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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Christmas Experience

In regard to BentonQuest's comment that some people have the philosophy that "you must change so I feel better," reminded me of my recent Christmas experience. My boyfriend Eugene lives 250 miles away. We made plans for him to come to my home for Christmas. I told my Mom and my son that he would be there for the the family celebration and they were fine with it.

I figured my mom, whose picture of holidays came from Norman Rockwell, would be the first to hem and haw. After all I don't recall a Rockwell painting that showed a Thanksgiving scene with a gay couple, a lesbian couple and especially a gay black man at the table. I think he missed a great opportunity. My mom's only concern was squeezing another person around the table.

Then I received a call from my sister stating that if Eugene was there, then her husband would not come because he would feel "uncomfortable." I decided to stand my ground and worry about my happiness instead of trying to make my brother-in-law happy. Decades of trying to make other people happy through maginalizing my wishes really made no one happy.

I told my sister that I was sorry her husband felt that way, but Eugene would be there. I also told her that every day I have to face situations that make me uncomfortable. I stopped short of suggesting he grow up, act mature and deal with reality.

Christmas Day arrived and my brother-in-law was there looking quite uncomfortable. But by the end of the day, he was playing pool and cards with Eugene. So I guess his discomfort went away as he got to know my boyfriend.

I felt very happy at standing up for myself and for the guy who means so much to me. It's not anyone's job to make people comfortable. I like the saying that God comforts the oppressed and oppresses the comfortable. I figure that being open about my relationship with Eugene is following the path God has laid before me.

It wasn't easy but it was surprising the strength of spirit I was given without the tiniest feeling of guilt.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Social Order

I've always wondered what really truly is behind the homophobia expressed by so many religious people today. I read this quote today and it set me to wondering again.

"Gay" still receives the lion's share of attention these days in both religious and civic debates over sexuality. But at the root of those debates is another "g" word - gender. This is precisely what transgender people are increasingly bringing into the conversations, and for good reason. I have become more and more convinced during these last five years at CLGS that the controversies over "homosexuality" have very little to do with "loving and committed relationships." Those fierce controversies, are instead about the transgression of culturally established gender roles, or the "natural gender complementarity of men and women." In theological language, this transgression is understood as nothing less than a violation of God's own intended order of creation.

-- Rev. Jay Johnson, PhD Senior Director, Academic Research & Resources

I listen to the protests of people who say "the Bible says" this and that only to wonder about the double standards these same people seem to display in regard to other scriptures.

I also watched part of a video about the rise of both Neo-conservatism and Radical Islam as two reactions to the same thing - a culture of the self displayed in the 60's. I tend to agree that there is too much self-centeredness resulting in way too much greed in society today. The responses of some of the people in power was that this self-indulgence must be fixed.

I also think there must be a balance between personal self-interest and social responsibility. Perhaps this balance is the crux of disagreement. Who decides? How much personal freedom is a real risk to society.

Some say that any change to the social order must be stifled and pound Bibles or Korans to prove their point. Through a homogeneous society, people are best served. Perhaps this is true when looked at from a great height. Fit in or else, is the command. There have been societies in the past such as Victorian England and India where social order was prime over human rights. Duty trumps all.

Duty brings either discipline or resentment, sometimes both in the same person. Having been personally forced in to a discipline by society and family and religion, I grew to resent that enforced compliance.

Many of our heroes are people who rejected social constraints, who broke the bonds of social repression, even tyranny. Part of the US problem in Iraq is that we have replaced one social enforcement with another. We haven't let the people go, given them the freedom to set their own course.

Social order proponents believe it is in everyone's best interest to tow the line and behave, do their duty. Is repression of the spirit in my best interest? Am I to bury my happiness to make my neighbors happy... to make God happy? If God is joy, why did I resent his word and supposed plan for my life?

Actually I realized what I thought was God's plan fo rme was actually mankind's plan. When I let go of the duty and opened my eyes to see, he revealed a plan that suited me and joy filled my heart at last.

I tend to think society can thrive on much less order and compliance. God definitely is not threatened by spiritual freedom. Christ came into a severely ordered world to free people from tyranny. I don't believe he came to set up his own tyranny of the soul.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Consent of the Governed

With election season upon us, we are again bombarded by religious influence on politics. I received the following article and I thought it reflected my feelings very well. Now I am all for using your moral values and beliefs to choose a candidate. But I challenge everyone, including myself, to not fall for the superficial.

A lot of people voted for G W Bush because of his religious faith. I think they were taken advantage of. He was the antithesis of my moral values and has proven himself a master of deceit to further his agenda of worldy domination, trampling the Constitution, increased wealth for the wealthy and bankrupting the institutions that help the disadvantaged.

I remember how Christ kept himself above politics and focused his eyes upon the people around him. The separation of church and state is not to protect the government but to protect the religious freedoms we hold so dear.

How would Jesus vote?
By Richard T. Hughes, February 01, 2008
[Religion News Service]

When Mitt Romney has to persuade evangelical voters that he is authentically Christian in order to become president of the United States, something is badly wrong with American politics.

What's wrong is the fact that many evangelical Christians -- some 30 percent of the GOP and 40 percent of Iowa caucus-goers, according to polls -- have little or no appreciation for the country's historic commitment to the separation of church and state.

Take, for example, the Rev. Jason Poling of New Hope Community Church in Pikesville, Maryland, who told The Baltimore Sun that he rejects Romney because "Mormonism is not a Christian religion. It is not aligned with historic Christian beliefs."

Where does the Constitution say that our presidents must be "aligned with historic Christian beliefs?" Romney is entirely right to complain -- as he did in his address on December 6 -- that when voters reject him because of his Mormon faith, they "enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution."

Poling said evangelicals and Mormons may look a lot alike, but "theologically, they are worlds apart." Poling complains, for example, that Mormons don't believe in the Trinity, and "the Trinity is non-negotiable."

Really? To be president of the United States one has to be orthodox on the doctrine of the Trinity?

The problem here is far bigger than people like Poling. The real issue -- implicit but seldom spoken out loud -- is the widespread belief, especially among evangelicals, that the United States is a "Christian nation."

It's not a belief that's confined to evangelicals. Christian Smith, the noted sociologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reports that "not only conservative Protestants but the majority of Americans believe that America was founded as a Christian nation."

So it's no surprise that Sen. John McCain was able to make the perfectly absurd comment in October that "the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation."

There is a sense in which America is a Christian nation. After all, some 80 percent of the American people claim to be Christian in one sense or another.

But the Christian character of the United States is comparable to the "Christian character" of the Roman Empire following Constantine, or the "Christian character" of the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century. Christian trappings abound, but if one compares the Christian dimensions of the two empires with the teachings of Jesus, the differences are stunning.

Jesus counseled peace; empires practice violence. Jesus counseled humility; empires ruthlessly pursue power. Jesus counseled concern for the poor; empires exalt the rich. Jesus counseled modesty; empires embrace extravagance. Jesus counseled forgiveness and love for one's enemies; empires seek vengeance.

Like those ancient empires, America abounds in Christian trappings. Still, the United States as an empire embraces virtually all the values that have been common to empires for centuries on end: peace through violence, the rich over the poor, power over humility.

In a word, it rejects the values of Jesus. Yet Americans like McCain -- and the legions of evangelicals who form the base of the GOP -- claim that the United States is a Christian nation.

If America were really a Christian nation, and if Christians were faithful to the mandates of Jesus, evangelicals would demand from Mitt Romney and any other candidate answers to where they stand on questions of war and peace, wealth and poverty, and domestic and world hunger.

Instead, they want to know where Romney stands on the Trinity.

Until evangelicals exhibit a greater appreciation for the Constitution on the one hand, and for the values Jesus taught on the other, one can only conclude that the Christian factor they have injected into U.S. politics is fundamentally bogus.

It subverts not only democracy, but also the deepest meaning of the Christian faith.