It’s Not “Gender Confusion”

When talking about Trans issues, despite having no knowledge of Trans issues, many evangelical activists like to use the term “Gender Confusion” (or “Gender Confused”). It’s time this was confronted. When people like my favourite evangelical Dr. Michael Brown use this term, it feels like nails on a chalkboard to me. Now, for the record, the reason he is my favourite evangelical is because he is so adamantly outspoken about LGBTQ+ issues, even having written several books on us, but has so little knowledge it’s actually comical. As laughable as his work may be, however, he wields a certain amount of influence, and so do his colleagues. People need to know that Trans identity is not a matter of confusion.

Terms that minimize the validity of LGBTQ+ identities always tend to stem from the same premise – “It’s wrong because God.” The term “Gender Confusion” is inextricably linked to the idea that “God doesn’t make mistakes.” Indeed, “man and woman he created them” is right there in the Bible, and it makes sense that a believing Christian would take that to mean we are all born as one or the other. The obvious problem with this is that people are trying to pin down God’s plan … a plan that is supposed to be unknowable.

So how are we to know what God’s plan is? While it’s true that Genesis lays out the plan for procreation, how do you make sense of people who are born infertile, or those who are intersex? Did God make mistakes with those people? You wouldn’t say so, would you? You would say that they were born that way on purpose, a part of God’s plan, the reason for which we cannot know; and the reason you would say that is because you can’t deny physical evidence … but it’s easy to deny what you can’t see. Gender identity is invisible, and when it enters the discussion, God’s plan is no longer a mystery. All of a sudden, the plan is known, God doesn’t make mistakes, and Trans people are merely “confused.”

Does this not look like faulty logic to you? Is it not the height of arrogance to claim a faith in an unknowable God, and have the convenience of changing the narrative to claim to know exactly what he wants when it suits you? Is this not exactly what we mean when we talk about religion being used to justify hatred or dislike? Gender variance is unseen, it has an element of mystery, and instead of trying learn about it, how cowardly it is to grab your holy book and impose your own biases upon it.

It would be troubling indeed if Trans identity was a product of confusion. To come out and live openly despite the dangers of doing so, to struggle through the rift between social ideals and self, to live in constant fear, to fight for proper healthcare … all due to confusion? We don’t attribute women’s issues to confusion when many women face similar struggles, so why do it with gender identity? Granted, the doctrine of original sin allows for such confusion, attributing it to our fallen nature, but once again we have the application of personal bias to reach a desired conclusion.

Take a moment to consider these questions. Could Trans identity be part of God’s plan? What if the struggles faced by Trans people are due to human social bias, a bias that God did not ordain? All Christian denominations teach that humans are flawed and fallen, what if our dislike of difference is the flaw? Maybe Trans identity isn’t the problem. Maybe the problem is the use of the Bible to justify condemnation. Maybe … just maybe … you’re wrong.

At the end of the day, we are here, we are very real, and many people are going to have to learn to deal with that. Trans identity is broad, it is many things to many people, and if you are not willing to ask questions and accept that diversity is a wonderful thing, I feel sorry for you. You may be confused, but we are not. Trans identity is not “Gender Confusion.” Ask and learn, or bask in your own ignorance. Either way, we know who we are.

 

Trans Rights In 2016

2016 has to be the year of Trans rights. On November 13, 2015, an article appeared on theguardian.com, outlining the very pressing dangers facing Transgender and gender non-conforming people in the United States today. It was devastating to say the least, and it serves to warn us all that the struggles of Trans people deserve more attention in the year to come.

2015 saw the landmark SCOTUS ruling legalizing marriage equality throughout America, and that was just one of many victories won this year. Despite the fact that LGB people are still facing discrimination, harassment, and the ever-present fear of violence, things have gotten better overall. 2015 has been a great year for equality! We must keep this momentum going in 2016, and at the same time prioritize our push for the same progress in Trans visibility and understanding.

As of Nov 13 (the publication date of the article above), there had been 21 Trans homicides in 2015; almost all of whom were Transgender women of colour. Of the 53 Trans murders between 2013 and 2015, NOT ONE had been reported or prosecuted as a hate crime. Due to social pressures, stigmas, and threats of further violence, we know that most violent crimes against Trans people go unreported, leading to the safe assumption that these numbers are not even close to revealing the reality of the situation. It should be noted here that these are U.S. statistics, but that the struggle for Trans people across the world, including my country of Canada, is just as real.

