Big day today for the LGBTI community…and others

I came across an interesting blog today. From the 2000+ comments and 10,000+ shares on Facebook it seems that I am the only person in the world not to have seen it. The blog piece is called An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation and it is written by Dannika Nash, a college student, raised in South Dakota. I have seen South Dakota to as a ‘junior member of the bible belt.”

On that piece there is a link to a spoken word/music video that has caught my attention. Please watch it before you read on.

Now you need to watch it, at least some of it…I know you haven’t so let me quote you a couple of versus from it.

When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it

And later in the song…

When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start

I firmly believe to show love to someone, to help them get their freedom and equality we must wish for them the same rights as we have for ourselves. Anything else we are treating them like second class citizens.

Now I don’t want, don’t need and don’t encourage a fight here, or on my Facebook or Twitter, but I can already see what will come from this. All I will encourage you to do is mull over the words in the song, and then in the blog that led me to this post which references the Church, some of the reasons this fight is going on and potentially what will come from it.

My point in writing this isn’t to protect gay people. Things are changing—the world is becoming a safer place for my gay friends. They’re going to get equal rights. I’m writing this because I’m worried about the safety of the Church. The Church keeps scratching its head, wondering why 70% of 23-30 year-olds who were brought up in church leave. I’m going to offer a pretty candid answer, and it’s going to make some people upset, but I care about the Church too much to be quiet. We’re scared of change. We always have been. When scientists proposed that the Earth could be moving through space, church bishops condemned the teaching, citing Psalm 104:5 to say that God “set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” But the scientific theory continued, and the Church still exists. I’m saying this: we cannot keep pitting the church against humanity, or progress. DON’T hear me saying that we can’t fight culture on anything. Lots of things in culture are absolutely contradictory to love and equality, and we should be battling those things. The way culture treats women, or pornography? Get AT that, church. I’ll be right there with you. But my generation, the generation that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away, will not stick around to see the church fight gay marriage against our better judgment. It’s my generation who is overwhelmingly supporting marriage equality, and Church, as a young person and as a theologian, it is not in your best interest to give them that ultimatum.

Amen sister…’Holy bullshit’…I likes that saying a lot. I feel a t-shirt coming on.

And if nothing else church, please oh please read Dannika’s final thought. From someone as young as she is, wiser words have never been spoken.

Oh, and can we please please PLEASE stop changing our Facebook profile pictures to crosses in a protest against gay marriage? You are taking a symbol of hope and redemption and using it to make a political point. No matter what you think, that has to stop. It’s a misrepresentation of what that symbol means.

If this post annoys you, if you feel like now ‘correcting’ many things in the post…just take a breath, unfollow me and live your life.

Peace

6 thoughts on “Big day today for the LGBTI community…and others

  1. Lucia Maria April 17, 2013 / 13:13

    If this post annoys you, if you feel like now ‘correcting’ many things in the post…just take a breath, unfollow me and live your life.

    LOL.

    I need to keep up with the arguments of the other side in order to be more effective in what I do.

    So, won’t be unfollowing you. Sorry.

    • Pat Brittenden April 18, 2013 / 12:21

      I am saddened by you response Lucia. WIthin the Church it is so sad to see that you think there is ‘sides’ it seems you are saying (and if you’re not I have had others say this) that those who disagree with your position to be the enemy. I don’t consider you the enemy, nor do I condemn you for your position on this which I disagree with. I am sure there are other areas where we agree, but the wall that you have put up by labelling me as the other side does nothing for the progression of this or other conversations.

      The whole reason we made elephantTV (www.elephant.tv) is so we could get together believers who disagree, talk about it, and figure out how to move forward together despite our differences.

      I see you are involved in Catholic movements so I would consider us family in the faith, you seem to think that I am a brother you would like to disown 😦

  2. Matthew Webster April 19, 2013 / 10:38

    Dear Pat, your blog entry reminded me of the 2nd Epistle of John v9-11. You see, I have compassion for the lost, those who are without Christ. Because they need to know his sacrifice for them. And yes it has to be done gently, listening to their stories of pain and grief. Why? Because lost people sin, and until the Holy Spirit comes and convicts (not condemns) them, they will not repent and receive forgiveness. Only God can do that. Currently, I am having that conversation with someone displaying exactly this.

    To your credit you allow comments on your blog.

    With people who follow Jesus Christ, yet fall into false doctrine (you may consider answering the questions put by Brendan Malone), I am solidly with John, and Jesus for that matter. It’s because you remind me of the Pharisees, the people who claimed they knew God yet follow the teachings of the Kingdom of this World.

    To the lost they need the compassion and witness of Jesus; to those who claim to know God yet not follow his truth, truly, “he who greets him shares in his evil deeds”. The homosexual Act will always be sinful – and God will communicate this to homosexuals by his Holy Spirit. Read Hebrews 10:26 – 39, this is not what I would show to a lost person, but those who say they are followers of Jesus Christ.

  3. Idoya April 20, 2013 / 00:23

    Wow…just wow!

  4. Jo April 21, 2013 / 16:23

    Hi Pat
    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s not an easy thing to come out (excuse the pun) about something that creates so much discord. I loved this song so much that I posted it to the Facebook of where i work (secular environment). I was proud to do so. But when it comes to ‘coming out’ in support of mariage equality I find it VERY difficult to do so within my church community. I have the distinct feeling that I would be shunned from MANY things if I gave my opinion on this ONE thing. I would suddenly be seen as the enemy also, perhaps labelled ‘non-christian’. That would seem a great loss to both ‘sides’ if you ask me. Up to now I have remained silent on the matter whilst those against marriage equality have become very verbal. It is sad that this topic has the potential to cause such great rifts that I feel intimidated to remain quiet. Like the song says ‘the certificate isn’t going to solve it all, but it’s a damn good place to start’. Now, someone who is of the same-sex orientation is entitled to everything that I am – and so they should be, they are human, and it is their human right too. I would wish them all the best in their marriage as I would a heterosexual couple. They will face the same challenges – to be loving, kind, loyal, respectful, forgiving, understanding, supportive etc – these are the hard parts of marriage and something christians struggle with as much as anyone else. Christians don’t own marriage, it has been part of all religions and cultures. Perhaps, if we as christians did a better job at marriage we could lay some claim to it, but until we do, i suggest we get on with trying and let others do likewise.

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