WATCH: Gay Christians speak out – “Here I am”

A new documentary is showing the lives, loves, struggles and experiences of LGBT Christians as they really are – not the stereotypes they are often portrayed as.

Parents, children, partners, couples and supporting pastors and psychologists speak from the heart about the experience of coming out in a Christian environment.

“It was my idea after a mother with a gay son asked what she could do to help others,” says the Here I am video’s producer John Wallace.“

Coming out can be a difficult time for Christian families, individuals and those close to them. They often feel completely alone in the world,” he explains.

“I thought we need more resources and it grew from there. I think it’s timely with the debates going on at the moment.”

Source: Sme-same

Being gay and Christian isn’t as contradictory as it might sound

So if I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, does that mean I get to take you out for a drink? 😉

Since reactivating my OkCupid profile two months ago, I’ve received dozens of messages mentioning my religion.

My identity as a Christian is important to me, so I let potential suitors on the Internet know that if they wanted to go to brunch on Sunday, it would have to be after 11 o’clock Mass.

However, most of my potential dates — whether we’re meeting online or off — don’t know what to make of me.

Source:  – The Washington Post

Gay Christian Youth Minister Uses Grindr To Outreach To Gays (Video)

A gay Criristian on Grindr who’s not looking to make you an ex-gay convert? Go figure! (Actually, there are plenty of non-self loathing, well adjusted gay Christians, but that’s another post for another time.)

Openly gay methodist youth minister, Michael James Alexander Szalapski of Clarksville, Tennessee uses the Grindr app to reach out to gay Christians and invite them to his gay-friendly church. Szalapski was recruited to work with youth at his church specifically because he was gay and the church felt the youth of their congregation would benefit from in his insight and experience. Progressive, right?

Filmmaker Christian Hendricks, stumbled upon Szalapski on the mobile app as part of his project “South of Ohio,” in which he travels through the South of United States, documenting things of interest.

Hendricks interviewed Szalapski and discussed his use of the “dating” app as a recruitment tool. That conversation led to some interesting insight into Szalapski’s own journey in his faith.

Check out this clip! (The whole segment is interesting, but skip to around the 3:00 minute mark for the Grindr sound bites.)

– continue reading at  Instinct.

The Quiet Gay-Rights Revolution in America’s Churches

For most gay Americans in the 20th century, the church was a place of pain. It cast them out and called them evil. It cleaved them from their families. It condemned their love and denied their souls. In 2004, a president was elected when religious voters surged from their pews to vote against the legal recognition of gay relationships. When it came to gay rights, religion was the enemy.

A decade later, the story is very different. Congregations across the country increasingly accept, nurture, and even marry their gay brethren. Polls show majorities of major Christian denominations — including American Catholics, despite their church’s staunch opposition — support legal gay marriage. Leaders of some of the most conservative sects, like the Southern Baptists, have moved away from the vitriolic rhetoric of yesteryear and toward a more compassionate tone. Mormons march in gay-pride parades. A sitting Republican senator, a Methodist from the heartland state of Ohio, says the question was settled for him by “the Bible’s overarching themes of love and compassion and my belief that we are all children of God.” A new pope says, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

more at  Molly Ball – The Atlantic.

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Rev. Mieke Vandersall: Learning To Tell My Gay, Christian Story

I live in a context where it has sometimes been easier to come out as a lesbian than as a Christian. This is not a reality foreign to “progressives” who hold Christian faith; it is one, however, that I have been consistently working against throughout my close to 10 years of ordained ministry.

Rev. Mieke Vandersall

Rev. Mieke Vandersall

Once you are ordained this reality only heightens. Imagine secular gatherings, from airplanes to cocktail parties. The first thing out of people’s mouth is often: “What do you do?” to which I have found many creative responses, depending on my mood and how much I want to talk (or really listen). They range from “I am a pastor” to “I am an activist for LGBT people” and everywhere in between. Neither tells the whole story. However, both are true, both often shut down conversation, and both often elicit long stories from my interrogators about the value of LGBT people and religion both. Suffice it to say, in these conversations I am reminded again quite quickly of why I have been gun shy about my Christian identity for so long.

Therefore, much of my pastoring life has been on the defensive, justifying to others both inside and outside of the church, and at times to myself, how I can be a Christian, a pastor and a lesbian, and why these identities are inseparable for me. I work with people, many of whom are curious about what a life of faith might look like and attempt to put language on what faith has been for me and how Scripture can be a place of liberation, not death-dealing oppression as many of us have experienced. The most recent incarnation of this call has been in the new worshiping community I have begun called Not So Churchy.

At one cocktail party in the summer of 2012 I had the opportunity to meet British Director Amanda Bluglass. She was visiting for the week from rural Devon, England. She was electric with energy and creativity and I knew instantly I wanted to be her friend. But then invariably the question came: “What do you do?” I had the energy that night to go into it, and so I did: “I am a pastor to LGBTQ individuals who are pursuing ordained ministry. I work as a pastor to the church at large, committing myself to changing homophobic policies that the Presbyterian Church has held onto for many years. I marry same-sex couples as well as straight couples after month of premarital counseling, and I do this with joy. I do this against the policies of the Church that I am a member of and love, because the Gospel calls me to respond to my vows I took upon ordination in this way. I do all this because I believe that the Presbyterian Church, and the church at large can be a place of healing for the world and this is my little contribution towards that.”

-continue reading at  Rev. Mieke Vandersall: Huffington Post.

God and Gays: The Rite to Bless Same – Sex Unions

The smooth certainty of the right is just as unattractive as the moral smugness of the left

The question of the hour is whether the Episcopal Church can continue to muddle into a sixth century, or whether falling levels of membership suggest inevitable decline. Critics such as Douthat link the church’s progressive stand on sexuality — the consecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003 and now the vote on the same-sex rite — to its troubled numbers. “It still has priests and bishops, altars and stained-glass windows,” wrote Douthat. “But it is flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.”

Eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes. As I read it, his argument, shared by many, is that the church is essentially translating liberal views of sexuality into the language and forms of the faith. If the Bible speaks out against homosexuality, then a church that moves to embrace homosexuals must be acting not according to theological thinking but to political factors. Put another way, the Episcopal Church has taken the course it has taken on sexuality because it is politically fashionable to do so, not because there is a theological reason to open its arms wider.

The problem with this argument is that it ignores a long tradition of evolving theological understanding and changing scriptural interpretation. Only the most unapologetic biblical fundamentalists, for instance, take every biblical injunction literally. If we all took all scripture at the same level of authority, then we would be more open to slavery, to the subjugation of women, to wider use of stoning. Jesus himself spoke out frequently against divorce in the strongest of terms. Yet we have — often gradually — chosen to read and interpret the Bible in light not of tradition but of reason and history.

-full commentary by John Meacham at

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High court judge Michael Kirby talks about religion and sexuality

‘I don’t want any old gent in frocks to take my religion from me,’ says gay former Australian high court judge

Retired high court of Australia judge Michael Kirby has spoken about reconciling his homosexuality and his Christianity.

In an interview with Jesuit media channel Eureka Street TV that was broadcast this week, Kirby describes himself as a ‘Protestant Anglican Christian’.

-more at Gay Star News

Watch the video here:

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