My promises of tender care, love and support for our persecuted LGBTQ friends.
In one of my favorite Dr. Seuss stories – a little world called Whoville is so tiny it can fit on a clover flower. One day this tiny speck of a world finds its way into the care of a loving and compassionate elephant named Horton. Horton is bullied and mocked, running to save this little tiny world from extinction and into safety. Did I mention he is the only one who can hear them? At the end of the story as a bully kangaroo and her enforcer MOB attempts to have her way and the final say about how delusional and misguided and “corrupting the children’ Horton really is – the Whos of Whoville living on that tiny speck begin to make noise to prove they really do exist. They shout and bang as loudly as they can trying to break through, trying to be heard by the hardened hearts and disbelieving ears of the MOB above.
Horton can hear them. He can hear their shouting. He can hear their pleading, “We are Here. We are Here. We are Here.”
This weekend our world swirled wicked as we woke up Sunday morning to another mass shooting. In the aftermath 50 are dead, 53 are injured. All because a deranged, homophobic man decided to shoot up a gay nightclub. It is an act of hate.
In the past few months (years really) I have been cleaning up the type of material and voices which make it onto my newsfeed and into my life. I have had enough of the fear-mongering – the boycotting – the denying – excluding – hiding. I have taken up with many who are speaking differently then what I have always known. I am seeking them out. People who are raising our children to understand people differently and believe differently than we have been raised in the affiliations of our youth.
We are learning to lean in and listen well and we are not afraid of our anger, or the outrage that comes with a shifting faith and deconstructed world view. We are not the least bit worried about being labeled: too sensitive, too liberal, too progressive, or “not gospel material.” (That last one makes me laugh and laugh.)
We understand that religious beliefs should never hold our LOVE hostage… waiting for a ransom to be paid. Ransom has already been met.
Shared Humanity should be the only qualifier on the table. Love should be the only consequence.
You cannot LOSE something being FOR people.
There is a truth and a depth of love without conditions which exists in this world. One I never knew in the small circles. We have lived the fractured, broken parts. We are the rejects, the truth-tellers, the too liberal, the “bitter Christians,” the leftouts or the leftovers, the shouters of equality, the seekers of justice, the bleeding hearts, the too sensitive, and unforgiving. We are attempting to bind our own wounds inside and outside the church walls while refusing to engage in the fear-mongering and shaming further.
We know there is a depth to the Christian faith which exists in the deep waters and we refuse to engage in the shallow places anymore.
I am tired of the silence when the world swirls wicked, the blaming of victims, and pointing of fingers from those who believe the victims chose their own fate. Seriously I spent a bit of time Sunday wondering which American Evangelical leader was going to be completely stupid first?
The thought patterns these leader speak into our midst under the banner of “Biblical authority” we must do everything in our power to counteract with truth and LOVE.
Love does not have a BUT. There are no buts in love. There are no conditions or bullet points of approved behaviors – there is only and ever love.
“When we were young Marlo Thomas sang to us about accepting each other and our differences. But then we got older, and started singing a different tune. We stopped celebrating each others life choices and started qualifying them… When did we stop being free to be you and me.” (Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City)
“We stopped celebrating each others life choices and started qualifying them…”
My faith tradition teaches God is LOVE. And we are as followers of Jesus – People called to love. We are people of love. But somewhere in all the conservative muck and political agendas and MONEY (let’s not forget the Evangelical conglomerate which produces millions of dollars annually – we love the stuff) – Somewhere in there we stopped being ABLE to celebrate others by extending love always and first anyways.
Instead we have great big HOOPS others need to leap through.
They have great big lists which leave our LGBTQ friends in our wake.
We Hear You.
If you are LBGTQ – I want you to know there are many of us who love Jesus and who without condition, stipulation, or even a seed of doubt LOVE YOU too.
WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE. WE ARE HERE. And we need you to hear us – to see us just as you need us to see you and hear you too.
