Killing Us Slowly

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, while listening to the slow motion horror unfolding on the Orlando fire rescue scanner, I sent out a tweet saying that I didn’t want conservative tears because they want us dead, this guy just followed through. I don’t want to see conservative tears over what happened in Orlando. You want us dead, this guy just followed through. — Kathryn Brightbill (@kebrightbill) June 12, 2016 I could wrap this piece in flowery language, beat around the bush and put things gently to carefully convey my emotions about what happened at Pulse, but instead I want to take the façade off and focus on that single concentrated expression of pain that came from my heart as my heart was breaking. You’re killing us. Just as surely as the shooter whose name I will not utter, you’re taking our lives. You haven’t loaded up an AR-15 and started mowing people down, you didn’t have to. The hatred in your hearts—and make no mistake. Jesus said that if you hate someone it is as if you murdered them in your heart—that hatred is killing us slowly. To the PCA pastor who told me that he was still going to keep preaching that our lives and our loves are a sin, even knowing that it was a message that drove kids to suicide, because to do otherwise would compromise the gospel, you’re killing us. To the PCA elder and now retired county attorney for a Florida county that shall remain unnamed, when you declared that it would be more merciful if God would just call gay people home because then they couldn’t keep sinning, you’re killing us. Under the logic of that brand of theology, the shooter at Pulse was an agent of God’s mercy, snuffing out lives[…]

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Well, that just made my night. Exodus International is shutting down

I was walking home from work this evening when I checked my Twitter feed and saw that Alan Chambers, the president of Exodus International, the biggest and oldest ex-gay organization, had issued an apology to the LGBTQ community for the way that Exodus had hurt people. The apology came with a promise that an announcement would be made later this evening. Just a few minutes ago, after announcing it at the Exodus conference, Alan Chambers tweeted a link to the official statement. Exodus International is closing up shop. As Alan Chambers has been making overtures over the last year or so, people have been saying that the only way to show that it’s for real is to apologize and shut down Exodus. Today that happened. There is still work to be done and reason to be wary, they’re launching a new thing at reducefear.org (site is under construction) that apparently is going to work with churches to be more welcoming. I have my opinions on bridge building and on the idea that the only non-sinful way to live as an LGBTQ person is celibacy, and if that’s what this Reduce Fear thing is going to be doing, I’m going to take it with a whole shaker of salt, but let’s pause for a moment and reflect.  For thirty-seven years, Exodus International has been selling the lie that it’s possible to change your sexual orientation. For thirty-seven years, they have heaped guilt, shame, and condemnation on LGBTQ people, guilt that they aren’t spiritual enough to change, guilt for the feelings they have, shame for not being straight, condemnation for not changing. They’ve heaped guilt on parents who were led to believe that it’s their fault their children aren’t straight. It’s destroyed lives, it’s destroyed families, and it’s been used as a weapon[…]

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One more thing

A few days ago I wrote a post on what I would like to tell straight Christians. The following is a followup expanding some of the ideas I touched on in that post, particularly more of what is behind my frustration with people trying to force “Washed and Waiting” on anyone in the Church who has found the strength to come out.  — Most of the time I’ll give bad theology a pass. I know it’s not very PCA of me to say that, but in the grand scheme of things relationships are more important than being 100% in agreement on arcane theological points. The regulative principle? Don’t really care one way or another. Methods of baptism? Eh, not worth getting so worked up to chase somebody out of Europe over it (true story, that’s why I’m American, my ancestors got chased out of Europe over baptism). Who can administer sacraments? Meh. What I can’t handle though, is when bad theology hurts people. When the Southern Baptists of my childhood utterly missed the point of the Levitical rule against tattooing oneself for the dead and thought it was about tattoos being bad and not a prohibition on engaging in the pagan religious practices of their neighbors, that was harmless. Stupid, but harmless. When conservative evangelicals read verses that, in context, are clearly a prohibition on engaging in the pagan religious practices of first century Greece and Rome, completely miss the point and think it’s about same-sex attractions and relationships, that is most definitely not harmless. Telling people that they are fundamentally broken is a kind of bad theology that hurts people. And when you have people who grow up in the Church, love God and want to serve Him and then somewhere along the line become aware that they aren’t[…]

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“Stop telling us to read Wesley Hill,” and other things I would like to tell straight Christians

I’m really tired of writing about this stuff, I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but because I don’t want to cut tons of people out of my life I keep seeing things pop up on Facebook that frustrate me. Here then, is my stock response that I think I will just turn into copypasta or linkspam. I’m tired of debating people but I feel like I’m derelict in my duty to let things go unchallenged because I’m not the only one reading those words. So here is my list of things that I wish that straight Christians of the unaccepting variety would get through their heads.

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