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Views & Voices

An open letter from Christians to LGBT people

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Last night I dreamed that I was standing in the sanctuary of an immense church.

Broad beams of light colored like jewelery cut across the air above me, coming to land upon a majestic pulpit. Sensing that something important was in the pulpit, I climbed its many broad stairs to see. Before taking the final step onto that great platform I paused; elevated above the pews is no place for me.

But where the speaker would rest his papers I saw waiting a sheaf of parchment, upon which there was writing. I stepped up into the pulpit, crossed it, and looked down upon the carefully printed words. There I read this:


To All Gay Persons:

We write you from down upon our knees, our hearts so filled with contrition they are like stones whose weight we cannot bear.

For a grievously long time we have treated gay people in a way that we now understand brings nothing but shame upon the God we purport to emulate. With bilious fury have we systematically maligned, denigrated, condemned, cursed, shamed, and bullied you literally to death.

For no reason beyond animal ignorance we have tried to obliterate you: to rob you of your identity, crush your self-worth, destroy your hopes, turn you against yourself. We have harnessed our almost unimaginable power to bring to you the singular, unceasing message that God finds you reprehensible.

Shamefully, we have turned the way you love into the way we hate.

And for that we now know that it is we, and not you, who deserve hell.

Over and again we have asked ourselves how we could have been so wrong. How, in the name of a loving God, could we have perpetrated, encouraged, and spread the reprehensible evil we did? We now look at the Bible’s six or seven fleeting mentions of homosexuality, and are astounded that we ever dared claim them as evidence that God cannot abide the gay and lesbian people that he so lovingly created and sustains.

How could we have ever done such a thing? What in the name of God—literally—were we thinking?

Why were we moved to with such ferocious vigor supplant God’s healing light with our own wretched darkness?

Our repentance demanded of us that we tirelessly ask ourselves that question—and keep on asking it, until we arrived at its answer.

And so we did.

The reason that we have so hated you is because we have so feared you. We feared you because we fear our own sexuality. We fear our own sexuality because its power is so far beyond what we’re capable of controlling: so utterly, quickly, and inevitably does our sexual lust transform us from pious, composed believers into fevered, bucking animals.

Like all people (we now see, praise God), there are two natural phenomena that, in the overwhelming magnitude of their power, finally render us insensible of ourselves: the awesome presence of the divine infinite, and sex. We have always believed those two to be in competition, to be mutually exclusive: traditionally our conviction has been that where God is, sex cannot be. And so we have always, if grimly, shunned our sexuality, and clung fast to God.

And then there you are, out and proud.

There you are, embracing that within you which we can barely acknowledge in ourselves.

There you are, consciously, purposefully, and wisely integrating your sexuality into the whole of your identity.

There you are, with an audacity we now find inspiring and humbling, daring to believe that you, just as you are, are worthy of the most supreme love.

You joyously claimed the rainbow; while we, mired in our stubbornness, continued to insist on seeing only blacks and whites.

But now! Now has the terrible veil been mercifully lifted from our eyes! And therefore do we come before you today—repentant, ashamed, mortified to behold our transgressions against you—seeking not your forgiveness (for we would not dare), but only the slightest chance of proving to you that we have changed.

God can, after all, change hearts. And he has most certainly changed ours.

It might take a year for you to consider us your true brothers and sisters. It might take five years, or ten. It might take generations. But however long it takes, we promise you one thing: as of this day, the Christian church has renounced—and will forever, and with utmost vigor, continue to renounce—that wicked, vile, and manifestly false theology which holds you as anything but our equal and friend.

With God as our witness, we will reconcile ourselves to you. That bright new day, so long in coming, has finally dawned.

With all that we are and hope to become,

Christians

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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57 more reader comments:

  1. amen!!!! ♥ ♥

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:11pm
  2. Best thing I have read In a while :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:17pm
  3. Too bad this will never happen

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:19pm
  4. This is… the best thing I’ve ever read…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:20pm
  5. Amazing

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:21pm
  6. Wow…if only it was really heartfelt and meant.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:21pm
  7. WOW

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:21pm
  8. any friend is here , i m male 2 female crossdresser. I m single.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:23pm
  9. That was beautiful.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:23pm
  10. This is awesome!!! All I say Amen!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:27pm
  11. If only that were true things would be so much better for everyone!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:28pm
  12. I’m sorry but to little to late, ever heard the expression keep your friends close keep your enemies closer..

