No Questions Asked

Today’s #WeAretheRCA author, Olivia Mancuso, has attended the First Reformed Church in Schenectady since 2011.  In the fall she will return to SUNY Fredonia as a sophomore, where she is a double major in Sound Recording Technology and Applied Piano.

To the General Synod of 2016:

I have experienced many forms of Christianity in my life.  I was raised Quaker.  My family started attending a Reformed Church when I started high school.  Almost all of my extended family is Catholic.  I attend a Presbyterian church where I go to college.  One of the most important parts of my Christian experience has been this: that God loves each and every one of us.  No matter what we have done.  No matter how we got here.  My faith is in a God that isn’t selective about loving only a part of you or only loving you some of the time.  My faith is in a God whose love is so big that the singular feature of one’s sexuality/gender identity is rendered insignificant.  I believe that being queer and Christian are not mutually exclusive.

I have been lucky enough to be a part of congregations that are welcoming and loving to our LGBTQ+ brothers, siblings, and sisters.  But I have also seen the terrible power of the church to turn them away from the faith.  I have many friends who are queer, and I have noticed a troubling commonality between all of them who were raised in Christian churches.  They all have had an experience where they felt unwelcome, in the mildest of instances.  I know a number of people who have been pushed away from the faith altogether, and the ones that do stay face the painful task of reconciling their very identity with a church that doesn’t accept them.

I cannot stand by, as an ally to my queer friends, and as a Christian, and let this culture of hate be perpetuated in my own denomination.

So I ask you: how many people will you turn away with your prejudice and your refusal to give them a place in your community before you can see what you have done?  Before you see the hurt you have caused?  What gives you the authority to hand-pick the people of God?  If we are going to show queer church goers God’s love, we must love their whole selves, no questions asked.

About Stacey Midge

Minister, musician, hockey fan, dog lover, food and drink aficionado, and occasional social justice warrior.
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