I am queer. I also happen to be a Christian. I study the Bible and pray daily. I attend church any Sunday I am not working. I go to church functions and send my daughter to Sunday school and vacation bible school. I have always considered my faith to be a big part of who I am as a person and have always felt it influences my activism.
I have never really associated myself with a certain church. I was baptized Lutheran, but was never confirmed. I usually just attend the closest church within walking distance, which as of the last couple of years is a Disciples of Christ church. Prior to that I attended a Nazarene church; before that a Methodist church. There are two reasons for this. First of all, because of my Jewish ancestry I really don’t want to associate myself with any denomination. It just seems disrespectful. The other reason is that I don’t drive so things need to be within walking distance for convenience reasons.
I have never hidden my sexuality from my fellow worshipers, but at the same time I have never announced it. I find who you love to be irrelevant when you are loving the Lord. It is sad some of my fellow Christians have chosen to use their faith for hate. These are the same people who use the Bible to justify everything from slavery to racism to domestic violence. We are apparently not reading the same Bible, because nowhere in mine does it say that it is OK to hate and discriminate against people. Indeed, Jesus taught us to love each other.
There are those who claim; “Oh, the Bible says this about gay people; the Bible says that about gay people”. The Bible is a book of faith, not fact. It has been rewritten and re translated several times. Some of the things in it-particularly from the Old Testament-have no bearing in today’s society. It seems people want to take the worst of it and use that, instead of taking the best and learning from it. The God I know would not want people to use the book in the way they are now.
I think it is important to study the Bible as a way to learn Christian history and to give yourself perspective. I think it is important to pray if anything else as a way to relieve stress. No one should try to live exactly by the Bible as it defies basic common sense to do so. I believe prayers works, but you need to get up and actually do things to make what you are praying for happen. You know what doesn’t work? Using religion to cause other people sadness. Using it for hate. If that is you, you need church more than you think I do.