Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hypocritical Me

It's not common knowledge, but there is an underground movement happening in our denomination. The subject of gay Christians and the right to marry is coming to a head and pastors are starting to take sides. There is a slight chance that the denomination will break into two new denominations; one being for gay marriage and the other against.

Hubby and I have always been on the "for" side. I truly believe with all my heart that people are born being gay, or bi, or transgender. I don't believe it is a choice. I have also made sure to teach E that people are people, period. You either believe we are ALL created in God's image (gay people included) or you think he makes mistakes. Okay, I am not the most religious person in the world, but I get that much.

Our most active church members are this lovely lesbian couple. Between the 2 of them, they have created more opportunities for ministry than anyone else in our congregation. Being gay is not an agenda for them, but they hide nothing about their life. They sit in church with their arms casually placed behind the other on the pew, they put their hands on the small of their partner's back as one walks through a doorway, they are very open about their relationship. But they are also very solid Christians and that is the first label they give themselves, before woman or gay or partners....Christians.

The church we are at now is possibly the best match Hubby has had yet. This congregation really puts their money where their mouth is. If the church sees a need in the community, it immediately rises to help. There is a great sense of taking the church out into the world instead of just keeping it contained in a building. But....and this is a big but, some of the older (richer) members are struggling with allowing gay people in church. They welcome them and talk to them, but they express disdain with how visual this couple has become.

No one wants to talk about it, but the church is a business and it needs to be run like a business. If funds don't come in, bills don't get paid and churches close. My generation is attending church less and less and we certainly don't donate as much money to the church as the older members. The older members keep the church afloat. And yet, the older members are dying off and if a pastor isn't looking to the future and trying to replace those members now, the church is doomed.

Hubby has decided that now is the time to make a move and show his true colors. He has spent a lot of time talking to the couple and one of them is interested in starting a ministry through our church for LGBT people in the community. Hubby supports it 100%. He is also going one step more and had invited one of the woman to take over his pulpit this weekend. For the first time in the history of this little church, an openly gay woman will be preaching. Some people are excited and highly supportive, some people will refuse to show up and some people, well, they are the ones I call "monkeys." The monkeys are going to start throwing shit.

The sad thing is, for all my walk the walk and talk the talk attitude, I am afraid. I am afraid of the fallout. I am afraid of going though all the crap like we had in CountryTime because of bigoted people. And yet...and yet...I know that being complacent is worse. I love the Island. I love my life. I feel safe here. This potentially could rip our world apart and get us moved again. But I am lucky. I don't have anyone telling me that I can't make end of life decisions for Hubby. If something happened to Hubby, no one could take E away from me because I wasn't her "real" mom. No says I don't have a right to kiss Hubby in public or that what I have to say about religion is tainted because of whom I love. So my fear is my problem and I will deal with it, because in the end, if someone doesn't start the change and stand up in the Christian world, nothing will ever change.

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer


FreeDragon said...

I'm very glad Hubby is supporting gay rights. My cousin is gay and I believe he was born that way because I do not think anyone would choose to be so miserable. He faces a lot of criticism just because of who he finds attractive. Even if your church fails or splits, what you are doing will help a lot of people. And that alone makes it worth doing.

Michelle Schwingler said...

This may be my favorite post you've written. Preach.

Chrysalis said...

I am so proud of hubby, for reasons you know and reasons I haven't talked to you about yet. I will send much energy towards this success. I believe younger people are rejecting church because of perceived bigotry. I think reversing that will bring them back! I get why you are afraid though, and I send you peace. I hope this does not disrupt your placement. I would be disappointed to know that incision and the embracing of love and acceptance is disruptive. Go you guys!!!!