Can queer Christian apologetics be effective?
Homosexuality is not condemned by the Bible. Can I share my understanding of some of the Bible passages you may believe to condemn homosexuality? How many times have you had that conversation?
Bishop John Shelby Spong, in 1985, was writing gay-affirming material in his books. Rev. Dr. Mel White has been preaching and writing on homosexuality for over a decade. His book, What The Bible Says–and Doesn’t Say–About Homosexuality begins, “Like you, I take scripture seriously.”
Defending the un-sinful of homosexuality is the default starting position in Christian discourse today. Is it effective?
What does it say about queer people when we put their humanity–even for a moment–up for discussion? No one ever hosts a small group discussion on “What the Bible says about heterosexuality.” No one is ever asked to explain why straight sexuality is not inherently flawed, broken, and perverse. Simply having a discussion about “whether or not it’s OK to be gay” inherently says “It might be OK but there’s still something a little less than about it.”
A discussion needs to happen, for sure
Queer people are everywhere. In your school, at your church, on your soccer team, at your workplace, in the grocery store, working in the factory that makes your phone and the farm that produces your food. We’ve organized extravagant burlesque shows to raise money for HIV/AIDS research and we’ve organized marches on Washington for racial justice.
I want to offer a different topic for discussion: Not, is it OK to be gay? but, what can we learn from queer people?
I posed the question “What is one powerful thing you learned about life or faith by way of being queer?” to my various social networks.
Mark Lawrence wrote on Facebook, “When you pray for something, you may not get what you expect. It’s better.”
Kimmy DeVries shared that she’s learned that “all oppression is connected and to have true equality we must work in ways that helps everyone. Also, it’s okay to be different. :)”
Glen Retief remarks, “The real universe is full of bewildering and stimulating diversity (sexual and otherwise), mess, ambiguity, and just mystery–so much we don’t know. Queerness teaches me to look behind the superficially obvious to the vast, complex depths of life.”
On Google+, Michael Stakem shared that he learned about “recognizing the importance of respecting others’ self-identification.”
How much more interesting, vibrant, and powerful is the conversation about what queerness has taught us? What we have to bring to the table?
Let’s try that discussion
Tomorrow Anarchist Reverend and Sanctuary Collective are co-hosting a queer theology synchroblog. Open to all LGBTQ folks and any straight identified people who work in solidarity with us, the synchroblog is a chance to take for granted our inherent goodness and to speak from a place of power about what we know and have learned, what we have to teach the world.
Read the full call for submissions over at the Anarchist Reverend website. Participate by posting on your blog tomorrow and posting a link here. If you wish to contribute and do not have a blog, send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be posted on the Sanctuary Collective website.
UPDATE: Read my contribution to the synchroblog, “Why Queer Liberation Must Be Queer Led”