For the love of God

For the love of God I just want to correct a few errors in the article, Challenging a Straight Church. I owe it to the church, and would be remiss if the church got painted only in one colour. I do have a few supporters at Riverdale Baptist who love me,

I just want to correct a few errors in the article, Challenging a Straight Church. I owe it to the church, and would be remiss if the church got painted only in one colour.

I do have a few supporters at Riverdale Baptist who love me, and affirm me, as I am Ð but it is difficult for them to know what they can do when the administration makes the rules and locks up the theology.

They are good people. I wouldn’t have tried for a year and a half to stay with them if they were awful people.

On Easter, I was to lead the music, not give the sermon, and the church told me that to stay a deacon I had to take an oath of celibacy and never date.

To make me choose between serving those I love and having a husband one day was bad, yes, but they still let me attend the church.

I stayed for the hope of discussion and out of love.

I sang in the choir for one year before I was thrown out.

When I sent out the letters I got six Facebook responses that were positive from supporters, and one beautiful handwritten letter of support.

The administration, the elders, the pastor, the denomination and most of the members remained silent.

I do love these people Ð they were my family for several years.

They were one of the four reasons I immigrated to the Yukon.

I hoped to keep discussion alive with this article, not to exact revenge.

I waited for anything at all for a year and a half, for 567 days.

After the toxic anti-gay sermon delivered in public at RBC on October 17, I needed to do something. Lives are at stake Ð people swallow that toxic sludge and hurt themselves.

Let me say that churches and Christianity and the Bible are not bad, evil, or bigoted. This incident should not affirm that religion has “failed” us. Many churches get it right.

Yes, the history of Christianity is rife with a few glaring horrors, but it has provided security, comfort, love and community to many, many people. It is supposed to work that way. Which is why when it fails, it must be fixed, not abandoned.

RBC and other churches that promote, even in a loving way, that gays should change are doing irreparable harm. They use “love” to bargain for conformity and self-delusion, causing self-hatred and fatal guilt.

I have already heard from many in the GLBT community here in Whitehorse who read this article and say this has happened to them.

Some of them couldn’t even read the article all the way through Ð it was too graphic.

RBC twice tried to stop me from publishing in What’s Up Yukon anything positive about being gay. I did it anyway. I will not stay silent anymore. A thousand articles, a million words cannot bring back those who have taken their own lives because a church told them God didn’t like what they desired, or who they wanted to love. I think God is appalled at how his words are represented sometimes. Or how other words are silenced.

So, Yukon News and Vivian Belik, thank you for the words. And here are some more words, and tomorrow, more words, and words, words, words about how positive it is to be alive, and to be loving and to be loved by God.

Jerome Stueart

Whitehorse

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