The only thing I can take away from this weekend’s horrific shooting in a conservative bastion of hateful Christians is that people of faith think it’s ok to kill LGPTQ+ persons.
I live in Montana, where I was born, raised, educated and taught to feel shame about my sexuality. I was a Roman Catholic priest- educated in Rome- and my secrets nearly killed me. The shame instilled by society, institutions and community have killed thousands of us. To this day, as a therapist and Episcopal priest, I listen to the fear of young LGPTQ+ people who are helpless. They cannot move out of the danger zone. Their families do not have the means to run for safety. They cannot leave the schools where they experience bullying. In some cases, they are thrown out of “Christian” families who have forgotten that love is the ultimate authority in our faith. The terror, horror, anxiety and desperation hit me every single day from my patients, parishioners and community.
As a Christian, I am appalled, disgusted and yes, scared.
I am also angry. The “Pro-Life” contingency doesn’t care about our lives.
The Pro-Life cultists don’t care about reality.
And we are reality.
They are delusional.
They believe that we shouldn’t exist. We should’t love, we shouldn’t have community- shouldn’t be Christian.
We’re already here.
We’re already community.
And we’re not going away.
In my church, all are welcome- all are celebrated, loved, and we work to understand, not judge.
But “Christians” are still calling for us to be murdered. To quote ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ (which I know may not be popular, but it is still apt) “If Jesus came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he would never stop throwing up”.
And I think he would also be disgusted, angry and filled with grief.
Just remember, not all Christians believe this- many good people will support us. But it is time to show our grief and anger.
This is not loving or compassionate.
This is not Jesus.
For the love of God.
~ D Gregory Smith, MA, STL, LCPC
When I was growing up in Montana during the 40’s and 50’s there were few choices for gay people. You could be deeply closeted or you could be out and either jailed because you were a pervert or placed into an asylum because you were crazy. It sometimes seems our progress has been glacial with many steps back as well as forward. Your work is crucial. It didn’t exist 60 years ago.
Thank you Reverend Smith. Excellent and well written!