A Congressional group dedicated to the rights and equalities of LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. has taken the step of putting together a Transgender Equality Task Force, and we have to put our passions into this as well. Governmental and grass roots groups have to both work hard for this, a combined effort that has seen success for decades now. We have to fight just as hard, though hopefully not as long, as we have for the rights and equalities of LGB people.

Note what was just said about the victims of these crimes – in 2015, most were Trans women of colour. It is rightly pointed out in the article that the issue here goes much deeper than mere Transphobia; a definite issue to be addressed, but it only scratches the surface. The deeper issue lies at the intersection of racism, sexism, and transphobia. Immediately clear, and again rightly pointed out in the article, we can no longer afford to address these issues separately. Where do we begin? By listening to the people already talking about it, and asking questions to gain a better understanding.

The push against traditional gender roles, against sexism and for Feminism, against transphobia and for equal rights and dignity, against continuing systemic racism, and many more problems, are here all wrapped up into one. Trans people have become the most at-risk group among the LGBTQ+ community, Trans women of colour especially. Their voices are not being heard loud enough. Their struggles are not being addressed to the proper extent. They are being decried as freaks, perverts, and liars by evangelical activists like Dr. Michael Brown (you can find him, and object to his misinformation, at askdrbrown.org, and ‘Ask Dr. Brown’ on Facebook). Most importantly, the realities they face are not understood. We have to correct that in 2016, before more lives are taken.

I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions, preferring instead to make lifestyle changes when the time is right. This time, though, right now, is the right time for all of us to make a change toward asking, listening, empathizing, and acting to make things better. Countless LGB people died while we sat and passively argued against inequality. It was only when things reached a tipping point that the push got real and things started to change, and they still have a long way to go. That tipping point came too late for people who never should have suffered the way they did, people who could have been effective voices fighting for their own lives. Are we going to continue to repeat that history?

In every single state but California, “Trans Panic” is currently considered a valid legal defence. For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, “Trans Panic” is the argument that upon learning that the person they were involved with was Transgender, the murderer panicked, lashed out in an uncontrollable rage, and cannot be held responsible for their actions. Since Trans people are seen as such a shockingly disturbing bunch to an aging white cis-male legal establishment, “Trans Panic” can be used for nearly any situation – from brief social interactions to a romantic relationship. After all, who’s to say that panic and murder aren’t warranted when you buy someone a drink at a bar and find out they have unexpected genitalia, right? “Trans Panic” frees the guilty and blames the victim. It says the victim deserved to die, and this somehow makes sense to the legal establishment in every American state but one. This has to change in 2016.

The good news is that there are people already talking about this. What we have to do is start listening to them. It took a long time, but many people have come around and taken the time to understand what it means to be gay and/or lesbian. It was once thought that bisexuality wasn’t a real thing, but people know differently now; and bisexuality is better understood. Two-spirited people are beginning to be celebrated in some communities, Queer people are entering the discussion and we’re telling our stories, and asexuality is beginning to be talked about as well. The challenges and dangers facing these groups are still there, but things have improved greatly. Let’s make 2016 the year we give Trans issues the attention they deserve. Let’s make 2016 the year we force the discussion about the intersectionality of racism, sexism, and transphobia. Let’s make 2016 the year we tell our legal representatives that “Trans Panic” is a disgusting and dehumanizing argument that has to be thrown in the trash where it belongs.

2016, I must admit, is also going to see me asking more questions. I intend to ask about terms that confuse me – terms like “transage,” and “trans-species.” I want to learn more, to know if my inclination toward dismissing terms I find suspect is valid or the result of my own ignorance. Humanity is complex, we are all very unique and fascinating creatures. Before venturing an opinion or point-of-view, especially for a person who chooses to live as an outspoken ally, information has to be sought out and carefully taken in.

My plans for 2016 are many, but where my Trans advocacy is concerned, I intend to ask, learn, act, and aggressively fight for the equality, rights, dignity, and acceptance of the Trans community.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

 

My Testimony

It recently dawned on me that although I’ve been very open about my life, I’ve never written an actual “testimony,” so to speak. I gave a fair amount of background when I came out on August 2nd, and little bits and pieces here and there, but I feel that with so much bad news on the daily, a good news story can brighten our spirits. A story about coming out of homophobia, into advocacy, and eventually into the realization and full acceptance of self, deserves to be told. So here it is, my “testimony.”

