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Union Seminary @UnionSeminary
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1. It's #Pride, so let's talk about the God and the LGBTQ community.
2. In Genesis, we read that God created humanity in God's own image. Scripture is clear: Each of us carry within us the divine spark, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God has pronounced this Creation "good."
3. From both science and folks' lived experience, we know that gender identity and sexual orientation are not incidental aspects of our being. They are not choices—they sit at the core of our humanity.
4. If we truly believe that God created us in the divine image, this unimpeachably means that the divine image encompasses the full range of gender and sexual expression. In the same way that God is not male or female, God is not queer or straight. God enfolds us all, together.
5. To call folks who identify or love differently "anathema to God" is to spit on that divine image. Any who use religion to smear the LGBTQ community are slandering what God created and pronounced "good." This is blasphemy of the highest order.
6. Moreover, it is a clear violation of Jesus' highest command: to love our neighbors as ourselves. Love does not attack someone on the basis of who they are.
7. Now, lots of fundamentalists will say their vile LGBTQ bigotry is an expression of love: That if you really love queer people you will convince them to deny a fundamental part of themselves to secure their salvation. This is terrible theology.
8. There is no clearer evidence of this than the thousands of young people who tragically kill themselves because they are told their love or personhood is sin: LGBTQ youth are 4x as likely to contemplate suicide compared to their heterosexual peers.…
9. Now, again, fundamentalists will say that this increased risk of suicide is due to a "sinful" sexual orientation or gender identity. This is wrong. Recent studies have drawn a clear link between teen suicide and bigoted theology.
10. A 2018 study found that, for heterosexual teens, strong religious belonging was a *protective factor* against suicide. LGBTQ youth with strong religious belonging, however, were 38% more likely to contemplate suicide than non-religious LGBTQ youth.…
11. LGBTQ suicidal ideation is NOT a product of identity, it is a product of bigotry. You want to talk about what's anathema to God? Telling people they are sinful and impure to the point that they kill themselves is anathema to God.
12. This is also why fundamentalists cannot simply label this "disagreement" as something that others should tolerate in the name of religious freedom. We are not talking about "live and let live" here, we are talking about "live and let kill."
13. Clergy and faith communities must recognize that inclusive theology is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. And it's not enough to simply not demonize LGBTQ people.
14. To undo centuries of theological malpractice, we must loudly and assertively proclaim LGBTQ people as fundamentally holy, sacred and blessed—again and again—until we fully uproot any blasphemy that says otherwise.
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