Who will enter the Kingdom of God? Will the Judges?
By a Pious Queer Moor
I heard recently of an interesting fact, told to me by an e-mail correspondent.
The other evening with a group of gay and non-gay priests, we were talking about ourselves, church and inner freedom.
One of the group pointed out to me that the Polish word for freedom means literally “NOT TO BELONG”.
Isn’t that interesting?! I am thinking about that Polish meaning. . . .
I have often been asked where and if there are charismatic (or Eastern Orthodox, or Pentacostalist, etc.) Christian groups open to queer folks that would accept their discipleship without trying to judge and convert (that is, make heterosexuals out of) them?
I suppose there are. And I would not care to associate myself with them in any fashion, even if my theology were their’s, which it surely is not.
However over the last 30 some odd years I have seen that charismatic groups in particular and orthodox Christian groups generally — protestant and catholic — tend to be theologically conservative, and less open to biblical advancement and scholarship. I should perhaps qualify: those whose leadership has limited theological and scriptural backgrounds may be more fundamentalist in tone. But this is by no means a rule of universal application.
As a general point, don’t you find religious groups having the same opinions as their sponsoring church? Most of our churches are not affirming and accepting homes. One cannot forget what the late Rev. Dr. Robert Williams pointed out in his wonderful book “Just As I Am.” Ordained to the priesthood of one of the most liberal if not radical Dioceses in the country, Father Williams came to the sad conclusion that even those denominations mouthing the usual platitudes about being “welcoming,” “affirming,” or “celebrating diversity” don’t really mean it. They do not want their rector to be a queer priest; what they want is a “cardboard cut-out” of a queer priest, one without an emotional, social or sexual life. A eunuch wrapped inside lovely vestments.
Given the conduct of putatively “liberal” churches, it should come as no surprise that groups like Courage and Exodus and the rest of the reparative “therapy” groups who reach out to queer folks accept and affirm queers only if they are willing to change and be changed by them into their image of how they imagine God wants humankind to be. They may call gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgendered folk “sisters and brothers” but in their eyes queers are less than good; second class baggage, damaged stuff!
Which leads me to a question: Why does one need their acceptance?
If only within oneself, one can say “Hey, I am QUEER, and I am here and I plan on staying. So get used to it.” And then get on with one’s life, has not one won a moral victory?
We all know it needs to happen, but we use up a lot of irreplaceable vital energy trying to change them!
One of the glories of our Moorish Orthodox tradition is its respect for individuality, tied to its appreciation of Divine splendour in each and every created manifestation. It is one of the few victories of our queer old race that Moorish Orthodoxy was – from its concoction – a queer effort!
What a dull – and very sad – world we would live in if the work of enlightenment were left up to the others!