LGBTQIA Content on Christian Feminism Today
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I think God doesn't waste, and the church shouldn’t be wasting talent and blessing. If a woman has an ability to preach or teach and the Holy Spirit has given her a gift for that and yet the church leaders say, “No, no, you can't use that,” that’s ridiculous!
Unfortunately, many Christian churches have made marginalizing others into an entire theology. “The . . . evangelical theological paradigm depends upon patriarchy,” which must, therefore, be “completely deconstructed” (p. 68).
I’m resisting language in many ways and I’m seeking to find that language that expresses something more. At the end of the day, I don’t think what we do changes who God is, but what we say about it changes how people view God.
Instead of regarding friendship as superficial and unimportant compared to marriage, we might find that the sharing of values which friendship develops provides a far stronger basis for loving one fellow human being than the marital promise to “leave all others” (p. 129).
I highly recommend A Gracious Heresy: The Queer Calling of an Unlikely Prophet to all who delight in a captivating story and who want to join the story of bringing liberating change to church and society. The thought-provoking questions at the end of the book provide a guide.
And claw her way up, hand-in-hand with others, is exactly what Letha Dawson Scanzoni has done, empowered by her expansive love of neighbor and by her enduring love for the One who forever sets the prisoners free.
"There is a distance between the author and the reader, mimicking the emotional distance between White and other people in her life. A battle rages inside her, and she’s facing it alone."
But the best part of One True Way is the gentle tickle of first love, the moment when two people realize the other feels something too. When Sam and Allie acknowledge their feelings for each other and touch hands, the moment fairly lifts off the page, taking my young, romantic heart with it.
Is my authentic self who I had become, or is my authentic self who I once thought I was? Could I continue to live the rest of my life without ever fully embracing the person I once knew myself to be? Is it worth giving up me on the inside so as not to disrupt everything and everyone on the outside?
An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and an openly transgender man, Weekley... operates within the framework of participatory action research, a methodology directly involving the people under study (in this case, transgender persons) in formulating solutions for their problems, making plans, reflecting theologically, and acting accordingly.
January 8, 2018
I know Paula Stone Williams from CFT's involvement with the Gay Christian Network's WomenConnect retreat. In 2017 Paula was one of the...
December 18, 2017
There was a great conference held in St. Louis at the end of October you may not have heard about. The Rolling...
November 18, 2017
"Just a generation ago, it was adults, not kids, who changed genders. But today, many children are transitioning, too — with new...
November 17, 2017
As we raise awareness of transgender individuals in our communities, let’s not forget about those training to be religious leaders.
The growing number...
November 16, 2017
Today, for the fourth post in CFT's 2017 Transgender Awareness Week series, we're featuring links to information by and about a few...
November 15, 2017
Even as scientific research continues to reinforce the "biological basis for transgender identity" (read this Scientific American article for just one example),...
November 14, 2017
Rev. Dr. David Weekley is the only openly-out transgender elder appointed to a UMC church.
His 2011 book, In from the Wilderness: Sherman: She-r-man, is...
November 13, 2017
Today starts Transgender Awareness Week (#TransWeek). Here on the Link of the Day blog we'll be featuring articles of interest to trans...
We believe those who name themselves as “Christian” represent a diverse group of denominations, cultures, gender identities, and sexual expressions. We affirm that our LGBTQIA+ siblings are formed in the Imago Dei and are joint-heirs in Christ with all of us.
September 5, 2017
From Autostraddle comes an interesting post about a few historical feminists, all of whom were in relationships we might label as same-sex...
Hida Viloria has recognized that “intersex people are in the front lines of homophobia and transphobia because if our differences are detected at birth, we’re often mutilated in an effort that we’ll grow up to be gender normative and heterosexual—efforts that are misguided, because lots of us who were mutilated still grow up to be L, G, B, or T” (p. 302).
July 7, 2017
"As Pride month concludes three stories about how a Catholic bishop, a Catholic parish, and a Catholic entertainment celebrity chose to mark...
... as we read Shattering Masks, we can rejoice with its author that the intersexual transwoman Laura Bethany Taylor is indeed “God’s own child,” resembling and revealing her divine Mother/Father precisely as she was created to do.
My Episcopal church participated, as did many other churches. Quite a few signs were carried by people coming from a specifically Christian perspective. “This is the gay that the Lord hath made” was my favorite, carried by a young man.
