Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where is the Church?

OXNARD, Calif. Hundreds of mourners gathered at a church here on Friday to remember an eighth-grade boy who was shot to death inside a junior high school computer lab by a fellow student in what prosecutors are calling a hate crime.

In recent weeks, the victim, Lawrence King, 15, had said publicly that he was gay, classmates said, enduring harassment from a group of schoolmates, including the 14-year-old boy charged in his death. (Read More)

Michael Adee of More Light Presbyterians wrote this important piece,
"Where is the Church?"

The Church is not blameless in these tragic situations. What are we teaching in our congregations, Christian Education classes and in our homes about human sexuality, gender identity and gender expression? What are we teaching about same-gender love and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons? How do our church laws and mistranslations of Scripture contribute to homophobia; therefore, providing sanction for such fears and hate crimes?

Finally, how does heterosexism and heterosexual privilege silence these life-giving and life-saving questions?

Those of us who are gay, or transgender, lesbian, bisexual or questioning, whether we are out or not, know deep in our bones that this could have been me, it could have been us. Our parents and families know and fear this, too.

Because of the LGBT-Affirming Overtures on ordination and marriage equality being sent to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) the silence of heterosexism and heterosexual privilege will be broken. Moreover, homophobia will be challenged and a life-saving word of love, acceptance and grace can be offered to all children and families... including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, same-gender loving, and questioning.

Sadly, Lawrence King does not get a second chance to life on this earth. The Presbyterian Church (USA), however, does get another chance to get it right in San Jose this June. May this be so.


  1. Honestly? The evangelical Church doesn't care. This child deserved to die because he was living in sin. Why else would the Church not support the Matthew Shepard Act?

    Affirming churches are the minority, and do a lot with the limited resources they have.

    I'm not a Christian, but I believe in the ideals that Christ espoused. A bad tree does not grow good fruit. I've seen so much good fruit in the GLBT community, I don't need any other proofs that evangelicals are wrong.

  2. Thank you, John, for adding your voice to the chorus asking this question. The silence of most churches on the recent spate of hate motivated killings of LGBT children is deafening.

  3. Thom Hartmann has the framing right when it comes to hate crimes.

    Hate crimes are, by definition, domestic terrorism. They are violent assault and/or murder of a person because s/he is a member of a particular group, and the perpetrator wants to "send a message" to terrorize that group.

    Hate crimes laws are not about "special" status (a Jew who murders a Christian because he is a Christian is just as guilty as the Christian who murders a Jew because she is a Jew). They are about recognizing the equality of ALL citizens, and they are about fighting terrorism at home--an insidious kind that pits Americans against Americans.

  4. Hey Marti and Ally!

    Welcome! Thank you for visiting and commenting. I appreciate ya! I really like your blogs!

    Monkey and Fly already know they are appreciated.

  5. My pleasure, John, and thanks for dropping by my blog, too! I'll definitely be back. Blessings!