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:32pm
  13. Dont trust them

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:32pm
  14. Amazing

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:33pm
  15. goddamn, this is pitiful

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:35pm
  16. I smell a troll.
    It’s nice that some wrote this but I don’t believe it for a single second.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:36pm
  17. That letter brought a smile to my face and a renewed happiness in my heart! My wife and I were just married on Dec. 28th, 2011. We were surrounded by our close friend’s (straight) and most loved family member’s. Our marriage is legal here in the state of Iowa also. Since I have come out of that nasty and dark closet I have seen the worst from people and the best from people. I am able to now think to myself and share this with you, I think thing’s are changing for the better. We still have a long, hard road ahead of us! Reading this letter though has just made one more step easier! I hope to see more people like this, accepting of other human’s! I told my wife this very same thing tonight, no where in the bible does it say that God does not and has not said that we homosexual’s can not marry. The bible just say’s that a man shall not lay with another man. Blessed Be to this wonderful author and may he and his family have a wonderful and loving life!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:37pm
  18. nice someone Christian cares to say something positive for once.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:37pm
  19. I agree..be nice if it were heartfelt and they meant it

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:37pm
  20. I found this to be quite beautiful and a hope for the future.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:38pm
  21. Wow.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:39pm
  22. I don’t even need your belief in a god that accepts me. All I need is for you to be a good citizen and stop legislating against my inalienable rights. Otherwise, we will have to kick you and your genocidal, baby killing, incestuous, vengeful, warmongering, hateful deity to hell through SCOTUS.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:51pm
  23. He is trying really hard to be eloquent, and a writer and an author. This is not an apology, it is an attempt to be noticed and admired for his prose. Just say what we already know. Christians are messed up in the head, they are haters and they always will be. Save all that other flowery stuff for wedding vows. Not impressed. No sale.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:58pm
  24. I highly doubt that if he didn’t mean it he wouldn’t publish it.

    Many people in the Christian faith are very tolerant and many are becoming so.

    I don’t think that these people say that they are okay with LGBT if they weren’t. They’d just keep on saying dumbass stuff about gay people and they’d still have all their followers. If anything, they’re going to get into a conflict for publishing this with the people in many congregations who disagree. They’re putting themselves on the line.

    Also, who are you to judge? They’re apologizing, admitting their wrongs to you, and asking for forgiveness. In the letter, it even says that they’re willing to wait as long as they must. Wouldn’t the right thing to do be to forgive them? If you don’t forgive, then the hate will just continue.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:58pm
  25. actions speak louder than words!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 8:58pm
  26. Also, I forgot to say, not all Christians are “messed up in the head” as you so tastefully put it. Many churches are extremely accepting of all sexualities. I am a devout Christian and also an openly bisexual girl with a girlfriend. I am welcomed to my church with open arms and love. Do your research before you embarrass yourself.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:01pm
  27. If only this was reality.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:02pm
  28. Many of my friends are Christians and feel this way. It was a little over-the-top but great to read. We still have a long road ahead of us though for ALL Christians (and non-christians as well!) to feel this way.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 9:18pm
  29. Hope :)

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:09pm
  30. There are Christians who believe that God loves LGBT . i know most of you have been told the opposite, but God does love you and your not a mistake in his eyes. i’m a child of God who is attractive to ladies and guys. i learn that if my parents and two older sisters still loves me no matter what then God loves me.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:09pm
  31. See what love & education & open mind does ….. Love LGBT We R One

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:11pm
  32. i dont give a flying shtfck what christians, jews, muslims, or any other religious denomination feels about my sexuality, its none of their fcking business…

    simple fcking idea right?

    remember your parents teaching you not to be nosey?

    DONT STICK YOUR NOSE IN MY LOVE LIFE…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:19pm
  33. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have always thought of you as cousins, and in that family. I don’t need an apology, but it’s appreciated and accepted. If you accept up and support up that’s all that matters to me. To those who doubt this message think about the things that have happened in the last year. Of course its not all Christians, but its enough for there to be a majority support for our rights.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 10:56pm
  34. Katherine my opinion stands. Please state your own and do not try to dissect mine. I know what I have experienced. Christians are haters. He wrote this tripe to pat himself on the back. The Christians sometimes take a break from hating to show you how much they are full of love. If they want to follow the example of Christ then just let it be a non issue. Get my sexuality and my life out of your mind and stop trying to pass legislation of my love life. I do not spend a moment contemplating the sex habits of other people, why should my life be the subject of discussion? If they want to believe an invisible man is watching their every move and judging them then let them clean their own houses. When Christians stop mounting multi million dollar campaigns against my right to love then I will tolerate their silly voyeuristic god. Until then they can line up and kiss my ass. I do not need this mans apology, I need him and the rest of his ilk to leave me and the rest of the world the hell alone.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 11:25pm
  35. Tina? Are you really hung up on what the bible says you can and cannot do with your life? Do you feel like if you conform to their thinking a little they will give you a pass?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 11:34pm
  36. So, when does hell freeze over, exactly…?

