The Golden Rule: a law that teaches when one is harmed we're all harmed; when one is helped, we're all healed. It is the base for several religions with versions of it existing in several sacred texts (see below). Recently, I have reflected on how the Golden Rule can help unite us, despite having differences.
It's no wonder that my LGBT friends have often questioned my sanity when I have talked about my Christian faith. They were even more surprised when I eventually decided to go to seminary. Why would I want to be part of a religion that has caused LGBT people so much pain, and that has contributed to LGBT youth suicides and broken families and outright persecution of LGBT people?
As I say in all of my “10 Things You Can’t Do While Following Jesus” articles, this is by no means meant to be a complete list, but it’s a decent place to start.
At the beginning of his second year of college, my son Nick told me he was gay, and that he didn‘t believe same-sex relationships were sinful. I am embarrassed and ashamed to say that I reacted horribly. I made him feel ashamed, unloved, and rejected.
I said things a loving mother never should, and I will deeply regret it for the rest of my life.
Love is one of the things that makes us, as a people, thrive. We love our families. We love our friends. We grow to love those in our communities. We love those in our church. And we even love those who are in our schools. Love is a matter of the heart. Most persons who have found love can testify that it was heart over mind, a feeling over teaching—spirit over doctrine.
I want to invite you to take a walk down imagination alley with me for a minute. You’re trying on shirts for a friend’s party when one in particular catches your eye.
You pick it up, read the tag, and immediately throw it back into the pile.
I see God alive as the church continues to widen our embrace for all people, especially for LGBTQ people of God.
God is moving, I have no doubt of this.
I write this blog with some hesitation because it feels as if I am straddling some sort of battle line and I risk upsetting my comrades on both sides.
That being said, let me tell you my story.
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid." —Cesar Chavez