Elena and I have definitely spent the last 40-odd minutes gushing over Brandon Ambrosino’s Being Gay at Jerry Farwell’s University. Part of the conversation has been burdened by the usual intellectual mumbo-jumbo that we usually indulge in. But there’s also been IM Blurts–bursts of speech that occur when the amount of connections and enthusiasm in my head are pulsing in such a frenetic way that I’m reduced to typing stuff like this:
[4:34:40 PM] Morgan Lee: its really good
[4:34:47 PM] Morgan Lee: i really appreciate this article
[4:34:47 PM] Morgan Lee: the more i read
[4:35:07 PM] Morgan Lee: he is willing to do something that might make BOTH SIDES hate/repudiate him
So there’s that. Anyways. What I’m trying to say is below.
The act of Brandon writing and publishing this article is, in and of itself, an act living out John 8. Throughout this piece, the author weaves in the adulterous women, Jesus, and Christ’s rhetorical question about who ought to hurl the first stone, often to evoke the way that he felt both the Liberty community and faculty treated him. (None of them ever picked up a rock.) In the jump-and-pounce-on-the-homophobic-person-and-institution of 2013, its quite easy to gain society’s commendation to scorn these homophobic, Bible thumping, ignorant, close-minded, myopic and confused allegedly Christ-loving Christians. Indeed, in some ways, culture has argued that loving the gay community occurs when we scorn them, put distance between us and them, and generally go around being ashamed that they claim to share the same faith that we profess.
But if we are to define love as an eye roll, a critical remark, or a hostile put-down towards people that make us and the people we love feel uncomfortable, unwanted and unlovable, we would be saying that love could come from actions that don’t require us to put our own skin in the game, that don’t require us to change, and that don’t force us to measure our own humanity against all other souls with skin. Love could be defined as protecting our own kind (and by being comfortable in the fact that others aren’t our kind.)
But love is vulnerable. Love is making ourselves a target, to both the “us” and “them” camps. Love is making ourselves weak. Love terrifies the soul with its audacity and challenges witnesses with those ramifications. Love lets go of control and does not go back.
(POSTSCRIPT: Personally, upon reading through this article, I feel convicted–not to have convictions (in that sense of solidifying a belief structure) but to create a tangible piece of evidence of my own belief system. I can sit on my haunches all I want, ala put on slactivist hat, curate a list-serv, inform already-interested folks vis-a-vis my said list-serv, or I can have real opinions that I share in real conversations and receive real feedback for them.
So what would you like to ask?)