My story is an increasingly familiar one. I’m a former Christian, the evangelical Anglican kind, who also grew up in the charismatic movement. In my younger years, I was one of the worst behaved homophobes I’ve ever met. Hateful and proud of it. The word “Gay” was an insult, and as far as I was concerned homosexuality was a sinful and deplorable choice. I am profoundly ashamed to say that I viewed gay men in particular as almost sub-human. As for Trans people, I thought that was a myth. Every chance I got, I used my words to humiliate and degrade LGBTQ+ people, and if the chance didn’t present itself, I would bring it up anyway. I was everything I now fight against.

After graduating from High School, it was eight years before I decided to attend University. Five of those years were spent at sea. As a crew member on oil tankers sailing the Atlantic, I learned about loyalty, inner strength, hard work, emotional fortitude, and courage. I joined in 2001, a cocky immature child of 20, and after five years of a 73-days-on-73-days-off rotation (that never quite worked out that way), I had grown into an adult. At the age of 26, I was accepted into university. While there, I became more moderate, less hateful, more … tolerant. I played music to earn part of my income, and one night I landed a gig at the local ‘gay bar.’ The moment I walked into that nightclub, I felt at home. I’ll never forget that feeling. It’s not that I assumed LGBTQ+ people were less judgmental, but for some reason I felt like I was surrounded by people who weren’t concerned with who or what I was. The bartender greeted me as you would a friend. Nobody knew if I was LGBTQ+ or not, and it really didn’t matter. If there was negative judgment from anybody, I wasn’t aware of it. In contrast to other bars, I didn’t feel like I had to watch my back. That experience helped me on the path to becoming an ally.

A year after my university graduation, my wife and I were driving down the highway on a sunny afternoon. My wife, a brilliant educator, had already become an ally and active advocate for LGBTQ+ equality. During the course of our conversation that day, I used the word “fruit” as a slur. I didn’t realize what I had done until she called me on it. The loud and spirited argument that followed ended when I finally admitted fault, and I realized then that change was in order. A short time later, following a homophobic incident perpetrated by some Christian fanatics in a nearby town, I became an outspoken ally.

I now specialize in the relationships between traditional Christian doctrine, the LGBTQ+ community, and pop culture. In university, I earned a degree in cultural anthropology, with minors in religious studies, history, and Spanish. I understand the religious foundations of hatred on a personal level, and thanks to my education, I understand it on an academic level as well. After a couple of years writing as Outspoken Ally, I went through a period of internal turmoil and struggle as I came to realize and embrace my own gender identity. I came out as Queer in August 2015; and living in an extremely phobic area of Canada’s east coast, I’m beginning to understand things on a whole different level still.

I am not simply an advocate for equality. I am personally affected by the ignorance I fight against. Until I can walk into a business in the next town over without being met with rolling eyes, or shop in “women’s” clothing sections without getting angry looks from male patrons, my work isn’t done. My testimony, to ironically use some Christian lingo, is that I once was lost but now I’m found. I struggled through life pretending to be something I wasn’t, because I was taught that who I was was wrong. Having broken the shackles of that God-based fear, having embraced humanity for what we are, having found myself … my testimony is a happy one. It’s not that it got better, it’s that I gained knowledge, and with that came self-realization and acceptance. I have found the experience very freeing, very uplifting. I feel fully human for the first time.

Embracing my true self in public is the hardest part now, but it gives me confidence to know that if I can do it, LGBTQ+ youth might learn from that example. Then again, it might not help anybody at all; but it’s worth talking about, and knowing we aren’t alone is a powerful thing.

 

Encouraging Proper Language

Today I want to offer encouragement. The lovely people who have been posting videos and memes lately in support of their children who are LGBTQ+, makes me smile often. The video with a Dad talking about loving his children regardless of their identity. The Facebook post by a Mom who wants her children to know just how unconditional her love for them is. The meme talking about acceptance and coming together. These are all uplifting, and although I would love to leave it at that, I wish to encourage a re-phrasing of a common language thread throughout.

“I will love my kids regardless of who they choose to be.” “I want my children to know that no matter who you choose to be, I’ve got you.” “Everyone is unique. You can be whoever you want.” These are great messages, and if they were talking about career choices or educational paths, there would be nothing wrong with them. Unfortunately, these statements are in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, and therein lies the issue. What all of these messages have in common is that they view sexual orientation and gender identity as matters of choice. The people expressing the message have only the best of intentions, and it’s not their fault that this language is so deeply woven into our cultural dialog. They probably don’t even see the error, and most of us don’t either. A positive reception amongst so much negativity is refreshing, so much so that any errors in language are generally overlooked. In any event it’s there, and we must encourage those wonderful and accepting people to say it in a more understanding way.

