Saturday, September 2, 2017

What Do You Hold Onto After Floods Have Swept Everything Away? Questions LGBTQ Christians Are Also Forced to Ask

What do you hold onto after floods caused by a hurricane have swept through your house and destroyed almost everything? I haven't had that happen, and can hardly imagine.

It did happen to close friends of ours with Katrina, and to a cousin of Steve's and her family who live in New Orleans. These folks rebuilt and went on with their lives.

So they didn't allow the horrific events to take away themselves, their sense of self-worth, that life is worth living. The human spirit can be amazingly resilient.

Knowing myself, I fear I'd be inclined just to sit down and give up as Job eventually did, pleading with God to take him.

I think these days — a lot — about how many people feel that so much that made our lives meaningful has been swept away by the floods caused by religious people and religious communities that enact savagery, hatefulness, destruction in the world around us.

And now feel we have nothing left to cling to in the area of faith, religion, belief in God — because there seems to be nothing left there, after the floods have invaded our lives . . . .

In saying all of this, I by no means want to use or capitalize on the sufferings of people that are unimaginably terrible, those who lost so much in Katrina and now in Harvey. I'm just sharing from my heart some of the thoughts that arise as I think about the interconnection of the stories of Joel Osteen, the Nashville Statement, and Harvey.

There's so much in American Christianity that is deeply savage, hateful, and destructive — to repeat adjectives I have already used. And the people who know this, the ones who experience it, are the ones targeted, excluded, demeaned, dismissed, judged, and actively hated by many churches and their members. They're not the people going to church Sunday after Sunday and singing and praying.

They're the people on whose lives and humanity the doors have been slammed.

The graphic: an illustration of the biblical great flood from Thomas Pennant's eight-volume chronicles of his tours of Wales in 1773-1776. The original is in the National Library of Wales. A copy has been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for sharing online.

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