The biggest hesitation I had in writing yesterday’s post was a line near the bottom of the post, the one mentioning that the organization Kids Need To Read offers a special package of LGTB friendly books. I hesitated mentioning that because I know people would view that in different ways. Some people would think it is a good selling point while others would be turned off by it. I’m not sure which way my audience here leans so why bother mentioning it? Why not just ignore that detail about the organization and focus on the less controversial aspect of sharing simple picture books with kids?
I left the line in. I mentioned it.
Today sitting at church, I found myself realizing I should write about it. I should write about the decision to leave it in. I should write about belonging to the United Church of Canada, a church that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation with regards to who can become a minister or not. A church that has more and more affirming congregations.
I should write about attending theological classes at McGill University, and having an Anglican professor stand at the front of the class and say that the Bible NEVER speaks about homosexuality. It never speaks about sexual orientation. It speaks about particular sex acts that took place in a particular context. What it condemns are not loving acts between two adults but acts of power and rape, and it condemns them alongside other prohibitions that Christians regularly ignore (such as not wearing mixed wool and linen) so there is absolutely no reason to pull those passages out and treat them like they alone give us the right to judge others.
I could write about John Douglas Hall’s book and how he wrote that Christians should not care about sexual orientation because people are not defined by their sexual orientation. Lesbians are not just lesbians they are our sisters, daughters, mothers, friends, coworkers etc, and the same goes for gay, transgendered and bisexual.
I hesitated to mention LGBT friendly books in a blog post because we live in a divided world where certain issues have become very emotional, very political and are used like litmus tests.
In some circles I’m involved in it is taken for granted that everyone is accepting of gay rights. Then in other circles people are less so. Homeschooling circles are often less accepting, and because my webpage is focused towards homeschooling, I’m scared of alienating myself from other homeschoolers, even those I don’t know and will never meet. I am scared because I wish I could be accepted by many religious people, even though I think their very hesitation to accept that homosexuality is not evil makes them some of the cruelest people out there. It isn’t that I think people shouldn’t be able to doubt, question or hold their own religious beliefs, but making one particular question of other people’s sexual identity into a Shibboleth, well, that’s cruel. I am a coward or at least I have been. I am sorry for every time I have not spoken up clearer, more firm and lovingly. I am sorry that I hesitated to write that one line.
The organization Kids Need to Read gives out books to programs working with children in disadvantaged situations. Sometimes they give out books that help to normalize the fact that there are homosexual men and women out there, raising families and living their lives. That is a good thing.