“I will love my kids regardless of who they are.” “I want my children to know that no matter who you are, I’ve got you.” “Everyone is unique. Express yourself.” These simple changes in language make all the difference. They take your message, which is already positive, and give it a level of understanding. In addition to being supportive and loving, you also get it. The idea is to take away the implication that these things are choices. I was in the closet for 34 years, and I didn’t finally come out because I ‘chose’ to be Queer. I chose what terminology to refer to myself with, and I chose to come out, but I’ve always been Queer. This is important, because we often don’t think about it. We make many decisions around our personal identities … but what we are is not one of them.

I want to applaud those expressing the support I’m talking about. Your love and acceptance toward your children makes me happy. You’re doing it right. Coming out is really tough, and when those closest make their support known so publicly, it really shows everyone that your children live in a safe environment – free from judgment, where they can be honest with and about themselves. That’s what everybody deserves. I hope you accept this message of encouragement to now use language that expresses your understanding as well as your support. Make it known that without prejudice, without assumption, you love your kids for who they are.

Oh, and keep up the great work. 🙂

 

Biblical Justifications For Transphobia

Transphobia is a huge problem. Murder after murder, suicide after suicide, our trans friends and family are dying due to a tragic fear of what people don’t understand. The religiously fuelled orgy of ignorance, bigotry, and aggressive action continues to plague us. As we push for social equality, trans youth are suffering in the shadows, in the hallways, in our homes, and in our schools.

Now, it’s pretty easy to find the scriptural basis for things like homophobia, at least what’s perceived to be a scriptural basis, but the biblical foundations of transphobia are not so clear. Despite all the biblical analyses and supports one might use for justifying a bias against trans people, there are really only 2 passages – and they provide very weak support at best.

Psalm 139. This Psalm is all about how God knows each one of us infinitely more than we know ourselves. At verse 13, we read “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb,” and at verse 16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
What Psalm 139 is saying, in a nutshell, is that God knows everything about each of us because we were lovingly created according to his will. The idea that a person’s assigned sex could be out of sync with their gender identity is completely unacceptable to somebody who holds fast to Psalm 139; for if God created us according to his perfect will, our sex couldn’t possibly be wrong. Of course, every sermon I’ve listened to about this equates sex with gender, and sexual orientation with gender identity. Given this failure to understand basic terms, it’s really no surprise that some people would use Psalm 139 to justify their condemnation of what they don’t care to understand.

Oddly enough, Psalm 139 could also be used to justify acceptance of trans people. If, as is taught, we cannot know the thoughts or motivations of God, how can we say whether or not he created them just the way they are? Is gender not a social construct? Are we not flawed due to original sin? Isn’t it possible that we have imposed false social norms that were not part of God’s original plan? Psalm 139 says that God knows everything about each one of us because he created us. It doesn’t say anything about initial intent. From a biblical perspective, it may very well be that the very existence of the trans label is entirely our fault; and contrary to what God intended. Genesis lays out a differentiation of sex in the Garden of Eden, but not of gender. It could be that gender fluidity was the original idea and we screwed it up.

Deuteronomy 22:5. “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”

So, Deuteronomy is generally believed to be Moses’ restatement of the law originally given to the Israelites by God, in Exodus and Leviticus – approximately 40 years prior. This is questionable of course, given the fact that the laws in Deuteronomy are better described as continuations rather than restatements. In any event, this condemnation of wearing the clothing culturally assigned to the opposite gender is ridiculous. An all-knowing deity who concerns himself with what clothing we wear is extremely petty indeed, and dare I say it, quite human. One would think that if somebody had the entire universe to take care of, what clothing we wear would be quite low on the list of priorities. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Moses injected his own displeasure with ‘cross-dressing,’ and attributed it to God. If this verse is to be taken as a condemnation, along with Psalm 139, the scriptural basis for transphobia is extremely weak.

As with discrimination of any kind, it’s just not reasonable to believe a single word of the ‘justifications’ for it. Even if the Bible came right out and said “trans people are flawed, unnatural, immoral, and must be fixed,” it would still be wrong. There are over 2,000 religions in the world, and we have one chance to make a life. Any book that says we are to waste that life trying to condemn and ‘fix’ the diversity around us, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

How about trying to understand? Ancient holy books were written before anybody knew much about anything. Instead of treating the Bible like a manual, how about we accept that much of it is no longer relevant, and work to come together? You can have your faith, but believing in the infallibility of the literal word of scripture renders you useless in a civilized society. The Bible isn’t entirely irrelevant, but condemnations of things we now know to be natural belong in the same category as every other biblical thing we no longer support (ie: slavery, not eating shellfish, avoiding mixed fabrics, stoning our children, etc). We need to accept that things change as we learn, and we need to embrace that knowledge. We need to embrace one another.

