I’m Done Arguing Theology
Recently, I was thinking about what exactly it is that I’m trying to do through my work as a queer writer and advocate in religious spaces.
Some queer advocates and activists feel compelled to change the minds of Evangelicals through their theological work, arguing theologically that queer people are not an abomination, but a blessing. Many LGBTQ+ Christian activists do intense theological exploration to show well-meaning, yet misguided believers that they do not need to remove queer people from their homes and their churches, leaving them to suffer severe abandonment and loss. This is important work and we need these people in our corner because they are wired to do this work.
Arguing theology is not my line of work, though. While I do theological work in my own life to help me unpack what I believe about God, doing that work for others is not fulfilling to me.
I am most concerned with providing queer people with spaces where they are not told that an unconditionally loving God’s one condition on love is their sexual and gender identity.
So many times when I talk to pastors about hospitality and inclusion for queer people, they want to debate theology with me, and I just don’t care anymore.
I don’t care about “correct” sexual ethics, I care about my loved ones who have been traumatized at the hands of a Church that hates the sin and despises the sinner.
Is that conversation in part theological? Yes, however, I am not primarily a theologian. At the end of the day, I’m a queer kid who sees Jesus, not in the institutionalized Evangelical Church, but in the hearts of LGBTQ+ people who have been removed from their homes in the name of an angry false god.
Arguing theology isn’t working. So many queer folks who came before me have experienced significant pain trying to change minds through their theological and emotional labor. Still, we are losing people while we waste our breath trying to reason with people who don’t see the value in queer life. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this conversation is often towing the line between life and death.
For now, I am moving past theological debates. I am ready to have conversations with parents to ask them what it is about their queer children that makes them impossible to live with and love. I am ready to have the conversation with pastors to ask them what exactly it is about LGBTQ+ folks that makes them feel uncomfortable to allow them to work with children. I’m ready for the conversation with fellow Christians to find out why they are uncomfortable with the idea of things like employment protections for queer people.
Some might just want me to leave this alone, but as long as LGBTQ+ people are born into Christian spaces, I am going to continue to speak up for those LGBTQ+ folks.
I’m over theological conversations that leave room for a false and queerphobic interpretation of who God is. Hiding behind theological discourse doesn’t work anymore. God cares more about the heart than outward appearance. Let’s clean the inside of the cup we drink from before we polish the outside.