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Throughout my life I have always been faced with God. Unlike maybe someone like Bill Maher, I can’t become an atheist or even an agnostic; God is in my blood and I believe in Him. Even in those times in my life when I was living just for me, God was still there being a part of my life.

I give God the credit for so much for whom I am, or at least who I want to be and strive to be. I am also a liberal, or at least that’s where my political views stand. Being a liberal is also part of my relationship with God. Unlike many conservatives, my passion falls toward compassion – compassion for hungry children and those on the edge of life, trying to just survive.

My sexuality – my gayness as I’d like to call it, also has a lot to do with my relationship with God. I use to think that He hated me because of it. I went through a challenging time in my life when I spent years thinking that the one who created me and made me the way I am, hated me for being who I am.

I know that doesn’t seem to make sense but in reality, now that I look back on it, I realize that was exactly what I was doing; feeling guilty because I believed God hated me for what I could not help; being gay.

Looking back on those dark days reminds me of a quote from John Irving’s Novel, The Hotel New Hampshire; “keep passing the open window.” There were so many days in my life I felt that way – just keep passing those open windows, don’t give up, and don’t hate yourself.

I tried so many times to change myself. I tried to become heterosexual and somehow stop feeling attracted to men. Since it was a moral issue; I went to the source and I prayed and I prayed. I sanctified myself and committed my heart to the Lord but when I got up off my knees, no matter how long I stayed there, I was still a gay man with gay desires.

I came from a Pentecostal, Full Gospel Holiness church background. Pentecostals – at least the old-fashioned kind – were very fundamentalist in their beliefs. The very idea of someone being homosexual would be considered an abomination from God.

There’s no doubt that if someone was exposed as a homosexual, they would be shunned from the church.  I know very well because I’ve been down that road and it’s a very sad and lonesome road when your church turns against you.

But, in spite of the church and after many years of allowing myself to accept guilt for being gay, I finally came back to a relationship with my creator. This time I threw out all the old guilt and told the Lord “Here I am Lord. If I’m not what you want me to be, then mold me and make me. But you made me this way; I didn’t choose my sexuality so it came from you.”

What I remember the most about those first days after discovering I was gay, was the feeling I was alone and there was no one I could turn to. I couldn’t turn to God because he thought of me as an abomination and I couldn’t turn to the only friends I knew; my church. That was the furthest from my mind; instead I hid it because that’s all I could do, I couldn’t even dream of confessing to those who I loved and I knew would look down on me.

But it’s not about me anymore, I’ve moved on with my life and I’m happy to say that I’m happy with myself. Still, there are so many teens, some gay and some heterosexual who face so much every day when they wake up in homes that are ruled by a perverted version of the Gospel, or for that matter – any religion that teaches them hate instead of love and fear instead of compassion.

Gay teens nowadays mostly have somewhere to turn but that may not be the case for all of them. There are still pockets of gay teens that hear nothing but negative and destructive words concerning gay people, people of other races or even people of another denomination.

A religious home can be a wonderful place for a young person to grow up in if that home is full of love and joy. But I can tell you that this is not the case for some religious homes. It is a difficult enough of a life for a heterosexual child to grow up in a home that is ruled by an extreme form of religion, let alone a gay child.

Religious people have a right to raise their kids how they see fit and that’s the way it should be. But, a teen that discovers they’re gay and a member of a religious family and a church that has always taught them that homosexuals go to Hell and are evil, can face a great gulf of fear and self-hate and a battle for their very souls ensues as they deal with the implications of who they are.

It is unfortunate, and not just for gay teens but for all teens who choose the road that ends. No really, it’s a tragedy when a young teen is faced with the sometimes unseen obstacles in their lives; that no one loves them and that God hates them.

So much good can come from a religious home. Over the years since I’ve left my past, I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of a few religious homes that were filled with loving and wonderful people.

But I am also a witness from the past, of seeing children taught fear along with the prejudice and hate that belongs to their parents. It is those children that I send my heart to, because I’ve been down that road too. I say to them “hold on, it won’t last forever.” And I encourage them to do as I did; just keep passing the open window.

Originally posted to Fidlerten Place on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 11:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks, Street Prophets , and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ahh ... Fidlerten, hugs and high fives (22+ / 0-)

    for passing through all the garbage of cohersive churches. The institutions don't like anybody that is different or that challenges their view of how the wolrd should be.

