Gays Will Save the Church: my story in Queer Story Archives

As a science fiction/fantasy writer, I just want to remind folks that we aren’t all alike, and we don’t live in just one bubble. My blog has always been about the experience of being a science fiction/fantasy writer and not just reflecting the genre/writing parts—but about my whole experience of being a Yukoner, of having a faith, of being gay–AND being a science fiction/fantasy writer. So this is part of it.

The Queer Story Archives came up to Whitehorse–Lulu from OnMyPlanet.ca–in July 2013, recording stories of Yukon Queers, and we recorded this right before I was to leave for Dayton, Ohio. I think it’s turning into a positive story so I’m sharing it. Ultimately I’m suggesting that including gay people can save a rapidly diminishing Church population. To do that, I tell my story. Some of you have heard it–either through the Yukon News, or through DNTO. Both sources were good but heavily edited. This is me telling it in less than ten minutes. It feels better in my own words, complete.

We grow from hard times in our lives and this was a good growth for me. Eventually, I’ve come to retain and re-establish many friendships from the first church. I hope my story still helps others. I’m placing this over on Talking Dog too.

Erasing The Fiction: Telling the Good News about the Prop 8 Trial

Occasionally, I stray from talking about science fiction and fantasy because something is important to say, or some event is happening that means a lot.  

The Prop 8 trial is happening in California right now, under the expert guidance of trial lawyers Olsen and Boies, best known for being on opposite sides during the Gore v. Bush Supreme Court moment in 2000.  Now they are together, and they are laying out the case for overturning Proposition 8, the nefarious way conservative folks ended marriage for the GLBT community in California.  

Thousands and thousands of people are watching this trial on liveblogging.  The Supreme Court has denied cameras and videotaping of the proceedings, with a ruling that happened only hours before the actual trial began last week.  Instead, we have had to follow some fantastic transcription of the trial.  

What we are learning is that we have been fed FICTION for a long long time.  And while it has been successful fiction, it’s not very good, and can’t really hold up to textual analysis, or any kind of scrutiny.  When you shine a light on it, it just because hatred, bigotry and discrimination, and very, very unchristian. 

The joy of reading the transcription—and please think of selling this as a book to people (I’d love a book of this trial for a donation to Courage Campaign Institute)–the joy of reading that transcription is the slow erasure of the lies that we’ve been told all our lives: that we will harm children, that we are living in direct violation to God and the scriptures, that we will hurt straight marriages, that we will bring destruction on America if allowed to marry (that last one has a Pat Robertson spin).  

Denying American citizens the right to marry each other is denying them the protections and promises of the Constitution.  First, we live as Americans and that document is our bible–it is what we rule by, live by, act by.  Second, there are countless, wonderful books—by theologians–that map out how the Bible is being used to discriminate, and that God loves everyone–including gay and lesbian people–and wants them, if they so choose, to find someone and love them as Christ loves people.  Christians who believe that gay people are not acceptable to God are treading a path away from God, away from Christ, and, unfortunately, away from the rest of us.  Just as they were some of the last holdouts on repealing slavery, and on granting the rights of women, so they are the last holdouts on accepting gay and lesbian people.  

It is so bad for the Church because many are walking away from God and Christ when they turn their backs on the church.  This goes against all that Christians stand for–they want no one to walk away from them empty-handed.  And yet….  I know they will be really upset when they figure this out.  It makes me sad.  What a horrible representation of God’s love.  

The trial is exposing those lies.  Though we have been blocked from seeing the trial ourselves, the truth is getting out there.  I am so proud of the people who are liveblogging this.  I am so proud to be a gay man right now, to see the truth unveiled, to see everyone slowly realize that we are not the scourge you made us believe we were.  

I encourage everyone to read the transcripts of each of the daily summaries.  You will be amazed.  And then, for folks who are still struggling with religion or faith and sexuality, this uncommonly simple, but thorough book, Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality by Jack Rogers.  

To my fellow GLBT, God is not “theirs”—he is Ours.  They do not own Jesus, or the words of Jesus, and they cannot block you from his love.  There are plenty of churches now who accept us, and know that accepting us is perfectly good in the eyes of God.  You can go through those doors and receive love from everyone.  

Thank you, Olsen, Boies, and the rest of you for erasing the fiction that has been fooling us.  May everyone get the truth.

Pope Says Okay to believe in E.T., But Not In Gay Marriage

Well, the Vatican seems to be open to aliens.  I like that.  It’s heartwarming.  It’s progressive.  Though only speculative reasoning by the Vatican’s chief astronomer, the Pope threw open his arms to his “brother aliens.”    Fr. Jose Gabriel Funes is Chief Astronomer for the Vatican.  

The astronomer began the interview titled, “The Alien is my Brother,” by saying that, “Astronomy has a profound human value. It is a science that opens the heart and the mind. It helps us to put our lives, our hopes, our problems in the right perspective. In this regard, and here I speak as a priest and a Jesuit, it is an apostolic instrument that can bring us closer to God”, said Fr. Funes in the interview. 

And further on the subject of the aliens, the good astronomer had this to say:

Asked is he sees a contradiction between the Catholic faith and believing in aliens, he said, “I think there isn’t (a contradiction). Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures over the earth, so there could be other beings, even intelligent (beings), created by God. This is not in contradiction with our faith, because we cannot establish limits to God’s creative freedom. To say it with St. Francis, if we can consider some earthly creatures as ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’, why could we not speak of a ‘brother alien’? He would also belong to the creation.”

Alas this brings up lots of interesting questions and contradictions in the Vatican’s positional stance on other issues closer to home.  This excellent post from the Guardian sums up the contradiction nicely.

That the Catholic church isn’t freaking out at the possibility of alien existence for one thing gives me hope that they might stop freaking out about other things that really do exist. Contraception, perhaps, or homosexuality. The Vatican might become open to the possibility of married priests, or female ones. And that would be super.

But, yeah, no.

E.T. ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.  But the gay couple, we won’t carry them.

They’re now a threat to Creation itself. (Step back, Climate Change!).  Says the Pope in his address to world diplomats–a plea for the environment and creation:

“Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes,” he said.

“I am thinking, for example, of certain countries in Europe or North and South America,” he said.

Well, this speech, January 5 2010, came just after Mexico City declared gay marriage legal, and as Portugese Parliament was doing the same.  Hmm.  

I love that the Vatican embraces Aliens and what had been only science fiction before, but I hope they turn their attention to more immediate matters: the millions of gays and lesbians who want equality, and would like just a little of that love the church wants to dole out on Extraterrestrials they’ve never seen.  Irony seems a paltry word to describe this kind of injustice.  It’s cruelty inscribed in Jesus’ name.   This would make Jesus weep a second time.  

God is not science fiction, and probably aliens are not science fiction (I’ll give the Pope two points there).  Pope Benedict, gays aren’t monsters, gay marriage no threat to reproduction or creation in the world.  But the Church, unfortunately, is fast scripting themselves as Fantasy–out of touch with their own directives, mandates and missions, even their own Author.  Instead of walking away from the Church, I challenge people to go back in and help fix it.  Update it.  Teach it.  Vote out the bad policies.  Uncover God where He’s been shrouded.  Shake the dust off people’s shoulders who have been sitting there comatose for years.  Tell them there’s more than singing, more than preaching, more than baptizing, more than dinners and potlucks—there is a host of things to do work on, a host of people to reach out to, a host of folks in need.  

This plot is slumping.  Cut to the action again.  Bring in new characters, better dialogue.  

This novel idea, Christianity, has more potential, and could be a bestseller–could even change the world— but it’s gonna take a lot of work.