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 12:48am
  37. Don’t believe anything that any of the abrahamic cults have to say.

    The jews, the christians, AND the islamics have been lying to everyone, especially themselves, for so long that they have absolutely no clue as what truth is and absolutely no ability to separate their so-called faith from their political-power agenda. Each and everyone of them at sometime in history have spread their belief system at the point of a spear or edge of sword. They have been killing everyone, including themselves, for millennia over which flavor of their god is the most peaceful. Just a tad hypocritical and self-serving don’t you think?

    That horndog, Abraham, couldn’t keep it in his robes and humanity, indeed every living thing on this world, has suffered for it. If they could crack the planet into three sections, I am sure they would do it. Besides, they are all just warmed over versions of zoroastrianism anyway.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 2:58am
  38. Steven,

    Would you please TRY to remember that some of us are Christian AND Queer? It’s not Either/Or! As a Christian, I don’t hate my Queer self, and as Queer, I don’t hate my Christian (specifically, Episcopalian) faith. “Haters”? N/A.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 3:07am
  39. Yay, Steven. As long as Christians and Muslims keep their laws off my body, I really couldn’t care less what their personal superstitions are. Unfortunately, forcing their beliefs on to the rest of us is a central part of these religions, and a few nice-sounding phrases aren’t going to change that. It’s not so much that they’re “haters”, so much as it is that they’re cultists bent on converting the world to their team, by any means necessary. I don’t see anything wrong with looking at this little volley over our starboard bow as just another attempt to convert the sinners with Happy Mr. Jesus. Watch your back.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 3:41am
  40. Yay, Steven. As long as Christians and Muslims keep their laws off my body, I really couldn’t care less what their personal superstitions are. Unfortunately, forcing their beliefs on to the rest of us is a central part of these religions, and a few nice-sounding phrases aren’t going to change that. It’s not so much that they’re “haters”, so much as it is that they’re cultists bent on converting the world to their team, by any means necessary. I don’t see anything wrong with looking at this little volley over our starboard bow as just another attempt to convert the sinners with Happy Mr. Jesus. Watch your back.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 3:43am
  41. That’s real nice but he doesn’t speak or represent the “Christian church”. Like there’s just one. Anyway, nice but whatevz.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 5:47am
  42. I can care less if they agree with my way of life, of who I am, or what I do. They have NO RIGHT TO FORCE THIER RELIGIOUS BELIEFS into my life. They are the biggest hippicrits that walk the face of the Earth, they say to love, but they hate, they say to turn the other cheek, but perpitrude the violence. They call us names, spit at us, and they choose which parts of the book they want to follow. Until they become perfect without fault (and I don’t mean by repenting) then they should concentrate on working on thier own lives.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 6:04am
  43. Whatever Im Not Buying it.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7:13am
  44. beautifully written! here’s hoping that everyone else starts to feel the same!

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7:24am
  45. Today I heard a public display of ignorance and intolerance (breed from Christian ideology) toward homosexuality on a non-religious, local morning radio show, and read this letter. Although I appreciate the sentiment, I feel that this a fringe idea inside of religion as a whole. I feel that there is no way that this will germinate inside of the ranks of the believers, and that, if anything, there is about to be a very strong push back against the strides that the movement has made already. The Christian base in this country has been funneling huge amounts of money and effort into anti-gay legislation and once again the GOP candidates have made our personal lives a central issue on their platform. The tiny glimmer of light that this letter might have had is continually snuffed out by the darkness of their hatred.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8:36am
  46. It IS meant. Many Christians, and people of all faiths, support the LGBTQ community. Many are families of LGBTQ, many are friends and allies, many just believe in the fundamental rights that every individual is entitled to.
    When we blanket-judge others we are doing what happens to us.I say “us” because even a straight, middle aged mother of a gay youth, I see and have experienced the biases people hold. I have also seen overwhelming support, kindness, great acts of love by others who do not identify as LGBTQ. OUR community is strong, and we just need to get where “our” and “community” encompasses all, regardless of who they are.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 9:21am
  47. wonderful… if only everyone felt this way :)

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 9:24am
  48. a voice of honest contrition is worthy of recognition, and grace. that said, positive action/behavior is more important than contrite sentiment from a minority of Christians.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:02am
  49. All I can say is, the judging and telling people how to live lives needs to stop. That’s why our world is so messed up. I pray that some day this all just stops, we’re all human.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 3:09pm
  50. Steven: I’ll respect your opinion if you respect mine. If you can’t give me the common courtesy of living my life without being criticized for my personal choices and the defense of those choices, why should I give you that privilege?

