LGBTQ and Christianity: My 2011 in Review

In 2011 I did an lot of writing about the relationship between LGBTQ folk and Christianity. I wish I hadn’t; I wish it weren’t an issue at all. But it is. So I wrote what I did.

Below are links to twelves such pieces I wrote in 2011. Each is followed by a quote from the piece itself—even though, as I think we’ll all agree, quoting yourself is reasonably frowned upon by sane people everywhere.

But, you know. Sanity. Pfffft. Like that’s not ridiculously overrated.

Happy New Year. And thank you, so much, each of you, for all you’ve done for me. You know who you are.

Tell Me, Christian, That You Hear This Boy

Tell me, please, how you love this kid. Tell me how you understand his pain. Tell me how when he cries, you cry. Tell me how you want to do everything in your power to make sure that no one, ever again, feels free to in any way victimize a young gay person. A Christian myself, I am pleading with you to be honest with me about this. Tell me, please, how none of this kid’s anguish has anything to do with you. I’m listening. I really am. We all are.

Christians and the Blood of Jamey Rodemeyer

Turn, friend. And when you do, open your arms. Discover waiting to embrace you a new Christ behind the relative shell of the one you inherited. Jesus Christ died for your sins. That was unthinkably beautiful. Now Jamey Rodemeyer has died from your sins. That is not. That is the very hell that, awfully enough, you’ve somehow tricked yourself into believing your life refutes.

My Gay Christian Cousin Committed Suicide

I know that, when poor and broken spirits like your cousin come before him, he wraps his arms around them, hard, and never lets go.

Another Teen Bullied To Death; Another Reason for a New Christianity

If Christians would actually read the Bible, instead of daring to insist that three or four isolated phrases within it justifies a theology that has no more to do with Christ than Fred Phelps has to do with Welcome Wagon, we would arrive at a popular Christianity that is not, as so much of our Christianity is today, a pure affront to anyone with half a conscience.

Republican Politician Caught with His Gay Pants Down: Whose Shame Is It?

While Hinkle’s closeted homosexuality may not be sufficient cause for all this horrendousness, it is, I believe, a necessary condition for it. The shameful behavior for which Hinkle is certainly culpable grew from a shame for which he is certainly not. That shame—the great, burning inner shame that every gay and lesbian person is forced to overcome if he or she is ever to claim for themselves the same righteous pride of self that straight people so easily accept as their birthright—should be the shame of everyone who is not today working toward full LGBT acceptance and affirmation. And that holds especially true for Christians, who for far too long have used the Good News of the Gospels to bring nothing but terrible news to homosexuals, who, just like them, want nothing more, and nothing less, than to be loved for who they are.

“Am I Seeking the Truth Because I Want to Justify My Sin?”

The only people who don’t like homosexuals just because they’re homosexuals are dented in the heart. Something awful happened to them. They (very often) were inculcated with a version of Christianity that sickens God. Someone gave them the awful anti-gay virus, and they sneeze and spit that nastiness onto others, because they just don’t know any better.

Group of Methodist Ministers Succumb to Gay Agenda!

“I ain’t saying this is no story at all,” he said around his chomped cigar. “But it isn’t exactly a four-ton reptile stomping down Broadway tossing cars and eating people, is it? I mean, whaddaya really have here? A bunch of Christians who looked into their hearts, found the God in whom they believe telling them that gay people have the same right to get married, under God, as straight people, and who then organized themselves into a body that reflects that belief. Right, kid?”

An Open Letter to Famous Progressive Christian Jim Wallis

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you might want to track down and correct whomever it is in your organization who is so egregiously failing to properly represent you and your wonderful work. (Hint: the person you’re looking for might be someone pretty high up in your organization; Believe Out Loud was told that the decision to refuse their video was made by “the folks in executive.” It’s almost funny, isn’t it?)

Gays and Hell: How Can God Break the Great Commandment?

As confoundingly complex as the Bible can be, the one thing within it that comes across with extreme clarity is that Jesus’ primary, fundamental mission and purpose was one of love. When God comes to earth and walks and talks as a man, you’re right away into some stuff you know you’ll never fathom. But the one thing that’s crystal clear is that Jesus came to try to help us grasp the fullness and magnitude of God’s love for us.