Like the dark chaos, transgender bodies stir up boundary anxiety in many people. Consciously or unconsciously, people who fear uncertainty are alerted by transpeople to the awareness that “the binary cannot hold; the monstrous is already always within the ordered.
Once I was set free from the bondage of a fear-based faith, my life became full, and my faith has grown these last 20 years to be more inclusive and less judgmental. In 2004, I became more politically involved, recognizing the important role we, the people of God, must play in the governance of God’s world and the care for the things God cares about.
Many of the stories of the conference were new. But as I reflected on my conference experience as a whole, I was aware that, though the stories felt new, they also reminded me of the most inspiring story I have ever heard. The story of God becoming human and dwelling among us and then suffering and dying so we could be made new and be made whole.
There are lots of reasons for women to leave parish ministry, I’d say. Complicated family circumstances and fewer openings because of the implosion of the American church experienced first in the mainline but followed now by the evangelical church, as well, to name two. The bias that blights women’s service is one among them, in my experience.
... the PC(USA) cannot confess sin against LGBTQ people with any integrity. First, this action would not include those Presbyterians who do not feel that they are sinning when they judge the LGBTQ person. Second, people with these judgments are still hurting LGBTQ people in the PC(USA). We are not of one mind in the PC(USA).
My tradition is Reformed, always being Reformed (which is why we tend to protest what is traditional). Coming to a more expansive understanding of marriage is our generation’s experience of reforming our grasp of God and God’s will for us.
Identification with and support of LGBTQ people began, I would say, with the effort to make sense of my uncle coming with Johnnie from their home in Southern California to enjoy the fall change of season and to visit family. Nothing was ever said except that this was his friend, Johnnie, and my grandmother loved them both.
Again, in 2017, CFT will be partnering with the Gay Christian Network to present their WomenConnect women's retreat at the 2017 Gay Christian Network Conference. Several CFT members will participate.
The memoir as a whole makes clear that Redsand has been deeply influenced by Judaism and humanism as she has journeyed toward “home.” I love her description of life’s purpose: however we find our own particular work in the world, the idea is to “remember the deep root of [our] being…and give [our] life to the one who already owns [our] breath and [our] moments” (p. 312).
How would you like to own — or give to someone you love — a book that carries you along on its own joyful stream of stories? Yes? Then I have just the perfect book for you: the Reverend Dr. Nancy Wilson's I Love To Tell the Story: 100+ Stories of Justice, Wisdom, and Hope.
Lesson 22 "We need church leaders and pastors who learn Hebrew and Greek well enough to use available resources and then help laypersons better understand how translation works across time and cultures. Instead, I fear many churchgoing Christians who sincerely care about the Bible read it 'on the flat,' as if the writings were written in our native language and reflect contemporary assumptions."
Lesson 21 "According to Romans 14:1–15:6, what really matters ethically is how we treat other people and how consistent we are in living by our own consciences without condemning others who differ from us. The challenge—especially in matters relating to sexuality—is deciding which actions are intrinsically hurtful to others and which are not."
Lesson 20 “So how do we relate to more conservative friends, relatives, or fellow church members who complain that the church ‘is not calling sin sin anymore’? After our Bible study in the local Mennonite church, I spoke with a friend who is part of that congregation and understands the resistance of some people to accept same-sex marriage. ‘In their lifetime,’ she said, ‘these older people have had to make so many adjustments and changes in the church. This is just one more change that seems too hard to make.’ I appreciated her compassion and understanding, but for those to whom scripture matters, both conservatives and revisionists must do their biblical homework as well.”
Lesson 19 Many Christians still read these three texts as a handy, short-cut way to condemn all persons with any same-sex orientation or who are in committed, same-gender relationships. In light of these cultural and literary contexts, it is inappropriate to translate either malakoi or arsenokoitai as 'homosexuals.'
Lesson 18 “Although today we tend to see sexual attraction as something deep within the individual, these ancient writers used fire imagery to show that ‘sexual passion is a force which invades the lover from the outside’ (Fredrickson, p. 211). Thus Paul uses ekkaiō in the passive voice—‘to be inflamed.’ This is illustrated by the god Eros shooting his burning arrows into the hearts of hapless lovers. Fire is also insubstantial and fleeting. Thus the lover is never satisfied with sexual consummation, but keeps seeking more and more exotic experiences (p. 212), like drinking salty water that only makes one thirstier.”