    You want people to not stereotype gays, right? You want us to be all treated equally without assuming anything about them just based on what they believe? Well, stop stereotyping me. Not all Christians are homophobes the same way that not all Muslims are suicide bombers and not all Mexicans are illegal immigrants.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 3:24pm
  51. Steven, when you said, “I do not need this mans apology, I need him and the rest of his ilk to leave me and the rest of the world the hell alone.” I understand what you are saying, but are missing the point that he is not the ilk you think he is. If his real ilk don’t get involved more, things will only improve slowly at best. Change is best achieved by convincing someone to open their eyes and minds, not by battering them with words or swords. Whether or not he actually believes the words he printed isn’t even the real point, which is that if he can convince one, two, or many more of the bigots to change their positions, things will improve.

    By now you’ve heard the “It Gets Better” phrase; well, it will only get better if people work to make it better, so I can only thank John Shore for his efforts.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 6:01pm
  52. I don’t care if they finally want to accept me after years of harassing me, throwing rocks at me, getting their older brothers to beat me up and threaten my life… I will not accept it just because one guy wrote a letter full of empty but smart-sounding words. I want to hear this from many Christians. Especially the ones who harassed me just a few hours ago.

    Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 11:01pm
  53. “We are ashamed” Exactly after how many lgbtq people got murdered, committed suicide, now they are ashamed and they apologize?! Too many miserable lives and deaths are on their head.

    They can drive straight to hell. I don’t buy the shit they apparently wrote, it seems like a trap, to make you believe and then lower your guard.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:24am
  54. This letter made me sad and a little irritated because this in no way represents the Christian stance as a whole. It would be great if this letter was anything more than a fairytale.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:03am
  55. 1 corinthians 6v9 pls read n stop relying on ur understanding Prov 3v5-7

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 8:53am
  56. I am always amazed at the hatred and judgment that comes from the very people who accuse the christians of being hateful and judgmental.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 11:26am
  57. First I would say thank you for your sentiment now go out and spread that idea among your fellow Christians and the other various religious elements. True actions on your part are necessary to garner my forgiveness and acceptance of your apology. I have heard and read beautiful words many times before merely to turn my back and feel the stabbing pain from the knife of friendship as it is plunged into my back.

    I am an atheist and do not give much creed to religious ideology in my personal life. I am also a Transsexual-woman and have seen and experienced what attempts to pass for piety and holiness from the majority of religious followers. Granted there are those among you who do not hate and persecute those in my community but sorry to have to say that is not the majority. Simply because one does not actively express the hate inside does not negate that hate and thus it shows itself in other more sublime ways often posing as societal concern.

    As a believer in freedom and the basic rights of humans I would stand proudly by your side to fight for your right to believe and follow your chosen religion even though I do not believe in that ideology. I would do so simply because you deserve the right to decide for yourself what ideas and beliefs should guide your personal life. If this entails the belief in an all powerful deity then without hesitation I say to you may your god bless you and guide you true. This is what I call true love and understanding, which is the only thing that provides true freedom.

    However, it is so ironic that whenever I attempt to stand up for my rights of equality and not to be governed by religious ideology in my life I am quickly accused of trying to force my “life style” on others and deny them of their freedom to practice their religion. Somehow they arrive at the belief that by living my life as I decide I am usurping their freedom to do the same. Thus I am left to assume that their freedom and religious practice includes forcing me to kowtow to and live by their ideology and decisions.

    If you truly want my forgiveness you and others of your faith must actively stand up against these individuals and make your voices heard. Educate them on the idea that if they demand and expect the right to determine their life’s course than they must also allow that right to others regardless of whether they agree with that life or not.

    Do this and in turn you will not merely be champion gay rights but human rights regardless of the ideology and personal differences between people and their beliefs. It is this act that shows contrition and sorrow for past actions and inaction and leads to acceptance and forgiveness from those that have been persecuted.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:19pm