To the General Synod of 2016:
I have experienced many forms of Christianity in my life. I was raised Quaker. My family started attending a Reformed Church when I started high school. Almost all of my extended family is Catholic. I attend a Presbyterian church where I go to college. One of the most important parts of my Christian experience has been this: that God loves each and every one of us. No matter what we have done. No matter how we got here. My faith is in a God that isn’t selective about loving only a part of you or only loving you some of the time. My faith is in a God whose love is so big that the singular feature of one’s sexuality/gender identity is rendered insignificant. I believe that being queer and Christian are not mutually exclusive.
I have been lucky enough to be a part of congregations that are welcoming and loving to our LGBTQ+ brothers, siblings, and sisters. But I have also seen the terrible power of the church to turn them away from the faith. I have many friends who are queer, and I have noticed a troubling commonality between all of them who were raised in Christian churches. They all have had an experience where they felt unwelcome, in the mildest of instances. I know a number of people who have been pushed away from the faith altogether, and the ones that do stay face the painful task of reconciling their very identity with a church that doesn’t accept them.
I cannot stand by, as an ally to my queer friends, and as a Christian, and let this culture of hate be perpetuated in my own denomination.
So I ask you: how many people will you turn away with your prejudice and your refusal to give them a place in your community before you can see what you have done? Before you see the hurt you have caused? What gives you the authority to hand-pick the people of God? If we are going to show queer church goers God’s love, we must love their whole selves, no questions asked.