In 1973, William R. Jones wrote the book, Is God a White Racist?, to question whether, in the experiences of black persons, one could decide that God harbors malicious intent towards a whole community of people. In lieu of the past few weeks of discussions regarding the place of communities of GLBTQ persons within the larger society, it might be safe to ask whether the “God” that many Christians worship on Sunday mornings is no more than a thuggish goon who delights in seeing whole groups of historically oppressed persons attacked by those who lift the Christian banner the highest.
Whether it is the video of the pastor in North Carolina who has come up with what some might call a final solution to the problem of GLBTQ’s in the United States or the other North Carolina pastor who “joked” (apparently forgetting that jokes are supposed to be funny and not horrifying) that if one’s son began to “drop the limp wrist” one should “crack that wrist” or the now downright passé Westboro Baptist Church offering their single note message that “God Hates Fags” it is not tough to determine that the God that they worship must be a total bigot in the manner in which She has decided to be in relationship with persons of differing sexual and gender identities.
But let’s be honest, most of us would have no problem declaring these incidents of hate towards GLBTQ’s hate. Or crazy. That’s not the problem. The problem comes from those of us who will remain silent and by our silence imply agreement. In a nation in which to be Christian increasingly means to believe that those of differing sexualities should be treated like subhuman species, to not declare an alternative view of God’s love and concern only serves to mean that there is no other way of being Christian.
Good. Say so. Say it from your pulpits, those of us who have the privilege of speaking to Christian communities this weekend. Say so the next time you find yourself in one of those conversations. Step out, just an inch and let the spirit of love and justice and peace move through you for one moment in time. Say so on facebook and twitter and tumblr. Either God is a bigot and our silence confirms it or She is loving and and gracefilled and we are just scared to say so.
Rev. Zinn is an ordained and installed minister in the PC(USA).