Being a Gay Christian

Here are my struggles to reconcile my religion & sexual orientation. I used to think that being a Christian and being gay were mutually exclusive. God revealed to me that I am his child, created Just As I Am. God’s awesome gift comes with challenges, yet opportunities to share the good news to many who have rejected religion. Or who have suppressed their sexuality to keep their religion. I welcome this ministry and the unbelievable strength he gives me to do it.


I'm gay and while that does tell you which gender I want to fall in love with, it tells you nothing about my lifestyle. As you read you'll learn about that.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Poem - Save Me From Heaven, Lord

Yes, I’m a bit depressed. I’ve been surfing the gay news media again – that’s never good. Which led me to the AFA (BTW thanks to Ford for finally rejecting the manipulative AFA bigots). This is poetry not necessarily all experience folks.

So here’s the message I am hearing.

God hates me.
I am a pervert
A deviant
Fag – said with spit.
I am unnatural – violating the laws of nature.

But Jesus can fix me.
Yet he hasn’t.
Despite my prayers & faith.

We can make you straight,
they say.
Embrace celibacy
Find women sexy.
Or at least pretend to.
Perhaps they can make me like beets as well.
And plaid pants.

I can be like them.
They promise with Kum-ba-ya
Even if I despise them.
Can’t I see how God has blessed them.
It’s enough if I just act like them.
Blessed saint of conformity.

My parents don’t understand.
I do not fit their plan for their life.
Their plan for MY life
Do not play the part they assumed I would.

People tell me all I have to do is choose.
They who made no choice.
I am belittled.
By these experts about my life.
They seem to know better than I what it's about.
When did I choose – I don’t remember?
Do they think that because I chose the red toy truck
I damned my soul for eternity?

It’s so clear to them who speak with the voice of authority.
They know me so well – better than I must know myself.
I must be a vile creature.
Unfit to interact
Unfit to parent
My gayness may rub off.
Unfit to teach or preach or lead or fight.
Unfit to love.

Imprisoning me is justified.
Killing me is justified.
Tying me to a Wyoming fence post
As a sign to others.
Dismembering me and tossing me in the river
Is understandable
Merely because I think you are a nice handsome man
and ask you on a date.

I mock their weddings,
they shriek
With my desire to express my love.
They frown at my joy
and disapprove that I dare hold my lover’s hand.
They deny me ways to express my love,
to share my life.
They deny me the right to ease my partner's pain
And care for him.
To raise our children.
To decide on his behalf.
All in the name
Of what is just and right.

I will destroy what marriage is all about.
Do they mean the male domination of women?
I look for role models.
People to show me the way
Not Exodus
But freedom and love.
How can I love myself if I am so unlovable?
How can I live with such a vile person as myself?
I’m clearly going to hell.
Everyone tells me.
And loudly.

Yet can hell be worse than the eternal damnation of life?
Can hell be worse than scanning the dark shadows of the street
Wary of good Christian men.
Heaven as portrayed to me looks like hell to me.

Since the dawn of time.
God has hated me.
So the Bible says.
As a child I was told that Jesus loves me.
Now I hear in the bullhorn that
God hates fags.
AIDS is God’s curse, they say.
I bring AIDS to the innocents they say.
I am not a victim – I volunteered they say.
Even though he waited thousands of years to inflict this so called curse.
Perhaps Hitler was God’s curse too.
For killing countless gays.

At least
masks the pain.

Come sweet damnation and eternal oblivion.
Save me Lord, from those who would save my soul.

Tis the Season

In a wierd quirk that's the sign of our twisted times, whenever I hear a store clerk wish me a Merry Christmas, I wonder 'what did she mean by that?' Before a few weeks ago, I would not have thought anything about it. Whether it be Seasons' Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas or Happy Hannuka, I enjoyed everyone being in a festive mood.