    I grew up in a mainline denomination, but on the racial/ethnic minority part of it. My church was so fundie that when, as a teen, I expressed some not very dadical thoughts about gender equality.  The class immediately stopped and wanted to lay hands on me so they could drive the devil out of me. Later, I found out that the woman who lead the attack had just found out that her husband had a long time mistress and second family (almost parallel in age with hers). Poor woman, she was trying to convince herself that her life was OK by driving the devil out of mine.

    One of my favorite verses is 2 Cor 1:3-4:

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

    It reminds me of who God is is and what I need pass  on compassion (and justice).  

    Thanks for this ... I too live in OK and it can be a lonely place.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 11:49:18 AM PDT

    •  Driving Out the Devil (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, shanikka, mapamp, DaytonMike

      Corina,

      I appreciate your words.

      Having the devil cast out a is very familiar term, as it's something that Pentecostals believe in very much.

      I think though that most of those from my church would instead consider me THE Devil and just want to cast ME out.

      My favorite verse is Hebrew 4:12

      For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      I live in the OKC area myself.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:27:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We often feel at some point as though we need to (22+ / 0-)

    choose: belief/spirituality, or our sexual orientation. By and large my view is that this dichotomy is entirely false.

    It takes a good deal of independence of mind to see past this dilemma. While I would overall agree with you that

    Religious people have a right to raise their kids how they see fit and that’s the way it should be.
    there is definitely a limit. I do not believe that parents are entitled to abuse their children. Children are not property. Teaching a gay child to hate himself or herself certainly falls under the heading of "abuse." Were more parents to realize that, the world would be a better place and we'd most certainly see fewer homeless GLBT teens and young adults and fewer teen suicides.
    •  Abuse Unintentional (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, mapamp, DaytonMike, sfbob

      Hey sfbob,

      I agree; parents are not entitled to abuse their children and yes, telling a child to hate themselves would definitely be abuse; I know because that's what my mother taught me.

      Still, we must also realize that for most religious parents, they don't intentionally teach their kids to hate themselves. Most of them think that their kids couldn't be gay. So the teaching is something they do unintentionally, even it it is very damaging.

      When people like that finally find out their kid is gay, they do one of two things; either they break down from their religious edicts and let the child know that they're still loved, or they just reject them, sometimes to the point the child leaves home.

      Being a gay man yourself, I know you're well aware of the young gay teens on the street who sometimes end up hustling just to survive. Drug addiction usually follows and that teen sometimes goes down a road they never return from.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A complex issue to be sure (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that the abuse is often unintentional and that had parents known what they were telling their kids, they would not have said what they did.

        There is a flip side as well however. I suspect that a goodly proportion of parents know, at least at some level, that their kids are gay long before their kids themselves do, or at any rate before their kids acknowledge it to themselves or to their parents. I know my folks were aware of it long before I ever came out to them, though they were never sure. Then again my background is entirely different from yours.

        A good parent is not going to take the chance of having to walk back their own teaching after discovering that it was harmful to their own child.

  •  A lovely diary, fidlerten (20+ / 0-)

    Both your message and your writing voice.

    God loves all of us without requirement or reserve, no matter what an entire planet piled with thousands of years of holy texts might say. For those of us who have been misled or poisoned by the teachings of those around us -- about ourselves, about God(s), about worthiness and lovableness -- it can take great courage to step through that opening and into relationship with God. It took every shred of courage I had to say, "Here I am, the way you made me."

    [Aside: Just glanced at your diary titles, and this appears to be your first one dealing with religion. I won't be surprised if you get a bit of blowback from people who are not what I call God-perceivers, e.g., people for whom God's existence is immediate, without abstraction. I can no more choose to not perceive God than I can choose to not taste chocolate when I put it in my mouth. For people who don't share my perception, I liken its profundity and complexity, and my complete lack of choice about it, to sexual orientation or gender identity. But there's no telling that to some folks who have different wiring.]

    •  I love your term "God-perceivers". (15+ / 0-)

      Some do, some don't, and to me, both those who do (like me) and those who don't are OK in my book.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Mrs. Romney: Fraud on Horse. equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 02:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  John 6:44 -- not everyone is drawn by God (8+ / 0-)

        One of the most overlooked little nuggets in the NT. It's not a matter of "choice."

        And there are people in the middle who don't feel a palpable perception of God, but whose upbringing and/or observations tell them God must exist. Time and again I find these are the people who are so bitter, disillusioned, and betrayed when their >> concept << of God fails right when they need God most. (By contrast, it was my >> concept << of No God that failed me, at just the right, disastrous time.)

