Three Reasons Why I Support the Human Rights of People Labled LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered and Queer)


Image from

1. Biblical Illiteracy

What is an abomination? Abomination is a word that doesn’t get much play these days unless you want to point out what you think is someone else’s sin. It’s a handy word to pull out when you want to be especially damning toward someone you hate or fear, or both.

Abomination is a good old-fashioned word that evokes hot summer nights in a revival meeting without air conditioning where the preacher tells you “You are going to burn in hell!” as if the revival meeting isn’t already hot enough. You may have heard the word used in movies in scenes where a preacher is hollering about hell and damnation.

I wonder if Jesus were to sit in on one of these scenes if he’d be so gripped with fear for his soul, mesmerized into a fearful trance that he might just come forward to confess his sin. Would that be an abomination?

The word “abomination” is still employed today in order to draw a line in the sand over issues of sexual identity. After all, the Bible contains these words, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman, it is an abomination.” (Lev. 18) The Bible also records 20 varieties of birds that are an abomination to eat, including the bat. Wait a minute now. The bat is not a bird; the bat is a mammal: a flying mammal. The Bible is NOT a science book and we have learned a lot about our world since these words were written 2500 years ago.

If a bat is not a bird, as the Bible claims, perhaps there are other things we have learned and are learning about our world and ourselves that are different from what the Bible claims. Is it an abomination to eat shrimp, have a tattoo or two, or if you’re a woman, go out in public when you are menstruating? According to the Bible, the answer is “Yes!” These infractions are considered equally abominable as the prohibition against a male lying with another male as a woman.

There are people in our own denomination who read the Bible literally, but not honestly. They rigidly adhere to their hermeneutic of fear and judgment, arrogantly assuming they know the truth of God’s wisdom, refusing to consider what we have learned and are learning in theology, in science, etc. (Arrogance is also listed as one of the abominations in Leviticus; all of us should be very careful.)

If we are going to claim moral high ground by saying, “It’s in the Bible”, we’d do well to consider what else is “in the Bible”. Slavery is permitted in the Bible. Polygamy is permitted in the Bible. infanticide is permitted in the Bible. Saying something is “in the Bible” unreflectively, without considering the context in which it is written is simply not an adequate moral argument for judging another human being.


2. Chromosomes 

Can you remember high school biology in which you learned about chromosomes? Chromosomes determine gender. Everyone gets two of them: XX and XY. XX makes you female and XY makes you male. But wait, some people get an extra chromosome. It’s rare, but it happens.

Additionally, in some people the second chromosome is incomplete.  That second letter determines your gender identity. What if it is missing a piece? How does that affect one’s sense of sexuality? Are people with an incomplete chromosome “abominations”? Is that what Christian fundamentalists would call them?

Consider that there were many things unknown at the time the Bible was written: black holes, solar systems, bacteria, a universe beyond the night sky, a planet beyond the horizon of the sea, the cardio-vascular system, chocolate, gravity, the human genome, ice cream and so much more. Is it possible we are still learning things about our world, our universe, ourselves that go beyond what the Bible can adequately reveal? Yes!!! Of course!!!

God gifted us with the capacity to think, to imagine and discover. Let’s think about when the Bible was written and who wrote it. Let’s imagine what is similar and different about our own time. Let’s discover how God is still speaking to us today and pushing us to new horizons.


3. Love

I do not know what it is like to live inside of the body of someone who is lesbian. I only know what it is like to live inside the body I have which is that of a middle-aged, heterosexual woman. I am called by Christ to love my neighbor as myself, even those I don’t quite understand, like heterosexual men.

Being gay or lesbian is NOT a sin; being unloving is. Our sexual identity is NOT a choice; our behavior is.

I can no longer keep silent about standing up for people who are oppressed by the church because of their sexual identity. To do so is to be unloving. I must choose love, even when it is hard for me. It is hard to be vocal about something that makes so many people angry and fearful and spiteful and mean. But it is even harder on my brothers and sisters who are the object of other people’s judgment and scorn. For all the times I did not speak up clearly, I ask forgiveness.

It doesn’t matter what culture we come from; every culture oppresses people whose sexual identity is not heterosexual. Love should help us see this and see each other as the children of God we are. Love should open our eyes to the habits of culture that only give us false pride and arrogance (see Leviticus about arrogance and abomination).

Over 25 years of ministry, I have known colleagues who have served the church with great devotion who are gay or lesbian. The church ordained them; most of them kept their sexual identity to themselves. The church was happy to have their gifts shared for the benefit of the ministry of the whole church but took the “don’t ask, don’t tell” tact. How dare we say anything but, “You are part of the body of Christ.” to these faithful servants of God. Over 25 years of ministry, I have known many families with a child who had courage enough to say, “I’m gay” or “I’m lesbian”. I want those parents to know that God loves their children just as much as they do.

Since FCC Pomona has had a website, most of the people who find us do so because they are looking for a faith home where they do not have to hear hate speech about people who are gay or lesbian or bi-sexual, because those people are their family and friends. We are an “Open and Affirming” congregation which means we believe sexual identity is not an impediment to come to Christ’s table or serve in ministry. We had a wedding at the church about a year ago for a blended family: two women and their children. It was important to them to be married in a church and there was none that was welcoming of them where they lived in the high desert. They still come to church periodically.

Love demands we see ourselves in other people, even those we don’t understand. Love demands we practice compassion for people oppressed by culture, even when that is the culture of church: especially when it is the culture of church.

It is with gratitude I celebrate our congregation’s endorsement of a resolution to be presented at General Assembly which affirms the church is called to welcome everyone with the welcome of Christ, regardless of their sexual identity, ethnicity, gender, etc.  We seek to practice what we preach every week at the Table when we proclaim “It is Christ who hosts. All are welcome.”

Post a comment

Print your tickets