After reading the item on Brittany Kusserow’s article supporting GLBT youth in The Anglican, (express, 23 July) I was both surprised and not surprised by the response of some people in the Church. As a gay Christian, I have been prompted to share a few thoughts.
Ms Kusserow’s article is a well-worded, thought-provoking, intelligent, compassionate and long overdue dialogue about accepting GLBT people as part of the Church and gently reminding non-GLBT Christians that they too are created and loved by God. And yet the response of some not only questioned her authority as a gay Christian Chaplain, but questioned the validity of accepting GLBT people into society, let alone the Church.
So while my writing could be about the many different aspects of condemnation, judgementalism, hatred and pride, instead I choose to approach things from a different angle: why don’t we show them how to love others how they would like to be loved themselves?
With the current Gay Marriage debate on our front doorsteps, it is time to stand up to those who say they represent God, the Creator of the Universe (why did He create us if not for relationship with Him?) and share some love of our own. Gentle, peaceful, respectful and wise words about how we all share the same boat in this journey called life and how every human is equal in God’s eyes. We can teach them how to relate nicely, politely, lovingly and, dare I say it, Christ-like. For goodness sake, someone has to.
My own journey of coming out has been interesting and on the whole wonderfully supported, however there are still the seemingly self-chosen few who take it upon themselves to point out the seven clobber verses in the (modern-day translation) Scriptures and remind me I am an abomination to God because they love me enough to do so. How kind.
I have learnt, however, that the opposite of anger is compassion so I pray for them and wonder what it is that resonates so deeply in them that causes them to say such hurtful things to GLBTQI people. We have long known that fear of those different to us is a common factor behind racism and other isms, but perhaps we miss the mark sometimes and forget there could be some deeper reasons why people respond the way they do. Perhaps a straight man molested during childhood by another man leaves him with a negative association of anal sex? The thought then that others may indulge in it could, quite understandably, cause him to dwell on his past abuse. It’s just one example, but as we know, we each have our own story to tell, and only God knows that story from our birth until now.
As a follower of Jesus (whom I believe to be God in the flesh), I would like to apologise on behalf of some of my family members who have said and done hurtful things to you. Please do not judge God on how those people act. And as a member of the GLBT family, I would like to remind you, my dear siblings, to have compassion towards those who act out of their ignorance or their own past hurts. If judgemental people can be so harsh against those they don’t know, I am afraid to think how much they must condemn themselves in the privacy of their own homes. Let us try to love them through this conversation as we seek to educate those non-GLBT people through leading by example. I have every faith we can do it.