13 May 2011

Sexual and Spiritual Integration, a possibility for Christians

For the past years Drachma has been tirelessly working with the LGBTQ community, parents of Lesbian and Gay daughters and sons, and friends of LGBT persons.

Drachma stands for sexual and spiritual integration and calls for a genuine and intelligent search for truth on LGBT and faith matters. The issue is a complex one from the religious point of view and it becomes more complex when the full Christian landscape is painted. Some Christian Churches today bless same-sex unions - the Anglican Church appoints openly gay bishops. The Metropolitan Community Churches and the Apostolic Catholic Churches are a sign of great hope for the Christian LGBT community, our family and friends. The Roman Catholic Church herself has a number of brilliant theologians who are struggling intelligently with this issue, amongst them James Alison, Jeannine Gramick and Margaret Farley.

On the other hand the bible like any other sacred text can be read in fundamentalist ways, used to persecute others, to propagate fear and hatred especially towards communities that are vulnerable or marginalized in some way. Sadly this is no news. This kind of reading unfortunately happens in all religions including the Christian faith.

As Drachma we are greatly concerned about claims of healing from homosexuality through the intervention of Jesus Christ. One of the first problems is that Jesus is presented as someone who is against the gay person, his love towards the gay person presented as conditional, on condition that ‘you’ change. As Drachma we witness the deep disturbance that such reading brings about to the gay community, especially LGBT people whose faith remains important and an intrinsic part of their existence. Of course everyone is free to choose the path he believes is best for himself or herself. Yet, as LGBT Christians we feel obliged to reach out to our brothers and sisters struggling to reconcile their sexual orientation and faith. We want them to know that there is another way, that there is no need to butcher oneself or deny an essential part of one’s own creation to love God and receive Jesus’ love. Christianity is a life-giving option and should not be a religion leading people into neurotic forms of living. Unfortunately, there are some parents who drive their children 'insane' pushing for 'change' and healing which leaves long-term damage upon the individuals when this is not forthcoming.

Of course, freedom of expression is also a human right but one needs to keep in mind the consequences those words and religious claims bring about. The gay community carries the brunt of such words upon its own flesh and knows these consequences only too well. A number of ex-ex-gay persons like Peterson Toscano today witness how damaging these programmes were to them, how deeply deluded and disillusioned they were. It is an even tougher journey to then recover from this other kind of struggle as clearly pointed out by MGRM when quoting scientific research in their press release. The risks of suicide attempts and suicide itself are other matters of great concern to keep in mind when discussing ‘healing’ or reparative therapy.

At Drachma we like to believe that Compassion is the language of love, that all of creation is essentially good and grace builds on nature. We also believe that Christian teaching is essentially a simple one, to treat one’s own neighbours as oneself (in its positive not negative meaning). At Drachma we believe that in this Jesus’ teaching we find all that we need and that simpler doctrine does not exist. Finally Judgment is best left in our Creator’s hands!

If you would like to obtain further information, kindly contact Clayton and Chris on 7909 1984 or on drachmalgbt@gmail.com

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