On that day when the church finally says “yes” to justice for gay and lesbian people, I’m afraid it’s going to be too late. I’m afraid it’s going to feel like an unfaithful spouse coming home at 2:00 a.m. in the morning saying, “The bar is closed, I can’t find anyone else. Maybe I do love you”
GLBT people have been faithful members of our synagogues, churches and temples. They have served our nation in every capacity into which they have been allowed. Our nation has passed “don’t ask, don’t tell” for the military, but what kind of culture allows a people to kill, but not to love?
The day is long over when people did astronomy using the Bible. We have realized it is foolish to insist the world does not turn because of something found in scripture, but it is infinitely worse to withhold justice from a sister or brother because of some verse found in scripture. The hour is long past for us to know what to do. At this point we must sadly say that any church asking grace for itself, but passing judgment on others, is no church of Jesus Christ. From this point on, when it comes to the question of justice for gay and lesbian persons, it is the church that is on trial.
Thank you for saying all that AND meaning it.
Jim, thanks for this. I’m a gay United Methodist minister who retired early to come out publicly last January. Best decision I ever made … but it enabled me to really admit the evil of my own denomination’s anti-gay language. I don’t go to church much anymore, even though my partner and I are affiliated with a very pro-actively gay United Methodist Church in Dallas. (They’ve written a pro-gay curriculum, have openly gay folks on their staff, work with the HRC and march in the local Pride Parade). But I find I’ve got very much a love/hate relationship with “church” these days. I shouldn’t have had to wait 40 years to live my life in the open, and wouldn’t have …. if it hadn’t been for the church. And I see the damage that is being done every day. And it doesn’t help that the evil is being perpetuated and encouraged by the very institution that taught me to honor and work for justice and compassion. Your image of the unfaithful spouse who comes in after the bars are closed is perfect. Thanks again for writing this.
Thank you Mike. That is a very powerful story.