Exodus International Proves People Can Change

change

Last night Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International announced that this ex-gay organization would be shutting down. This announcement came less than a day after Mr. Chambers offered an apology to the LGBT community for the way that Exodus specifically, and the Church in general, have treated them. In a candid interview with Jeff Chu, Chambers specifically renounces the idea of gay-to-straight conversion. Naturally, there are a number of people who are skeptical of the apology and wary of the future plans of those involved in the organization. And I think there is reason to hold that. Nearly 40 years of damaging teaching is a lot of history to overlook. When you have been a part of systemic oppression, your words will be scrutinized at a higher level. Exodus has caused a lot of … [Read more...]

The Making of a Hunny Bunny by Cara Meredith

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I'm taking a little break from blogging this week. So I thought it was a perfect time to run this absolutely beautiful post by Cara. I love it when we meet people who love us without question and this is a fantastic example of that. +++++++ It was just me and Mr. Darcy for a long time.  The two of us, girl and dog, figuring out life’s beautiful mess together.  He was alongside me in every significant moment, working or resting or vacationing.  He was my other, my companion. And then, as often happens to dogs, a man entered the picture – and by sacred utterance of the words, “I do,” we became a family of three, all under one roof. It was altogether lovely: but even with husband beside and Mr. Darcy at foot, newness surrounded me, seeming to define every area of my life. … [Read more...]

Promises

About a month ago, Registered Runaway invited me to participate in the Love Letters series. I have written a letter to the LGBT community in the past, but I didn't want to just rehash that, so I took a lot longer to write this post than I ever intended. But I'm happy to say that I did meet my deadline and today my post is up over at RR's site. I wrote it to someone who emailed me here a few months ago. Dear friend, You sent me an email a few months ago. I’m pretty sure I responded, because I usually try to get around to responding to messages that people send me. But I don’t know that I said everything that I needed to say in my email back to you. And even though it was months ago, I want you to know that I think about your letter to me and I think about it often. And I want to take … [Read more...]

Choosing Words Carefully

Rick Warren

Over the past two days, I've seen the above quote from Rick Warren floating around Facebook a good bit. First off, I want to be clear that this was not something that Warren said with regard to the recent Supreme Court hearings (or the Chick-Fil-A thing last summer, when I also saw this quote used). After reading the original comment, seeing it used in that light is grossly out of context. However, it doesn't change the fact that a number of people have used it specifically when referring to the LGBT community. And I do find this troubling. The quote, as used by those who are speaking about the LGBT community, talks about being labeled as fearful or hateful. Probably by hearing words like "bigot" or "homophobic" used in conversations surrounding the issue of equality. I can … [Read more...]

Who’s the Hero: Resources by Gay Christians

equal heart

Yesterday my Facebook feed became a sea of red. People from all walks of life changed their profile pics to reflect the changing public opinion regarding marriage equality. I think it's really cool how many people are standing up for LGBT rights. And I love that more and more straight people who won't personally benefit from the rights of gay people to marry are standing up for equality just because it's the right thing to do. I am proud to be an ally for my LGBT friends and I will continue to be a voice alongside them as long as I'm able. Sometimes though, it can be tempting to look at myself as some kind of hero for being willing to stand up for equality. We see a senator come around to supporting equality because of his gay son and we applaud him for changing his mind. We pat Rob … [Read more...]

Sitting Down to Eat by Brandon Ambrosino

bama church

I'm so thankful for all of the interesting folks I get to meet through blogging, and Brandon is no exception. When soliciting guest posts, I like to ask people to write about unexpected relationships, and he offers a fantastic take on that prompt. Enjoy! ++++++++ “Because you’re dating a Jew!” That was what my mom said after I finished complaining about the lack of Christmas decorations in my house. “Mom…” I started to reply as I rolled my eyes. I wouldn’t have done that in person, but that’s one of the benefits of having conversations like this over the phone. “I know, I can’t say ‘Jew,’” she said. “It’s not that,” I shot back. “It’s just…” and I tried thinking about how I should continue the conversation. “I just want a tree,” I finally said. “A tree.” I thought about it … [Read more...]

Down In My Heart

fear

  Growing up we would sing was "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!" I was the kid who would always shout "Where?" at the end of each line and my classmates would jubilantly respond with "Down in my heart!" We would always sing lots of extra verses. We'd sing joy, but also, "I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart!" And we would sing, "I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart!" Love was an assumed part of the song and of our lives. We knew that Jesus told us to love our neighbors. We were told the story of the Good Samaritan, so we knew that our neighbors were often unlikely suspects. We knew that God is love. Yesterday I stumbled across this video at Hemant Mehta's blog. It seems that every time there's a … [Read more...]

Repost: Dear Child

Hold Your Children

This post originally appeared on May 3, 2012. It was the only way that I could respond to the words said by Sean Harris to his congregation about kids who don’t meet gender norms. My own children fit almost no gender stereotypes, so his words hit especially close to home and it broke my heart to think that my kids could ever hear that at church. But please know that these words are for whoever needs them, not just children. You are loved.   Dear Child, Do you know that you are dear? If you hear nothing else, read that and hold it in your heart. Keep it close, because I know you may have heard that you’re not dear. But with all of my heart today, I want you to know that you are. I’ve listened to the words that your pastor shared with your parents and I just want to hold … [Read more...]

Billy Graham, politics, and promoting the Gospel

good news

Two weeks ago, Reverend Billy Graham met with Governor Mitt Romney to say that he would do all he could to help him. For a minister who has been noticeably absent from politicking since his days endorsing Richard Nixon, this was noteworthy news. Also noteworthy was that following this meeting, the organization’s website removed a page that answered the question “What is a cult?” and which included a section including Mormonism in the list of cults. To address the concerns about this decision, Ken Barun, chief of staff for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said to CNN, “Our primary focus…has always been promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We removed the information from the website because we do not wish to participate in a theological debate about something that has become … [Read more...]

Come Out for Love

Tina and me at a friend's wedding

Today is National Coming Out Day. To celebrate, I'm reposting my essay about a portion of my journey to becoming a gay-affirming Christian. This was a bit of a coming out for me when it originally posted in March of 2011. Sadly, the comments to the original post got lost in the move to WordPress, but I'd love to hear your thoughts. To those who have suffered at the hands of the Church, please know that there are those of us who love you just the way you are. As always, a huge thanks to Tina for sharing her journey with me, and for allowing me to share parts of it with you. I'm a better person thanks to her. ++++++++ I’m Alise, and I affirm gay relationships. This wasn’t something that I came to lightly. Rather, this has been a long journey that I have spent years waffling, … [Read more...]