But thanks to those miserable perfect people who intollerantly demand that it only be Christmas and that if it isn't you are destroying this once great Christian nation under God, you filthy heathens you!!!!

Ahem, well, now I wonder, what did they mean by saying Merry Christmas. Are they one of those high & mighty souls wanting to enforce regligious purity on me? Well, we all know what that does to a testy gay badger now, don't we?

For me I'm celebrating Christmas, a time important to my faith whether or not the whole creation story happened at all, which also has secular meanings with adopted pagan traditions. I appreciate the Jewish meanings for the season which are foundations for some of the things I believe. And I allso respect and celebrate with those for which the season has no religious meaning.

My advice to those who think this is a serious moral battle they are waging - get over yourselves!!! No boycotts, no morality police, no religious propaganda, no fundamentalist governement ever made people really change their belief.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dancing on Heads of Pins

The battle over Christmas is almost ludicrous if it weren’t representative of a deeper dysfunction in religion today. All the saber-rattling and threats over using Christmas vs. Holidays masks deeper schisms, schisms that the gay community has been aware of for decades. There’s a religious intolerance afoot and a very un-Christian hatred brewing. I heard one comment that no one ever bought a “holiday tree.” Well, actually 1500 years ago or so, they did. Long before the tree was claimed for Christmas by the Roman Catholics, it was a pagan symbol. To see people outraged at society robbing Christmas of it’s symbols is outrageously ironic to me. I heard that early Puritans even made the celebration of Christmas illegal in some communities.

But this all begs the question, what does all this bluster hope to accomplish? Will Target’s use of “Christmas” make the world more Christian? And is the world being more Christian a good thing? Will it bring more souls to Christ? Will it even make Christians individually more faithful? When did intolerance become a “Christian” value to so many religious people?

There are other ways to make the world a better place, a more accepting and loving place. I was happy to see that Ford made a clear statement embracing its support of the GLBT community and outright rejecting any appearance of kowtowing to the AFA which had demanded a boycott of the company for placing ads in gay themed newspapers. I’m sure Jesus would be so proud of the AFA bully tactics (NOT!). It’s hard to even begin to imagine Jesus bullying anyone. He didn’t even advocate the boycotting of Roman, the political tyrant of his day.

NPR is running an ad for a radio program Sunday evening. The host talks about how the portayal of God by so many as the worst tyrant ever. His touted judgments of eternal damnation make all other human persecutions pale by comparison. What is Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others compared to God’s claimed damnation of billions upon billions of people? Hussein’s atrocities are insignificant compared to the rapturous murder that some call upon God to perform.

And there are so many who are sure they are in the group that will be spared, be they Muslins, Jews, Southern Baptist or the uber exclusive Jehovah’s Witnesses. That’s a lot of confidence to expect from a mass murderer on an unprecedented scale.

And why do they claim God is such a tyrant? Discipline? To punish those who won’t step in line? To reward the few through the eternal torture of the majority? Some odd sense of judgment that would condemn sinners all to the same dismal fate? An ethnic cleansing? Righteous outrage? A venting of omnipotent anger? An opportunity to brag that 'I told you so!'

Debating over who will go to hell and who will go to heaven is probably even less productive than trying to determine who will survive a nuclear war.

For me, I wish hell upon no one. I pray to a merciful God to be magnanimous with his mercy. I believe he is. I see hell as not a place God sends us to, but a place where we go to escape God. It is self-imposed because God cannot save us there. He will not drag us out of hell if that’s where we choose to be.

Yet, to those who desire to live with God, he will welcome them gladly, and I don’t think it matters to him all that much how you find your way, but that you find the truth, the word - Christ as described so beautifully by John. And I’ll leave that for later.

So I suggest we quit quibbling about which of our brothers or sisters are our father’s favorite. And I suggest we quit squabbling over which pagan symbol belongs to God or which banner at Wally World is more holy and remember that the season is supposed to be about peace, not conflict, unity not divisiveness.