You may be upset over my choice of words and my insistence on de-legitimizing scripture, but that’s kind of the point. Scripture is being used to kill trans people. It’s being used to justify murder, and it’s being used to justify the abusive action driving trans people to suicide. Criticism is 100% reasonable here, and in my opinion I haven’t been critical enough. When the Qur’an is used to justify war and suicide bombings, people are all over it. When the Bible is used to justify violence and hatred toward minority people, we are supposed to say “oh, that person has problems, the Bible is a book of love.” And then, of course, we’re reminded that we have to “respect everyone’s beliefs.” Personally, I’m sick of this. I will not respect anything that doesn’t deserve respect, and I don’t particularly care if it’s your belief or not. If your belief is harming others, or causes you to dislike them without rational justification, it is worthy only of contempt.

Without scriptural support, without anything but your personal bias toward the unfamiliar, how do you feel about trans people? Believe me, answering that question can be one of the most fulfilling things you ever do. It gets to the core of how you view humanity, and that is a profoundly beautiful thing.

The Myth Of The Progressive Christian

For decades, the line of evangelicals regarding homosexuality has been pretty hard and fast. “It’s wrong, God says it’s wrong, that’s all there is to it.” This is still a common view, but there are some Christians who are starting to change their tune in favour of something that, at first glance, appears to be more progressive. Lately I’ve been hearing a new explanation – “I suppose people may be born with a predisposed attraction to the same-sex. Sin, however, is sin. Being gay may not be wrong, but God says acting on it is. I love homosexual people, I have friends that are gay, and I want them to know the love of Christ. We’re all sinners, their sin is no worse than mine.” I listen to sermons with this message all the time, and every time I can hear the approving “amen” of a congregation who fancies their preacher a progressive guy.

First of all, let me just say that their ARE progressive Christians. There are those who don’t just tolerate, or “love the sinner hate the sin,” but actually accept. Those Christians are not the subject of this piece. Second, for the Christians at issue here: I know you think you have gay friends, but those who are kind to you despite your disapproval of who they are, are being nice. Nobody likes to feel that they must hide or minimize who they are in front of those who claim to enjoy their company, and shame on you for having the audacity to call them “friend.” Human beings deserve better than that.

I call this the ‘Myth of the Progressive Christian’ because that’s exactly what it is. The preachers proclaiming this new homophobic explanation are proud of themselves for taking what they think is a more socially progressive stance. It’s nothing new, though. This is the same damn thing, it’s ‘love the sinner hate the sin 2.0.’ Accepting the fact that some people are born gay is designed to make the idea that they shouldn’t have a relationship seem less dastardly. How loving, to say that these people are born gay but that Jesus both loves and condemns them. What a bastion of acceptance where you are told that you were born broken, but God can change you.

Now, to be fair, we’re all told that we were born broken. Born worthy of hell thanks to original sin, deserving of eternal torment for the indiscretion of our ancestors, yet given the gift of salvation by our loving God. That we are all sinners is part of this ‘progressive’ message, and it’s completely misleading. The ‘sins’ of the majority are not put on equal footing with the ‘sins’ of the minority. If they were viewed as equal, those who make placards and protest on the street corner would have to also march back and forth in front of their own homes.

There is nothing progressive about passing condemnation off as love. It is altogether dishonest, hypocritical, and yes, hateful. A progressive stance, or better yet a correct stance, would be to accept that the Bible is NOT a textbook, that the church no longer follows any of the 613 scriptural laws save for 10 (11 if you count “thou shalt not be gay”), and to accept that diversity is, if you are so inclined, God-given. THAT is progressive, THAT is correct. You may accept this, or you may reject it and choose to be in this world but not of it. Choosing the latter is a shame, considering the fact that humanity has a lot of love to give. It pains me to see people marginalizing themselves over a rejection of others. What misery, what sadness. 

Be mindful of what you hear on Sunday mornings. Ask yourself if it’s right, if it’s just, if it’s loving. Choose love. Do not believe the myth of the progressive Christian.            

    

Acceptance: Is There Any Hope For Christianity?

