Shuck and Jive

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lisa Larges in the Advocate

The Christian extremist right, which has increased its influence in mainline churches, must be countered.... While the Christian right is regrouping, reviewing the payout of its last homophobic spending binge, and wearing that deer-in-the-headlights look, now is the time.

Check this great piece from Lisa Larges in the Advocate:
Like a colonoscopy or head lice, the word Christian is a conversation killer among LGBTs. So I will admit up front that whatever it is you’re thinking right now about Christians -- hypocritical, antigay, anti-sex, anti-women, anti-choice -- you’ve got plenty of evidence to back you up. Let’s also say, while we’re still here in the first paragraph, that whatever the church or its representatives did to you -- whatever abuse, whatever violation of trust, whatever was said to make you believe that you were not a child of God in your whole beautiful queer self, whatever the silence in which you did not hear how infinitely and immeasurably God loves you -- whatever drove you out of the church is simply inexcusable. But unless our community changes the “God vs. Gays” paradigm, we will never achieve full equality. Nor will it be possible for so many of us to live out our truths. My truth, strange as it may be, is a calling to ministry. It’s also the truth of a lot of fierce and beautiful gay people I know, whose stories aren’t told often enough. (Read More)
The church should be ashamed of itself. Anyone with a smidgen of conscience would see the lives we have torn apart because of prejudice reinforced by mistaken religious dogma.

One at a time, individuals begin to see the truth. When they see the pain they have caused, the ignorance they have spread, the silence they have maintained in the face of abuse, they are ashamed. I feel ashamed for the times I allow my hetero privilege to speak for my conscience.

Most people have some sense of shame. Most people have a smidgen of a conscience to which human decency can appeal. Most people eventually can be won over when they can finally connect with the life of another human being. That is what is happening in the moderate Presbyterian Church. Slowly. Slowly. Dear God, is it slow. But with one single light bulb after another, people are seeing more clearly, at least in part. This latest voting on amendment B is showing that.

Except of the course for the right wing. The right wing has no shame. They want lgbt people and their children, parents, friends, family and allies to shut up completely. They are full of panic and bluster. They are driven by their rigid ideology. It becomes more extreme the more that ordinary people with conscience see how the church has been wrong in its treatment of God's lgbt children.

Thankfully, at least in the PC(USA), the right wing is becoming more and more of an isolated fringe full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Now more than ever, it is crucial that we become the church we are called to be. We need to make the political changes that will open the doors to full membership including ordination for all people.

When told to shut up, the faithful response is to speak out. We will keep coming back and offering the church the opportunity to see the light and to do the right thing.


  1. That's a beautiful article. I appreciate the efforts inclusive churches are making to reach out to LGBT people and support us. While some of us (such as myself) aren't people of faith, we are still grateful for allies where there typically aren't any.

  2. I'll be taking a copy of that to my daughter when I see her next month. Actually, 2 weeks, yeah!! Thanks for continuing to be a voice for all of God's children.

  3. Amen, Amen, and Amen! You've hit the nail right on the head! Unfortunately, those of us on the "progressive" side of the fence are sometimes just as guilty. These prejudices didn't just pop up overnight, and it's a real faith shaker to realize that things you "knew" before weren't right to begin with. I get angry, but at the same time feel a strange sence of pitty for those who read the Bible and don't see the connection to the Parasees in what they are doing.

  4. Thanks all,

    The deal for me is not to defeat the individual people who make up the right wing. This credo from soulforce is my credo as well, even as I often fail in upholding it:

    1) I believe that my adversary is also a child of the Creator, that we are both members of the same human family, that we are sisters and brothers in need of reconciliation.

    2) I believe that my adversary is not my enemy, but a victim of misinformation as I have been.

    3) I believe that my only task is to bring my adversary truth in love (nonviolence) relentlessly.

    4) I believe that my adversary's motives are as pure as mine and of no relevance to our discussion.

    5) I believe that even my worst adversary has an amazing potential for positive change.

    6) I believe that my adversary may have an insight into truth that I do not have.

    7) I believe that one day my adversary and I will understand each other and that if we conduct our search for truth guided by the principles of love, we will find a new position to satisfy us both.