May our gift to each other not be mere tolerance, but full loving acceptance of every person God created.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Bible as Parable

Pastor Steve said some interesting things Monday that got me thinking. He talked about how teaching in Biblical times were by parable - a story intended to get the student to think about truth. A story that allows God to provide the allegories to the student. One of the taboos for rabbis was to give their own interpretation of the story. Jesus did on occassion but only to his disciples.

Today we learn through transfer of facts. We are taught was is and what is not - that 1 + 1 =2. That 'ran' is the past tense of 'run'. That chlorophyll makes leaves green. That the earth revolves around the sun. We run into all kinds of problems when we deal with the study of ideas and philosophy. The whole debate about intelligent design is really about how to handle concepts in a world of facts.

I thought that this concept really describes how I view the entire Bible. The Bible is a parable. The question is, is it's meaning literal or figurative. Just like any parable, there are the words which tell a story and it can be interpreted at that level. The farmer sowed his seeds and some fell on the road. You shall not covet. Clear consise statements that convey a meaning.

As in a parable, we recognize that Jesus was talking about more than just farming. Hopefully we realize that God was talking about more than coveting. In my opinion, to just read the Bible as literal is to miss seeing the greater meaning behind the story, to fail to let God speak to us through the Bible.

It's very easy to take someone's statement and believe it or not. But to dig into it for the truth is much more difficult. Yet we do it every day. Anyone who has sat on a jury has been forced to find truth beyond the stories of each side. When we look at politics and world affairs, we try to determine the real truth behind the stories we hear on the news.

Yet when it comes to the Bible, some say that what it says it the end of it's meaning. That you are blaspheming when you dare try to find a deeper truth that what is on the surface. I recall one man I had a dialog with a few years ago who claimed, correctly I agree, that the Bible does not mention unconditional love. Yet I know I am not alone in seeing in the Bible the truth of God's unconditional love for each of us.

Most everyone I know, even self-admitted Biblical literalists do not take the entire Bible literally. Yet they are selective about which scriptures to take literally and which to interpret as parables. They will say that Jesus instructions to the rich man to give all he had to the poor was not literal, yet Paul's condemnation of male-male sex is. They will dismiss Paul's admonition against getting married as parable, but declare parts of Leviticus as literal.

I have difficulty in understanding how we are supposed to pick and choose. What is the criteria? If it affects me it's not literal seems to be the standard. I contend that it's either all literal or all parable.

Now this doesn't mean a parable isn't an actual story. But the purpose is not to convey the story, but to create wisdom.

There are plenty of people who will go to great pains to debunk the claim that Jesus actually lives. To me, it doesn't matter what they can or cannot prove, the inherent truth of Jesus's ministry does not change.

I have seen people become extremely distressed when their belief in the "facts" are challenged. But I contend that truth does not depend on a compendium of facts. And the Bible is not a history book nor a science book. It is a book of truth given to us by God exactly the way he wanted it to.

Just remember Jesus never once claimed to be the Messiah and God incarnate. Yet most Christians believe this without question.

I'll close with a parable of my own. There was a woman who every day walked along the seashore and marvelled at the sea and it's many moods. She admired the power of the surf, the colors of the sunset and the scent of the spray. She picked up the shells that the sea placed before her feet. She watched the crabs skitter across the beach and the gulls as they screetched and dove at the water.

And it was beautiful.

Until one day the woman's friend invited her to go scuba diving and told her of a miraculous world of coral reefs and wildly colored fish and dangerous sharks. She told of the wonders of the deep, of starfish and manta rays and creatures that glowed in the dark. Beneath the surface of the sea were shipwrecks of Spanish galleons remarkably preserved for centuries with treasures untold within their hulls.

And the woman laughed gently at her friend and said she must be imagining things. For she had been watching the sea all her life and had never seen such unbelievable visions.

