Welcome to the Sanctuary Collective Empowerment Project Queer Theology Synchroblog! The original call and idea for this project is here. The full list of participants is below! More will be added throughout the day as their links come in. There’s still time to get in on this, if you’d like to be included, just leave a link with your blog post here.
Growing up my encounter with the Scriptures was fraught with a feeling of failure. I didn’t read the Bible enough. I didn’t follow it well enough. It came down to feeling like I was just never enough. Then, when I realized my first feelings of queerness, even before I could name them, the not-enoughness became more than just a behaviour or an action, it became me. I was the deeply flawed failure. I was the broken one. (Some would later use words like depraved, sick, disgusting to describe me and my body). The Bible wasn’t a comfort, it was a weapon formed against me. It was a measuring stick that always said I wasn’t enough. I remember vividly sitting in a systematic theology class, doing the homework, and thinking this doesn’t make sense.
So I walked away. Put the Bible on the shelf. Sure, I went to church. I even preached occasionally, but the Bible was disconnected from my life. Then I came out to myself and I had to grapple with the Bible. I had to deal with those clobber texts. So I approached the Bible with intellect. I sought to master it and to understand it. I studied and read, and I understood with my head but it never touched my heart.
But even in all of my walking away from the Bible, God pursued me. I found flashes of the holy in the songs of Antje Duvekot, in the love and conversation of Ember Swift and Miranda Stone. I read Jeanette Winterson’s “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit” and felt understood. I sat in silent sanctuaries and felt God whispering to me.
I went to seminary. Another vivid memory: I am sitting in the classroom reading the story of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel. And I realize that the resurrection talked about in the passage is physical. Those bodies were brought back to life with flesh and sinew. And I saw myself in the text; dancing with those bodies brought back to life. Suddenly my head and my heart united and there I was in this Scripture text.
I realize the power of queer theology because it saved my faith. My queerness keeps me coming back to the Scripture and it keeps the text alive and changing. But my faith also keeps me queer. I could easily “assimilate”. Marry a woman, never tell anyone that I’m trans* and those would be completely valid decisions. And yet the spirit of God keeps whispering to me saying, “Be queer.” Because the way I understand queerness, as a verb meaning to challenge and to change; that’s the call I get from my faith. To challenge the status quo, to call out the Empire, to work to root out oppression and bring in the year of Jubilee.
Queer theology isn’t just about queer people. It’s about giving all of us permission to see ourselves in the text. It’s about wresting away control over these texts from the powerful, from the privileged, from the rich and putting them back in the hands of the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized because we were the people who wrote those texts in the first place.
The kingdom of heaven is among us rabble rousers, among us queer folks, among us poor and put out. It’s for all of us who feel like we don’t measure up: People who don’t look like magazine models, men who like to sew and women who like sports, bodies that work differently, bodies that love queerly. This message is for all of us because we all feel like sometimes we don’t measure up.
Reading this text queerly can save your faith. It certainly saved mine.
Here are the list of participants:
Shay writes Queer Theology Synchroblog home.
Brian writes “Why Queer Liberation Must Be Queer Led”
Cindi writes Queer Theology From a Reluctantly Queer Theologian
Gabe writes The Queerness of Christ: And over Or
Christians for Justice Action write “Imagine the Possibilities Four Years From Now”.
Darrel writes “Queer Theology: Outside the Box” at the Blog of the Grateful Bear.
Ken writes Queer Theology.
Peterson writes Lazarus Come Out!
Mike writes Queer Theology Synchroblog #SCEP.
Cindy writes Creative Differences in the Image of God (this link opens a PDF)
Jules writes Being Queerly Forward
Vince writes Loving Promiscuously: A Queer Theology of Doing It
Alison writes Why I’m Queer Too
Sonnie writes God Made Me Queer
Ellen writes Through A Glass Queerly
Steve writes In Solidarity
Matt writes A Love That Goes Beyond Welcome
Dirty Sexy Ministry writes Baptized In Dirty Water