That did not just happen!

September 12, 2013

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So.  I have kept myself busy for the past 7.5 hours so I wouldn’t find myself sitting here writing this little rant.  Well, maybe it isn’t a rant but still, I feel compelled to write.  For my own sanity, I have to write this.

It has been a long time since I have been called an abomination.  A long, long time.  I mean, skipping the whole Westboro Baptist Church dance we had back on July 1st whose visit was to protest marriage equality taking affect in Delaware.  They say things, sing things, write things for the shear joy of pissing people off and driving people to their website and hoping that someone would take a swing at ’em in order to pad their lawsuit bankrolled church.

I took some time this afternoon to try and remember the last time I was called an abomination and the conclusion I came to was during a very dark and stormy first semester at college.  But that my friends, is a whole other blog entry that I might write some day.

But today- in a direct or indirect or both way, I was called an abomination… those people are an abomination to God.  You know who “those people are”?  Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, Gender Queer, Transexuals and all the other beautiful colors of the human sexuality rainbow.  Yep.  Those people.

And here’s the deal.  The diatribe went on for about 10 minutes- or at least it felt that long.  During that time, I looked at the person speaking thinking to myself, “Really?  Really?  You’re going to take this time in this meeting and go off on this tangent which has absolutely nothing to do with the work we are trying to do here in this city?  Awesome.”  And then my thoughts moved to, “Screw this.  I don’t have to take this.  I can politely excuse myself and find some other way of spending this 1.5 hours each month.”  And then I started thinking of all the things I should say once he wraps up this long spew of…of… Oh. Yeah.  This is part of his belief.  This is how he reads his scriptures.  This is how he interprets God and the Word spoken by God.  There is nothing I can say, in this meeting, at this time that is going to change his life long journey towards this understanding.  So I sat there all the while praying to God to gift me with clarity, patience and love.  I have some work to do.  I am called to love him- where he is, how he thinks, what he believes; I am called to love him.  BUT there is a big difference between loving someone and agreeing with them.  As part of that love, I will remain at the table with him.  I will remain faithful in the work we are called to do as this group and I will continue to ask God to use me- in whatever way that is, to be the hands and feet of Jesus here in this city and in this world.

I must admit that for the first four minutes of this part of our meeting my fight or flight kicked in pretty hard.  I wanted to bang my fists on the table and ask him what in the hell was he saying.  And then I wanted to start picking out Bible verses to throw at him in counter argument, and then I wanted to speak to all the hate in this world that already exists and that part of our mission here is to help undo some of that hate and create a world that is more responsible for our brothers and sisters and loving our neighbor as ourselves.  But try as I might, I could not will my body to leave.

If I ran from this kind of thinking every time it has come up in my life, then I really have no idea where I would be right now but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be in Wilmington, working as a priest, trying with all I have to offer to make a difference in this world. And if that were to have happen, then they would have won.  They would have won and I would just be angry.  Make no bones about it- I am angry, shocked and kind of at a loss as to how to work with this man in our future endeavors- but I am still committed to the greater call which is using all of who God created me to be – the gay parts, the nerdy parts, the cynical parts, the broken parts, the badass parts and all the other parts that make up who I am- to be a witness to the grace, mercy and love of our God in this very sick and broken world.  Leaving the table robs me of that part of my journey.  Lord knows I love journeys.

On an up note, after this gentleman ended his sermon, two others around the table pushed back on what he said specifically about “those people.”  He’s not swayed- probably will never be while here in this life.  But I know I have at least 2 traveling companions around this particular table for the journey ahead.  For that I am very very thankful.

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2 Responses to “That did not just happen!”

  1. J Dot said

    What I want to tell you is no, you don’t have to put up with that crap. You already know that you are not an abomination and you don’t have to listen to someone try to tell you otherwise. But I’m probably naive and/or living in the Asheville bubble if I think that you don’t, often, run in to bigoted thinking. I also am naive if I think that who I am doesn’t carry a set of privileges that I have not earned nor do I deserve any more than you do. Thanks for sharing the whole story, and for giving me an illustration of how that privilege can be put to use.

  2. susan pierpoint said

    I admire you. It’s hard to stay at the table with those who have forgotten that we belong to each other. It was hard, but you didn’t forget.

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