        •  Sorry (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dirkster42, prfb, kyril, mapamp, dejavu

          We're not all Christians here, and I wish the comments in diaries like this one would acknowledge that. Nothing personal, but this thread just provided the occasion for me to say that.

          -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

          by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:49:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I Don't see Any Reason.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DorothyT, mapamp

            Dave in Northridge,

            I just don't see any reason why I need to acknowledge that there are those here who are not Christians.

            Now don't get me wrong - I respect you for whatever religion or non-religion you adhere to but I don't think if you wrote an article concerning your belief system, that you also need to acknowledge my Christianity.

            My diary entry is about me and my story and those who would relate to my story. It throws no judgment to anyone who doesn't relate to it.

            Still, thanks for speaking up.

            Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

            by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 01:00:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A possible explanation for the posting (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mapamp, kyril

              If it helps, I believe Dave was responding to the previous poster's statements in specific.  I've noticed that the individual in question appears to have habit of making seemingly sniping remarks towards atheists/atheism in postings.

              I am not declaring that as the intent.  Just sometimes people tend to give statements that appear as more confrontational and snarky than was intended.  I do this, I'm sure, but I also occasionally give such remarks intentionally.

              Atheism and religion have been culturally fighting one another for a long time, so it's to be expected, really.  The people in the differing factions sometimes look for excuses to troll one another.

              •  It Takes Heart (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mapamp, kyril

                Paul,

                As far as I'm concerned, athiest have just as much right not to believe in God as much as I have to believe in Him.

                I've always believed that if a religion doesn't capture someone's heart, then it has no right to capture their attention.

                I'm also a fan of Bill Maher and I never miss an episode. In fact, I'm finding I wouldn't even keep HBO if it wasn't for looking forward to an episode of Bill Maher every week.

                Of course, he's going off for the season after this next episode, maybe I should switch my premium channel (I only keep one on my budget) to Starz or Showtime maybe, at least until Bill Returns to HBO.

                Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

                by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:35:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I respond to people who express sentiments (0+ / 0-)

                toward religion and perception of deity that, if analogous sentiments were expressed someone's sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or nationality, would be considered extremely unacceptable here at DK. Happily, these folks seem to be a minority (but a very dedicated one) of the atheists and anti-religionists I've found here. To you, I'm sniping. I see it differently: I call out intolerance.

                Fwiw, the point of my reference to John 6:44 is that Jesus had no beef whatsoever with atheists. He noted in one brief sentence that they exist, made no judgment whatsoever (nor did the author of the gospel), and continued on with his teachings to those whom God calls. That is, he provided no basis in his teachings for any cultural fight between atheism and what (d)evolved into Christianity. The oppression of atheists is one more expression of the authoritarian streak that runs through our species, and to overcome it will require time, education, legal battles, and minimizing the number of religious dominionist judges and legislators in government IMO.

          •  Late post, but this diary WAS about Christianity, (0+ / 0-)

            the Pentacostal Church being a Christian sect, so I am puzzled by your comment.

      •  I don't (0+ / 0-)

        It's offensive to me as an atheist who has deeply important forms of mystical experience. And it's offensive to me as a person who's not neourotypical.

        My experiences as an atheist are not yours (or raincrow's) to gibly dismiss. My disabilities are not yours to appropriate for yet another argument about how atheists are wrong.

    •  Several Articles on Religion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, mapamp, DaytonMike

      Hey raincrow,

      Thank you for such very encouraging words.

      Actually, the articles I publish here are only a small sample of articles from my website. They're my latest but I've been blogging for a couple of years now and I've got over 300 articles and some of those are about religion. Most are about politics and some are about gay rights and some are about all of them.

      Come by and visit my site anytime you'd like:

      Fidlerten Place

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 12:53:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davis90, mapamp

      I really like it when people who are religious put it this way, because it mirrors my experience as an atheist.

      I'm fundamentally, constitutionally incapable of what religious people call faith. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I understand it's an adaptive (biological and/or cultural) trait in some ways; it's not inherently a bad thing. But it's even more foreign to me than heterosexuality. Trying to have a philosophical discussion with religious people generally feels like trying to argue with an alien species.

      Many of you are very nice aliens, of course.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 01:50:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Faith is the Substance.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mapamp, DaytonMike

        kyril,

        Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen...

        I think belief in God is something that has nothing to do with head knowledge or even philosophy. It's about looking past understanding and realizing that there are so many more secrets to the universe than we could ever even imagine.

        Think infinitely!

        Thanks for sharing.

        Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

        by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:40:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Life long Christian here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaytonMike, kyril

        I echo your sentiments.  I sometimes feel this way talking to people of other faith traditions.  I sometimes feel the same talking to people in my own church.

        Faith is a very personal thing, that is a result of your DNA, your childhood, your faith leaders and your adult life experience.  There certainly are a lot of nice Christians out there.  But sometime I have to put on my amateur anthropology hat to discuss things with them.

        My church is in a university community and we have had a fair number of visitors from China, Korea and Japan.  I remember speaking once to an exchange student from China.  We just had a short time, her English was not great and she had no exposure to Christianity before coming to our church.  I knew she wouldn't be back because she was only going to be around for another week, but she did want an explanation of what happened at the service and what we believed. Hearing myself tell her the bare bones Easter story, I felt like I came from an alien planet.  The  Christian story isn't communicated with a few words.  At least it wasn't then

        A friend showed me a book recently, which had as a theme 23 ways of proving the existence of God, and the rebuttals to those proofs.  They were collected in a sort of appendix in the back of the book.  I don't know what the book did with these, although I assume it explored the concept that such proofs were irrelevant to faith.  Sort of a square peg in a round hole.  While theology can be intellectually challenging, it can also be as simple as a feeling.  However one approaches it, I think one has to feel the truth in it for it to make sense.

    •  We can't have a conversation (0+ / 0-)

      ... if you declare me insensate to our shared experience from the start.

  •  Beautiful diary, thank you so much for (9+ / 0-)

    sharing it with us.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Mrs. Romney: Fraud on Horse. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 02:29:39 PM PDT

  •  The Son of God was bisexual. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Click here.

    So you're in good company.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 03:46:34 PM PDT

  •  Bill Maher didn't "choose" to be an atheist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    Perhaps he was born that way.

    Are both religiousness and sexual orientation borne in the genes?

    I wish you well, but truly...God is not like air, you can live without him.  (And trust me...He lives without you)

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:51:21 PM PDT

    •  Can't Live Without Him (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mapamp

      Keith,

      I appreciate your comment but I do disagree with you; I don't think we can live without God. Of course, if you don't believe He has anything to do with your life, then you'd also believe you can live without Him.

      But, I believe that the very air we breath is given to us by God, so I really don't believe you CAN live without Him.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 01:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much overlap... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, fidlerten, kyril, mapamp

    In a lot of ways the story feels so familiar from my own adolescence.  Except, in my case, I deliberately sought out a kind of erotophobic Christianity to deal with my own sense of not fitting in.  It wasn't "religion" that taught me I didn't belong - it was my peers.

    Eventually, I came to terms with my sexual identity, but the religion stuck as the most important facet of my life.

    If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

    by dirkster42 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:33:41 PM PDT

  •  Beautiful! (7+ / 0-)

    All we ever have to be is what we're made to be...
    Peace...

    Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

    by mommyof3 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 09:37:10 PM PDT

  •  fidlerten ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... I'm not a religious person, so perhaps I just don't have the context for understanding how people can teach their children that the god they believe in hates them.  What a terrible, cruel thing to do to kids.  

  •  if i could, i'd give you a pat on the head, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, kyril, mapamp, DaytonMike

    and tell you it's going to be ok. unfortunately, i can't, because i have no clue if it is or not. that said, it appears the younger generations haven't been as completely infected with the "hate gay people" virus, so there is hope.

    as to god and church, those are quite different animals. if you believe in god, and that god made you, then god must have made you gay. if god made it, it must be ok. therefore, you are ok.

    just keep hanging in there guy.

  •  Informative (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, mapamp, DaytonMike

    I have a difficult time understanding religious thinking, but this is informative for me, so thanks for sharing.

    I suspect fewer atheists would be upset with religions if the bad practitioners didn't behave in highly visible, nasty ways.  But I do suspect that it is possible to have a more compassionate future with religion, and if it's going to happen, this sort of thing helps.

    Being allowed to exist in the popular culture is a huge improvement.  Although I do wonder why I have never seen a religiously devout gay person depicted in popular culture.  After all, what leads people to accept others is the strange notion that we're not all so different from one another.

    Anyway, I feel I can understand someone in your specific position a little more clearly.  Now if I could just understand the thinking of a gay neoconservative atheist I once knew...

    •  Understanding Neoconservatives... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mapamp, DaytonMike

      Paul,

      To understand neoconservatives, simply watch children play. When one doesn't get their way because they think it's all about them - think neoconservative.

      I do believe that once gay marriage becomes entirely legal and we see more gay people in marriages, the more you'll also see some of them go to church and profess their faith.