Lesson 17 "Besides the analogy of food to explain using persons of either gender as sexual objects, Greco-Romans also compared sexual use to household management. Wives were part of the property of a man’s household, as were his slaves, and he could 'use' them as he wished.
In this article, I explain why HB2 is clearly unconstitutional. But I will also stress that constitutionality is always only one small part of understanding why legislators do what they do. A hostile feeling (or animus) toward transgender people becomes an important part of the legal discussion.
[The LGBTQ backlash is] "about outdated concepts like spiritual hierarchies and binaries, as in 'this group is saved, but this group is damned.' Outdated concepts like a magical book in which every inerrant word is completely applicable to the present time, even though is was written thousands of years ago in a very different cultural context."
Lesson 16 “In the Roman Empire, marriage was for procreation. Unless enslaved, males would marry in order to produce offspring, preferably sons, to whom they would pass on their lineage and wealth. Parents arranged marriages for reasons of social class and economics—usually a virgin adolescent girl paired with a sexually experienced man about ten years older.
"The most oppressive of human binaries is the one that differentiates between those who are in and those who are out. Just as Jesus “took on whatever stigma was applied to the people he was engaging: women, children, Samaritans, lepers” (p. 180), so must progressive Christians and progressive queers continue to disrupt the inside/outside binary."
Lesson 15 "I was stunned to realize that this is what Paul is talking about in Romans 1:24-27! A constant exposure to sexual images of pleasure, power, and domination lead to a search for new highs. Normal sexual relationships no longer satisfy, so people experiment with ever more exotic and abusive acts.
Lesson 14 "We cannot do justice to this passage until we understand its purpose in Paul’s lengthy theological letter to the Roman Christians—which is actually composed as a speech to be delivered publicly and passionately. Why did Paul write this speech to believers living in a city he had never visited? It’s a long story, which will take up the rest of this lesson."
Lesson 13 "And so, dear reader, that concludes our analysis of all Old Testament references used against LGBTQ people today. Slim pickings, indeed. Not a word about women’s sexuality. And three references (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; and Genesis 19:1-11) emphasizing how horrible it would be for any free male to lose honor by being raped or forced to take the woman’s passive role in this highly patriarchal ancient culture."
Lesson 12 "As Christians today debate LGBTQ issues, they weight these elements in different ways. Conservative believers rely more on Scripture and tradition, while progressives stress experience. (And too often reason flies out the window!)"
"Wallace begins with a very important question: why is the Religious Right so upset by gay marriage rather than by child poverty, or handgun violence, or military spending? She then proceeds to build evidence for her thesis: while “Christianity slowly separated from its Jewish origins, sexual renunciation took the place of kosher dietary restrictions and purity rituals as a boundary maker for Christian community.”
Lesson 11 "Revisionist biblical scholars have examined the texts that refer negatively to non-heterosexual sexual behavior (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Gen 19; Judg 19; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7). Though interpretations vary in the details, these scholars conclude such texts say nothing about sexual orientation or love-based, consensual same-gender sexual relations and certainly nothing about gay marriage.
God has been really merciful and kind to me. She has supplied real-life experiences just when I needed them most, in order to help me feel something I otherwise could not have grasped. Lately I have been sensing that before I die—after all, 84 is a pretty ripe age—I should acknowledge God’s kindness to me, and do it in writing. So here goes!
Lesson 10 “For many Christians [who voice opinions about same-sex sexual expression], these disapproving biblical verses imply the case is closed. But why does scripture (or God) disapprove? Or as James Brownson puts it in Bible, Gender, Sexuality, (mentioned in Lesson 8), what is the ‘moral logic’ behind this disapproval?”
Lesson 9 "But this complementarian position can only be held if the Bible is read 'on the flat,' as if it were written for contemporary people and contained no scientific or historical errors. In Lesson 5 on 'gender disputes in Bible translation,' I referred to the book co-written by Wayne Grudem and Vern Poythress called The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words. A light bulb went on for me at that point. These authors really believe God is masculine and, further, that the male leadership and patriarchy pervading the biblical texts is not simply a reflection of these ancient cultures but is part of God’s plan for humankind."
Lesson 8 "My concern in this series of lessons is this: how do we discuss this issue with people who hold a traditional view and see that view as more biblically-based than ours? Can we adequately interact with the so-called “clobber-texts” used to condemn same-sex sexual expression (i.e., Genesis 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; Romans 1: 24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10)? How do we respond to traditional views of the creation of male and female in Genesis 1 and 2 and to Jesus’s references to heterosexual marriage? Or do we just ignore these texts and assume that no real dialogue is possible?"
