He’s sick and I’m tired

'Lean on Me' photo (c) 2007, Dr. Wendy Longo - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

So I opened up Facebook yesterday and saw this. (LGBT friends, you may want to take a pass on this one. It’s pretty awful.)

I don’t even know what to do any more.

Do I respond? Do I ignore it?

If I respond, am I just adding to the noise? Am I just using a fringe-y statement to drive blog stats?

If I let it pass without comment, am I giving tacit agreement to this attitude? Am I another Christian who is choosing comfort over justice?

Of course, there are the selfish reasons why I want to be done with this.

I have some readers who flat-out disagree with me on this issue and I genuinely don’t like alienating people. There are people, even in my own family, who have questioned whether I’m even a Christian because of the stance I’ve taken, and every post just solidifies that a little bit more. There are the nagging thoughts that I don’t want this to turn into some “gay blog.”

The whole thing just makes me tired.

But I watch these kinds of videos or read these kinds of comments and my heart just breaks. Day after day real, live, breathing, human people are being treated like they are some kind of disease to be eradicated. Day after day I have to wonder if my kids are going to see the Church treat people with dignity or disrespect. Day after day I wonder what kind of emails I’m going to get from people who are being hurt by those who talk about love but think they get a pass because the person they’re dealing with is gay.

As tired as I am, I think about how exhausted my LGBT friends must be. How bone weary they must get when they have to live as second class citizens, both in their country, and for many, even in their faith. How tired they must be wondering if they come out, will they be met with open arms or clenched fists. How beat they must feel knowing that every decision they make is being scrutinized and judged by people who don’t know them or their families.

So if you’re tired, you can come sit with me, and we’ll lean on each other for a bit.

  • Kirsten

    I’m right there with you. I also saw this yesterday and I don’t know how to repond to it or even if I should respond to it. Those who know me know that I am disheartened by these attitudes. Love is love … period. To live in God’s grace is to follow the commandment to love one another. This “pastor” is not  living God’s commandments & IMO, he is not faithfully living as God’s servant & thus, not a real pastor. KWIM?  

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      The whole “real pastor” thing is one that I struggle with, because I know that some feel the same way about me for being fully affirming. Nevertheless, I feel like if someone said that progressive female bloggers should be rounded up & starved, I’d like to see my friends say that’s not okay, even if I know that they feel that way.

  • Mary B.

    I was going to post about how tired the LGBT community is from the everyday onslaught of hate speak, but you did it quite nicely because you ‘get it’.  I haven’t watched the video of the man who thinks it’s ok to take a group of people and electrocute/starve them for who they are. (It sounds very WW2 Germany/Hitler to me and it scares me to know end.) And while I don’t identify as Christian anymore, I feel I am very spiritual and caring.  And I know that people like this so-called minister are hateful & wrong. Beyond Bible wrong.

    Thank you for standing & sometimes sitting & resting with us. Know that there are those of us who greatly appreciate our allies who will speak out for us and advocate for us, even at a risk of their relationships.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thanks Mary. It means a lot to me when you stop by. I don’t know how you put up with it, but know that the really vile stuff will probably always get some kind of comment from me. Hugs!

      • Mary B.

         And it means a LOT to me that you stand up for my community. And I know that you speak up for us in your everyday life also, and that is by far so important; you get engaged and discuss these issues of people hating on the lgbt community. Hugs to you too!

  • Joey

    I have a huge problem with the hate in this message.  What happened to loving your neighbor?  What happened to helping your neighbor.  What happened to respecting each other?  It makes me tired too Alise.  It’s like we’re in the 1950s and talking about black people not being allowed to use the same bathroom or water fountain or whatever.  For a “man of God” to use these words and to spread these hateful ideas.  There are probably children in his congregation! Can you imagine?  The place that’s supposed to be peaceful.  The place that’s supposed to be a haven from bullying.  The children in this church are dealing with more of it.  
    Am I ranting again?  Sorry

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      It horrifies me to think that kids would hear this message. I know that they probably hear it at home anyway, but wow. So sad. 

  • http://femonite.wordpress.com/ Hannah

    This video does not represent any type of Christianity that I ever want to be associated with. I don’t know how, as a pastor, you can so totally miss the fact that Jesus’ first (and second) commandments were all about love.This debate can definitely get tiring, but you are right that for some people, by virtue of simply who they are and who they love, they don’t have an opportunity to step out of this debate. I think that part of what it must mean to be a good ally is being willing to remain in this conversation even when it is tiring and even soul-crushing at times. I applaud you for keeping the conversation going.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thanks Hannah. I understand that it’s not everyone’s battle, and I’m okay with that. I don’t write about things like children being sold into sex slavery or other human rights violations. So I’m not trying to judge those who don’t engage in this conversation. But no matter how tired I get, I don’t feel like this is one I can bow out of.

