Saturday, January 5, 2008

Rejection and retention

So my circle of lesbians I've met is growing slowly which is great. But I am noticing a theme. This is what I've learned. The ones I know from my new church have stayed in the church because it's gay friendly and accepting. Still some of them have stories of having left the church for years and they only came back when they found this one.

All the rest of the women I've met or talked to, which is about seven women as of this week, were church going catholics or christians of some stripe and they all left the church when they were rejected by it or when they heard all they ways they weren't accepted or a part of it. Each story is rather complicated but there is pain throughout.

What do I do with these stories? I don't think the church really wants to drive people out of the church who want to seek God. But rejection is painful and the human response is to protect yourself and your heart. I also don't think pastors and church leaders who preach against homosexuality realize the ramifications of it. This blogger Anj tells the story of how last week she her and her girlfriend were pulled into the overflow room for a "talk" when she was caught holding hands with her girlfriend during church. [The story] Sounds like she might be staying anyway. But still if you were her would you?

This makes me really sad. And I guess that's why it's so important for me to try and stay and go to this accepting church these days. O and by accepting, I mean would welcome and let me have communion when I am dating a woman or married to one, just like they would if someone was dating a man or married to one.


Casdok said...

I can understand why it makes you sad.
Acceptance, true acceptance is sometimes difficult to find.

Cheryl said...

Hmmm. I don't think I could worship in a place where the "message bearer" was so lacking in the love of God. His behavior does not exemplify what I consider compassionate behavior as would befit a servant of Christ, even if their understanding of scripture is different. But it's her journey, not mine, and so I wish her well.

Just know for yourself that there are churches out there where you will be recognized, accepted, and respected for exactly who you are and no matter who you love.

Random Reflections said...

The church can be a place of great acceptance love and belonging - but there are also some where if you cross some line that they don't agree with have the ability to totally undermine you.

The church teaches about so many powerful things - God, how and why the world exists and where we as people and individuals fit within that. It can give purpose and meaning. So to be rejected from that is quite some thing and I can understand that many choose to avoid those things and want to steer away from rejection and find places and people that truly accept them.

Anonymous said...

That is angering. I am convinced that any pastor who acts like THAT, especially after a worship service, and still IN the building (but really anytime), has never really met or befriended a homosexual. I know it wouldn't change everything, but every pastor who preaches against homosexuality should be made to be friends with a gay person for at least 6 months before they are aloud to preach on the topic... Angry, sad, annoyed. Poor Anj.j

slashdotmad said...

I just wonder, since when it is us who need to accommodate to be accepting of the church? Why should we be trying to accept the lack of acceptance of who we are from an institution?
This might sound all harsh and one sided, but this question just came to me instantly. And for the record, I have spent a lot of years being brought up as a catholic. And I mean really old school Roman Catholic school of thought, staunch and to the letter. In a country where 95% of people are Catholic. And well, there's a few things about me that don't fit into the hetero/monogamous/following rules kind of client..:)