Post # 1
As a Christian myself I have often wrestled with how I feel about the way churches I have visited (but never stayed long) view the gay and lesbian community. There was a speaker in class today that was openly talking about his sexuality and marriage to another man while still being a very strong Christian. I appreciated a new look into his life and was glad he shared so much. It also got me wondering how many others were out there, or even on WB with similar stories.
I am not here to judge or condemn anyone, but honestly just want to hear different opinions especially from you all on your view of Christianity or religion and how that fits or does not fit with your lifestyle. I genuinely care to hear your stories as I’m seeking to reconcile what I’ve always heard from many leaders in the church with the love and support I feel now; becoming close friends with many gay people who are some of the most accepting people I know. I’m starting to see how many wonderful people I would have never gotten to know if I had remained so closed minded like many in the church where I grew up.
I look forward to reading your responses! Thanks.
Post # 3
I’m not speaking about myself, but one of my dearest, dearest friends (a gay man) was raised in an Evangelical environment, and struggled with this question for a long time. Eventually, he distanced himself from the church he had attended with his family (and its views on homosexuality) and began attending a UCC church, where he still goes (with his husband, who is equally devout — in fact, a UCC minister). I can say without hesitation that they are two of the most intensely religious people I’ve had the privilege to know and they think and talk about their faith as part of their every day lives. I own more than one Henry Nouwen book thanks to them and the many discussions we’ve had on different aspects of the religious life. I have friends of all religions and denominations (a bunch of atheists and agnostics in there, too), and there are very few who seem as comfortable in their religious skin as these two do. I don’t know if that helps you, but I am a better Christian because of my friendship with them and just wanted to share the story.
Post # 4
My best friend is a gay Christian. His belief is that he was created that way and everybody should be treated equal, etc. He goes to an MCC church which is not only gay-friendly, but I believe most of the members are in fact gay. He is so happy at that church. As an aside, he was raised in a very conservative Christian church that preached all gays would go to hell. This is what he had to face growing up and it tears me apart every time he mentions it. Thank gosh he is free of all that now.
Post # 5
It does help and is encouraging. 🙂
Post # 6
My family is incredibly conservative and Christian. I am Christian but do not consider myself conservative and I have many gay and lesbian friends.
My family cannot understand these friendships nor do they bring up these friendships in conversation as opposed to other friends. I helped out with a friend’s wedding (lesbian couple) three years ago and my grandmother was incredibly opposed to me being involved.
In my mind Christianity is about loving one another and allowing God to be the ultimate judge. It is not my place to determine what is right and wrong for others, only myself.
Post # 7
My family is christian and my mothers are gay. They were able to find a church that embraced them instead of making them feel “less-than” or unworthy. I don’t know where you live, but you should check out the Metropolitan Community Churchs. They are gay-positive and love focused christian churchs. We attend the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto and my agnostic FI loves this church and even suggested we get married there even though he has struggled with being a christian his whole life. It is wonderful to feel part of a community that loves everyone as they are.
Post # 8
@SillyStacey: Your post made me smile! 🙂
Post # 9
theres a documentary on netflixs called a fish out of water i really enjoyed this as it digs deep into the bible and homosexuality i found it to be very inlightening as a christian lesbian women. a little bit of hope from all the negativity 🙂
i really recommend watching this if you can!
Post # 10
i’m from a place with a huge gay community. people come here from all over the country after being rejected by their families/communities or looking to find others like themselves. for precisely this reason, some people find themselves isolated because despite being gay, they almost are coming from a different world. the metropolitan community church in our community is a great place of solace where people can find support and connection. actually there are a lot of gay friendly churches around here…
Post # 11
I feel a little ignorant now, but I didn’t know gays/lesbians even had an option to be Christians. I think it must be a regional thing though. Here, in the Bible belt, it seems either you’re Christian and straight, or gay/lesbian and atheist. I’ve never heard of ANY church around here welcoming gay/lesbian couples, which I think is just ridiculous because they’re supposed to be the ones not judging and welcoming all walks of life. Around here, they’re the most judgemental, and if you haven’t gone to the church since you were a tiny child, or they don’t know who your parents are, you’re not very welcome.
