I’m so tired of saying, “I’m not that kind of a Christian.”
My gay and lesbian friends – my community – are not at all surprised at the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. In their minds this is what Christians do. Christians impose their way of looking at things on everybody else. They want people to be straight, married, and having children. If they are white Christians, they want everybody to be white.
How, my friends wonder, can I be part of this horrid religion? I tell them my church is different. It is accepting and understanding. I tell them that Christ is not like these followers of his who somewhere along the line got the wrong idea about who he is.
My friends think I am deluding myself. They watched as for decades I fought to be accepted by the Episcopal Church. They saw me hurt again and again. They nodded skeptically when I told them first about Gene Robinson and later about gay marriages. They still think the other shoe will fall. What lesbian, trans, bisexual, gay or queer person would join the church, they ask me, when betrayal is so very likely.
And never mind that The Episcopal Church has come out with some lovely statements lately decrying the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade and other recent atrocities. Talk is cheap. Letters are cheap. Even marching in support of an issue is unreliable. Church leaders can be supportive one moment and follow the status quo the next.
I don’t really mind being thought of as weak or deluded. I can put up with being seen as someone who needs the crutch of religion. I can tolerate having the subject changed every time I want to talk about spirituality. What makes me most sad is that my friends don’t want to have anything to do with Jesus.
The wondrous gift of Christ’s Way is lost on them. I can tell them that God is love, that God desires us to live out our unique queerness to the fullest because that is who God created us to be. I can tell them that God wants us to speak to God’s people from the edgy perspectives that define us. But they don’t believe me. They don’t believe me because Christ’s followers behave so very badly – and so very obviously want my friends to renounce everything about themselves that is different and therefore scary.
And so the wondrous belonging which is the living, breathing presence of Christ, the assurance of everlasting life and the powerlessness of death, and the radical invitation to love are lost on them. Christ is lost on them. That’s the terrible tragedy. Christ’s followers have let Christ down.