Link dump of some cool, interesting, encouraging, and/or insightful things I came across this week.
You love gay people? That’s great. Prove it. by Justin Lee at crumbs from the communion table
I don’t even know what to say about this post. There’s nothing I can add that would improve on Justin’s words.
You know why LGBT people have such a bad impression of Christians? It’s not because of protesters with “God hates fags” signs. We know they’re extremists. It’s because of daily being dehumanized by the Christians who lecture and preach at us, treating us as issues instead of as human beings—and because of the Christians we know who stand idly by, thinking that if they’re not actively hating us, that counts as loving us.
What Do Women Want? Full Inclusion in the Church by Gail Wallace at the Junia Project
I can’t cook (I actually burned dinner last night and I almost blew up a microwave while re-heating pizza once.) I can’t sew. I can’t quilt. I’m just starting to figure out how to crochet. I don’t do “womanly” things (I even wear one pair of shoes every single day…shoe shopping is my hell.) I used to feel like I couldn’t serve the church because I’m dangerous in the kitchen and nobody should trust me with sharp objects. I was under the impression that women do those things. We’re supposed to handle potlucks, make blankets, and wrangle the children. I was pretty useless because I’m no good at any of those things. So, this excerpt from the poem especially hit home for me.
I didn’t go to church today because each time I have volunteered, rather than being invited into a discussion about my gifts I have been asked to fit my non-traditional peg into a gender-specific hole.
Please can I have a God by Christine Valters at Abbey of the Arts
Yes, please can I?!
Please can I have a God
the color of doubt, the shape of uncertainty,
who sees that within me dwells a multitude,
grief and joy, envy and generosity, rage and raucousness,
and anoints every last part.
MC USA, Sexuality and the Church (Part 1) by Michael Danner at provoke+love
I’m not directly involved with the Mennonite church right now. It still makes me sad to know that the people who taught me about reconciliation and loving our enemies is being torn apart over loving our brothers and sisters. Michael’s post presents some important questions and is a good reminder of what this is really about.
What gets lost in all of this is real people. These things are not abstractions and theological issues, they are about life and faith and community and church. There are too many questions we aren’t asking on the ground. What are our fears? What is at stake in this for you and for us? What is at stake in this for others? How is the gospel shaping our engagement with each other? What can I learn from the other? About them? And, the truly scary, about myself? How does all this impact the way I read, understand and apply the Bible?
Slut Shaming Evangelical Style by Kelsey Munger
I sighed my way through reading this post. I know exactly how it feels to be singled out in front of your youth group like this. I know what it’s like to be hounded by overly zealous youth leaders who see S-E-X everywhere they look when what they’re really seeing is normal, innocent kids doing what normal, innocent kids do. I wonder how our generation of Christians would have turned out if the focus had been on Jesus instead of avoiding basic human contact. (I’m sighing again.)
I don’t remember specifically what was said next, but I know that it ended with one of the other girls bragging about how, unlike me, she hadn’t hugged any boys over camp; she’d been a good Christian girl and hadn’t allowed a boy to touch her. Small Group Leader nodded approvingly. The other girls, as I sat right there glowing crimson, promised that they wouldn’t be like Kelsey; they’d behave themselves when it came to boys. They wouldn’t be like me.
…I was shamed for being a little slut — for accepting a concerned sideways hug when I was crying from my new friend.
Some days I feel super irritated that a huge chunk of my money has gone toward paying off medical bills (for tests, physical therapy, and doctor visits and consultations that didn’t “fix” me), despite the fact that (until recently) I always had insurance. I’m having one of those days.