  • Debra_barry

    As the mom of a gay son, Thank you!

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Thank you for stopping by! 

  • Ellen Dollar

    I too am so conflicted about responding to these kinds of things. I so badly want for everyone to IGNORE them. I also don’t want to be complicit in such hatred by being silent. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to keep saying what you’re saying despite being tired of it all. 

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Oh, I definitely want to ignore them because I don’t want to be an echo chamber for hate. But I know that I would want to read my friends’ support of me if that kind of hate speech was directed at me, even if I knew they supported me. So on we go. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.JanetOberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    I’m tired of the conversation and I’ve hardly even engaged in it online. And I’m sorry to say that I vacillate between wanting to and not wanting to because of how polarizing it can be. Kudos to you for being willing to speak out!
    In the spirit of Rodney King’s famous words, “Why can’t we all just get along?” I ask… why can’t we all focus on loving others and allow the same opportunities/rights/etc to others as we have? 

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      It’s definitely not one of the easiest conversations to have online, but I’m thankful for folks like Tina who have helped me to engage in what I hope is a more constructive way.

      And indeed. I love the Harvey Milk quote I posted yesterday. 
      “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.” 

  • http://reconcilingviewpoints.com/?page_id=243 Dan McM

    Sigh….

    I’m tired of it too, Alise. You know I don’t agree with you 100% on everything, but nothing justifies the kind of idiocy this guy is promoting.

    Jesus calls us to love our neighbors — all of our neighbors — all the time. Now, I might think that some folks ought to stick a little more to “phileo” and “agape” and a little less to “eros” in terms of the type of love they’re sharing, but ‘loving your neighbor’ should never cross over to ‘hate your neighbor’.

    Mary B – I’m with you that his comments conjured up images of concentration camps and Nazis. Scary, indeed. And what’s most frightening is that he doesn’t see that parallel himself. I’m not as far along the ‘affirming scale’ as Alise, but I’d much rather come alongside you, lean on each other and confirm that God loves you in spite of any imperfections (as he loves me in spite of mine) than identify with someone who spews that kind of vitriole. I’d rather err on the side of love than the side of hate anyday.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      We definitely don’t have to agree on everything to agree that we should treat people with dignity. 

      And I’m with you – I’d much prefer to err on the side of love. Though I admit, with folks like this and a few other pastors, it’s kind of difficult at times. 

      • http://heretichusband.blogspot.com/ Heretic Husband

        Amazingly enough, this “pastor” probably doesn’t view what he says as hatred.  I’m sure he doesn’t understand what all the kafuffle is about, and thinks he’s being persecuted for Christ.  Gag.

  • http://iamjakz.com/ Jaklyn Larsen

    That ”sermon” was infuriating, and saddening, sickening and I agree, tiring. That anyone, for any reason, could think that people should be treated with less dignity is a disgrace to humanity. And to have people say these things from a pulpit, a pulpit that should be speaking God’s love… I don’t get it. I will never be able to comprehend how people can be so indecent.

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Same here. I just don’t get that level of hatred. It’s astounding to me.

  • Judy

    No matter what you feel the Bible says about homosexuality this pastor’s stance is wrong and unBiblical. Resisting the urge to list verses…

    • http://www.alise-write.com Alise Wright

      Ha! Yes indeed. I don’t think the verse wars work no matter what side you’re on. ;-D

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  • Jermaine Lane

    It seems like at least once or twice a year, some “pastor” comes along and says or does something so heinous/ridiculous, it makes my soul vomit all over my heart.  I’ve had more offline conversations than online about the topic, and people are hurting.  We haven’t chatted in a bit, but I’ll join you in a hot chocolate in a heap of rhetoric exhaustion.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQC3AEWCXDS5PMW3EXUZNCJGVM Sierra

    I’m tired too. And sick. And I totally track with how you are feeling about it. Part of me wants to turn away, part of me needs to address it. I am truly horrified. 

    Unfortunately in our age of YouTube, stuff like this spreads like wildfire. These attitudes have always existed, but now they gain traction on the internet. It’s good in some ways, because pressure can be brought to bear upon them. It’s bad in other ways because it makes it so much harder for us to be credible in terms of the message of love that Jesus brought. The only recourse I have is to live my life differently, and love those who come my way. Gay or straight. 

  • JenniClayville

    It’s apparent this pastor is reacting out of fear of what he doesn’t know. He’s afraid of what isn’t like him. I bet he’s afraid of a lot more than just this.

    I’m not mad. I’m not even tired. I’m just SO sad that we don’t allow ourselves to feel humanity. I’m sad we allow these cowards to represent Christianity. This sad man does NOT speak on behalf of me and my faith. NOPE.

    My guess is if this pastor did ANY real work for the Kingdom (like actually go into Judea, Samaria and the ends of the Earth), he would be preaching a different sermon.