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This essay is written in response to a thread about the importance of LGBT Christians speaking out and being visible and active congregantsdespite having been wounded by organized religion. There’s a tendency to throw Jesus out with the holy water, but I’d like to offer another option. What follows is a recounting of my firsthand experience dealing with those who would deny my invitation and rightful seat at the table. Peace be with you.
As a forty-eight-inch tall, gay, black man, I encounter plenty of people who think and demonstrate through their actions, “You don’t belong because — ” With that said, my need for a self-concept that is not tethered to a human perspective is integral for my well-being.
Image by Eidy Bambang Sunyaro, at unsplash.com
Things are tough. All over. A lot of people are hurting physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. All any of us need do is turn on the TV, log into social media, or if you’re really daring, step outside your front door and there it is: the awfulness of humanity. With this pervasive level of devastation, a friend of mine asked, as I’m sure many more of you have —
“If God is real, then why do things like [insert tragedy] happen?”
Photo credit: Taylan Soyturk Photographe via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
The past few weeks have been a real shit storm of emotions for lot of people. Several folks I know are dealing with the death of a loved one. In the past two months alone, several friends’ parents have died. April 15 marked the twenty-third anniversary of my father’s death (which reopens a grievous wound every year). Two weeks ago, a producer colleague died. I’ve read that several of you here have lost parents, close friends, or are beginning to examine your life in the light of the deaths of loved ones given the gift of perspective that comes with time. Even yesterday, an actor colleague who was ten years junior died. And a few hours ago, I read that a beloved Medium writer lost his mother.
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Each year the Episcopal Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Patrick, fifth-century bishop and missionary of Ireland, on March 17, the day of his death in 461.
Holy Women, Holy Men (Church Publishing, 2010) relates that Patrick was born on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest, and his father was a deacon in the early Christian church. When Patrick was a teenager, he was
Candlelight vigil in downtown Orlando. (Photo: Dr. Phiillips Center for the Performing Arts)
It seems that some churches have had a difficult time figuring out how to respond to the Pulse massacre. The answer is simple, and to quote Jesus, “love one another.” There it is. Three words. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. I’m no Biblical scholar, but this one seems to be … well … a no-brainer.
On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus says “love one another” to his Disciples not once, but twice. If memory serves me correctly, Jesus and the Disciples are in the upper room