Sodom and Gomorrah: “So Don’t Be Gay”

“So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived. So don’t be gay.”

Secretly Gay-Affirming Pastors: You Are Not Alone

If you are a faith leader who is no longer comfortable preaching or pretending to support the traditional Christian view of homosexuality, the first thing you should know is that you are most certainly not alone. Christianity really is in the middle of a second Reformation. And just like it did the first time around, that means that an awful lot of people, at every level among the practicing faithful, are right now harboring a great many thoughts and doubts which they don’t yet feel comfortable sharing with their brethren. But that is changing.

The Smith Family Chronicles

I have no quote from this series, due to its form. But I know I’ll never do better work relative to anything having to do with this “issue”—which, after all, is no “issue” at all, but rather only a matter of how we all resolve ourselves to ourselves, our loved ones, and ultimately to God.

And my work in this area culminated in this book, which I published at the end of 2011:

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Isabel Mosseler via Facebook
  • Gordon

    John, you are an important voice of reason when it comes to the relationship, or lack thereof, between and among Christians (as a whole) and GLBT people. Your writing on this extremely divisive issue has been thoughtful and insightful. It has also been provocative and confrontational in the best senses of the words. The Christian church as a whole MUST come to terms with the injustice that has been done. And they need to do it quickly. That injustice is complicated. It’s not just about the unfair treatment of me and my GLBT brothers and sisters. It is also about the massive waste of money, energy and time that goes into fighting the imaginary “homosexual agenda” while the real work and mission of love and service is left undone. Getting back to that mission is going to take human resources and the Christian faith doesn’t have a person to waste!

    Happy New Year to you. Thank you for being open and guided to write about this subject. – G

    • Richard W. Fitch

      In the absence of a “Like” button, Gordan, you reflect my own appreciation of the voice that John brings to this dialogue.

  • Driftwood2K11

    I don’t mind saying, John, that I realize you’re not a gay man, but that if you were, you’d be a good catch for a husband. LOL

    Happy New Year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/msrebekahjane Rebekah Jane Lee via Facebook

    Thx for your dedication to speak out.

  • Sam

    Thanks for compiling these John.

    Pull quotes are great and helpful – even if someone pulls for themself.

    I think that came out wrong.

    You remain the man.

  • Cynthia H.-W.

    May our God bless your socks right off, John Shore, for the tremendous gift of your sane, loving, right-on, totally Christian, non-punch-pulling, often side-splittingly funny words. You are a hero. I hope you know that.

    Rock on!

  • Lymis

    John, like another John long ago, you’re a voice crying in a wilderness – which, thanks in part to your efforts and the efforts of many others, is less and less a wilderness every day.

    Thanks for all you are doing. As hurtful as they are, as constant and common as they are, the anti-gay voices in many of our lives have turned into a constant, annoying and painful drone. Don’t ever think, though, that they are drowning out the voices of love. Like water in the desert, you have no idea how much even the smallest amount can help keep someone who is fragile alive for another day.

  • mike moore

    Hi John,

    I think your writing is awesome and love how you’ve tackled some land-mine LBGT issues, so thank you for that, but don’t be misled … like me, I suspect most of us read your blog mostly because you’re such a hottie.

    Happy New Year!

  • Soulmentor

    I’m very pleased to see his compilation. There are people I want to see it but who wouldn’t want to bother searching them out (might not even read them anyway but worth a try). You’ve been a wonderful source of rational thinking and spot on critical argument, often pithy and amusing. It’s been a great combination.

    Take a break from this subject if you wish. You probably need it, but don’t stop writing. You are needed. Happy New Year and God bless.

    Bill

  • http://sillama1.xanga.com Sil in Corea

    Thank you, John! Keep letting your light shine. Love is so desperately needed in this sad old world.

  • textjunkie

    Yay John and happy 2012 to you!! Wouldn’t it be awesome if 2012 is the last time you have to write about this?? A 2013 where it’s not an issue?

  • http://www.Facebook.com/mikejordanjr MJ

    John thanks for your blog! I sincerely appreciate your unique ability to brings our issues to light and yet has a balance of sound arguments and humor. :)

    personally I think talented the GLBTQ-faith community needs come together to do a documentary about a life of the average GLBTQ teen in home, church and school. I would imagine that would wake many up. what you think guys!?


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