Words have been bombarding me
all week. difficult words, painful words.
my church, the Methodist church, has been the victim
of a carjacking by people who in the end
only want to wreck the car after a brief joyride.
The words coming out of this, heard over and over:
“the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with the Christian faith.’
Men, of course men, standing at microphones and saying publicly,
parents if your child is gay you should pray that they die before the get to puberty
so they don’t ever have sex and don’t go to hell.
or other men suggesting that gay people should be drowned.
what does it even mean to have Christian faith if it leads you to hate.
When I’m feeling a little less awful intermittently
I wonder, how long must one practice homosexuality before you get it right?
But those are the words my church remade again, 40 years on, into church law.
My church has been taken over by bigoted white men,
bigoted white men who cannot abide that my bisexual, sparkly self exists
or for that matter that any gloriously queer person exists
as if it’s contagious, queerness; I say, if only…
There have been consequences for me, but not horrid ones:
no one has thrown me out on the street like so many parents of trans kids have;
no one has beat me up in a parking lot for being out and open;
no one has taken my job away unless you count the last two churches
that fired me for speaking out against their injustice;
I”m pretty fucking safe in my privileged bisexual middle-class life.
but they, my former church, can’t abide me. It should read in the rules:
The practice of honesty and transparency is incompatible with the Christian faith.
So what I have to fucking fight with are words
fighting against the patriarchy,
fighting against the definition of so -called biblical marriage,
that’s their code word for one penis/one vagina;
I ask them, which version of biblical marriage are you going to go for,
one man, a woman and her slave, that’s Abraham,
one man and two sisters, that’s Isaac,
one man and no woman, that’s Jesus,
if, as you insist, he was like us in every way,
then either he had sex or we’re not supposed to do it at all;
or maybe if you’re a teenage boy
you would go for one man, 600 wives
and 1200 concubines, that’s Solomon.
yeah, fucking ignorant people who read what they want to
in the Bible and ignore the other parts.
They take 6 little passages and make them be the whole story,
and I wonder, why those, why are they not on a rampage
against people who wear clothes with two kinds of fibers mixed
because the Bible calls that an abomination too,
why is it lesbian and gay people that you are so afraid of
and not the clothes you buy at Walmart and Neiman’s;
why aren’t they all gung-ho about selling their daughters into slavery
cause that’s right there next to the parts they quote about us.
And there are already bishops in the Methodist church expelling out gay pastors
and two young lesbian couples in a Methodist college campus ministry
tried to kill themselves
and this is what you have sown, you hateful bigoted white men,
and I am only hitting the tip of the iceberg of my anger,
at bigoted white men who shoot down young black men
in their grandmother’s backyard for being black with phone
and who stop my dear friend who is part Hispanic
every time she crosses back into the US
and one time strip searched her
‘because you have a suspicious name’
and every other thing that all of you know about,
every act of hate.
What I’ve been doing here is called a lament in the Bible.
Laments are for those times where the current is intermittent
and the light bulb is flickering and we don’t know
how to turn it on all the way or what the fuck to do next.
Laments are for when everything has turned to shit.
I always think of that cartoon that has a guy asking Jesus,
when are you going to do something about injustice,
and Jesus answers the guy, funny, I was going to ask you the same question;
but the people who wrote the Bible didn’t buy into hopelessness
and so all the laments end with hope except one, psalm 88,
and I have been reading it because I am not fucking ready to have hope;
I am only ready to sit in grief and let my lovers hold me and comfort me
and to finally own publicly yes I am bisexual and queer and gender queer;
if my queer clergy friends can risk everything to demand justice from our church
then the least I can do is be honest in public about who I am
but that damn hope shit keeps coming back even when I don’t want it
because even sitting in lament I know, beyond any doubt
that I am beloved of the Divine and everyone else is,
everyone hearing these words and everyone who never will
everyone who loves someone and everyone who doesn’t
everyone straight, queer, trans, cis, nerdy, handsome,
everyone afraid or courageous, vulnerable or shut down
everyone I have not in some way named out of my blind spots
you are all blossoming, unfolding into the brilliance of the Divine in you;
bigots and haters want to hand you a pair of pliers and say,
it’s in your best interest to cut the wires to the bulb,
but if we can all remember that we are Beloved
we can instead all put in a little bit of extra current
and the bulb will flicker just a little less.
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