I'm grateful that the space of GCN exists for those people who do desperately need it, for whom the weekend was spent in tears and overwhelm, and who can, hopefully, leave with a little more of a belief that they are loved and accepted by God and by others just as they are.
When those in my group started talking about their hopes and dreams for future relationships and discussed models of relationships, I realized I’d made a huge mistake. The Side B people I had dismissed were exactly the people I’d been looking for.
First, I’m so happy about the result [the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage]. But second, I need to point out that the Court’s decision did little to help guide us in balancing the rights of the gay community with the interests of conservative religious people. This issue of balance is at the root of a lot of conflict in the areas of employment and consumer protection.
I worshiped in a community of strangers that felt like family. I cried in front of a crowd of parents who held me in their arms like I was their own child. I felt like I was being given a glimpse of what heaven feels like, or maybe what I hope heaven feels like: open arms of strangers full of love and grace.
As I listened to people’s stories, my heart ached over the pain they have suffered from denunciation and rejection by church and family, and I felt inspired by their courage in claiming who they’re created to be and working to liberate their churches from homophobia and unjust, unloving actions.
Lesson 7 “Biblical texts come alive through archeological discoveries, as well as sociology and anthropology, which help modern people understand the different traditions and habits of ancient peoples. For example, male honor was more important than female honor. Read the stories of attempted rape at Sodom in Genesis 19:1-11 and the actual rape of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 19. In each case, men offered their women to the rapists while preserving the honor of the men within the house.”
Lesson 6 “It is small wonder that Christians assuming different biblical hermeneutics often talk past each other. As one who deeply loves and respects the Bible, I will not try to protect it. It may be God-breathed, but it is also a human product with perspectives limited by time and culture. “
I believe the church at its core can also be a place of healing (and it breaks me when it's a place of trauma). We have confession and forgiveness, peacemaking and reconciliation, prayer and offering going back to the earliest days of Christianity. Self-examination and self-giving isn't something we can do without community...
She connected deeply to the true good news of Christianity’s two-thousand-year-old story. Over and over, she witnessed both the church’s capacity to wound and to heal, and she grew more convinced that she had to be a part of the transformation and recommunication of God’s love as shown in Jesus.
This year’s GCN speakers will include: Allyson Robinson, Baptist preacher and national trans leader; Broderick Greer, Episcopal curate and social justice advocate; Misty Irons, nationally-acclaimed blogger and theologian; and Justin Lee, the Gay Christian Network Executive Director.
Lesson 5 "The translation was called Today’s New International Version of the Bible (TNIV), an updated edition of the New International Version (NIV), a favorite of conservative Christians. And many of them were not happy with the new edition. Why the unhappiness? Because the TNIV was the first NIV updating to use gender-inclusive people language."
For many of you, the gender binary simply exists as a pervasive framework around which you build your life. As a child, you accepted it. You existed within it. It wasn’t until adolescence or adulthood that you were required to understand it and decide how to respond to it.
Susan's theology is overwhelmingly inclusive and accepting. She trusts deeply in the love of God for all people, and it shows in every word. This loving, large, expansive God is contrasted with the "in a box" God as seen in many churches and leaders and theology.
Lesson 4 "As someone who has loved the Bible since childhood and has devoted her life and career to better understanding it, I find this view of strict verbal inspiration incomprehensible. I suppose it can be held in the mind as theory, but not in practice."
Lesson 3 "Through worship and study, the written word became divine revelation... By the time some of them returned to Jerusalem from exile (permitted by the Persian ruler, Cyrus, beginning in 539 BCE), they had a collection of writings that became guides for their priests, prophets, and all the people of Yahweh (see Nehemiah 8:1-12)."
God bless Tim Otto for writing this book in the hope that each Christian will “go through the difficulty of relating to people who are not like us” (p. 118). But his failure to envision freedom, individualism, rights, and equality in the light of the Golden Rule tragically weakens the power of this book.
Lesson 2 "Is the Bible divinely inspired and thus authoritative? Discussions on inspiration often start by quoting 2 Timothy 3:16 from the New Testament. The NRSV reads, 'All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.' This is the usual translation, but it is not the only one. A footnote in the NRSV includes this alternative: 'Every scripture inspired by God is also…' The difference is significant."
