Gay Nightclubs and Black Churches as Sanctuaries

Washington Post by an Episcopal Priest

Sometimes spaces that are meant to be safe aren’t safe for everyone, regardless of whether there’s a gunman in the room. Shootings are obviously unsafe, but so are sermons that promote “loving the sinner and hating the sin,” a theological euphemism for church-sanctioned homophobia. For a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual person, having to sit through antagonistic tirades or be sent away for “reparative therapy” are violent acts on a spectrum with mass shootings. Denominations that prohibit the full participation of LGBTQIA people in their local congregations are complicit in attacks like the one that occurred early Sunday morning. This episode in the ongoing journey toward the liberation of sexual minorities should serve as a time of self reflection for religious leaders and institutions that use holy texts to exclude and mischaracterize some of their churches’ most vulnerable members.

To feel safe in these sanctuaries — religious or otherwise — we have to show up in them as fully ourselves, unbothered by detractors’ efforts to discredit our humanity. That might mean being the first openly gay choir director at your black Baptist church or you and your queer friends of color being the ones who integrate a white-dominated queer space. Inserting one’s body in these spaces creates visibility in systems that have either erased or ignored us. But if a space continues to compromise your existence — or that of people you love — the best way forward may be withholding your financial and moral support.

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
This entry was posted in Daily Links and Notes. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Gay Nightclubs and Black Churches as Sanctuaries

  1. Pingback: Pulse Orlando Shootings Omar Mateen | Leadingchurch.com

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