When I speak at schools, universities, and conferences, my favourite part is the Q and A at the end. I like to leave ample time for questions, because I just love the discussion. Recently, during the Q and A of a talk I gave at a university in Fredericton, NB, Canada, I was asked a question that I haven’t had before; nor have I ever considered it all that much. A student raised her hand, identified herself as Roman Catholic, and asked if I thought that Christianity has any hope when it comes to accepting LGBTQ+ people. 

I was asked this question on March 19th. My initial response was that I hope so, but a lot has to change first. On that day, the best information I had told me the United Church was the only denomination to have officially recognized same-sex marriage. Most other mainline denominations have institutional road-blocks that make it extremely difficult to bring change to official doctrine. I cautiously voiced my opinion on the Pope (my un-cautious opinion is available in my piece titled ‘Nothing New Here: The Hypocrisy Of Pope Francis’). I also referred to an article I wrote in November 2013 about paragraphs 2357, 58, and 59 of the catechism. 

In my estimation, the Catholic Church will not likely come around anytime in the next millennia, and the Anglican/Episcopalian church has been completely torn apart over this. In many areas of Canada and the US, the Anglican communion is pretty inclusive, but not only are they dealing with whether or not to marry same-sex couples, they are also wrestling with the question of whether or not to ordain gay men and women into the priesthood. In 2003, a diocese in New Hampshire made their position clear when they installed Gene Robinson, an out gay man, as a Bishop. Although New Hampshire is an eastern state, and the majority of allied dioceses are in the west, this caused a firestorm of controversy which resulted in huge rifts. More LGB clergy have come out since, and the Anglican denomination is completely at odds with itself. They have chosen to be divided over whether or not to condemn what they do not understand, and it’s noteworthy that the Anglican communion in Africa is rabid with hate toward the LGBTQ community, which of course makes matters worse. 

There may be a little bit of promise in the Lutheran church, but they have some work to do as well. As for the Baptists, Pentecostals, and other evangelical denominations, there’s very little progress happening there.     

On March 20th, I learned that the Presbyterian Church had voted to accept and perform same-sex marriages just a couple days before (although the presbyteries who disagree will be free to oppose it). This gives me hope that I didn’t have when asked that question. It’s a bold thing for the Presbyterian church to do, and I applaud them for it. Although I do not see the Anglican/Episcopalian communion coming together on this just yet, much less the Vatican changing their stance, the Presbyterian denomination is still very large. The more accepting Christians there are, the better. On March 19, I saw little hope. On March 20, I saw a glimmer, and that glimmer is awesome.

I don’t know this for sure, but the person who asked me this question appeared to be an ally. At the very least I’m inclined to think she is neutral, and in any event NOT accepting of the traditional Catholic doctrine on this issue. In my experience, this happens a lot. Despite the church’s teachings on LGBTQ issues, it seems that a lot of adherents just don’t buy it anymore. This isn’t surprising in the age of information, and it isn’t surprising considering our natural aversion to harm. We have discriminatory and divisive doctrine spewed at thousands of pulpits every week, reparative “therapy” hurting countless people, freedom to discriminate bills disguised as constitutional protections for freedom of religion, and so much more. Those who don’t see the harm this is causing are deliberately not looking.

People aren’t stupid. They see what’s going on, and they don’t like it. Their opposition to this doctrine may be silent right now, and who can blame them? Indoctrination has many people terrified to speak for fear of banishment, ridicule, or in the Catholic Church, excommunication. Still, they see it. This isn’t going to end well for the church. I may not live long enough to watch, but denominations that uphold scripture as the moral authority on matters concerning human sexuality, will fall. Faith in this authority requires a person to believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. The God who had Moses command the Israelites to kill every man, woman, and child, but to keep the virgins for themselves in Numbers 31. The God who laid out the rules and protocols for slavery in Exodus 21. The God who inspired Paul to judge humanity in Romans 1, and begin Romans 2 by saying that he who judges will be condemned for it. We have to be aware of these scriptural problems and not continue to trivialize them. People aren’t stupid. 

So is there any hope for Christianity? Yes. Is there any hope for the worldwide Anglican church? Considering the current split, yes I believe so. Is there any hope for Catholicism? I want to believe there is, but I doubt it very much. Pope Francis is well respected, but he is the same familiar liar behind a compassionate and likeable mask. We will see more welcoming and accepting Catholics, but the church they belong to, I fear, may never change. If it does, however … if any church truly changes its official teaching on the matter … we must welcome our new allies with open arms.