Several close family members no longer speak to me because I write this blog. Don’t feel bad for me – I am honored to taste what many of you have endured for as long as you can remember. But the irony is delicious.
In fact, this is so irrational, I want to make sure I understand it correctly. I’ll write it out, and you – my family, or others – who think I’m wrong and maybe ‘not really a Christian’, you tell me how this makes sense in the real world, and how this aligns with the heart and the message of God.
I embrace the LGBTQ community of people that you’re totally okay condemning and rejecting – and you think I’m the one who should answer for it.
I love these people unconditionally, exactly the way Jesus told us to – but you as a Christian find this unacceptable.
You keep LGBTQ people at arm’s length (you don’t really know gay people as people, only as people you don’t like) – yet you feel qualified to decide their lives (re. marriage, adoption, or even just freedom from harassment).
You would rather rule from a list of precepts rather than looking at real people and real life situations.
I am happy for people to be free to marry someone they love, just as I have married someone I love (and you probably have too), so we can all enjoy the sweet partnership marriage offers.
You believe (or have been told to believe) that two men or two women getting married will somehow wreck the sanctity of marriage overall. (Did we mention divorce or second [or third or fourth] marriages?)
You want to mandate one man/one-woman marriage — which works only for a man and a woman — and when there’s pushback, you cry discrimination and harassment.
You do not welcome gays into your church community (not without certain stipulations) – I welcome them freely to mine, so my church is the one that’s suspect.
You tell me I’m condoning what you determine to be sin, even though Jesus told us not to judge others’ behavior. No, seriously, he says that several times.
But if I point out your lack of love (a clear violation of Jesus’ prime directive), you tell me I’m being vitriolic and I should mind my own business.
Jesus says those who truly love others are the real heroes – and you want nothing to do with them and even work against the love they are conveying.
Jesus says those who judge others are the real villains – and you do exactly what they do and blame others who call you out.
Then you feel all out of sorts, wondering why people are leaving your church. Ironic, isn’t it?
To bring this to a personal level, here’s what I’ve seen in the family and ‘friends’ who have rejected me – your whole view of our beloved Annie has shifted simply because of her orientation. And you think God backs you up.
I gotta tell you, God does not back you up. In fact, you are in complete opposition to the heart of God and his truth.
I say this not just for our Annie. Instead, I say this for the many Annies and Anthonys out there who do not have a defender, who have been rejected and condemned and attacked by their own family. In fact, I write this for all of our children – who have been told that God is all about their behavior and really doesn’t care so much about their hearts.
It is for our children who seek to know God and you hand them religion instead.
They bring their open heart and get a list of rules. They bring their searching questions and receive a flat answer that not only shuts down vulnerability or intellectual authenticity but lacks any luster of God himself.
I spread my wings out wide to cover all these children everywhere, to pull them in close. And I say to you:
Stop lying to our children.
Stop pretending you love them when you condemn them. Stop telling them they can’t hear God for themselves when God clearly says they can. Stop telling them what God thinks of them. Stop saying God is sending them to hell.
Purge yourself of the stench of religion and self-righteous hypocritical religious leaders, and seek the aroma of Jesus.
For the sake of our children.