Posted by: minnow | January 11, 2015

Some Wall are Love

In my little neck of the FB woods the image to the left is popping up all over the place.  I was struck by two things.  First, I found it pretty cool that the photographer captured a rainbow in the back ground given the Biblical story as to how the rainbow came into being and what it means.  Secondly I was struck especially hard by the caption which usual accompanied this picture: “Christians protecting Christians from Christians”. Let that sink in a little.

In Portland Oregon this weekend over a thousand people from the LGBT community and their allies gathered for the Gay Christian Network Conference.  This was not the first year GCN has held such a gathering but it is the first time the Westboro Baptist group decided to send protesters.  Yet, thanks to their pre-conference threats (perhaps in an attempt to deter some people from going) a third group showed up.  They too called themselves Christians.  Their plan was to form a wall of protection so that attendees could walk into the conference without being accosted by the Westboro group.  It worked and the thanks on my FB feed are flowing!

I would love to have gone to the Portland conference but as a first year teacher I’m not only broke but don’t have personal days to use for such events.  Still, I have enjoyed the reports coming from the conference and look forward to watching the videos.  Several in the mom’s group I’ve mentioned over the last several months went with their husbands to offer FREE MOM (and Dad) HUGS to those who need surrogate families.  I’m proud to be associated with these men and women.  I know many of their stories and am in awe of what they have overcome. I’m impressed by their determination to not only love their own children but to love those who have been rejected by their own parents, siblings, friends, and fellowships. That’s much too long a list but thankfully the numbers in those groups are dwindling.

I don’t know any of the people who formed the wall or who protested on the other side of the wall at the conference. I may have mentioned the activities of Westboro in the past but I really don’t need to give them any more attention then they’ve already gotten.  I do, however, want to talk about the groups and individuals who formed the wall.  I wish I could write each one individually and say thank you but I don’t know who they are.  I believe that was intentional.  Still, I want to thank them because while I have preached and whined and blogged about the Church standing up and representing the true face of God they actually stepped forward and did something!

These hands, feet, and hearts of God deserve our respect and our praise.  Some might have shared the same views as those attending the conference and some might not have.  That wasn’t important.  The side of the fence they stood on, and the lesson every other Christian fellowship ought to learn from them, is that the Christian God stands on the side of love.  These individuals helped to provide a safe haven and they left the rest for God to work out.  Those are not easy shoes to walk in but I am certainly glad to see more and more people doing it.

Some of the people who attended the conference did not learn that lesson soon enough to save their own children, siblings, parents, other family members and friends from the pain and damage of rejection, severed relationships, destructive behavior, and self loathing.  Some wish and pray they could have a second chance. But, those who can’t are reaching out to those they can. Instead of giving up hope altogether they hope their efforts will make a difference, heal some wounds, and eventually restore relationships within the Church.

In recent months, I feel my rage toward groups like Westboro Baptist subsiding, not because I no longer think their stance is wrong.  I am as convinced as ever that our sexual identity is not sinful and that God created each one of us with an equal capacity to love and to hate.  I further believe that He is for us, not against us and that He continuously encourages us to pick up His mantle of love.  Picking up that mantle is what helps me put down my rage or at least turn it toward more productive thoughts and behavior.  I feel less rage because I am feeling more compassion.

I firmly believe most of the individuals who comprise groups like Westboro Baptist have been raised in environments of fear and judgment.  They are trapped by the laws and condemnation they have created for themselves and expect others to live under.  They need as great an example of unconditional love as our LGBT friends and family.  And yes, while it can be argued that “they are hurting our kids”, it can also be argued that if we aren’t careful, if we don’t choose love we could be hurting their kids (as well as them).  Peace and love are never easy paths to take.  But that doesn’t make them less worthwhile.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Powerful line, Meg: ” I feel less rage because I am feeling more compassion.”

  2. The people in your pix are from Bridge City Community Church ( I’m a member there and MCC Portland). It was their first time doing any of that and I was so proud of them. Also next to them (not shown) is my teen daughter This was her first gay rights demonstration thing (that she remembers). She was too scared to go then decided to go. She let love overcome fear. I was in DC for the Million March years ago ( when Ellen was dating Ann Heche). We were ” serenaded” by WBC there. We sang “Jesus Loves Me” as we passed them and they screamed “no he doesn’t” back. The difference between then and now to me feels like there are more straight Christians supporting and understanding GBLTQ issues. Which is good


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: