Monday, October 11, 2010

Working together - The Church & LGBT Community

Almost every day I talk to a gay person that just doesn't understand why I would bother keeping my faith and why I would bother investing my time in building bridges between the church and the gay community. I think this comes down to a huge level of ignorance and the fact that the majority of LGBT people and the majority of Christians don't really understand what's really happening on the 'other side'.

Whether you call Christianity a religion or a faith, you need to know that God doesn't discriminate against the LGBT community - PEOPLE DO!!

Every individual has to make their own choices and people from religious backgrounds and non-religious backgrounds discriminate against LGBT people all the time. The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is a strong atheist and she has repeatedly stated that she does not support same-sex marriage from a personal and political perspective. She is one example of many!

Also most of the direct discrimination I have encountered has been from non-religious people. Churches aren't anti-gay because they hate gay people and the LGBT community is not anti-religion because they hate God! Both sides are ignorant and IGNORANCE IS THE REAL PROBLEM! Both sides have never had dialogue and learnt from each other. It's always been this mini war about one-side against another in which no-one wins but everyone loses.

My great friend and mentor Anthony Venn-Brown often says "the enemy we fight is not individuals, political parties or denominations - the enemy is ignorance".

Whether you are a straight Christian woman or an gay male atheist, we need to encourage dialogue and build a bridge between the LGBT community and churches. We should not be militant, we should not be bitter! We must simply try to get people to talk...and that is the first step. We need to stand in the gap!

Conferences such as 'A Different Conversation', books such as Andrew Marin's 'Love is An Orientation' and organisations such as freedom 2 b[e], Soulforce and 100 Revs are making a real effort in bridging this gap!

Churches and Religious organisations will never go away and neither will the LGBT community. So we either keep fighting or we start talking peacefully about things and work together to really help people? Think about it? One creates peace, another creates war!

What would Jesus do?


Mike said...

Although I salute your commitment to dialogue and conversation as a way to dispel ignorance, what exactly do you say to the religious person who would respond, "All I need to listen to is God's word, which tells me that homosexuality is an abomination, period."? How do you go about opening their minds? In America here, we have many Christian political groups who behave as if equality for us Gays and Lesbians is an existential threat to Christianity itself. How do you have a conversation with that?

Anonymous said...

I would say that it is a matter of breaking apart that ignorance. Ignorance is such an overused term now that it holds no meaning. People don't even know what ignorance is anymore. It is a fun word but you don't begin to understand it until you break down the specific details of that ignorance. When you break that down you begin to make progress.