Lesson 1 "This new series of lessons in Reta’s Reflections will not be a book study, as earlier studies have been. Rather, it will deal with the broader issue of hermeneutics, the science of interpretation as it relates to how we understand our Scriptures. The question of how we interpret authoritative texts becomes acute when current social, economic, or political issues divide believers who look to these texts for answers."
"Coming out ruined my life. At least, that’s the way it seemed. To claim my identity as a lesbian meant sacrificing everything on the altar of my own selfishness, of my need to be “true to myself.” To come out as a 43- year- old woman meant walking away from a tolerable twenty- year marriage, leaving behind a career in church ministry, and learning to negotiate custody arrangements and a new solo life. To come out, for me, meant walking away from God."
"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"
DeFranza builds her case for intersexual inclusion with a thorough description of various forms of intersexuality from a medical and sociological viewpoint. She provides an extensive and very helpful discussion of eunuchs in the Bible, especially Jesus’ remarks in Matthew 19:12.
The authors recognize that for Catholics, who live within “an institution… wedded to historical precedent” (p. 185), it can be terrifying to be challenged to make moves never made before. Yet many Catholic Christians, “their imaginations shaped by biblical convictions, see immigrants, homosexuals, and transgender persons in a new light” (p. 186).
Ultimately, my opposition to Harris stems from our differing definitions of religion and spirituality. Central to Harris’ argument is this: “When politicians (or anyone, for that matter) cede ethical ground to religious belief, justice for queer citizens is gravely endangered” (p. 154).
... those of us concerned about both religious liberty and equity for LGBT citizens are caught in a bind. I believe in equity for LGBT people, but at the same time I believe faith-based institutions should be allowed room to shape themselves according to their deepest beliefs. Is it possible to have both?
My partner, my friend in recovery, and my therapist all tell me that anger doesn’t have to look like yelling and shaming and ruining things. That there’s no chance mine ever would. But the anger I’ve seen wrecks things and people, and explodes into so many sharp little pieces that you can never hope to clean all of them up from inside you.
Julie Scelfo writes a very accessible article in the New York Times about the increasing number of people unwilling to to be defined by the gender labels of "male" or "female," and how one college, the University of Vermont, is accommodating them.
With all the LGBTQ people courageously coming out in conservative Christian settings, with all the information available freely on the internet and through print and broadcast media, with our new host of educators and speakers (both LGBTQ people and allies) reaching out to conservative and evangelical Christians, it would be impossible for someone to miss the obvious wounding of our people.
The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is not my sexual activity. The primary difference between me and a heterosexual person is with whom I am most comfortable establishing my primary intimate partnership.
The challenge each of us faces is in learning how to maintain our convictions while also respecting and appreciating a sister or brother's differing approach. Maybe the key is to start from a trusting place, believing that we all deeply desire to do what is good and right.
There’s no safe choice. The wounding is pervasive. And we all are perpetrators when we project our expectations and our own unique experience onto other people we consider more like us than not. None of us is the same. None of us knows the heart and mind of any other. As LGBTQ people, it is certainly our calling to become all we are meant to be. But that’s an internal process for the person looking out into the world. Where we stand, looking into each other’s eyes, our job starts and stops with loving each other.
When someone involved in conservative or evangelical Christianity experiences the trauma and wounding associated with coming out, generally they do not have access to sympathetic witnesses or good support systems. Often nearly everyone around them believes that to be lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, or questioning is sinful and shameful.
When I realized this was the Wall of Love, I was overcome with emotion. As they formed what would ultimately become a Tunnel of Love, the tears rolled down my cheeks. I had to turn away from them so I could gather myself because the feeling of unconditional love was so overwhelming in the moment.
Trans* teenager Leelah Alcorn, of Ohio, recently walked out into traffic where she was hit by a truck and killed. Her suicide note listed her conservative Christian family's inability to accept her trans* identity (they reportedly had taken her to Christian therapists intent on coercing her to accept her gender identity as a male).
My hope is that we will come to the day that our communities are places where LGBTQ+ people can be fully themselves and fully pursue relationship with Jesus without any hindrances. I wish I knew how long this season of transition will last— but I don’t.
After I finished Wendy Gritter's book and spent some time reflecting on what I had read, I realized that she had chosen a very difficult path. She is now regarded with suspicion by people on all sides. Many conservative Christians believe she has been deceived and has departed from the “truth” of the scriptures. LGBT people like me find it difficult to forgive her involvement with Exodus.
