This post was born the way many of mine are….out of a conversation that irritated the fuck out me. Me irritated? Why yes, darling, I was. This time more than a bit. I woke up terribly heartbroken. First, I go to the MOST liberal Christian church I can find. For goodness sakes, we have a female priest. Am I really that much to the left of the parishioners? What went down that caused such a ruckus? Well, we started talking about whether our church should advertise that we are “gay-friendly.”
THIS CONVERSATION MAY NEVER HAPPEN IN OUR CHURCH WITHOUT SOMEBODY SAYING…..
WELL WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL, WE DON’T WANT TO BECOME THE “GAY CHURCH”
or how about this one
WE CAN’T BE TOO OPEN ABOUT IT, WE WOULDN’T WANT TO STEP ON THE TOES OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T AGREE WITH IT.
If I hear either of these statements from any do-gooder again, I am going to throttle them. Before any conversation can continue it has to be said that these are fictions…they are not real and they are used against the LGBTQ to dampen their gusto and then regurgitated back to straight people to allay their innermost homophobic fears. Plus…and as I stated last night, in a conversation fraught with these statements, “tell me where the ‘gay church’ is and I will pack up my gay little family and get the fuck over to that one.”
There are so many things wrong with these two statements it is sickening. Yet, over and over…even by gay congregants they get said. More than that, they can NEVER not be said when speaking about ministering to the LGBTQ community. It is as if the two were inexplicably linked. Nobody can go All Gay. What might happen? Pink feather boas might pour out of the choir loft? Really? The problem is not one iota in the program…it is 100% in the rhetoric and discourse around it. I guess I have to enumerate the wrongness for you.
- What the fuck is the “gay church”? Where is the gay church? That is the problem, folks…there is no fucking gay church. Not wanting us to turn into the mythical “gay church” is rhetoric. We couldn’t make our church the gay church if we wanted to.”Did IQs just drop sharply?” (yes, I did just quote Sigourney Weaver in Aliens) Gay people have been systematically exiled and excommunicated from churches around our country. They don’t have a church. Maybe in some gay enclaves there is a predominantly gay church but I wonder where those are and what they look like. I sure have never been to the “gay church.” Is there a gay church in North County that has been hiding? Even in the churches that are predominantly attended by the LGBTQ community, they are doing other things besides “gay” things…you may be amazed. So again, I ask…what the fuck is the “gay church”?
- What the fuck is wrong with being the gay church? You prove my point by making this statement. You also prove you are a fucking bigot. We should be so lucky to be the gay church. Boo hoo, we are the gay church…..Tell me again, why it would suck to be the “gay church”. Even amongst gay people, it is like they are self-hating. It is like Gladys Knight saying, “if more black people join the Mormon church, I’m outta here….I wouldn’t want the Mormon church to be the African-American church” It is ludicrous.
- Just because we are the gay church doesn’t stop us from being engaged in other worthy causes. That was posited…Well, what if the LGBTQ thing isn’t my thing? Well, the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I posit that if we became the gay church we, as a congregation would find ourselves engaged in many more worthy causes because we would already be socially and politically more active by the very nature of having a larger percentage of our congregation in a minority fighting for their rights around our country. If I wanted more people actively engaged in social outreach…I might consider encouraging “the gay church.”
- This is NOT about semantics. (and it is everything about semantics…just not the way you mean) At the end of the day, it was stated that we are all on the same page…we all want to be more inclusive. We are just saying it different. That is BULL that allows people to be the 75% who remain silent in the face of bigotry and bullying instead of standing up for what is right because of all their lame fears. We all have fears, the question is, what is important to you? Just like in the book we are reading..words matter…A LOT and if you are reading this post, you must realize that I don’t believe we are on the same page, at all. Yet, you are correct that it is all about our words…this is not one bit about reality or gay churches or Episcopalians shocked we are gay friendly…it is the way our church is talking about it. It is discourse. (If you click on the word discourse, it will take you to a definition so you have a clear idea of what I mean.)
- We are Episcopalians. We have ordained a gay bishops. We have a gay choir director at our church. If you are upset by gayness, you really have two options….1. ease up or 2. find a church as disdainful as you are. I am an Episcopalian precisely because of their stance towards the LGBT community. I picked this denomination because they are progressive. WTF is wrong with y’all? Why, oh why are you here? There are so many hateful communities of Christians for you to enjoy. I just don’t get pooping all over the liberal one. Are you a troll? Are you here because of tradition? I am perplexed by the this weird phenomena.
- We wouldn’t want to step on the feet of the bigots. Why isn’t anyone calling this what it is. You are against gay people? You don’t like it? You don’t like to say that your church doesn’t hate them? Sorry. There were a lot of people who were uncomfortable sharing a pew with a black person. You know what we call them? Racists. You don’t like gay people being “too gay”. Wow. What is that? So, I go back to the original problem. Why is anyone catering to the most hateful among us? Who the heck cares what the hatemongerers think? Did Jesus care that the Pharisees were pissed off when he was eating with tax collectors (basically thieves), prostitutes, and other sinners? Why are we so hyper sensitive to those that act the least like Christ? Why do we cater to Judgy McJudger?
- Stop hiding the ball – Who are we? What kind of Christians are we? When I became Episcopalian, I thought they were fairly homogeneous. I mean, most non-denom Christians are pretty homogeneous in their doctrine and practice where I come from. Definitely LDS folks are, they pride themselves that their services and leadership styles are the same anywhere you go in the church. I thought anywhere I went I would find the same type of Episcopalian progressiveness. Not so….So…if there is such variety, we ought to spit it out. Even more than what type of Christian are we?What type of Episcopalian are we? I love the home screen for House for All Sinners and Saints (the church Nadia Bolz-Weber founded) THE FIRST PARAGRAPH!! “HFASS …a group of folks figuring out how to be a liturgical, Christo-centric, social justice-oriented, queer-inclusive, incarnational, contemplative, irreverent, ancient / future church with a progressive but deeply rooted theological imagination.”
So that is it. It is out. I am out. It makes me mad. This whole thing makes me mad. What I am beginning to think is that we are not very inclusive or Christian or progressive. We just want to be. We don’t really want to do any of the tough things to get there. We don’t want to take any stands that may tell people who are struggling, “we are with you” “come here for a soft landing.” You know how I know that this is the case? Because of those two original statement that get said any time anything is said about ministering to the LGBTQ community. The worst part is that up in North County our LGBTQ community is so persecuted they think they have to live with those statements because, at least, here people aren’t outwardly hostile. At least here, there is no hate from the pulpit. Yes, that is a boon, to be sure. but we are Christians. We are following Christ. Can’t we do better than mere tolerance? Can’t we welcome? Can’t we love, the way we want others to love us? I think a group of Christians can do better than that.