their backs and plotting against them, but because they didn’t offer them welcoming gossip about their clothing. It does not go against nature to gossip. It is the most natural thing for some to reflect with others about how others dress, look, act, etc.
Today science is zeroing in on the gossip gene. I know that all recent studies have not shown a decisive gossip gene, but it is only a matter of time. How many of us know loving gossips?
It is time to embrace…to embrace our brothers and sisters who out of no choice of their own find their identity as gossips. It is time to welcome and embrace them as ordained pastors, elders and deacons. It is the just and right thing to do.
Warning: Just don’t tell them any secrets.
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