Posts Tagged ‘Religious fanaticism’

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On Lukewarm Christianity and the Nashville Statement

31 August, 2017

In light of the Nashville Statement I have a scriptural reminder for those clergy and congregation members who have decided to remain neutral:
“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Revelation 3:14-16
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

Amos 5:21-24
The good thing that has come out of the Nashville Statement is that I and other LGBTQ people of faith know where the signatories stand in regard to our ability to worship and participate in community. They have pulled the sheets from their faces and made it clear their communities are dangerous, are toxic, to us and we can separate ourselves and our faith from them. It has, also, brought to the fore religious leaders who are unequivocally on the side of the oppressed. It helps us to see where we are welcome and where we can be full and contributing memebers as our authentic selves.

Churches, clergy, and laity who stand silent in the face of announced discrimination and hate are dangerous places for LGBTQ people. It gives us an ungrounded hope that maybe we are welcome while providing enough doubt that we can never act and live as ourselves for fear of condemnation. In their attempt to be everything to everyone, these communities are crushing the spirits of LGBTQ members who are forced to live in a state of doubt and fear. No one can worship and commune when they are living in fear of rejection. As it says: were you hot or cold we would know where we stand with you, but as you are lukewarm, we are left neither fully part not fully barred from community.

If you are clergy, we need you to make clear from the pulpit that we are welcome in your house. We do not expect that every member of the congregation will be in agreement with you, but it makes it clear that if/when conflict comes you are in our corner; that we can rely on you to stand with us and preserve our right to worship. Or, to express the opposite, so we can know that we are not viewed as integrated members and we can seek a place where we are.

If you are laity, we need to know you are accepting of us or not accepting of us. It is to everyone’s benefit that your views are clear. If we have an ally in you, we know that we can be genuine with you. When we are able to be vulnerable with you it opens us to be a support for you when you are feeling weak and vulnerable. It allows us to offer our whole selves in our support of you. Conversely, we need to know if you are not accepting because we will know that our genuineness would hurt both of us.

Or maybe you do not know own where you stand on this. If that is you, I urge you to be honest about that. Ask respectful questions, get to know us as people both as LGBTQ people but also as people of faith and members of a community. Hiding from what you do not understand or are uneasy with will not help you to grow and learn. Seek to understand us; we are willing to meet you on that path and we are open to learning about you as a person of faith, as well.

Do not stand neutral in the face of this deceleration. Use it to make your stance known or to embrace your own doubt and to grow.

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Caitlin and The Friendly Earthquake

23 August, 2011

Today was this transsexual woman’s first day in the classroom. The students in general are not handling things well. I am ignored, mocked, stared at, and insulted. Over all it is much like being a new attraction in the zoo. They stare in through the open door or through the window of the closed-door then stand in the hallway commenting. I have consistently been referred to as an “it” and one student walked out of class. I understand how he feels. After first period I was ready to walk out and not come back. I got out to the parking lot and was in my car with keys in hand. But something held me back. Maybe I’m stubborn. Maybe I’m masochistic. Maybe I just realize nothing worth having comes without struggle. Any way you slice it, I’m a bit insane and lot touched.

Parent reaction will hit sometime this evening or tomorrow morning. I’m vaguely curious about it, but at the same time I do not want to know a thing. Maybe they can find me a nice desk job somewhere.

Now, as if my day wasn’t surreal enough, we had an earthquake. Just after one-thirty there was a tremor in the ceiling. At first, I thought there were kids running around upstairs but it kept getting worse. Soon the lights were swaying and standing was like trying to keep your feet on a floor made of Jell-O. I had kids running around and screaming. Some made a dash for the hallway, which wasn’t safe as the ceiling tiles out there, and a few cinder blocks, crashed down like the tablets Moses shattered. We evacuated the building and kept the kids on the football field until the buses came. The fire department needs to inspect the school to determine if it is structurally sound enough to have classes tomorrow.

The earthquake coinciding with my first day with the students was bad timing. I overheard a few of them talking as they linked the earthquake and me via religious fanaticism. Apparently, god, pissed that a “faggot tranny” is teaching at the school, punished the county by shaking the school down to its foundations. I guess everyone up to New York and down to Atlanta are just friendly fire.

All in all, I have had worse days but not by much. I don’t know if my calm through out the day is due to dissociating or if the estrogen has made it easier for me to cope without getting angry. Perhaps both, but either way maintaining calm is a plus.