Friday, April 12, 2019

Not a Blip on the Radar, but Still... (Exodus 3:7)


"If who have been told you don’t measure up, or you don’t fit in, or your kind is no good, or God hates you, then you know the type of moral injury I am referring too."


Then the Lord said, "I have observed the misery of My People in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings."
Exodus 3:7 (HCSB)


Recently I’ve had to wrestle with the “why” of this humble blog. I find that a good question to come back to after starting it nine years ago.

The blog itself was the outcome of a failed book. Way back then I had the notion of writing a book of devotions for the queer community encompassing one passage of scripture from each of the sixty-six books of the Protestant bible. After shopping the book idea around to a number of queer-friendly publishers, it became clear that no one wanted to touch a manuscript that promised to sell all of four or five copies.

I asked myself, Why a book? Why that format? I realized it wasn’t a book I was after. What I was after was a place where sexual and gender diverse people could come and find the good news of God’s infinite love from a corpus of sacred texts that are often used to suppress naturally occurring romantic feelings. Of course, behind this desire was my own pain. If who have been told you don’t measure up, or you don’t fit in, or your kind is no good, or God hates you, then you know the type of moral injury I am referring too.

Those who come to this blog somewhat regularly, know that this blog is all but dead. By blogging standards I’m not even a blip on the radar and, if truth be known, I have pondered wether to pull the trigger on it and kill it off. In the blogosphere there is nothing worse than an old languishing webpage drifting in the void, gathering dust from neglect and desertion. The truth of the matter is that I have worked through my pain and the baggage it entailed and the motivation to regularly update the blog and to fan its embers into a fire waned a couple of years ago.

My wife and I (a reminder that we celebrate a mixed-orientation-marriage, see Nonconforming Relationshipsremain in a loving and faithful relationship to each other and our kids and our menagerie of pets. Further, I have no problem approaching the bible from my social location as a gay man and I’ve said what I felt I needed to say from a perspective of faith and grace about the pressures facing the queer community. In this respect, the original whys of the blog have long been satisfied.

So why is it I cannot bring myself to pull the blog down? I think it is because queer people still need a place to come and hear their voices in the dialogue of faith. For so long we have been denied a seat at the table of the church and this blog, in its own way, provides an ottoman to rest a weary soul on. People historically oppressed by the bible need to understand that the bible speaks liberation to them. LGBTQ people need to know that their wellbeing is also in front of the eyes of God. After all, the image above is not a spoof or a parody. The image is an actual item put out by an actual group that wants to kill me and my kind. In the face of such atrocity in God's name, I cannot help but to hear the words of God spoken to Moses as addressing me as well:  "I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings."