By the time I reached puberty I had been carefully taught God’s expectation of girls and women. I understood what God approved of and what he (yes, he) disapproved of. I had no reason to argue; as a ten year old I had no quarrel with God’s requirements of girls and women.
How can I describe then the confusion, anxiety and shame that came with the growing realization that I could never be acceptable to God because of who I am, intrinsically? As I matured it became increasingly clear that I am not and never will be demure, submissive, quiet or restrained. I do not conform to my childhood religion’s definition of Godly femininity. I am loud, outspoken, opinionated and domineering. Can’t help it…believe me, I’ve tried. That last thing I wanted to be was displeasing to God.
The years following my shocking and heart wrenching divorce from my good Christian husband were painful indeed, but so, so necessary for me to finally acknowledge that God loves and accepts me, just as I am. God does not love me so long as I work every day to be quiet and submissive and seek therapy to “straighten” out my personality. God does not love me provided I do not act out my inclination to speak my mind, express myself, and disregard male authority. No siree bob! God loves me because I am God’s creation, whole and holy.
You see where I am going. I know how it feels when people claiming to speak for God tell me I am flawed, less than, imperfect, sinful and weak. It took years of work and study for me to accept God’s unconditional love after so much guilt and shame. So, if there is anything I can possibly do to shorten the healing period for any other child of God who was mistakenly taught that he/she is displeasing to God because of who they are, I want to do it. Holy Spirit, send me.
As a student and teacher of God, I know in my heart of hearts, down to my toenails, that God adores LGBT people, just as they are; they don’t need to be straightened out; fixed, rehabilitated or forgiven…not for being gay. They spring from the same loving Source I do, we all do. I don’t need a bible verse to convince me; I will not argue bible verses with anyone, ever.
There are thousands of young men and women who sat in church pews their entire childhood being taught that gay folks really, really disturb God. Then they reach puberty and have that horrible realization that they are attracted to the same sex and thus are themselves an abomination. A good Christian kiddo one day, an abomination the next. What follows that horrifying, secret realization breaks my heart; I can’t stand it.
Christian people, Christian churches, wake up! Repent. Change course. We are literally killing and spiritually maiming good people for no good reason. I cannot participate in any Christian community that declares homosexuality to be displeasing to God, much less an abomination! Thank God, I am not alone. A young woman recently wrote to me that she would not cross the threshold of any church where her friends are not openly welcomed and affirmed.
There are multitudes of churches that stand on The Holy Bible and declare who the sinners in this world are. The time is way past due for every community to have at least one Christian community that opens the doors to all God’s children with no caveats, no restrictions, no judgment.