Monday, May 30, 2005

Merry and Gay (and by "gay," I mean ...)

I'm currently reading Mel White's Stranger at the Gate - To Be Gay and Christian in America.

Mel talks a lot about what it means to struggle with your sexuality in today's world. No matter what my opinion is on the subject, I will be the first to admit that Christians have drawn a thick line in the sand, and kept God's love on their side. We put out the impression that we DO love everyone and WILL show love, even to those who are gay ... as soon as they have cut homosexuality out of their lives.

For instance ... let's stop and pretend that someone comes to visit our church. They are seeking answers, and want to learn more about God. OH ... and they also had an affair and left their spouse a few months back. We would fling open the doors and say, "Come - learn! Let us minister to you! Let us show you God, His love and His grace."

Now ... imagine another person walks in. They are also seeking answers, and want to learn more about God. OH ... and they are gay.

Immediately, everyone gets this uncontrollable facial tick, they break out in a cold sweat and they're thinking "Eeeewwwwww." They start whispering, "Should we let them join this Bible study? Do we have a counselor to talk to them? Let's give them a bunch of books on the subject! Let's tell their Bible study leader to focus on homosexuality for a couple of weeks."

Ugh.

I have several friends who are gay (some are spiritual, some are not). They all describe their sexuality in different ways, and their journeys and stories are very different. I've met them at various points in my life. Yet, while they are all so unique, they have one thing in common: lots of pain. Most of them have moved past the pain, and now are surrounded by a loving support system. However, the pain will always be a part of their past, and most of it was at the hands of other Christians.

I can't stop thinking about K., a guy I knew in school. He was an odd-ball, by our school's standards. Being in a class of about 60 people made anyone stand-out. He was very thin. He didn't do well in school. He dreaded anything even remotely related to physical education. People made fun of him. They were horribly cruel.

He helped with our one-act play, with sets and lights. Another guy had moved to town, one year younger. The two of them slowly found one another. K. finally had a friend! One night, one of the more ruthless girls in our little clan came running up. She had walked behind one of the curtains to find K. and this other guy jumping away from each other, as if startled. It was the talk of the school. Who am I kidding? It was the talk of the town.

I have no idea what happened to K. At the time, I thought nothing was going on with them, but I knew how our little town lived to exaggerate so we would all have something to talk about. Now, I realize that it could be entirely possible. K. might be gay. No one I've spoken with knows where he is, or what happened to him. Is he happy? Is he bitter and angry? Is he hurting?

I've changed. I'm so glad I've changed.

14 comments:

Stephen said...

You are hired!! Now THAT is what REAL Christianity is all about.

We are located in CT -- when can you start? Tomorrow?? :-)

Blessings and keep the balance of truth and love - without both, you;ve missed the boat.

Blessings - Stephen

scribble said...

Thanks for this delightful post !

I also love the graphics devoted to breastfeeding.
As a former lactating mom of three, it is something I firmly believe in too.

will return to read further.

(we are yeller's too.. my partner is a quiet one. We tend to drown the poor woman out.)

lightfeather said...

Hi Christine. Found you by way of Stephen. You have a beautiful spirit!

I couldn't help but notice the beautiful black and white either. So much love, this human body. So much perfection!

Jude said...

Love the graphics.
Good sight on Ezzo.
Thx for your post on my sight!

tonia/sparrow said...

I'm right here with you, Christine. Great post.

cebii said...

I found you off of my partner's blog (0 to 5). One of our five kids came out to her birth mom (before she ever came to us)and faced a month of long sermons directed directly to her at her mother's fundamentalist church. It freaked her out. Now she hates church and God.

We work with her and expose her to kinder, gentler, open minded churches and Christians. She is turning into a wonderful young woman and working up to forgiving her birth mom and family. Maybe someday she will forgive God, or at least redirect the responsibility from God.

Some "Christians" shoot themselves in the foot.

Thanks for standing tall!!

Vegan Momma said...

What a fabulous post. If only people would think about their actions. I have shaken my head many times at the way some Christians (and others) view those who are different than them.

The Mindvillage said...

Christine,

What a thoughtful post. I am not sure sometimes if you were leaning towards saying homosexuality was a sin or if you felt we needed to be more tolerant.

I guess in my book, the Christian concept of homosexuality and its sinfulness has many holes. But, I digress.

I think your openness is indeed refreshing and we need more of it in our Christian circles lest we find ourselves Christian bigots - and those are certainly not people Christ would hang with.

Thought provoking!

Thanks.

LJ said...

Hey there. I linked to your blog from another blog and wanted to share my experience.

It's funny because every church is so different. I grew up in an extremely religious family and attended a Protestant church every single Sunday of my young life in Connecticut.

My parents' church, the United Church of Christ, has, to my knowledge, always welcomed all people regardless of their personal life choices. They have a new campaign to specifically welcome gays and lesbians into the church. You can check it out here: http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/

When you mentioned that it would be typical for a church to give gays and lesbians books on the topic or recommend counseling, that surprised me, because I think my church would balk at making any sort of lifestyle suggestions to their congregation- it would be totally out of line. People come to church to commune with other people of faith, not to be told what to do with their private lives.

I just wanted to mention that there is a church for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation!

sster said...

Interesting post, Christine. You are where I was just a few years ago, until I came to know a remarkable gay couple. As I watched their relationship in action, I was able to see, little by little, that their love is a real, committed, married love, and that their relationship has the potential to strengthen marriage, not undermine it (as some conservatives have argued). As far as scripture goes, I see the ban on homosexuality as a the result of a specific historical circumstance related to population and public health. Just as I don't find it necessary to defecate outside the camp (see Deuteronomy), or refrain from consuming meat of animals with a cloven hoof, I don't find it necessary to continue to think of homosexuality as a sin. Homosexuality is not contrary to life, and sustaining life is a huge part of Christianity. Homosexuality can be a beautiful way of enriching such a life.

Girl in Progress said...

http://barenakedchristianladies.blogspot.com/

You probably didn't believe me, did you?

Guess what, not only did I create a BNCL blog, but I linked you..lol

I hope to see the blogroll grow..and many other links over the next few months. :o)

cluttergirl said...

Hello... I'm here via comments at that "other blog" you commented at today and refered to in your aug2 entry, and just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading this entry and also the comments that followed it, esp
sster. cheers!

chiapett said...

OK, spill it - who was the first friend to lose their virginity? And who was K? I was in that one act play, and I don't remember any of this. Man, was my head in the sand.

This is an issue that has given me pause of late. My denomination's stand is, like yours, that homosexuality is 100% contrary to the word of God. However, I've had too many gay friends and family that loved Jesus to just dismiss them. I think often in the church we "accept" people without "affirming" them (ie - hate the sin/love the sinner.) I know I have several gay folks in the church I pastor (I've heard one is a pretty good drag queen!), but it's certainly never discussed. Everyone keeps their head in the sand about it. I try to be their pastor in the same way as I am for my straight folks. I'm being stretched on this one.

Leann said...

SO loved this post!!! This is pretty much what the conversation with my 13 year old sounded like the other day. I have a friend in my baking class that is of the merry kind and he is my best pal in that class. He has been the one to step up and offer assistance with lifting big equipment and such for me while I am awaiting my surgery. I feel that the door is wide open to show the true love of Christ if I approach our relationship in this fashion. How can we tell people that God loves them if we don't first? Thanks for such a wonderful post!!!