I’ve also never heard of that MCC church before. Here, everything is Baptist. I live in a smaller town with about 12k people, and we have…uh…*counts*…at least 12 churches, all Baptist.
Post # 12
For my family it was never a matter of questioning our Christianity, but the “Christians” we surrounded ourselves with – namely, the hypocritical ones. Even among very conservative Christians, I’ve encountered plenty of people who will tell you that we are all sinners, and being gay is no more of a sin than being divorced – and we don’t shun or condemn divorced people! I disgree with them, since I don’t actually believe being gay is a sin, but I respect them for their fairness and that respect goes both ways. There are lots of congregations out there that are “welcoming” without being particularly outspoken or proactive about it.
Post # 13
@Treejewel19: THIS! especially this,below
“In my mind Christianity is about loving one another and allowing God to be the ultimate judge. It is not my place to determine what is right and wrong for others, only myself.”
I am not actively part of a religion, I believe God is greater than religion. There are so many people who are religious, that have hate in there hearts for others. I recently had an encounter with a pastor of a church that was so hateful towards homosexuals , I actually prayed for him, to have more compassion and less hate.
Post # 14
I’m Jewish, not Christian, but around here (in Baltimore) where I grew up different churches will fly the rainbow flag to let you know that they are inclusive and welcoming. The Unitarian Universalists come to mind, in particular. At the request of my FI’s mother FI and I did go to a mega-church in Oklahoma with her–it was the kind of place where you have lattes with Jesus in their geeked out coffeehouse–anyway, we were pleasantly surprised to find many a LGBT couple. FI’s Mom was super excited that we had a “good time” and thought she’d sold us on her massive church with in-house rock band, but she somehow missed the part where my belief system doesn’t include Jesus as my Lord and savior.
I converted to Judaism in college and my temple was very welcoming from the start. We’re not having a religious marriage ceremony due to the complexities of arranging travel for the rabbi(s), but we will have a blessing of some kind at some point.
In New Hampshire where we just moved from we found most houses of worship pretty welcoming–although it could have been because we lived in a liberal hippie college town.
Post # 15
@Mrs. Bear Cheese Pie: This makes me so sad – and you know, I think its a cycle.
The most homophobic people I’ve encounered are people who have never had the opportunity to know and live among gay couples on a regular/daily basis – from church or the community, what have you. These are the people that think that gay men are all limp wristed, lispy, and hit on anything with a penis with no regard for monogamy, and that they can tell a woman is a lesbian by her haircut. If they actually lived in a community where gay people would want to live their lives, they’d realize…oh man…they’re actually NOT freaks!? And – you can’t always tell a person is gay by their voice, their hair, or their clothes! GASP!
But because these communities shun gays, they go to college and don’t come back, and the community stays close minded.
One of my favorite profs from school is gay and from a small town in the south. He left the day he graduated high school and never went back, he won’t step foot in that place. I mean, why would you? He lives in a place now where he’s accepted – and can walk hand in hand with his partner of 18 years without dealing with hatred and crap.
Post # 16
I’m gay and Catholic. Being a Catholic lesbian hasn’t been easy. There’s many churches which aren’t supportive. But the last two churches I’ve gone to have been great. My previous priest used to actively preach against homophobia from the pulpit. The priest I have now is less outspoken but equally positive about my relationship. This is vitalto me. It’s all very well effectively operating a don’t ask don’t tell policy, as the church has done, but it feels dishonest. Church ought to be a place where at the very least, we can be honest. I am not prepared any more to pretend that my fiance is just a friend I share a house with. I never deny my faith so I don’t see why some people think that it is ok to deny who I love. I don’t make a point of talking about her but equally, don’t avoid doing so.
The Church’s stance on marriage equally pushed me into going to see the priest and that’s how I found out his views. Will I stay in the Church? I hope so but it continues to be a struggle when they so seem to so completely ignorant of the realities of my relationship. I have a straight friend who feels the same about the Church’s stance on contraception.