As the choir sang, and the ministers spoke, and the candles flickered, for the first time I saw Mary in all of it. A young woman in need of a safe place. A young woman denied entrance. A young woman giving birth to the Human One anyway, in an inauspicious tangle of blood, fear, and pain.
Daughter of immigrants from Grenada, Lorde was born in Harlem in 1934, was married and bore two children before she became openly lesbian and radically womanist.
November 26, 2014
“Be indivisible. Your Christian world will insist that you cannot be gay. Your gay world will view you with suspicion because you are a...
I want to live. I discovered that when I hit my “rock bottom” and found myself face down on the floor, sobbing as if I would never stop, telling those I love most that I didn’t want to live anymore. My life became a series of small, tentative footsteps, one at a time..."
Often, being honest about how I really feel seems unfair, as if my struggle and my pain is something that can reach beyond my body and hurt you. I have been convinced by life that you prefer it when I act like I'm doing "just fine" all the time. I have a conviction that it is my duty to protect you from my unhappiness and, in doing so, I am serving God, you, and the greater good.
The patriarchal, task-based church cannot affirm anything outside its box, because – like all good patriarchs – it must banish anything it cannot fix. Unless the patriarchal church squarely faces its Mother Wound and allows the nurturance, tenderness, and compassionate caring that has all too long been associated with the feminine (and thus rejected) to come in, it will not only fail to heal but will grow increasingly irrelevant as it fades away.
I strongly recommend Paula’s book to anyone who can bear to read an unvarnished account of how life has felt to a transsexual Christian living openly for many years before Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender people began to agitate for justice.
According to Vines, the reason non-affirming Christians reject homosexuality is that male and female bodies are anatomically complementary (the “plumbing” fits together). But such an issue is never raised anywhere in the Bible. Instead, the Bible makes clear that every human being is made in God’s image...
April 22, 2014
Matthew Vines' first book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, is being released today.
In the book Vines addresses...
With books like Cottrell's, hopefully... hundreds of parents will be reassured that their children's sex or gender orientation is not about them, is certainly not their fault, and provides opportunity to show what unconditional love is all about.
On the first day, a “Christian” organization whose goal is to help others said I was good enough to serve alongside their other employees. On the second day, millions of other Christians felt it necessary to forcefully proclaim, yet again, that they consider me "less than" and unworthy. On the third day, World Vision buckled under pressure...
But most of all, I enjoy imagining that the line between Fred Phelps and millions of beautiful and loving LGBT people has been blurred. That his liberated soul is now one with Christ/Sophia, and he finally knows us. He now moves through the Light. Through Love.
Oriented to Love brings the people together who are willing to move beyond the adversarial paradigm, who are willing to accept that reconciliation might be possible, and willing to sit down in a room together to begin the slow process of untying the knot, one strand at a time.
But what if, deep in my body, there are pockets of anger, tucked away like time bombs waiting to go off? What if I harbor hurt and resentment about the treatment I have received during my life, about the possibilities that I have been denied, about my ambitions that have been thwarted? How can I love that in me?
My experience of hearing that song, in that moment, can only be described as feeling I was wrapped in the tender softness of the sacred presence of God. Through my tears, I looked over at Tim, and with eyes full of tears, he met my gaze. Something I will never find the words to describe flowed between and through us. I will never get over it.
She called me to move toward the place I stood. She brought me there. She wanted me to sit with twelve other people, starting the next day, being open and vulnerable. She called them as well. They were going to show up whole. It was my job to show up whole as well.
I need to tell you what it meant to me and how it changed me. I need to tell you that She was there in a way I've never experienced before. I need to tell you what it felt like. But the trouble is, I'm still not sure I can put any of it into words, because the important stuff that happened there in that convent didn't have anything to do with words.
When we stop paying attention to the mystery and the miracles of God, when we ignore that which we cannot describe, cannot understand, cannot categorize, cannot explain-- when we ignore that, we ignore God. Because God is not our logical, ordered existence. God is not the sure thing, the safe bet. God doesn't make sense. God doesn't dream safe and steady dreams for our lives. God doesn't move us in comfortable directions.
Why can't we go along with God? We're scared that if we get out of God's way this whole grace thing might get out of hand— just the way it got out of hand when Jesus looked out from the cross and said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."
When we sing together, we draw ourselves closer to the Expression of God. God is in each of us, certainly, but She is magnified exponentially, She becomes more Herself, when we express Her presence as a group. The best practice we have, the gateway drug to the magnificence of God, is singing together.