And she continued to laugh at her friend as she walked down the beach and threw a clam shell into the roaring surf.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


I apologize for not writing here much, but that's going to change. I am renewing my commitment to capturing how the holy Spirit speaks to me. This is my witness about how God is active in my life. We've had a pretty tight relationship throughout my life. He was patient to the extreme while I wasted time in the closet. But he knew that while not a desireable place for me, it was a safe haven during the worst ravages of AIDS, and during the time of my lowest self-esteem.

God has guided me through my coming out, through my relationship transformation with my wonderful soul mate Nancy who spent 20 patient years being married to me and has gone to great pains to maintain a relationship with me after the dissolusion of our marriage.

As I questioned the deepest tenents of my faith, God sat with me and patiently helped me understand his will for me, his creation of me and his happiness that I have finally rejected the shame that had been slowly destroying me.

He has led me into my knew life and taught me to learn to love myself by bringing special people into my life. He knows my deepest desires and wants to make me happy, but in his own time, despite my impatience.

God has rewarded me when I did not deserve it. He has loved me when I was unlovable. He continues to guide me to become a better man and to reach out to both those who have been mislead into rejecting him and to those who believe they have God firmly understood.

I am the first to admit that I don't know it all, that what is true for me, is not necessarily for anyone else. All I know for sure is that if someone claims to be a keeper of the inerrant truth of God, they are wrong. No man can wholly understand God. And until we admit we don't know as much as we think we do, the seeds God is constantly planting in us will be eaten by the birds before thay have a chance to sprout.

Now you can obviously guess that I am not a Bible literalist. Teaching in parables was a common technique used in Biblical times and Jesus used it constantly with the people. Give people the story and let them figure out the truth - inspirations increased many times over as more heard the story and let the seeds sprout in them. Only to his disciples did Jesus allegorize the stories or explain the symbolism he spoke of. To speak of the Bible as literal is to cast aside the methods of the writers and of God himself.

The discomfort comes in that we can't know for sure we are right, if we don't take things literally. And if we don't know the truth, how can we tell others the truth? How can we save other souls?

Well, Pastor Steve said something last night regarding the parables of the seeds in Mark 4 - all we can do is plan the seeds and let go. It's not our job to save souls. Only God can do that. All we can do is witness like Paul witnessed. But there should never be in our witness the claim that because this is how God works for me, that unless he works the same for you, you are condemned. I have seen God work in completely opposite directions with two people. Each was convinced that they knew God's mind and they both were right. For the solution was not in finding which one was right, but in finding a way to find the best compromise for everyone.

That was the most loving way of doing things.

Anyway, I am constantly listening for God's word in everything I read, everyone I hear. I believe we all see pieces of the truth and only by working together and sharing can we build a better image of God and his will for us.

I've been accused of rationalizing as if that were a dirty word. Of course I rationalize. God gave me a mind and the abiility to think things through. I don't think he intended for us to quit thinking when it comes to religion. I think God expects us to question what we are taught, to go to him and ask for enlightenment and inspiration.

So it seems counterproductive to argue over who is right and who is wrong since only God knows and especially since what's right for me is not necessarily right for someone else. Gone are the days when the Isrealites interacted with God as a group. Now, through Christ, we have the awesome and intimidating ability to interact with God as an individual. And God calls us as individuals to do things only he understands.

This is why it is so important that we respect each other. It's one area I know I need to work on myself. I find it very difficult to respect someone who cannot show respect for my own beliefs. It is difficult to respect someone who mocks God's relationship with me because it doesn't fit their ideas of how the world should work.

Yet in my faith, I have become a rock, unmoved by mockery or words. I have been condemned to hell by a man with a bullhorn. I have been scorned by men of God. I have been looked down on by friends.

Mark 4:22 states that "that which is hidden is meant to be disclosed."

So when God convinced me to finally bring this little light of mine out of the hidden closet, I felt empowered to finally move toward the work God has intended for me.