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Monday, May 18, 2009

A Telling Jest

I must say in all seriousness that while I respect any serious religious decision, I have the greatest admiration for women and gays who remain in the church despite the grief they get from the official church.

I am a convert, at the age of 30, and as I like to say that as a straight white male the Catholic Church is a natural fit for me. I could even grow up to be pope!
This quote by Catholic author and journalist David Gibson in the Washington Post jumped out at me. If you go read it in context, you will see that he is making a little joke.

And yet - he's not joking. He's stating a very significant truth: the vast majority of churches are run by and for straight people, and historically that means straight men.

I've blogged a couple times before about how, when my husband died, the scales fell from my eyes about our good Christian friends and neighbors - about how coldly and cruelly I was treated - about how the most churchified people were the most callous.

I won't rehash that whole story here - you can go read it in the Blue Truck archives if you like - but it really did bring home to me the fact that we gays are simply not wanted in church.

Church is specifically designed for the straight people. If you aren't straight - you simply don't belong there. And you are wasting your time trying to fit in, as I tried for 30 years - because you will never fit in; you're gay.

Maybe there is an exception here or there. Maybe in some particular locales in the blue states, it's different.

But I stand by what I just wrote. If you are gay, you don't belong in church. They don't want you.

Starting as a young teenager, I searched and researched the Scriptures for years, trying in vain to find an out, a loophole, some indication that God put a word of love and care for gays in the Bible.

But that search will run you crazy - it did me, for a time. Because He didn't put that word, that note of mercy in there.

This hurt me a lot; until it dawned on me the reason why: the Bible was written by and for straight men.

Straight men who made God in their own image.

Much more I could say on this topic - and some of you may have differing views - but I'll stop right there for now. Except to say that in a quiet, interior way, faith remains important to me; but I've come to realize that God is much bigger than the church, and even bigger than the Bible.

And God is Love.


David said...

If you ask me Russ, they can have church. I believe that God, more of an idea than a bearded man, is everywhere. In my dogs' eyes, my partner's hand on mine, the laugh of my friends. The good and the beautiful, and yes, even the hot and sexy. That's God at work for me.

Russ Manley said...

Amen. Well said, David. God is love - all kinds of love.

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