July 16, 2007

"Gay Christians Reclaim the Bible"

I was delighted to find an article with that title in a gay newspaper, "The Edge," published and distributed in Boston, Massachusetts. Here's an excerpt:

The Bible has been used, early and often, to attack civil parity for GLBT people, especially in terms of marriage equality. But other points of view are possible, say gay-friendly congregations.

A Boston Globe article from last November addresses this topic, quoting Rev. Jeff Miner or the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church.

"Most people think that the attitude of gay Christians is, ’Who cares what the Bible says?’ when in reality, we care deeply what the Bible says," says Miner, a pastor with the GLBT-friendly, Indianapolis-based church, who led a forum on the issue last November at the Arlington Street Church.

Continued Miner, "We think there are a lot of powerful, affirming things that are in the Bible that have been ignored."

Miner and co-author John Tyler Connoley wrote the book, or at least a book, on the subject; in 2002, The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-Sex Relationships was published by the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church.

Miner and Connoley look at both Old and New Testaments for source material to bolster their argument that not only are GLBT people God’s children, too, but that in fact they are exactly who and what God intended for them to be.

Their book "The Children Are Free" is an outstanding book, one of the ones I used when I first started attending a gay affirming church and needed to put my arms around God's acceptance of GLBT people. I strongly recommend it to anyone who is interested in serious studying that issue.

But it’s the behavior of heterosexual Christians that concern some people. The Globe article quoted Pam Garramone, executive director of Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, which sponsored the forum at the Arlington Street Church.

Garramone related how she had received a phone call from a distraught mother whose husband had exiled their daughter from the family home for being a lesbian.

Recounted Garramone, "She said, ’My instinct is to love and accept her, but I can’t because my church won’t let me.’"

Continued Garramone, "That’s the kind of parent who needs to hear this message--you don’t have to choose your child over your religion."

There is no choice needed--God loves gay people just as much as he does straights without changing them.

Click here to read some of the examples Miner and Connoley included in their book from The Edge's article.

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