Wow y’all, I am just stunned by the great fortune of having my last post picked up and run over here on Time.com. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity for my voice, as unwieldily as it tis at times, to reach more people than ever before!
But with bright light there must also be a few shadows so I wanted to take a moment to share a few words with those who have critical of my “harsh tone” in my most recent post.
1. I invite you to read more than a single post of mine and try to get to know the breadth of how I express myself. You just may find evidence that I actually do engage in careful, thoughtful, compassionate dialogue. You will also find I sometimes contradict myself. Funny thing being human. So too I invite you to consider if someone were to judge you for all time based on just one thing you write, post, say or do. While you are thinking about that consider how you have behaved when you are very angry, hurt and tired.
2. Although I am sincerely engaged in dialogue in many ways that you can not see here, I am also angry, hurt and tired of being abused by, marginalized by, objectified by and oppressed by people who either use me as a political pawn or those who adamantly (or passively) oppose granting me basis human and civil rights – most especially those who do so in the name of Christ. I have every right to speak truth to power and to do so with as much righteous anger as I choose. I have also found through years of experience that sometimes the dialogue simply does no good whatsoever and some people choose to remain willfully ignorant or silent in the face of injustice. Eventually those who are trod upon stop asking so sweetly to be treated with basic human dignity and get on with the business of demanding it. There are just so many times one can enter a conversation with the privileged, eyes down cast, gently asking for them to open the fists with which they beat me down and share what I should not have to ask for in the first place.
3. Sometimes a wakeup call is rude and sometimes some people might need to feel shame before they can repent. And yes, while I seek dialogue with all who come ready to enter with active listening and open hearts and minds but yes, sometimes I DO just want people to think about what they are saying or shut up. If you think the post is judgmental and shaming that may be because you personally feel judged or ashamed of behavior I have described here. If you are a kind and gentle ally then please consider that at some point those of us whose humanity is questioned and limited by those who toss around the offending phrase “homosexual lifestyle” are maybe, just maybe sick and damn tired of begging for scraps from the table.
4. All that said, I have thought a great deal about the post that has caused some consternation and how some have received my words. I discernment I thought that if I had to do it again I might change about it is the title and the lead in phrases from “what you really mean” to “what I really hear”. I am truly on the fence about how passive that sounds and passive is not my truth. I too am on a journey and though there are some things that I refuse to back down on – not one step back – I am exactly who I say I am and try to listen, pray and think about the work I do out here.
5. And finally, if I look to Jesus as my example (and I do) I understand from our common record of his ministry that Jesus often got angry at the disciples, he got angry with the Pharisees. Jesus got angry with the priests and publicans of the temple. So, far from being ashamed of my anger I am grateful that this too is one way of walking this complex journey of faith.
So for those who are genuinely concerned that my last post shuts down dialogue I invite you to stick around, read a little more of my work, share a little of your story and see if we all learn something together.
PS – For those who simply want to deny the sacred worth of me and my LGBT brothers and sisters, those with your bible drive-bys pretending to be biblical literalists (but don’t know they are Pharisees), those who in their ignorance, fear and loathing ignore the separation of church and state – I will not rewrite two years of blogs, four years of seminary and hundreds of years of theology in response to your comments. We both know it is a waste of my time.