In this moment of such visible and harmful aggression against transgender people, the church has an important role to play as a loving, welcoming, inclusive and engaged community.
The theological assertion of God’s inclusive nature is used to justify the church’s inclusion of gay persons into the full life of the church. Could not another person, equally sincere, conclude from scripture that God is not affirming of sexual relationships between same sex persons?
Given the harsh judgment, discrimination and hateful rhetoric LGBTQ people face from many Christian people, seeing churches who love, affirm and support LGBTQ people is essential. Still, when straight people enter queer spaces, even as allies, their heterosexual privilege can be problematic.
If Baylor University doesn’t begin to recognize and respond in Christian love to the diversity of its students we not only have failed to measure up to the model of Jesus; we are identifying with the rigid textual literalism he faced 2,000 years ago.
As a Baptist minister, I owe much to an inclusive, gracious and open-minded Methodist church in Texas that invited me as a new Baptist seminary graduate to be their associate pastor. That gives me hope, despite the General Conference’s recent vote.