I am pretty sure God doesn’t hate fags, but the church pretty much does. Or at least a pretty big part of the church…
I hear it in the things people say. I also hear it in the things they don’t say. In their silence. And I have been surrounded by a lot of silence lately.
It is not a word that gets used very much in the circles I run in – or used to run in. But the thought is there.
You hear it in people’s questions.
For the past 5 years as a lead pastor, the #1 “litmus test” question I would get asked by people checking out the church was what our position on gays was.
Not what we thought about grace or love or justice. Not what we were doing to fight poverty or care for the sick or spread God’s love through missions… No.
The #1 question… the litmus test of whether you were a real Christian… a legit church… was what do you think about gays.
And it was always clear what the answer was supposed to be.
And I always gave the “right” answer.I even believed the “right” answer.
But along the way, subconsciously, I picked up what it was that people felt about gay people.
I wish that weren’t the case. Some people will say I am being too harsh or unfair.
And, in fairness, it isn’t everyone. But it is enough of them.
Some of the nicest and well-meaning people I know… but the things they would say and think. And if they only knew what that felt like on the other side… to hear it about you… to know what they think… or would think…
You hear it when parents talk about the fear they have that their child might be gay.
You hear it in hushed tones and jokes.
You hear it in how people talk about gay people they know.
You hear it and see it and sense it — and then you also internalize it.
And when you are IT, that is a hard place to live.
It is not a healthy place. It is not a tenable place.
But it is not God’s place. And I need to remember that. Cling to it. Fight for it. Believe it.