It's worth reading. I urge you to read it.
John Pavlovitz hadn't expected to write this post - it's a direct response to the hundreds of people who wrote to him following another post, hundreds of people each with direct experience of suffering at the hands of Christians for their sexuality. If I'd written the original post I wouldn't have expected that outpouring either. But sometimes these things just happen - such as with a post elsewhere on "Post Traumatic Church Disorder".
The biggest of my tears this morning were when I read again the sentence "It certainly doesn’t look like love to the sweet, 12-year old middle school girl in your church whose been repeatedly told she’s an abomination; that God already despises her."
Now I've been told by a church minister that I am an abomination. But I was 42. I was totally sure of myself as a transgender woman. I was totally sure that being transgender was not any kind of a problem for God - whether a "God of the Bible" (I'd already gone through the "relevant" verses) or any other God. But I thought of this girl. She was 12 not 42. She didn't have all the adult experience or two theology degrees and the ability to research more theology. She didn't have the wonderful support of a church like Northern Lights MCC here in Newcastle. So I thought of her and what this perfectly "Biblical" treatment would have done to her. And I wept. I wept over other stories too. I am very close to tears again now.
John Pavlovitz's post from two weeks previously is also worth reading. It's about what he would do if he found that his son or daughter was gay. To sum that up in a few words: He would love them. That's what caused the outpouring of response. Just that. That a father would love his child.
I posted a link to the blog on a friend's facebook status asking whether she had seen it. Part of my response to a speech by a Catholic Archbishop who said that "Homosexual relationships are destroying our human identity."
The report about the speech was posted by a good woman. A Catholic who posts things from either side of the moral arguments currently raging in the Catholic church and expects responses and discussion - from both sides. And she's good enough to put up with a lot of non-Catholic words from me which to be honest is quite impressive at times as I'm not exactly toeing the party line! She's doing her best in life and seeks to walk in love of people and in devotion to her God.
Someone responded as follows: "Hang on a second, acting on being gay and physically attacking others, are both sins in Christian Theology. So because others sin by attacking, it must be the fault of the Theology? That reasoning is beyond moronic..."
You can always tell a loving, rational person by the way they descend to calling someone's intelligent writing "moronic" within three sentences!
I responded to that. Because yes, I believe it is the fault of the Theology. It's a theology I once promoted too - much to my shame. One day I'll write about that. A post along the lines of Mea Maxima Culpa!
Sorry - this is long. A length borne of passion. A length borne of seeing people hurt, again, again, again by Christians and so-called Biblical views and of Christians turning away again and again and saying "It's not OUR fault, our ways wouldn't hurt anyone." I am so utterly sick of seeing LGBT people destroyed and then being blamed for their own destruction by the Christians who killed their spirits.
Acting on being gay is NOT a sin in Christian theology. It is a sin in SOME Christian theology. Get that right. "Christian theology" is not a blanket term. It's certainly not a sin in my theology. Nor in the theology of a local minister who leads Bible studies on the subject covering every possibly connected verse in great detail, solely relying on the works of highly respected scholars. Nor in the theology of a great many Christians and a great many skilled theologians and Biblical scholars too.
When the theology is that a dignified human being, made in the image of God, beautifully and wonderfully made is also an abomination merely because of who God has made them to be, then yes the theology is at fault. Or to be more exact, the people who have such a theology and refuse to look beyond the preconceptions of the centuries of homophobic abuse into a more enlightened age where human beings are accepted for being who they are.
I have so many friends who know what the effects of homophobic theology are. It's not just a matter of people attacking them but also a matter of the beliefs guiding that action.
So many scholars now have accepted that the anti-homosexual clobber verses don't in reality have anything to do with Christian homosexuals. More will follow. And in the end the churches will accept that this is a normal, and completely healthy, part of the range that makes up human beings (and many other species too - if like the Archbishop we want to bring in what is "natural").
That day cannot come too soon.
A day when I as a transsexual married lesbian will never risk encountering a church where I am rejected, told to repent of being who I am, told that it is impossible even to be Christian unless I at least want to repent, told I'm abomination, told that the God of mercy will make me burn in pain for eternity if I don't stop being who I am. I will never again encounter a Church where my very existence is said to be anti-God (such as the Catholic Church and the certain articles written on major Catholic websites as a perfectly logical result of the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI)
Jesus accepts me. He accepts LGBTQIA people. He loves us as we are and has called us to be who we are. He made us this way. Yes, God created gay people to be gay people. He created transsexuals to be transsexuals.
It's just a shame that Christians turned the love of God for gay people into a sham. The love they show is not love. No matter how many flowery words are used. No matter how much Christians try to justify themselves. It's not love. It's closed-minded, bigoted, hatred justified by years of doing the same thing.
And yes, I am a Christian. And I firmly believe God called me to live the life I lead - as a happily married transsexual lesbian. My wife would agree with that. And I know the hell it was to believe what other Christians taught - that all these things were evil, disordered, unnatural. That I should be someone else - and indeed I tried to do it for decades. Misery. And to my shame I believed the lies that my gender and sexuality were disordered, evil. And I believed the same thing about the gender and sexuality of others.
The theology needs changing. Precisely because the theology leads to the attacks. The theology directly leads to a hell on earth for innocent people.
The theology needs changing. Precisely because the theology leads to thousands and thousands of wounded, crushed lives, and not uncommonly even to suicide.
The theology needs changing. Precisely because the theology forces people to run from Jesus because the Jesus of the theology does welcome people with open arms.
The theology needs changing. Precisely because the theology gives a church that is not a place of safety but instead a place of death for people against whom other people have a prejudice that has no basis whatsoever in reality.
I see the results of the theology. Regularly. It is heart breaking. I am so thankful for a better theology. One taught by some of the churches here. And I am so thankful for the MCC congregation here and for the way crushed people are healed there and enabled to find peace and fall in love with Jesus again after the pain caused by well-meaning Christians. So, so thankful for the light and love in that place.