[callout]The following is full of emotion, but it is not written in spite or contempt. It’s my honest opinion born out of experience. It is direct and to the point so it would be easy to read it as harsh, but please don’t. It is written from a broken heart, not a vengeful one. With that in mind…[/callout]
I want to write about two ideologies born out of religious legalism that is of immense harm to LGBTQ people.
First, I believe the bastardized version of the religion the man who shot the beautiful souls at Pulse Nightclub taught him an evil ideology. This evil system of thought taught him that it was a divinely blessed mandate to murder 49 and wound 53 Latin LGBTQ people in a mass shooting.
Second, the bastardized version of the religion I am associated with, Christianity, teaches LGBTQ people an evil ideology that says to be divinely blessed and ok with God’s will and people, we must kill our core relational sense being, identity, and expressions of love.
Both of these twisted versions of spiritual teachings are abusive and deadly.
Systemic bigotry and bias have been passed down for generations. Many LGBTQ Christians feel our only option is to become something we are not. We are forced to conform to church teachings based on cultural conditioning, not the life-giving and affirming teachings of Christ. Shame and condemnation are repackaged as smiling promises of liberation from “brokenness” and “freedom from homosexuality.” If we do not conform to what is presented as our only option (a false projection of self), we are disenfranchised, abandoned, oftentimes punished and routinely stigmatized.
We become the scapegoat. Somehow we are made out to be a villain when all we are trying to do is be ourselves.
As a result, unfortunately, too many LGBTQ people die slowly through self-loathing, destructive addictions and unhealthy relational patterns. Even worse, some choose the horror of suicide.
The over-arching point I am trying to make is this: I believe that every single day the Pulse tragedy is repeated when LGBTQ persons around the world are thrown out of their homes, violently attacked, persecuted, murdered, or take their lives because of culturally driven and public/church policy accommodated religious stigmatization of LGBTQ people.
Stop the abuse. Stop demonizing us for who we are and how we love. Stop the killings.
People can choose to live however they want, but after 21 years in a conversion ministry movement, I know it doesn’t work. I no longer believe that building bridges to non-affirming and non-accepting churches is the right metaphor or action to take. I believe in finding the exit door to those churches and inviting others to come along. Sometimes the most gracious, brave, and life-giving thing to do is to walk away and live an honest life.
As I continue to abide in Christ, with His guidance, I have found a true spiritual home among others in everyday authentic relationship.
You are welcome here.