This week, Amendment One passed in North Carolina. We all know this by now, I’m sure.
And we all know who is responsible.
I don’t know what we Christians hope to accomplish. Even if you believe same-sex marriage is wrong (I personally do not think there is anything wrong with same-sex relationships–here is why. Please don’t waste your time trying to argue it with me in the comments section because I’ve made a well-researched decision and you’re not going to change my mind at this point), what do we hope to do? Legislate “morality?” Arrest people who do not accept (particular definitions of) the Bible? Show God’s love by denying others their rights?
But, I honestly don’t want to talk to those Christians right now. Some of you reading my blog may still believe that taking away people’s rights in the name of Jesus is the right way to love others and to treat others as you would want to be treated, but I’m going to guess that most of those types of Christians have long since given up on me (or are too busy praying for me to stop “backsliding”). If I’m wrong, and you’re one of those Christians and you’re reading this, please read with an open mind and don’t be a jerk in the comments (I WILL delete you. I mean it).
I want to talk to my fellow LGBT-affirming/tolerating Christians. The ones who don’t think that taking away the rights of others shows the love of God. Whether you affirm same-sex relationships like I do or you think same-sex relationships are wrong but don’t force those beliefs on others, this is for you.
First of all, you’re not alone. It’s not you vs. the Church.
Sure, it may feel that way. Especially for those of us who grew up in fundamental or evangelical churches. I’m sure many of us have heard “God wants us to love, but not tolerate sin,” and “you need to read the Bible because it clearly says ____,” speeches.
It gets frustrating and tiring.
I know, believe me. I know. I break down and cry every now and then because of all the pressure from my brothers and sisters in Christ to hate others. And I’m dating a man, so I have it much easier than those of you who may face pressures from your brothers and sisters in Christ to hate yourself.
But we’re not alone. There are lots of us.
Allies facing rebuke.
People with questions being shot down.
Gays and lesbians who feel they should be celibate facing misunderstanding and lack of support.
Out LGBT people facing excommunication.
Closeted LGBT people facing shame.
Which brings me to my next point. The LGBT community is not just “out there.”
I was thankful to see posts by some of my favorite Christian bloggers, expressing outrage over Amendment One.
Rachel Held Evans (whom I love dearly), wrote a beautiful post:
When it comes to homosexuality, we no longer think in the black-at-white categories of the generations before ours. We know too many wonderful people from the LGBT community to consider homosexuality a mere “issue.” These are people, and they are our friends. When they tell us that something hurts them, we listen. And Amendment One hurts like hell.
Her words are true.
LGBT people aren’t just our friends.
When we assume that the LGBT community is some separate group outside the church, we forget that many people within the church are LGBT and many LGBT people are Christians. When we talk about LGBT people as a church, we need to realize that many of them are our siblings in Christ.
We are talking about us. Not them.
The church and the LGBT community are not mutually exclusive.
Tomorrow I’m going to talk about a group of LGBT activists who work with and within the church toward change–More Light Presbyterians. I really love what this group is doing. I think they’re more inclusive and bold than even many secular LGBT activist groups. Until then, what reminds you as an LGBT Christian or ally that you are not alone?