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The Disease

Leaving Christian circles that participate in hateful rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community

By Laura LannPublished 12 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - May 2023
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The Disease
Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

I sit here sipping my coffee, gazing at the mountains peaking through trees, chewing on a question I keep returning to. I admire bravery, I always have. Surely with the rise of super hero movies, I am to believe that most of society also admires bravery. Though, it looks very different from Batman knocking out criminals in the night. Bravery for most of us, is a subtle choice in a moment that may really only be noticed by ourselves.

There is a child version of myself deep inside me that needs to see the adult me shine, thrive, and put forth the demands she had of adults. To her, I answer at night on if I did what was brave or if I chose a cowardly path. The question often becomes, what amount of bravery is enough? Where is the line drawn for speaking up?

The Christian community has become infected with hate, or at least, I have become aware of the infection. I do not recall hearing a lot about the LGTBQ+ community from my sphere when I first started attending church in college. But, I think now that it was just that the two Christian circles I was in were truly that of love and acceptance overall. There were not political tirades from our pastor or rhetoric from my Christian friends of hatred and intolerance. Later, select members in a Bible group I joined towards the end of my time in Texas expressed that being gay or trans was wrong, but never said anything else on it.

Though I disagreed, think I feared pressing in, feared what I would find. We moved shortly after before I had a chance to form many questions. Finding Christian community in Alaska took us a year. We walked out of so many churches, some during sermons, others after. Even churches we had returned to and thought we may like... The moment the pulpit got political or hateful, we left. I cannot exist as a Christian within hate. My religious beliefs cannot be something that target, restrict, or limit others against their will. It is not something to force upon the world, nor is it my place to decide if someone's healthy version of themselves or romantic love is harmful or a sin. I have the rights to my feelings of attraction, sexuality, and preferences, and so do they.

And many say, well if you leave a church or group for it's flaws, you cannot change it. You should stay and enact change. What foolish optimism. If the leadership is the flaw... You have no choice but to leave unless you intend to somehow replace that leadership. I would have more success starting my own church than erasing the hate and prejudices from the heart of leadership. Leave the hateful churches and let them dry up like a creek in the summer heat. Let them wither and die like the failing crop they are. No good can come from seeds of hatred, so do not water them in hopes of nourishment.

Thankfully, my current home church has been safe. Has been loving. Has been focused on God's word and not the political gossip of men. Has been focused on being welcoming to everyone equally, not ostracizing an entire community from a relationship with God.

But, where does that question stand within groups? What am I to do when a trusted circle of Christian friends becomes comfortable enough to let their true colors show. It starts as a remark you may have misheard in a side conversation you were not part of. After all, I look rather 'progressive' so many know what to not say at a first glance. Then it becomes a group remark, uttered for everyone's benefit as a side statement and complaint. Am I the only one uncomfortable? Am I the only one angered? Does the whole group agree? Then, someone quickly changes the topic and the day continues. Did they too feel their heart clench in hurt to see such hatred?

But, can I return? Surely, if there is a situation where I can bring about change, it is within these smaller circles of friends. I can speak up. I can call out the hatred. I can uproot the sprouts of it with convicted correction and a firm call to love the way Jesus loved. But, the child within me roars! She kicks and screams at the edges of my mind. She demands a harder approach. I need the words to express just how vile what they say is. I need to point out how it is no different than the racism and sexism generations before us started to dismantle, that we are still dismantling.

I need them to know I think their words are hateful and their actions intolerable. If I speak up, am I the only one? Will I find solidarity with others in the groups, or will I find myself alone? I have never feared being alone. Never feared leaving a group or community. Never feared taking up space or making a scene. I admire bravery, and I must live by it. Alas though, I am left to wonder, in a world filled with so many emboldened in their hatred of the LGBTQ+ community, will I be left with no Christian community? It is sad. It is tragic.

No matter the cost, I must press on. I must speak up. The cost of my silence and tolerance is much higher as it manifests to common practice and laws that target my LGBTQ+ friends. If isolation is the cost of doing what is right, I will walk towards the solitude far the world needs more people to be brave. And, surely, down the road, I will find others who have done the same as me. I will find others who have also walked away. We will form a new community, plant a new garden, and all will be welcome at our table. And, I implore you as well, be brave.

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About the Creator

Laura Lann

I am an author from deep East Texas with a passion for horror and fantasy, often heavily mixed together. In my spare time, when I am not writing, I draw and paint landscape and fantasy pieces. I now reside in Alaska where adventures await.

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Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (12)

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  • George B12 months ago

    <3 For you

  • Fizzah Fatima12 months ago

    https://vocal.media/families/how-to-control-overpopulation

  • Blue Moon12 months ago

    Nice Article

  • I'm with you on this one! Excellent article! I've subscribed!

  • Great article and Congratulations on your Top Story❗🎉💖✨😉

  • Caroline Craven12 months ago

    Great article. The world needs more people like you. I think it makes such a difference when someone takes a stand.

  • Joelle E🌙12 months ago

    Love this. Thank you for speaking up 👏🏼

  • Dana Crandell12 months ago

    Well done, and congratulations on Top Story!

  • Cathy holmes12 months ago

    I agree, you can't change the leadership, but one small group at a time. Great article. Congrats on the TS

  • Carol Townend12 months ago

    I hear you Laura and I stand with you, in your courage to speak up.

  • Babs Iverson12 months ago

    Well done!!! Great advice!!!

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