Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Light Vision

I recently heard someone describe the change in their understanding of what homosexual rights should and shouldn't be as coming out of a cave and into the light. He and I both grew up in the Presbyterian Church and we both grew up thinking we didn't know any gay people or as he put it "I grew up not knowing I knew gay people."

My senior year in high school tragedy struck and I learned that not only did I know a gay man, but he was murdered for it. He was our Director of Music at the church and had been very involved in my life and my family's life. The church basically handled it by not handling it and I still have friends from that era who have not stepped into a church since because of the way the youth were pushed aside and questions were not answered.

This was also when I was told that AIDS was punishment on gay people.

Then I went to college and played on the women's softball team. I was still a bit naive as I had to be told that two of my teammates were dating. How did the person who was telling me know? "Because their beds are pushed together!"

Yes. Still naive.

But the thing was I liked my teammates. And those particular two are STILL together... how many of the rest of the college sweethearts on the planet can say that?

I found that as people would tell me that other people were gay I more and more just didn't care and furthermore did not understand why that made a difference. There was one girl on another team who hit on me... I didn't like her, not because she was gay but because she was rude!

Of course, I played on the women's softball team, I had short hair, I loved football... this meant I had to be gay too. And I realized that the only difference between 'them' and me was that I was attracted to men, they were attracted to (in this case) women. What was the big deal?

I don't care.
But I think I am ready to take one more step beyond 'I don't care.'

I am a very visual person and sometimes - okay a lot - I don't get things until I see them. While away on one of my recent trips I watched a gay man rock a baby to sleep and my soul was convicted. I cried then, I cried later... there are tears in my eyes now.

Why are we keeping people who love each other apart?
Why are we keeping people who feel called to be parents away from children who so desperately could use their love and care?
Why are we using phrases like 'sanctity of marriage' while heterosexual people are abusing the privilege left and right.

And we are doing it all in the name of our Lord and Savior?
That CAN'T be good.

And so slowly I find myself moving from 'I don't care' and 'don't ask, don't tell' to 'How can I make a difference'?

I am out of the cave, into the light and trying to figure out which way to turn in order to make an impact.

Thanks mk.

26 comments:

jadedjabber said...

This is absolutely beautiful and moving.

Amen.

We need more people like you asking the same question and moving in that direction. Thank you.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Amen!

God_Guurrlll said...

Thank you. Your words mean the world to me.

BTW you got tagged. Click here.

PK said...

You do exactly what you just did... you talk about it... ponder on it... and realize... people are defined by God... not by their color... or age... or sexual orientation... just by simple fact that God created them... so God loves them... and we are called to do the exact same thing.

Loving people... caring for people... that's what you are good at doing.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Beautiful post.

One of my greatest joys in ministry (so far) was baptizing the daughters of a gay couple--the father of one half of the couple is a member of my parish, and is quite conservative, but I think he had the same sort of "coming into the light" experience you describe. The expression on his face that day was priceless.

more cows than people said...

lovely. may more come into the light.

esperanza said...

thank you for sharing this part of your journey, and for articulating it so well. Into the light, indeed...

dust bunny said...

Your words are an encouagement to us all. Thanks for sharing.

DogBlogger said...

(o)

Cecilia said...

Thank you.

Pax, C.

Towanda said...

Awesome, beautiful. Thank you.

Songbird said...

(o)

Michele R said...

What I think we do, once we have come into the light, is to make sure we raise our children in the light as well. And hopefully - over time - we'll all be in the light.

Christine said...

A couple of years ago I got up on the floor of a presbytery meeting and confessed that I did NOT believe that homosexuality was a sin. You could have heard a pin drop. Afterwards several people came up to thank me for saying what they believed. I told them that they had to say publicly, out loud as well, if the church is every going to move forward. I agree with what Jan has posted today on her Starving Artists blog--as far as I'm concerned, GLBT ordination is a non-negotiable.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

As a layperson, I helped plan a special worship service for the Presby church that I attended regarding acceptance of people no matter their sexual orientation. It was beautiful, and some loved it. My brother, who is gay and even more introverted than I am, even agreed to fly in just to participate with me in the mini-sermon that I preached. Congregation members shook his hand and were kind to him.

But many, many others in the church complained about there being "too much talk about the gay issue"; some of these were even people who had been kind to my brother. Eventually, our pastor left that church for another one upstate, and I think that some of her reasons had to do with the close-mindedness in the first church. My spouse and I became so frustrated with the resistance to equality (I no longer could get anywhere with progressive worship ideas with the spiritual life committee) that we too left the church. We cannot stomach worshiping in a place that discriminates against anyone.

reverendmother said...

Hey... was that my baby you saw rocked to sleep? I believe it was!

Oh, and Word.

Diane said...

(o)

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Thank you, WS.

I needed to read this today.

Mary Beth said...

Amen, and amen.

Mark Smith said...

Welcome out here.

- Mark
(who married his college sweetheart, by the way)

Jiff said...

So nice. So right. Amen.

LadyBurg said...

I love this post. Right on! And I love what you want to do with it (the next post) and maybe even where. Lets have two black sheep in our Pres. Lets see what kind of change we can really bring.

Sue said...

Amen!!

Crimson Rambler said...

this was so beautiful...and I'm trying to deal with people who don't want the congregation at their wedding (HETEROSEXUAL wedding, mark you) to exchange the peace, "because my grandfather was really against that, when it was introduced into the church." OH SWEET SUFFERING SAVIOUR GIVE ME PATIENCE I say.

stf (lorna) said...

what you write is beautiful - and yet (don't stone me) I am left wondering how we as Christians can be open and affirming when the Bible clearly speaks out against homosexuality.

(It also speaks out against adultery and abusive relationships and I do wish the church in general - and yes us as individuals too - would speak up lovingly but powerfully against that.)

as I said don't stone (or shoot) me because I know what I am asking here isn't politcally correct -but where would Jesus draw the line do you think? He did call people to change from sinful lifestyle choices (look at Zaccheus) so my question is - I guess -would Jesus today call homosexuality a sin? Or not?

will smama said...

Actually I don't think it is a matter of being politically correct or incorrect. At the risk of getting on a tangent I find your suggestion that I might stone (or shoot) you more insulting than the presenting of a different opinion.

I just don't think it's a sin. There are folks out there who can argue it better than I can, but in the new testament the word that is traditionally translated as 'homosexuality' is only found in large lists making it almost impossible to contextually understand the word.

And so I, like you, turn to the Gospel and to Jesus and I don't really see him talk about sex anywhere. Relationships? yes. But sex... not so much.

I just can't help but think that if Jesus were asked point blank, "Is homosexuality a sin?" he would say something like, "Feed my sheep and stop worrying so much about if he is a male sheep married to another male sheep."