We are your allies. We are FOR YOU. We are FOR your equal rights. We have no problem with you peeing in the stall next to our kids. Frankly I think if people are still boycotting Target after the tragedy of this Sunday – they are part of the problem. So many of us want to be part of the solution. We really could care less what you do with your penis or vagina or whatever in between. We don’t care how you have sex or with whom or when. We are FOR your families. We are FOR your children. We are FOR your right to have, adopt, and raise children of your own.
WE ARE FOR YOUR RIGHT TO RECEIVE AND GIVE LOVE. We know no one has the right to define how and who we love except the Divine. And we recognize this right for LGBTQ people too. We are fighting for You and we stand with you. You are not alone.
We believe you are LOVED by God. We believe we all share one very common bond as – created, Divine Spark bearing human beings. We don’t think you are going to hell or that you need some “reparative therapy” to get over being gay.
You do not need repaired.
There is NOTHING wrong with you. We love you the way you are. The way you were born. The way you were made. As we hope you will love us in all our uniquely created wonderment too.
LBGTQ Friends – Help Us
But we need your help – we are listening and we are here, but we are also still in the process of recognizing and shedding our faulty belief patterns. We are still removing these ideas which have kept us bound. We are blasting aside these boulders of false images of love and false ideas of unity and false foundations of truth. We need help seeing God a little more clearly because our image of him/her is often way off. Many of us believe you are here to show us HOW. While you have suffered much and been persecuted for much even from our own people- you have learned much and we need to hear you loudly. We need you to show us the way.
We are doing hard work to let go of what has kept us from seeing you and accepting you and loving you fully. So we might slip up. We are terrified we will say something unkind, misinformed or stupid. Please be patient with us as we shift and deconstruct, accept and transform.
Please forgive us our years of indifference. Please forgive us for believing we had God all wrapped up. She has no desire to leave you out and neither do we.
I am personally sorry the denomination of my youth is working against you, is making your faith and your love and your rights, and your life harder. I am so sorry. You are right about them. The Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination and ones just like her are sneering and mocking and making plans to exclude you. They have taken up bylaws and had conversations, they are whispering in meetings and pushing forth an agenda of exclusion & discrimination, but they never invited YOU or ME or Anyone who thinks like us to participate in the conversation. They won’t let you at the table and they haven’t allowed me (as a woman) at the table ever either. I don’t know how to stop them. But I refuse to stand with them.
What About the Children?
I promise you this – I am going to raise my children better than we were raised. We refuse to walk back in the doors of a place of worship where bigotry and exclusion are on the table. We choose only places of genuine peacemaking and communities of reconciliation. Our children will see you a little more clearly than we were taught to see. They will love you with their whole hearts – no stipulations, no judgments, no exchanges, no doubts, and no qualifying. If one of my young ones tells me she/he is gay – I am going to squeeze them tight and weep tears of blessing over their lives and I promise to LOVE wholeheartedly whomever they choose to love. I promise you. I will try my hardest to receive you in LOVE.
And I promise to be FOR your families. I promise to love your children NOT because of some warped ideas about salvation, but because they belong to you. I see them as you see them – awesome products of lives lived in love.
I couldn’t take the bullets. But I will take the barbs the angry rage-mongers throw at me for LOVING YOU WELL. I can stand it. You are worth it. You are worth being misunderstood over. You are so worth my being called “unchristian, not true, not worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” YOU ARE WORTH EVERY SINGLE BIT of ugly they throw my way. Because there is NOTHING wrong with you. I can see you now. I can hear you.
Horton isn’t Crazy
At the end of “Horton Hears a Who” as the final Who is found and he finally raises his voice and joins the group in loudly proclaiming their right to exist, their need to be heard – the hard of hearing from far above can finally make them out. It was that one voice which made the difference. Horton isn’t crazy. There really are people on that speck. There is a world they never knew existed. A world that is just as important and significant as their own.
A world which greatly matters… because they belong to one another. Because we need each other. Because LOVE always wins.
“This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour! The time for all Whos who have blood that is red To come to the aid of their country!” he said.“We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts! So, open your mouth lad! For every voice counts!” -Dr. Seuss