Thursday, December 17, 2009

Getting Bolder

I have commented before on the difficulty I have being queer and Christian within my circle of friends. The uneasiness comes from the fact that while my friends may be queer, or queer-friendly, they are sometimes openly hostile to Christianity. Hence, I tend not to discuss anything remotely related to my life as a church-going queer with my friends. Most of them do not know this blog exists, or if they do, they never speak to me about it. They know I attend St. John's, they know my partner attends her Temple, but they don't really want to "know" anything more than that. It's the closet revisited.
I have made strides in opening that closet door. I display both a rainbow triangle and the shield of the Episcopal Church on my car. I have told people in my theatre company that I can not attend clean up and work parties at our space if they schedule them on Sunday mornings because I am at church. And I am speaking up more on Facebook.
For example, I recently posted an item about the knuckle-draggers from Kansas (aka Westboro Baptist Church) who like to protest funerals with signs about "God Hates Fags" and other such nonsense. They were apparently trying to disrupt Hanukkah celebrations in Palm Beach County (which has a very large Jewish populace). Nobody paid attention to them... except for the media there to report that they were being ignored by the people entering a Jewish community center. At any rate, in the article, the intellectually impotent protestors were trotting out the misinformation that "the Jews killed Jesus!" One of my friends commented, "Jews killed Jesus?? Not exactly. Religious extremists killed Jesus!"
I corrected him to point out that it was the Romans who killed Jesus, and noted that religious extremists want to keep him dead because otherwise he'd kick their homophobic asses.
This may not seem like much, but for me to make an assertion that Jesus would be an ass-kicker of such idiots... rather than go along as I used to and lump all people of Christian faith under the label of "religious extremists" and do it in writing is a bold move for me.
Another friend took one of those silly Facebook quizzes and when it revealed that she was most like Mary... in that she was "holy and caring and looked out for others", she scoffed at the "holy" suggestion, but was OK with the other two. I clicked on the comment button and offered that I didn't agree: it was because she did care and looked out for others that made her "holy". She offered back a grinning emoticon, and I took another step out of the closet.
I try not to shove my Christianity on to others, but I also don't want to hide it. And maybe I can encourage a few to see the "good" parts of what it means to believe and trust in Christ. Whether that leads them to following Christ is not for me to push. I believe God is the one who shepherds people that way. Mine is to put an incarnated queer face on the flock... and show that we really are allowed inside the gate. Really. We are!!


Bill Carroll said...

"Religious extremists want to keep him dead because otherwise he'd kick their homophobic asses."

This made my day. Maybe I'll quote it at Easter.

frdougal said...

"Mine is to put an incarnated queer face on the flock...and show that we really are allowed inside the gate"

Absolutely! Just a pity so many of us clergy have hesitated to do the same and show that we've been inside the altar rail for ages!

SCG said...

Bill: Thanks! And Easter would be a great time to bring that up!

frdougal, inside the altar rail: how much more "inside the gate" is that?! :)

Anonymous said...

Well, the comments above are terrific as your blog on the whole subject. I am very glad that you are an active gay Christian, but I am very glad you are a practicing Episcopalian as I had you baptized that way many years ago.


Phoebe said...

With listening prayer and practice witnessing gets easier..but I also have to say being a witness to God's love in the world (or even in the church for that matter) has never be easy. We just have to continue to pray and practice, keeping and sharing our faith.

SCG said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Peggins and Phoebe.

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

This post resonated with me, Susan. My ultra-liberal friends look at me like I'm crazy when I say "I'll be in church Sunday morning with my parents." (Well, not this morning, I slept in...) Apparently, faith is suspect among my hippie friends...

SCG said...

Hey there, pineyflatwoodsgirl! I'm glad this post resonated. In many ways, we're probably EXACTLY what God wants: people who will pose a 'challenge' to our friends to reconsider who the "Christians" are! We may be monotheistic, but we're far from being monolithic.