When we talk about brokenness I want to feel the pain of naked truth. I want the words to be untamed and un-groomed. I want to hear the crimson bloom of shame in our voices. I want to feel the emotional morass of untenable situations caused when we responded without grace, without patience, without compassion.
I cried for me and I cried for everyone I was going to meet. I asked Divinity to be present with all of us as we sought and found a way through our pain and longing to reconnect with Her love. Not just Her love for us, but Her love for everyone, especially those who cause our pain.
I know what it is like to try to “fly under the radar,” keeping silent so people won’t notice the way I speak, trying to avoid the inevitable ignorant questions when people found out I had lived in Egypt: “Did you live in a pyramid? Did you ride a camel to school? Did you like it over there?”
Now I celebrate having a gay son, and consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life. His journey to a more authentic existence has been the catalyst for my own journey toward greater authenticity. It has forced me to confront my own deceitfulness in living a compartmentalized existence...
When I write, I am usually writing to the movable middle. Those are the hearts that can possibly change. We will not be able to convince those who are decidedly against homosexuality that they are wrong. But we can build up the group who know it is not wrong by reaching people in the middle.
But let me end by saying even our allies don’t fully understand the insidiousness of homophobia in their churches, their communities, their workplaces, and in our government.
I think the days of being a minister as a career are numbered, even for straight, white men. The truth is that the church is on shaky ground even for those at the center. But the good news is that walking over shaky ground often leads us to find more sure footing with God.
"I continue to find ways to serve the church as I try to be faithful in my love of God and God’s church. I am thankful for the people who are called to ministry inside the church. But most churches are not ready for me to respond to a call as their minister. For that, I am sad.
“When it is all said and done, I realize the irony of ministry is that after you learn what gifts you have, then you have to learn to give them away. I was called into existence by a God who loves much, laughs much and surprises all the time. I know that God calls each of us, and I continue to believe that God will help us all form a community of love and support for all people.”
The weconnect Women's Retreat will feature speakers, discussions, games, giveaways, and an all-female praise and worship band. Hasty-Zander stresses that her primary goal is building community and creating a safe space for conversation. She hopes the retreat will build lasting connections among GCN's female-identified attendees.
I'd like it if everyone was very well aware that equal is equal, that anything else is greater than or less than. Because I want to believe that in my life I will experience at least a little time in which I am equal, not less than. But actually, how things are? Equality is more like a multiple choice test. And some people will circle every single answer, and some people will, miraculously, manage to circle one or two.
Learn why EEWC-CFT welcomes and celebrates all people, including lesbians, in our work to promote gender justice.
Today some of our Christian Feminism Today writers are participating in Queer Theology's "Queer Creation" synchroblog. This is the Queer Theology website's third synchroblog event about...
It is my prayer that all of us will eventually learn to recognize and revere the image of God in every person of every conceivable gender identity, along with the many other diversities of appearance, belief systems, preferences, and whatsoever differences may occur to us.
So, it is no surprise to me that Azusa Pacific University has asked Heath Adam Ackley to go away. And it is no surprise to me that the people who asked him to do so were apparently not concerned about the justice or righteousness of the request. As is usual, capitalistic considerations trumped all others.
While his final conclusions wind up on the "revisionist' side of the debate, he reached that point via the construction of a carefully considered moral logic that frames a sexual ethic from all of Scripture. He claims that by grounding his approach to same-sex relationships in this way, he provides a rationale that was previously missing.
The really delicate task we (LGBTQ people and their allies) are now faced with is to ask how we inhabit the "Lord's victory." How do we bear it up without making it toxic for others. How do we reach out a hand to those who are scandalized so that they too can be reconciled?
Everyone has felt like an outsider; everyone has felt misunderstood. I always believed that a Christian church would have all the answers, that embracing Christianity meant an end to the isolation and the confusion. Clearly, I was wrong; so many people are searching for answers.
When the story we choose for ourselves divides, when it perpetuates judgment, fear, and anger, when it has nothing to do with humility and love, it's time to let it go. I guess I thought I was going to Wild Goose looking for something, but maybe I'm really going to learn how to let something go.
When most Christians see their faith being portrayed as something so fragile that it is threatened by other spiritual practices and belief systems, when most Christians see their faith being used as a hammer to bash the souls of LGBTQ people, maybe it's time for most Christians to get off their butts and do something about it.
