This blog is not about debating scripture, except when it is. Since I am a Christian I must ground Christian dialogue in a great Book that has formed me. But just as I regard scripture as holy, I do not read it literally nor is it the only source that informs me. Experience, reason and a plethora of great minds are my companions on this journey. Note: all strictly literalist arguments will fall short here, especially if they are not grounded in love. I am not motivated to change your faith. Pray, worship and study as your heart dictates but the time has come to fully live into our national separation of church and state – your faith has no place legislating my civil rights.
This blog is not about issues, except when it is. I am not an issue or simply a campaign of controversy. Though preachers and pundits love to debate the GLBT “issue”, I am not some caricature of a non-existant, monolithic lifestyle – I am a woman, a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend, a writer, a Christian and a child of God. That being said, I will not wait any longer for my civil rights in this country to equal yours. I should not be afraid to hold my partner’s hand in my own city, neighborhood or church. I should not be afraid to tell the doctors caring for our children that I am ALSO their mom – afraid that my daughter will receive less or no care in moments of critical need. I will not be denied the same respect as any other spouse of a fallen police officer if, God forbid, that day should come. I should not have to worry if someone will take my children from me because I am “too controversial” right now. I REFUSE to keep reading of children taking their own lives because “good Christians” look the other way while their own children bully babies to death or worse when hateful hearts give parents special dispensation to abuse their children.
This blog is not about me except when it is. There will be many people who stop in to share a glimpse of their journey of being and becoming. Each life is a beautiful narrative filled with woe and weal, doubt and faith, fear and hope. I am honored to be asked to curate these conversations at a time such as this when our nation is grappling with civil rights of LGBT people like me. I am immensely grateful for the President’s verbal support of same-sex marriage last week BUT I am truly and deeply hurting as the hateful rhetoric about love spins up to a fevered pitch. I am exhausted by the polarizing conversation about my life, and the lives of real people I love, being used as fodder for the great political chess game. It is my prayer that you will read each blog as an encounter with a person – not an issue, not an argument, not a label – a person who is working, each in their own clumsy way, to fulfill the triquetra of the greatest commandment – Love God, Love Neighbor and Love Self.
This blog will never address hateful comments – we will delete them. If you act too ugly you will be uninvited from the conversation. Please act nice, please treat one another with kindness and respect. If you’re not sure what that looks like I’m not sure this is the right dialogue for you at this time.
With God’s help, what this blog will be:
This blog is a place where real people with beating hearts and quick minds can gather to explore what for many people seems a paradox but for me has never a source of conflict – being gay and Christian in America. And guess what? As it turns out, there are as many ways this unfolds as there are ways of being not-gay and Christian in America.
And now a word about your hostess:
I’m not going to blather on about myself too much but since this is a space for sharing our stories I will get the ball rolling by telling you a little about mine.
I’m a mom. I am the mother of millennial, a 14-year-old young lady who is turning out to be a film maker and fine blogger in her own right. I think she’s brilliant but of course I’m partial. I do believe she has an older soul than I and so I have a lot to learn by being fully present to her. I struggle every day to be fully present while living into motherhood in the 21st Century. I am twice blessed to be step-mom to a spunky 10 year old, the daughter of my partner.
I’m a southerner. South-easterner to be precise. Like my mother before me and my daughter after me I was born in Atlanta so I’m about as native to Atlanta as one can be. But I’m surely a different breed of southern than my mother and my daughter most definitely is a different breed than I. I happily live in downtown Atlanta in a neighborhood inhabited with a beautiful kaleidoscope of people. I still listen to bluegrass, but dig nearly anything you can hear on Radio Paradise, I drink sweet tea (there really is no other iced tea y’all), I prefer biscuits & grits rather than yogurt for breakfast, I still say yes ma’am and no sir to everyone who might be 30 seconds older than me, and I cherish the sound of tires on a dirt road.
I’m Christian. For the folks out there who may be drawing back that bow of “You can’t be gay and Christian” I will say this once, and likely a gazillion more times…if by Christian you mean one who has placed Jesus at the center of my heart and follows Him as the Ultimate of what God asks of us, a lamp unto my feet that shines justice for the oppressed, relief for the poor and love for the despised – then I am indeed Christian. If by Christian you mean the bible beating (I’d really rather read mine – all of it, not just Leviticus), judgmental, nationalistic, literalist person who suppresses questions as heresy and insists that “salvation” is only for those part of some human-constructed, exclusive club then you are thinking of a different kind of Christian for sure.
I’ve had a long and winding faith journey. Though my boundaries have always been permeable my center remains Christ. I graduated from Candler School of Theology in this century but I’m no more Methodist than the shoes you kicked off when you got home yesterday. I was raised a Baptist. I’m still a dunker at heart and I believe that each person is competent to read and understand the Bible and insist that no other person or group ought to assume the right to dictate to others what they should believe – yup, that’s old school Baptist my friends. I attend a warm and loving UCC church in Atlanta that meets in a store-front in a funky little in-town ‘hood. Though I am a tad post-denominational I am happily seeking ordination in The United Church of Christ – not only because they are open and affirming, justice seeking folks but because congregational polity makes the most sense to me (see above re: Baptist).
L = Lesbian. Well duh, right? It took me over 30 years to come to terms with who I am, but here I am. My wife, a cop in Atlanta, and I met at our neighborhood Methodist church right before I entered seminary. She’s the first and only woman I’ve loved. She brought a feisty daughter to the relationship and we are doing our best to raise both girls as faithful, responsible women who can think for themselves and make a positive impact in the world.
Welcome to the conversation. I hope you will drop by once in a while, share your story and be open to the journey.