This past week at Wednesday night LOGOS at my church-First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Cedar Falls, IA-the adults were asked during our meeting to visualize where we saw the church and how to help it grow in the 4 years, 10 years, etc. Several good ideas were brought up, including encouraging activism and community involvement, and working on being a healthy church by encouraging people to eat better and exercise.
We also discussed how to bring more people into the church. Someone brought up the fact that even though marriage equality is the law in Iowa, it is still Iowa. I guess what they were trying to say is that there are still some people here who are not ok with same-sex relationships, although that has not been my experience and in fact people here in Iowa are shocked when I tell them about all the homophobia I faced down South. People at my church know I am queer. Not because I said it out loud, but because my Facebook page makes it obvious. Also, Disciples of Christ was one of the first churches to say they would perform same-sex ceremonies. So, I am surprised that no one brought up being more opening to the LGBT community as a way to bring more people into the church.
As a queer woman, and as a Christian, I know how the LGBT community view the Christian church. Where we should see love, many of us see hate. I sometimes wonder what those who preach against marriage equality and LGBT rights can be thinking. It can’t be love, because Jesus did not preach such hate. Is it any wonder that more and more members of the LGBT community are turning their backs on the church? Would you want to go to a place where you are being told that your very nature, something you were born with and can no more control than you can control the color of your skin, is wrong? Or worse, that God doesn’t love you? The only way for the church and Christianity to survive is to turn its back on homophobia. Some people are gay and Christian. One should not have to sacrifice one for the other.