God vs. Gay

On the heels of learning the San Francisco Presbytery will allow her to move forward in the process toward being ordained a minister, out lesbian deacon Lisa Larges weighs in on the concept of god vs. gay.

BY Lisa Larges

March 25 2009 12:00 AM ET

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.

The big question is
this: How can we engage the larger LGBT community in this
struggle, especially with all the pain and rejection caused by
the church? That rejection is exactly what makes it so hard for
me, and most LGBT people who call themselves Christian, to
explain to others why we stay. Why should we stay where we are
either simply not "wanted," or openly denounced. Most
varieties of Christianity still practice religion-based
discrimination against same-gender loving and
gender-nonconforming people in one way, shape, or form. So why
bother?

We do not stay because
we're naive about the poor track record of the church on queer
issues. The colossal cluelessness of the church is something
that LGBTs in the church have to laugh about -- in that ironic,
rueful, shake-your-head-in-disbelief kind of way. We have also
cried about, drank over, and raged against the bias for the
last several eons. That bumper sticker that says "Jesus, save
me from your followers" is something we relate to all too
well. But we don't leave our home. We stay to make needed
repairs.

Tags: Religion

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