Here we all are the day after the Supreme Court of the United States has declared critical elements of DOMA unconstitutional. Praise the Lord in all her Wisdom, Grace and Love for the ray of light piercing the darkness.
Of course, as millions of Americans rejoice for their own or their neighbors’ step forward, there are others who are writhing and writing in distressed agony. It is true that SOME Christians are horrified at the news of their neighbors’ increasing civil equality. But it is not true that ALL Christians are upset by the court’s ruling. In fact, there are millions of CHRISTIANS who not only support marriage equality but who fully affirm the lives and loves of queer folks like me. Also real and true is the fact that there are queer folks like me who ARE Christian. Together, today, we rejoice. Together, tomorrow, we will continue to work and pray for the light of God to illuminate the path forward
Now the media in all its stinky, self-serving, Mammon worshipping glory wants to keep us misinformed and stridently afraid of one another by shining a spotlight on the self-identified Christians who are freakin’ the hell out. You don’t need me to point out who they are, you can easily see them on the nightly news, running amok in the blogosphere and likely a few lurking with boggle-eyed bible thumping in your Facebook news feed. I am not that kind of Christian. You likely are not either.
What I want you to know and trust is that there are good people, loving people, cultural Christians or out-right Jesus freaks (like me), who are living as examples of God’s radical hospitality today and every day.
We come in all shapes and sizes – individuals, prayer partners, Sunday School classes, campus ministries, congregations and whole denominations that affirm that each individual is a child of God, recognizes “that we are called to be like one body with many members, seeking with others of every race, ethnicity, creed, class, age, gender, marital status, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to journey together toward the promised realm of God.” – (from the Open and Affirming statement of Old South Church, United Church of Christ, Boston, MA)
We come from neighborhoods, towns, cities and states all over the country – yes, even Georgia.
And there are Christians who are leaning into this new day with grace and compassion even if they are uncomfortable yet faithfully open to discerning how the Spirit is moving us all closer to the beloved community.
What I invite you to do is to look around for the Christians in your life, in your news feed and in the world who are a lifting up voices of faithful joy this day and to then share that in what ever way you feel called – hopefully here so this will become a resource for others. Let US be the voice of the people that the media willfully ignores. Let US be the people’s microphone and magnify Love that might not sell ads but just might save a life.
And I ardently implore the media to work a little harder to fairly represent the full spectrum Christian voices in this ever evolving conversation. It really is ok to publish more than fear and loathing, I promise.
Here are a few resources to get us started…
Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists Members of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB) are churches, organizations, and individuals who are willing to go on record as welcoming and affirming all persons without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, and who have joined together to advocate for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within Baptist communities of faith.
Believe Out Loud - is about helping churches live out this Christian principle by becoming fully inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Brethren/Mennonite Councit for LGBT Interests- The mission of BMC is to cultivate an inclusive church and society and to care for the Mennonite and Brethren lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied community.
Catholic – DignityUSA works for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy and support.
Disciples of Christ - The Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance is a presence working for the full dignity and integrity of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and affirming people within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Episcopalian – Integrity USA Since 1974, Integrity has been a faithful witness of God’s inclusive love to the Episcopal Church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. We are working for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments.
Lutherans Concerned/North America works for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church and congregations. They provide a place of comfort and safety. They reach out and teach that Christ’s message, the Gospel, is for everyone equally. They call for the blessing of committed and covenanted same-gender relationships, and for the ordination of those called to minister.
PC(USA) More Light Presbyterians – a network of people seeking the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Christ Open & Affirming (ONA) Program - ONA is “shorthand” for Open and Affirming, the designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the United Church of Christ which make public statements of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
United Methodist Reconciling Ministries Network mobilizes United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love.
That All May Freely Serve advocates for an inclusive church for all who are disenfranchised: A church that honors diversity and welcomes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons as full members. Full membership includes eligibility for ordination to the offices of elder, deacon, and Minister of Word and Sacrament.
The Gay Christian Network (GCN) is a nonprofit ministry supporting Christians worldwide who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
The Institute for Welcoming Resources at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is a networking hub for movement leaders and a source of downloadable toolkits and curriculum for your church.