Queer Theology Synchroblog: A Guest Post by P

Queer Theology Synchroblog: A Guest Post by P October 22, 2014

Today I have two (possibly three…we’ll see) posts for you, in honor of the 2014 Queer Theology Synchroblog! The theme this year is Coming and Going. I’m proud to host this guest post by P. Stay tuned later today for another guest post (and possibly a post by me, if I can work up the courage and energy!), and be sure to check out the other synchroblog entries at the Queer Theology website

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Last week, for some reason, my mother and I talked about reading. “You would read the Bible, and you were only six or seven,” my mother said, and I could hear the remnants of confusion in her voice. “I don’t even know if it was a King James Bible or not. I couldn’t even read a King James Bible. Not then, not now.”

I detect some sadness in her voice, too. It has been years since I have gone to church, or counted myself as Christian; my mother has sobbed at me going to hell. But what can I tell her about why I left? About what I saw – about coverups for abuse under the guise of forgiveness, or obedience? Or how people like me – who liked to question, or liked to imagine that God loved us all, queer, straight, genderqueer, agender, female, male, cat, dog, whatever – were made to feel unwanted in a house of God? That stumbling blocks were placed and then I was the one to blame when I got tired of stumbling all the time, and just left instead of being humiliated or dismissed or being told constantly I’d burn in hell for one reason or another?

When I asked about God, in God’s own house, I was met with silence or that I should just listen to the priest. The Church could not be wrong, after all.

But I saw it was wrong on so many things.

And yet I was to blame, for leaving. For going out.

It isn’t as if I don’t want to return. Christians have no monopoly on a loving God, or on the teachings of kindness and compassion; the teachings and gospel of Jesus is remarkably similar to the teachings of Buddhism, for example. And in my time away, I have explored that. I have explored the radical idea of loving myself, of being kind to myself, of truly trying to do unto others as I would want to be treated. Would I want to be told I’m going to burn forever because I’m not silent on abuses? Or that a struggling single mother should be condemned instead of helped? No. I would want to try and help, to do what I could. Even if it was just listening.

But can I return?

Synchroblogs like this help me with hope and love. Jesus ate with the broken, the condemned, the heretics and the sex workers just as easily as he talked to the learned men at the temple; but we do not hear from the gospels him condemning these unwanted, these marginalized people that the establishment thought were beneath propriety. Instead, he ate with them. Listened. Showed compassion. A tax collector – his occupation reviled amongst ‘proper’ and ‘good’ citizens of the day – was one of his apostles.

If I remember my scriptures right, Love is the greatest of the virtues. And if I remember the commandment right to love thy neighbor as thyself, then what I see from some followers must be that they do not love themselves; that instead, they fear, and despair, and condemn. They do not have love and compassion for themselves if they do not have love and compassion for their neighbor, in other words; and if this is the bulk of the law, if this is the bulk of Jesus’ teachings, then they have a long way still to walk in the path of Christ.

Hopefully, I can come back to the church. Not to a particular church, perhaps; but church in its widest sense, the church of love and compassion, of joy and hope.

And maybe we will talk of cats, or of writing something seemingly unrelated, and later we might remember – oh, I was in God’s house without knowing it. I was shining with Divine light, and did not know at the time, and I have Returned.

And may the wings of the Divine shelter us in peace until that day.
Image via Wallpaper Stock
Image via Wallpaper Stock
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