I just finished watching "For the Bible Tells Me So" a Sundance documentary in which the director looks at ways the Church has used and sometimes exploited Scripture to deny human rights to gays and lesbians.
It was a reminder of the hatred that continues to live in the name of religion, which has always been one of my deepest conflicts with my church life. I have, for as long as I can remember, been an inclusive person, and consider that to be one of the gifts I have been given. I guess one of the things I took away most personally is not to respond to this kind of absurdity with the same hatred that has been shown to gays and lesbians, but it sure does make me mad. It also makes me think I should be doing much more to support gays, lesbians, transgendered and bi-sexuals and all others who suffer injustice, especially in the name of God.
I remember being confronted by an elderly Junior High School school teacher about not sticking up for a white friend of mine when she and a black girl got into a fight after school. I didn't realize how inappropriate that whole discussion was at the time-it was the 60's and the water fountains at the court house were still segregated- another mystery to me even at age 8 or 10 when my mother informed me that the fountain I was about to drink from was for black people. Oh, but really, different water fountains? Why, oh, why? I had no hesitation in telling that teacher that they both were wrong to hit each other, a point that didn't endear me to her.
I've struggled within my own church with the on going-don't ask, don't tell, "I don't think we will be an open and affirming church" attitude towards gays and lesbians, which I just find to be in contradiction to what I know of Christ. Thankfully, I am seeing improvement and a willingness to just love people more.
Open, accepting, embracing, affirming and loving? I don't think Jesus would have it any other way.
Mindful of the importance of love, and sure the world would be a better place with a lot more of it.
I was just lucky to be born of a persuasion that is more societally acceptable. People could ask why I'm attracted to men- couldn't explain it any more than a gay or lesbian person can explain their attraction to someone.
The suicides as a result of bullying are shocking, the many more who are suffering beyond those known cases-far to many.
There are so many reasons to affirm people. Too bad we are spending so much time trying to divide and persecute.
Mindful of being grateful that I can see the world differently and hopeful that I live it out more fully. No one should live in fear.