an open letter.


 

dear reader,
i need to share something with you. it is not a secret that i am a woman of liberal religious faith. the words “liberal religious faith” are loaded ones. i would not even begin to aquatically define them. i am just not articulate enough. not to mention that they mean different things to different people. ask ten people what it means and you will get ten different answers.
for me, it is very simple really. i love. period. but in these last few months as america and the wider world begin to recognize and even legislate “gay marriage” or what most just call, “marriage equality” i realize that i have not been the alli to my lgbtqq friends that i should have been, yes, i like and share posts and mems that support it. my profile picture has, more than a few times been rainbow and or an equal sign. i have a rainbow sticker on my car and i vote for candidates who support marriage equality. i go to pride when i can go. i participate in protests and walks and i boycott places that discriminate against lgbtqq.
but it is not enough. not nearly enough.
a story:
years ago, back when i identified as a born again, evangelical and conservative christain, i had a friend who was gay. his name was johny, though now that i think about it, he did not spell his name like that. he loved g*d so much, loved jesus, he had a heart of gold and for the lord. he could sing, really sing, in fact he had been at one time a back up singer for donna summer. he was such a great person, i loved him. but, he was gay. and my girlfriends and i knew it. we prayed that he would be “healed” i remember one time when we had a small get together, when he sat on a chair we surround him and prayed that the demons of homosexuality would release him “in jesus name” he wanted to be “free” he did! he wanted to be loved and excepted by the father, and us.
if i could go back that night, i would stop the prayer. and i would look him in the eyes and remind him that of this scripture
Psalm 139:14-16 (the message)
oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
i thank you, high god—you’re breathtaking!
body and soul, i am marvelously made!
i worship in adoration—what a creation!
you know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
you know exactly how i was made, bit by bit,
how i was sculpted from nothing into something.
like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
the days of my life all prepared
before i’d even lived one day.
i would remind him that g*d does not make mistakes, that g*d knows him better then he does. i would tell him that in my mind he was perfect just as he was. period. that who he loved did not matter to me. i would tell him that if homosexuality really matters to g*d then the bible would have more than 6 or 7 scriptures about it.
i would tell him that jesus spoke not a word about being gay. i would tell him that in the bible, the word is love is mentioned more than 500 times close to 700 times depending on which version of it you are reading. In the king james version, it’s mentioned 508 in the old testament and 697 in the new testament.
if i could talk to him now, i would ask his forgiveness for not fully embracing who he was. i would hold him close and just love him. i would tell him a truth about me, that i was and still am bisexual. yes, i married a man, but i could have just as easily fallen in love with a women. that on my hearts list of what i was looking for in a life partner, the gender of that person was not on it. and that was something about me that i had known since i was young. i had a crush on both steve austin and jamie summers! i have loved men and women.
i know gay and lesbian couples who have been together, 30, 40, 50 years, their relationships are not all about sex. whose really is? do you, in your hetro marriage really just have intercourse? missionary style even? marriage is about sharing your lives together, it is about rearing children. paying taxes. it is about loving each other, though sickness and health, though poverty and wealth, in good times and in bad for as long as you both shall live! just like anyone, lgbtqq deserve to be seen as a family in the eyes of the government as well as the church.
if you really think that being lgbtqq is a choice, then ask the 1 in 5 gay or lesbian teens who attempt suicide each year, ask your self then why would someone put them selves though the bullying, from their church? their school? their family? do you really think that they are just not praying enough? really?

let me just share with you some stats:
http://www.bsadiscrimination.org/html/suicide.html

has the loss of so many children not broken your very heart? how many have to die before you realize that a person who is gay or lesbian is at the very core of who they are? it needs to stop now. right now.
i love and respect too many lgbtqq peoples not to stand up and shout the truth, they are good and wonderful and loving and great parents and truly good human beings who g*d loves.
when jesus died on the cross that day on calvary, he said
“it is finished” i believe that what he meant by that is that we are all saved by his grace, he came into the world to save us from the law. and he gave us 3 new ones
love g*d
love your neighbor
do unto others what you would want done unto you.
that is the new law, people. that is the law that i will follow until my very last breath.
you may be asking, so what is your point blueberry?
my point is this:
*i will support and champion for my lgbtqq siblings.
*i will stand up to the bully who would deny them basic human rights.
*i will look you in the eye and tell you that you are wrong for using the bible (or any holy book for that matter) as a weapon to bully any one who is different or who you may think is “less than.”
*i will not accept your using your “faith” to give you permission to deny 10% (closer to 15 or 20) of the population because some book written nearly 1000 years ago says so.
*i will remove myself from your life, be it facebook or otherwise if you post any inflammatory comments about lgbtqq peoples.
*i will no longer attend or support your church if you are not a open and affirming faith.
*i will fight for marriage equality here in oregon and support in anyway i can for it, in america and the wider world.
*i will be an alli for my lgbtqq siblings in other countries that would criminalize who they are, and for who they love, like russia and uganda.
*i will consider those who would fight and bully my lgbtqq siblings my enemy, more so if you use your religion as a tool to marginalize them.
and if you do not like that, if you can not stand with me. then, i invite you to walk away from me. please.
i do not know what will happen when i die. but if i do stand before g*d in judgement. at that time i would like to hope that i will stand proud with my head held high, and say to the divine, “yes holy one, i chose love. and if my stance for equality is a huge big sin punishable by death in the lake of fire, (unlikely as i do not believe in hell as a place) it will be worth it, because i followed my conscience, that was given to be by g*d
this i believe, is the way of the divine is to stand up for the other and different.
a prayer:
holy one
this was really scary to write, so many of the people i love. really love are not allies. and i may lose them.
i ask lord, that you protect my heart and theirs.
more so, i ask that people take this opportunity to become an alli, even though it is different. i know that you were the one who changed my heart, i know that you knew who i was going to be and who i was going to love before i did. and that it was okay.
i pray for the one in five lgbtqq youth who, this very night are considering talking their life because they can not face going to school tomorrow. please divine one, please protect them, please g*d, i beg you to hold them close. love them. bring people into their lives who will support and defend and love them. please, show all your followers the way of love.

amen, ashe` and may it be so

it is good to share, be my guest!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “an open letter.

  1. A beautiful and powerful piece, Erika! I have spent sixty adult years living under the threat of expulsion from school for loving a woman if I were to be found out. Or being fired from a job. I have been the object of jeers, threats and name calling. I have had my house egged and gay hate graffiti painted on my car. My beloved gay brother killed himself because of discrimination and I, myself, have been suicidal because of the stigma and self hate I carried within, even when it was not seen without. I could go on, but really, what I most want to say is how profoundly meaningful it is to attend a church where I am rarely seen as a “they,” or I have a friend that is …” In other words, I’m just me there, not an “other.” And there is not only that gift, but there are individuals like you who are willing to fight for my and my spouse’s rights; who support and love us; who attend gay pride parades; who openly stand for acceptance of all. And who write wonderful and affirming pieces like this. Blessings and love to you and thanks beyond thanks.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s