Monday, May 5, 2008

"My Gay Agenda is Jesus"

The above statement was one made by Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson on the Diane Rehm Show.

How simple. How to the point. How true!

Those of us who live in both worlds of being queer and Christian have had to deal with the inevitable questioning of what our “agenda” is. And when we say that our agenda is to worship in our traditions, and hear the Word of God, there are those who insist on quoting one of the seven passages in the Bible that are quite often used to say, “See? God doesn’t like you!”

Sadly, those passages have become quite tiresome to hear over and over again, especially when they are used in ways in which I’m not sure the authors had intended. I believe that if the apostle Paul knew that he was being quoted so often and used as the man who stands between Christ and a truly penitent (albeit gay) heart, he’d probably have to write a whole new letter to a whole new church. And I imagine that letter would reiterate a point he has tried to make in the other books of the New Testament: “I’m a messenger! I’m not the one who died for your sins!”

On the Diane Rehm Show, there were those callers who chastised Robinson and asked him about the Old Testament passages in Leviticus and the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Funny how they don’t want to debate the merits of eating pork and shellfish (also prohibitions in Leviticus) and they never remember the part of Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot offers his virgin daughters to the rapists at his door as a way of protecting the two male strangers! The picking and choosing of scripture, to me, seems so haphazard and out-of-context and lacks understanding that one wonders if people really care to know the Truth. Maybe it’s just easier to let someone else tell you what the Bible says, and certainly there are those charlatans who have been eager to please those who want the Polaroid snapshot version of what is a very complex and rich story.

And perhaps that is what makes gay and lesbian Christians (or LGBT people of any faith) such a different people. We have had to wrestle with staying open to the love of God and remain true to the nature of how He has created us in the face of a world that doesn’t always love us back. We have had to listen more closely for the call of our shepherd amidst the cacophony of the culture that says we are not worthy of such love, or that we are delusional for our belief in God. In other words, complexity doesn’t faze us because we are complex creatures! And that’s probably why I remain an Episcopalian. As the Bishop noted, our particular brand of Christianity encourages thinking.

Thinking. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately. And when I have more to say, I’ll add another post. But right now, I have to go perform my “laying on of hands” ministry…aka massage therapy. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

I wish you'd forward this to the Bishop. I know that he didn't receive our emails. Maybe they offered all of them to him. And your "laying on of hands" is restorative and helpful and loving.


SCG said...

Please: share away!