I woke-up this morning angry.
The post I was working on is being delayed. I had not planned to write this initially, but this needed to be written. This post is in response to the slaughter that occurred in Orlando yesterday and the attempted bomber who was caught in West Hollywood. This is a reflection coming out of being first and foremost as an evangelical Christian and as one who happens to be same-sex attracted/gay or whatever descriptor you would like to use for it at this time.
I am angry at Christians and churches that remain silent and do not comfort those who mourn. I am angry that a great tragedy in our country’s history did not garner a comment, prayer or a reflection from most churches yesterday in large part due to the type of people who were victimized.
I am angry at my Republican friends who are using this as a moment to push political agendas. There will be a time for this discussion, but right now let us mourn our losses.
I am angry at my Democrat friends who are using this as a moment to push political agendas. There will be a time for this discussion, but right now let us mourn our losses.
I am angry for those that try to wash what happened. This was a latino community. A people of color. I am angry in our failure to acknowledge the crime that occurred upon this community. This is a community that has been brutalized so often over the years by the majority.
I am angry for those that try to wash what happened. This was a gay community. A minority among the majority. Do not try to interpret what happened as simply a terrorist attack against the United States. This was thought out. This was deliberate.
I am angry at those who simply see this as an attack only upon the gay community. The rhetoric in ISIS and other similar groups is one where they see our way of government as a type of depravity eventually leads and promotes anal sex between two men. If you have ever voted, the attack against these gay men who were slaughtered was an attack against you. This was an attack against our government.
I am angry at those who do not mourn.
I am angry at those speak that this is what the gays deserve.
I am angry at those who proclaim and practice a traditional sexual ethic yet unintentionally separate it out from the Gospel and the hope of Christ’s Kingdom.
I am angry that gays do not feel safe in churches. I am angry that some gays will need comfort but feel like the church is a place of condemnation lacking grace. I am angry that some gays, even ones who actively follow Christ and live for him, yesterday felt unsafe in their own churches surrounded by strangers and not the family in Christ that was promised to them. I am angry that some gays will have no one to speak to in their church for fear of the cost to be honest and transparent and will have to suffer alone. I am angry because the vast majority of churches practices the sin of Sodom in being inhospitable. I am angry because churches quiet often look nothing like Jesus.
I am angry at those who are indifferent. Hate gay people. Love gay people. Just choose. Indifference is worse than hate.
June is Pride month for the LGBT+. A month where they remember Stonewall. A month where they remember being dragged off into jails and placed with violent individuals who killed them. A month where they remember the forced sterilization. A month where they remember being criminally executed for being queer. A month where they remember being treated as having a dangerous mental disorder that placed others in society at risk. A month where they remember and acknowledge that 1 out of 3 LGBT+ teens will have attempted suicide by age 15. A month where they remember and acknowledge that over half of all LGBT+ have attempted suicide. Pride parades and celebrations is a declaration by the LGBT+ community that they will not go into the night quietly and they will not be forgotten. It is a declaration that they deserve basic human rights and worthy of life.
Most gay people are open to returning to church. A place that should be a house of comfort and mourning for them at this time. A place where they should be able to encounter Jesus and his warm embrace. Only 15%* of gays left the church due to theological beliefs. The overwhelming majority left because they did not feel safe or have some sort of other relational connection. Statistically gays are more likely to have a faith background than heterosexuals. The overwhelming majority (76%)* show interest in returning if they can be loved, if they are able to feel safe, and if they are able to be supported. This is not a time for condemnation but it is a time to love on, protect and support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender men and women who are created in the image of God and whom Jesus loves. This month is pride month, and we as Christians should join in with LGBT+ individuals declaring that all life is worthy of basic human rights, love, and charity. We as Christians should fight alongside of LGBT+ against individuals who attempt to send them into the dark night.
I am angry. At this point the pacifism I feel my faith calls me to is being extremely difficult to practice. I want to literally at this point march and riot. I am beyond anger. I want to burn things. I want the love of Jesus to remain my orientation. Lord help me.
Christ have mercy in all these things. Christ have mercy on each of us. Christ lead us to love those who are hurting. Christ help us to mourn with those who mourn. Christ be merciful. Christ forgive those who have sinned. Christ help us to stay oriented to you and your love during this time. Christ be merciful. Christ come.
* All stats were derived from Andrew Marin’s latest book Us vs Us. The largest scientific study on the intersect between religion and LGBT to date.