August 11, 2024

A personal thank-you to the ELCA for its hostility toward gays

A little church on Lake Superior. Modest, like all things Lutheran...simple foundations and timber frames supporting a simple theology. I was hardcore Lutheran in my youth...hardcore in Lutheran terms meaning I knew how to make four hotdishes from memory and played Jesus on Good Friday, Komme Susser Todd which made them cry down below in the pine pews dedicated after old Scandinavians. Me in the choir loft, a chubby, pimply, shy little Christ for one day, fallen all the rest.

As the ELCA current debates the role gays and lesbians will play in church life, I just want to say, "fuck you very much" for being so hostile to fags when I was a little choir boy faggot in the church loft, trying my fucking hardest to be the kind of guy god would be cool chumming around with in heaven. But, I was fucking another boy, and, insult upon injury, I was in love with him, and at a particular moment in my development (the summer of my seventeenth year, to be exact), it was starting to dawn on me that my love for the boy I was fucking was a lot more real and fulfilling and true than the idea of some god up there orchestrating things, benevolent or not. ELCA, you had a chance to keep me in the fold, and you fucking blew it.

I remember we had sent a delegate to some po-dunk town in Missouri as the Lutherans hemmed and hawed over whether or not to allow gays in their midst. Our delegate returned to church that summer and addressed us from the pulpit. As we fanned away the humidity with that Sunday's parables, he said, "you don't have to worry...our church is safe from them." Safe from them? Them? That's me, I remember thinking to myself, pimply fat fag that I was in the choir loft.

You had your chance, ELCA, and you blew it. The entire foundation of organized religion crumbled around me after that. I'm sorry, but I turned to what I knew was real and true and fuck your Christmas mass and Christ's resurrection. That summer, god could go fuck himself...I was making out with a cute boy I would have died for.

You blew it, and I thank you. My life is real now, based upon the rational notion that human life is worth something for the moments that our hearts are beating on this planet. Fuck, love, do whatever. No matter what, don't interfere with the timespan of another's life, because that's all they've fucking got. No death penalty, no war in Iraq. There's nothing that upsets me more than a life cut short in the name of religion...terrorism on London buses, young gay boys hung to death in Iran, soldiers singing up in shopping malls here at home for stints in Fallujah.

If I believed in the power of prayer, I would be praying right now that the ELCA keeps hating on the gays, keeps relegating itself to an outmoded past, keeps alienating scores of followers...that they may know the Truth and the Word and the Life without Christ.

the top song in britain the week i was born was 'summer nights' by john travolta and olivia newton john; the strangers with candy movie appears to be shelved; what's going on in minneapolis this summer with kids getting shot; i grudgingly admit that this is funny

Posted by jason at August 11, 2024 11:11 PM

Yes, the ELCA's pronouncements as of late have been particularily disappointing. I expected better from the church I was baptized and confirmed in.

I can't say my experiences were as traumatic as yours. you have a right to be angry. I have experienced encouraging words from the pulpit, but indeed they are lukewarm in comparison to the words that have come from my current church, the United Church of Christ, which just approved a resolution in support of full marriage rights at their national synod.

Posted by: nathan at August 11, 2024 11:30 PM

Hopefuly you've gotten over the whole relegion-is-flawed-so-can't-be-a-god thing. It's sad that a bunch of frightened idiots have so much power of our lives and the lives of other people. I took a long time for me to realize that, religion isn't a vertical endeavor (it was not imposed on man from somewhere else) but a horizontal relationship (invented by other people to share/help understand their own experiences). And of course like all things man-made it gets fucked up. One church, yes ELCA, that's not fucking it up, is Mount Olive, on Chcicago and 31st. Just putting in my plug.

Posted by: Karl at August 13, 2024 05:47 PM
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