"But when it comes to homosexuality, many people have the impression that there is only one religious or biblical view – only one way to consider the question of equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. That view, in the minds of many, is that any and every same-sex sexual expression is sinful in the sight of God."
"...this book is a voyeuristic look into the messy and gut-wrenching process of a person’s coming to terms with an LGBT identity after a lifetime of being indoctrinated into a theology that says gay people suffer from a shameful defect and will be punished by an angry God throughout an eternity of torment.
Until her late thirties, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield and I had a great deal in common... We both advised many students and groups, especially (but not exclusively) LGBT people on campus. The big difference? I was openly Christian, while Rosaria prided herself on her postmodern and materialist worldview.
"On the other hand, the values described on the BSA website as undergirding the organization clearly call for inclusiveness, perhaps a blind spot for those who have never felt themselves to be on the outside."
The goal of Mix It Up Day or any similar effort is to bring together people whose background is different from ours in some way--racially, ethnically, religiously, in sexual orientation, or any other way. Getting to know each other can be one of the richest experiences imaginable.
"William Stacy Johnson is the perfect author for such a volume: an attorney, a professional theologian, an ordained Presbyterian minister, a professor at Princeton Seminary, and a student of over 270 specialized books and articles and 95 relevant legal cases."
I refuse to give into despair and instead have hope that attitudes in our churches, regardless of denominational affiliation, will change. In many ways, it is the church that is on trial.
...with Marin; because of his genuine desire to help, his candid admissions of his own feelings, and his willingness to listen and learn (including unlearning homophobic attitudes), you have to take the bad with the good.
Sprinkle laments the continuing rise in the number and the brutality of violent crimes against LGBTQ people; young people in America’s schools and neighborhoods are especially being targeted at an alarming rate, as much for their non-traditional presentation of gender as for their sexual orientation.
If we prepare adequately and are confident in our experience of God and God’s love for each of us, then we never need defend ourselves. Instead we can be representatives of God’s enduring love for all people by having “gentle and reverent” conversations with those who would condemn us.
--Why I Took Part in the Jimmy Creech Protest Demonstration
by L. Victoria Peterson
Why did more than 100 persons leave their homes and jobs and...
by Jeanne HansonWhy would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I’m still pondering the answer to that one. All I...
We live in times that need women and men of spirit to be willing to be changed by the table Christ prepares for us. May you return from this conference, from this event, ready to live into that change — for Jesus’ sake and the sake of all who need the realm of God to be embodied on earth.
I looked into the eyes of this most precious granddaughter, and thought about what she knows of my life. The secure home away from home my life partner and I provide for her. The loving, caring relationship she witnesses. She loves my partner, her “Mormor,” and understands about the daily commitment I have to Mormor’s mother who lives 10 minutes from us.
A personal reflection on Marriage Equality written by Rev. Marie M. Fortune in 2009, well before the Supreme Court case that legalized all same-sex marriages...
As soon as I finished Love Wins I went out and bought a hard copy to give to my neighbor down the street. It's the kind of book you want to share. I'll give Love Wins to my friends who are dissatisfied with the Common Christian message, but who are not dissatisfied with Jesus.
Then WHAM, once again God opened my mind to the truth of what I was hearing. These women did love and follow Jesus, and the church was oppressing them. The Holy Spirit spoke plainly to my heart that I was guilty of ignorance, arrogance, and sinful judgment.
Moreover, Barger labels androgyny as an "obscuring [of] the true nature of oneself" (140) which is an "assault on the female body" (25); drag as the "mocking of gender" (141); and same-sex relationships as contributing to the "frayed edges" of community (73).
This is a book that can be used by religious. educational, and civic groups. Acknowledging her appreciation for the work of Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Letha Dawson Scanzoni in Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? Boesser integrates religious issues into this work but does not focus on them.
And while Myers and Scanzoni examine other options to marriage, such as civil unions or domestic partnerships, they conclude that only marriage gives the rights and responsibilities essential to a stable society
I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately, and it ties in with something you referred to in your December 1 letter --...
The music can be experienced on as many levels as there are moments and listeners, but ultimately the album captures Marg's anguish when she learned that although she was trained to be a church musician, in fact the church was not a safe or welcoming place for lesbian women like herself.
his book compassionately explores the dilemma faced daily by “both”, “neither” and “other” categories of humans and proposes that Christ and the Jewish and Christian scriptures demand compassionate acceptance of all people, regardless of their genital or sex chromosome configuration.