“I Had No Idea Your Blog Was Gay”
After posting the link to my blog, Progressive Christian Reflections, last week on a number of Facebook pages, I took our dog Hobbes to the park and began to wonder what I would write for my next post. I returned to find an e-mail that simply said, “Unsubscribe me. I had no idea that your blog was gay.”
Surprised, I responded, “My blog is not gay, I am.”
I then suddenly knew what my new blog would be about.
The person apparently had been a subscriber for some time, and I wondered what prompted this realization. Was the Emmaus disciples’ story in that day’s post somehow misunderstood? I had written, “The eros of their hearts has been unleashed and ignited and they burn as one.” Perhaps this was understood as sexual, when in fact, I view eros simply as “the urge to merge” which drives both the mystic as well as the lover.
I remembered once, when reviewing scriptures said to be about homosexuality for a congregation, a listener asked me to turn to a biblical passage in which Jesus describes the end times: “Two men shall be sleeping in a bed—one shall be taken, and the other not; two women shall be grinding in the field—one shall be taken, and the other not.”
I gathered the questioner was thinking of the couple sleeping in one bed, so I played dumb. “There’s nothing about homosexuality here,” I observed. She responded, “You mean to tell me that two women ‘grinding’ in the field, isn’t about homosexuality?” The gathering burst out laughing, and her pastor rose to his feet to explain that “grinding” did not mean that then.
Yet the subscriber’s decision prompted me to think of larger issues.
First, the person had apparently appreciated the posts he or she had read, perhaps even benefiting spiritually. Only when realizing their source did they become unwelcome.
Second, so many Christians throughout the centuries have been blessed by reading LGBT mystics and spiritual writers, though they may not have known their sexual or gender identities.
Third, Christians of the 20th and 21st century had so many opportunities to grow from the spiritual experience of openly LGBT Christians denied membership, marriage, and ministry in the church. Denominational publishers and periodicals initially would not publish us, Christian book catalogs would not carry our books, and religious bookstores would not stock them.
Perhaps the worst and best of all, my colleagues and I were often forced to write and speak about sexuality rather than spirituality.
Worst of all, because of the limitations; best of all, because the church really needed to grapple with sexuality—any kind, not just ours.
We had so much to share about our spiritual experience, yet the church, for the most part, and until recently, missed out unless we stayed in the closet. Denied access to pulpits and to a large extent, teaching positions from Sunday school to seminaries, we formed our own spiritual support groups, congregations, and a denomination, Metropolitan Community Churches.
One of my reasons for writing my blog is to share what I’ve learned and am learning spiritually with other progressive Christians. It’s not a “gay blog” (though there’d be nothing wrong with that), but the blog of a progressive Christian.
But the unsubscribed subscriber is not alone in refusing the spiritual writings of someone who is different.
We do it all the time, sometimes unconsciously and sometimes purposely when we do not read people because of their gender, race, religion, sexuality, education, culture, politics, you name it.
I thought of a white friend who intentionally taught in black neighborhoods. Holding a little African American girl on her lap, the child revealed her distrust of white people. My friend explained, “Well, I’m white.” The child jumped off her lap and looked at her disbelievingly, though my friend’s skin is white as it comes. “No,” the child said, “You can’t be.” White had become a label, rather than the color of someone’s experience.
I think of all the labels that have prevented me over the years to attend to the spirituality of so many who had so much to teach me about what it means to be a follower of Jesus, what it means to be deeply spiritual, and what it means to be a citizen of the world.
I am grateful to God for the world’s diversity that challenges me more and more to open my mind and my heart.
Originally published on Progressive Christian Reflections; Photo via flickr user James Halliday
Unity Worldwide Ministries
Unity Worldwide Ministries has been for ever, I think, open to Gays & Lesbians in the pulpit, teaching and writing….MCC is great as far as it goes. My experience with that denomination has been that it is TOO Traditional and too old. Unity is much better for my growth. I’m happy for you that you have found your place to be who you are, as you are.
I enjoy your blogs, I get
I enjoy your blogs, I get pleasure reading them . Tank you
Often, I find people label
Often, I find people label LGBTQ as non-christian, being a part of the community. I dissent. We are some of the most spiritual people you will ever encounter. However, surface people, who marginalize us see our societal labels and not our hearts. God Bless and Keep doing the work!
It’s funny I know so many
It’s funny I know so many “Christians” that won’t talk or even so much look at LGBT people. The funny thing is the God I worship and love is a all loving God. When Jesus walked on the earth he spent his time sharing his word with people that most “Christians” would not give the time of day. Dc Talk has me favorite saying “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. How can we save lives and teach the love of God if the church and so called Christians are to good to do the real work of God. All the LGBT group sees is hate and hear how they are going to hell. Just mind blowing how self righteousness over powers the word and work of Christ. My little rant God bless. And remember no matter how gay bi or transgendered you are God loves you and wants you in his army. Why? Because Jesus paid our ransom he washed all the filth so called Christians have thrown on us. God loves us!
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