Monday, May 9, 2011

Doing It Pretty Much Right, Actually

At least on this issue.

That's an article from a site called Religion Dispatches, on an awesome video ad that highlights the importance of accepting LGBT believers into congregations, in part of an initiative called Believe Out Loud. Since the B in LGBT includes my girlfriend, I'm naturally in favour of anything that helps her stay happy without hiding who she is, including through her choice of worship.

As is to be expected, a Christian group (in this case one called Sojourners) refused to air the ads. What I didn't expect - and this is a very good indicator of how easy it is to fall into assumptions without evidence - is that this article in Religion Dispatches is actually lamenting this refusal by Sojourners, and actively taking the right stance - that LGBT people are people first, LGBT second. It's probably the first religious-sourced article I've ever seen actively advocating the welcoming of what could be called 'alternate' sexualities into congregations. For that, I applaud them. It's taken a damn long time for this statement to come. A lot of us had given up on more than a radical fringe of the monotheistic faiths ever actually accepting LGBT worshipers, instead of castigating them when they come out and thus frightening and pressuring those who are in the closet to stay right in there.

Of course, Sojourners' reasons - if they can be called such - are the same old coy, evasive bigotry-concealing bullshit we always hear from fucks like these:

I called the folks at Sojourners and asked what the problem was, what the “sides” in question might be. The first response was that Sojourners has not taken a stance on gay marriage (the ad is not about gay marriage); or on ordination of homosexuals (the ad is about welcome, not ordination); that the decision, made by “the folks in executive” (why such a high level decision?) was made quickly because of the Mother’s Day deadline. The rationale kept shifting. The reasoning made no sense.

Bullshit. My Frantic Weaseling Detector is bleeping like a reversing transport truck full of TV language censors. But this is all the same old bullshit we've all heard before from these wastes of glial matter, and that's not what I want to focus on today. Today, a church has caught my eye not by doing something so bad that it's outdone its fellow churches for fuckery, but by doing something actively good in opposition to 'popular' dogma - that is, in opposition to opinions that are popular among the dogmatic. They're bucking tradition, even if it's just a little. But with traditions like this shit, someone really is due a good bucking.

Few can doubt the need for this campaign. Public Religion Research finds that two-thirds of Americans blame the recent spate of young gay suicides in part on negative messaging that queer kids receive from the religious community. With an election cycle just over the horizon, LGBT concerns are very likely to be a topic of conversation on the airwaves, in our congregations and around the dinner table in many places around the country. Are our church leaders equipped to thoughtfully address this topic? Do they have practical tools to begin (or advance) the conversation forward in our churches?

Believe Out Loud is more than four years in the making. Virtually every mainline Protestant LGBT denominational advocacy group is a partner, making it a credible place for church leaders to turn for help on this issue. We have asked ourselves why Sojourners, a preeminent voice for justice in the religious community, rejected our ad buy. Does the organization not really believe in welcome for “everyone” in our churches or do they believe everyone is welcome, but they are afraid to “believe out loud” for fear of alienating some constituents? On one level, it doesn’t really matter. Their dilemma, apparently, is a ringing testimony for both the urgency and the necessity of this campaign since the issues they confronted are similar to those that face congregational leaders in addressing this concern within their settings. In recent years, American society has made significant strides forward towards full equality for LGBT persons. Tragically, the church has lagged well behind. Clearly, there is more work to be done.

Clearly. This is a good first step, guys and/or gals. Keep going, and don't fuck it up by retreating back the way you came. Not even once. And maybe one day there'll be a church that doesn't inspire revulsion in me through its teachings.


  1. There's more of those types of churches than you think (you know, the kind that openly accept people with "abominable sins".)

  2. I bet there are. But they don't make the news so often, so they don't get heard about.

    They still won't even start to fix anything about themselves as long as they call that stuff sinning.

  3. @ The Christian...

    I never could figure out why many Christians focus on homosexuality and abortion...and tend to disregard other things like gluttony, greed and worshipping graven images(crosses).