August 31, 2007

Another Straight Ally Shares Her Thoughts

I ran across a post that Kathy Baldock made on where she copied a column she had written for a publication called "Reno Out" in Nevada. I asked her permission to reprint it here and she was kind enough to say yes. Kathy has actually written two columns for Reno Out, and I am posting the first one here. I'll post the other one soon, and hopefully I'll be able to share them with you on a regular basis going forward. Enjoy.

I’ve realized lately that five simple words open the door to conversation with people who might otherwise be content to do the pleasantries and move on. “I am a social activist”, I say. Is it global warming, immigration, the homeless, or the handicapped? What is it that drive my passions? Certainly each of these topics warrant my concerns. My trigger, however, is the gay community. From a time I cannot pinpoint, I have cared that bigotry does exist towards my gay friends. Years ago, a Native American lesbian with whom I have a very close relationship said, “I am considered the lowest of the low in society.” I felt her pain, I feel her pain. In November , I sat in a friend’s dining room watching the election results as FOX News posted the gay marriage results state by state. He spewed out, “that’s what’s wrong with America, the gays are ruining the American family”. Let’s ignore his own adultery that ruined his American family. Rather, let’s leer at Raf and Tim’s 17 year relationship. They knew on their first date that they wanted to spend their lives together. They “got married” one year later and moved in together. Let’s also look at two lesbian friends of mine who have been together for 14 years sharing love, faithfulness and respect behind closed doors, because being gay invalidates their belief system to many fellow Christians. This straight girl longs for much of what I see that these two couples share.

What is wrong with America and the rest of the world? If I got to elect one dream candidate next November, I would elect President Jesus. His platform is mercy, compassion, human dignity, justice and hospitality. But, He is not running; He expects His followers to do the work for Him . In the arena of social justice for the LGBTQ community, an accurate picture of His heart and agenda have not been reflected.

I am sorry that this distortion has hurt people. In January, I went to the Gay Christian Conference, sponsored by, for four days. I was the first straight Christian to join them in their three years of meeting. Was I going to see for myself “ what is wrong with America?” Surely not in the way in which the rhetorical question was posed to me in November. I did not know my purpose, I just knew I needed to go listen , meet with and learn from my gay brothers and sisters. One night late, during the please-hear-my -pain-and-journey open mike, the Jesus I say I follow took over. I publicly apologized for the rejection of gay children by their parents, for rejection of the gay community by the straight community and rejection of the gay church by the straight church. I did not just say I was sorry, I was blessed with the associated pain God feels over each of these issues; this made the sorrow very real to me.

Healing began that night for hundreds of people; healing that I want to be involved in, as a Jesus person. I see hatred swirling downwardly, hatred between two groups I care about: the Christian community and the gay community. Neither may be honest enough to say the word “hate”, but I am going to adhere to the Jesus definition which basically says, if it ain’t total love, then it is hate. I may be one person now, but I flow and move in many circles in our community and beyond. I choose to be as stalwart as Tank Man, who in June of 1989 stood in Tiananmen Square, in front of 17 People’s Republic army tanks. He is my personal hero, standing there in his work clothes with his grocery bag and in his silence; he said before the watching world “stop this destruction, stop this craziness.”

I have raised two wonderful children and a new book has begun for my life. I do not like bigotry. That is one thing wrong with America, with humanity……I want to stand in my personal Tiananmen Square each day. I may only be a small plot of land now, but I know the passion and truth God has put in me will extend beyond what I can see. I make effort to speak to the two side of the chasm. To my gay friends, I say “can we re-look at the Jesus I know, not the misrepresented one, the hateful one?” Come talk to me, or go see my friend Denise Cordova at Light of the Soul Christian Ministries. They meet every Sunday at 7 pm at the First Congregational Church on Sunnyside. She is a married, lesbian, Christian pastor. That may wrinkle a few noses. Good.

Wherever you sit in the discussion, if you meet me and I say ‘I am a social activist”, be ready to engage in a conversation of mercy, compassion, human dignity, compassion and hospitality ala my Leader. You may not share my tenets, that’s okay. But, let’s talk, and begin to move towards dispelling the hatred, the fear, the misunderstandings. I want my Christian lesbian friends to have the freedoms I have in the church and in public. I want the two groups that I care about to experience the Jesus I know . I will stand daily in my work clothes with my grocery bags in front of the tanks of bigotry and say “stop this destruction, stop this craziness.”

1 comment:

  1. sounds like the Jesus I'm familiar with... :)