Not Abominations

There is a lie being told that has to be addressed. It has to be addressed because it has done a lot of harm to a lot of people. It has to be addressed because there is blood on the hands of those who continue to tell it.

What is this lie?

It is this: That God would create LGBTQ+ people and then damn us to Hell for living our truth. It’s not true now and it never has been. The fact that your pastor or your family believes that it’s sinful to be gay or transgender does not make it true.

What is true, however, is the fact that teaching this can cause harm. It can lead to homophobia, transphobia, & bullying. Hiding behind religion as a means for justifying the spread of a gross misinterpretation of scripture does not make it okay.

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I want you to know that you are not an abomination. We have been here since the dawn of time and it is only in the last hundred years or so that it’s become trendy to beat us over the head with clobber passages. Your queerness is just as valid a part of you as anything else and should be celebrated. Live and love out loud. You have every right to.

Go in peace.

~Bash

Moses

I’m thinking of Moses tonight.

I’m thinking of how he had to go back and get his people.

Many are still bound by toxic theology.

Many are still bound by self-hate rooted in indoctrination.

I look to the story of Moses, among others, for guidance in this season.

I love you.

Dear Sibling,

I don’t know what your journey looks like. I’m not sure if you’re out or closeted… medically transitioning or not. I don’t know your name or what you enjoy. There are many things that I do not know. I won’t pretend to. But I do know that you are worthy of love.

Your status as a transgender person does not take that away.

I know that there are those who may say things which make you question the value of your very life. Harsh words may be thrown at you and violence may be something you encounter. I wish it were not so… but I know that these things happen. The fact that they happen is not an indication that your inherent worth as a person is somehow less than that of anyone else. It speaks to the state of a wicked society which would allow anyone to believe that mistreating you is okay. It speaks to the condition of the heart of those who reject you. It does not say anything about you.

You are worthy of love. The way you experience life is valid. You have just as much of a right to live out loud as anyone else. I may not know you personally but you are my sibling. I love you. I’m rooting for you. And I will keep writing to you here so that, for a few moments, you will know that someone is carrying you in their heart.

With all of my heart,

Bash

Questions….

I started this journey by asking questions. As a young member of the clergy, I wanted to be sure that what I taught was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In this spirit, I set out on a journey to discover what the absolute truth was….. This led me further away from Christianity, at least in the way it had been taught, and closer to an expanded view of the divine.

On this journey, I unlearned a great many things, not the least of which was self hate. I learned to love myself unconditionally, something that I’d never given myself permission to do before…. Something religion told me I should not do. I learned to embrace my queerness. I learned that falling in love with a woman was not a sin. I learned that my trans-ness does not separate me from the creator. I learned that being a logical person was not sinful. I learned that God is often made in the image of mankind and their prejudices.

I became free.

Free to explore the idea of God without worrying about going to Hell. Free to walk away from controlling and manipulative structures and focus on MY relationship with God minus theatrics and the expectations of people. I learned that there’s not a person on this planet that the creator requires me to allow to rule over the gifts that I have.

I escaped cycles of abuse and was able to being my healing process. I learned that difference between healthy relationships and toxic ones. I learned how to say, “No.”

I am a happier and healthier person for having asked those questions. I am better off after wrestling with my faith and those things I’ve come across while studying. It’s an ongoing process and I have battle scars but I’m eternally grateful for the day on which I started asking questions.