Questions and Response to a Fundamentalist
BY Tennessee James of Tennessee James Blog
For two and a half years I sat quietly as you spoke about my gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied brothers and sisters. I listened as you told thousands of young adults that it is alright to point fingers and pass judgment on others. You asked us on several occasions to stand up and point out these offenders and transgressors so that you may bring them to a place of healing. You said it was for their own good that they follow God’s plan for creation.
Well, I have some questions for you. When is it ever alright to boast in your own spiritual walk? From what you always taught us, it is God’s design to receive the glory. Not You. Why do you ask other students to point out their peers when it plainly states in the Bible, you preach so loudly, not to accuse another without pulling the plank out of your own eye first? And why is it you hold so tightly to your understanding of God’s creation when so many times in the past it has been proven that your understanding of those first three chapters of Genesis are narrow and faulty?
Last night, I sat in on a class of approximately three hundred freshmen at your university. I sat quietly as one of the professors spoke about the “abomination” that is taking over our culture and society. I heard him say that it is impossible to truly be following after God and in a homosexual relationship at the same time. He quoted several articles and books by conservative authors about the great success that is reparative therapy and ex-gay ministries.
He told his three hundred+ students that our community has lied to them. He taught that we are in fact not discriminated against and that these hate crimes we are always talking about actually have nothing to do with being gay but more than likely are about drugs or sex trading. He continued on by talking about how we have convinced/manipulated America into believing that we are being taxed without representation and are unfairly represented in the political parties.
The one that I loved the most was when he said, “monogamy is the exception for these people, not the rule.
” Before I walked into the classroom last night, I sat in the library with my friend. I sat there staring at my phone and wondering what I was going to hear. My friend quickly fell asleep on the couch adjacent to me. I prayed that I would receive a sign that I was doing the right thing. Before I knew what was happening a young woman I met last semester while I was still a student at this university was sitting next to me and crying. She began to tell me about her friend. He is a young gay man who has been a Christian for about three years. He has gone off to another school, but they still stay in close contact with one another. She told me through her tears that she is confused about what she believes. She wanted me to tell her if her friend was a Christian. She wanted to believe that what he said was true, but everything her classmates and teachers are telling her says that he is lying and must be going to hell. I asked her if she was a Christian. She quickly said, “Yes!” I looked at her and told her I did not believe her. She looked at me shocked and offended. I asked her to prove it to me. She said that it was just something she had prayed about and God gave her his salvation. I replied with a remark similar to “well, I was not there so how do I know?”
She understood what I was saying in no time. How is it then that so many people want to tell others whether or not they are under God’s grace? You were not there when I had that conversation with our creator. Why do you think you can tell me that I am a liar and God is not with me? I have as much assurance of my salvation in Christ as I can understand anybody else has! It has been a journey to get to the place I am in my walk with God. I know that this journey is not over. I will continue to grow and seek after the will of the creator for my life as I hope you do for yours.
Now, about the accusations that this professor has said about me and my community. I try very hard to be as honest with people as I can be. I want to be able to look back at my life and say that I lived it to its’ fullest and honestly. So, to sit there and be called a liar was insulting.
Let me start off by saying that I DO NOT HAVE AN AGENDA! I do not have some secret plan to convert your innocent children to the homosexual “lifestyle”. All I want to do is be able to marry the person I love just like my family and friends have done. I want to be able to visit the person I love in the hospital without having to lie and say I am their sister or friend. I want to be able to file a tax return or an insurance claim without having to wonder if it will be accepted in my state or if I will have to go back to the state that recognizes my union. I am not a liar. I am just a small town lady who is tired of being called a manipulator and the moral downfall of America.
I want to address the accusation he said about us having political power. He said that to be considered a minority group we would have to prove that we are politically powerless. He said that is just not the case because we have our inside guys on both sides of the political spectrum. I am sorry, but if that is the case why can I still be fired from my job or kicked out of my house for being LGBTQ? Why do I not have the same basic rights as my heterosexual counterparts? I beg to differ with the professor on this one. If we have so much political power then why are we still struggling just to have our voices heard in the government?
I want to talk this next one with some carefully chosen words. I can only speak from my experience. I can only write about what I know to be true for me and some of my friends. I am a very monogamous person. I can’t even bring myself to have a crush on more than one person at a time. I have friends that are celebrating 20 years in their relationship next month. They proudly stand up and say they have been faithful the entire time. I know others who have been together almost 30 years, 7 years, 4 years. MOST of the people I surround myself with know that value of a committed, monogamous, long-term relationship. I am not going to spout off statistics about heterosexual teenagers and their sexual activity. I am not going to put anybody on a moral high horse with this one. We are all equally human and we all have made mistakes in the past. All I am saying is that this argument is an illogical fallacy on so many levels and it needs to finally be laid to rest.
I went onto the campus last night in hopes of learning something new. I hope I never stop believing that one day you will change your discriminatory policies against the LGBTQA students on your campus. Until that happens I will be writing things like this so others outside of your university and outside of your church will know exactly what it is you are falsely accusing my community of. I pray that you see your mistakes before it is too late. Before more people hear your message and believe that God can not love them and they take their own lives. Before more people take what you preach literally and begin to kill off the “abominations” using violence and over-spiritualized prejudice. I have faith in our God that understanding will one day come to your hearts and minds.
Tennessee James lives in Lynchburg, Virginia. She works as an activist with several organizations to end spiritual and political oppression.
Contact Info- firstname.lastname@example.org or tennjames.blogspot.com