      The problem with a lot of gays who were raised religiously and still believe in God; they think God doesn't want to have anything to do with them, thanks to what they've been told by the churches they grew up in.  So they don't even talk to God anymore.

      I'm here to tell those fellow gays that God still loves them and will never stop loving them, no matter what their churches told them.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 04:50:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've never heard that viewpoint before (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mapamp, DaytonMike, fidlerten

        I understand that problem.  I understand from peoples' accounts dealing with it that having a crisis of identity is a rather difficult thing to deal with.

        I don't know the relevance of this, but it seems that much of the scorn towards churches on gay rights comes from an aggressively secular position, and I don't think that's entirely a good thing.  You don't have to be atheist to identify as gay, and many arguments I've seen appear to imply this erroneous conclusion with attacks on religion/God.

        In some environments, discovering and living with one's own sexuality appears to be a pretty traumatic experience.  The same environments can also make giving up religion a traumatic thing.  But both at once?  I think such a transition would be much more unpleasant than either alone, so really it would be more compassionate not to mix those things.  We ought to be more concerned about what impact we have on people more than who has the better position.

        As for the latter thing, that's an interesting point.  I don't think I've ever heard someone describe their personal struggle in terms of God disliking or disowning them.  Usually, I have heard people expressing a lack of confidence in their families and friends, the fear of hiding their true selves from everyone in their life and community and the potential to lose everything important to them.

        Sure, I hear some self-abuse and shame as well, but generally, the impression I always got was that the individual feels that God couldn't disfavor or hate them.  Because God isn't hate.

        The distresses I usually hear about is in regards to how people fear others will treat them.  That's a fear I can sympathize with, even if I've never had an analogous situation occur to me personally.  For comparison, some atheists go through a similar dilemma coming out to their families.  (That's why I compared the situations.  It turns out people react badly to having their preconceptions about the world and other people challenged.)

        That's pretty dark, but I can see how certain religious themes about carrying one's personal burden, and trying to be a better person and giving your compassion to someone who's wronged you can still make you feel better in a situation like that.

        I hope this wasn't too rambling or anything.  Just my thoughts.

        •  A Little Rambling But I Get the Point (0+ / 0-)

          Hey Paul,

          I do think it's different for different people. It must be enlightening to be raised by a couple of lesbians or gay guys instead of regular parents, as only a few kids have had to pleasure of doing. Those I've met seem to be very well adjusted, so it surely didn't have a negative affect on them.

          I should write an article about that sometime.

          I survived my childhood, though with a few hang ups, but I probably fared better than others. I do know there's a lot of gay people out there who have religious backgrounds and they've gone through similar childhoods.

          Most probably just leave it all behind - there religion and God. That's a shame because I know that most of them could get so much out of having a good relationship with God.

          Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

          by fidlerten on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 12:06:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Life-long Christian here too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten

    I feel your pain over the suffering you have endured throught other churches that call themselves Christian.  Not all are like that.

    I'm a member of the Episcopal Church, and my parish not only welcomes and accepts gay members, but hosts the local Roman catholic GLBT community in our basement.  They worship separately from us because they want their own community, but they come upstairs to join us for some of our social activities.  My (straight) daughter introduced us to the young man who is now our son-in-law at a church celebration for a lesbian couple who had been together for 25 years.  Our rector (pastor) and retired rector actually blessed their rings, and got into trouble for it later.  Our current bishop allows for the blessing of same-sex unions, even though our state doesn't yet allow for gay marriages.

    Not all Episcopal churches are so accepting, but you can check out the local UCC churches to find a supporting community.  They are the ones that had commercials a few years ago, showing the "ejection pews" in the churches of other denominations.  Any of these choices might be good for you and for the gay teens you are concerned about.

    The Scout Law (trustworthy, loyal, helpful...) is a GREAT liberal manifesto.

    by DaytonMike on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 08:41:36 AM PDT

    •  Been to A UCC Before (0+ / 0-)

      DaytonMike,

      Many years ago I went to a UCC, here in OKC where I live now.

      My one objection to the UCC is that it seemed that the only thing they talked about was being gay and a Christian. I kind of felt they were kind of a one-track church when there is so much more about God than that.

      I've never been to a Episcopal Church but I'm not sure they would be open to my strong beliefs in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. I'm still a Pentecostal at heart and I believe in the nine Spiritual Gifts. How would your church feel about someone praying in tongues?

      Thanks for sharing with me

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Thu Jul 05, 2012 at 12:12:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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