The Power of One

What does it mean to be Christian and queer in today’s society? Popular notion says that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans people cannot be Christian or conservative in thought. Oddly enough people from both sides support the argument (LGBTQs on one side, fundamentalists on the other) that the relationship between a queer religious anything is like (pardon the cliché) mixing oil and water.

I guffaw because it is not just the fundamentalist saying, “no you’re not allowed in,” but LGBTQs saying, “I don’t want to be part of your hyper-exclusive group.” Regardless of the advances made by affirming churches and even the rise of queer clergy everywhere, the line has been drawn, the guns cocked, and the air tense as we wait for battle.

And the battle ground? As it turns out it all seems balanced on the supreme courts final decision on Prop 8 and marriage equality. At least we’re hoping the shrapnel doesn’t rain very hard after that bomb hits. Through all the ups and downs of the queer rights movement we have landed on what some would say has been the crux of the disagreement all along, which is that homosexuality is a moral issue. It goes without saying that everyone is getting their ammunition from the Bible by sharpening the red letters of those “clobber texts. These are the Bible verses and stories that seem to condemn all that is queer and gay and homo, and well different than what has otherwise been perceived as normal sexual behavior.

My question today has to do with everyone else not quite armed with Uzi’s of rhetoric or PhD level terminology of what gender and orientation are. What about those underage fellows who should never be asked to join a war? What about the innocent teens sitting behind their desks in health class, reading through textbooks that don’t quite tell them what to do with their “unethical” questions about puberty? Or the young adults hunched over in their pews as the pastor—with Bible held face open in his palm—confirms that it is God’s word, not his, that condemns homosexuals to hell. In a war there are always casualties and right now the only ones who seem to be taking all the hits are the ones too defenseless to wield their own weapons of mass Bible logic.

I asked the same question in an article Ex-Gay No Way Affects Religion Today which was published in a Christian activist magazine months ago. The silence from that desperate plea for fundamentalist groups to reach out to their youth was deafening. Since the end of the James Dobson Ex-Gay dynasty its as though nobody, Christian or non, has stepped up to the plate. If being gay is a sin yet praying it away doesn’t work, what’s a queer to do? Teens suicides are notably on the rise. When do we start pointing fingers?

Maybe the solution is that we stop hoping for a Moses figure to guide us out of this wasteland. It’s time we taught the civilians how to understand the weapons being used against them. The rules to any revolution state that freedom reigns when the ignorant are educated. Is it possible to reintroduce the Bible to eager young minds in such a way that they are able to judge for themselves what it says about homosexuality? I believe we can do that. I believe normalizing homosexuality for the fundamentalist believer is as easy as the power of one: educate one who will educate another who will educate another. We can do this. Your ID Kit can do this.

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