As a lifelong member of a Christian tradition that has historically been hostile to LGBTQ persons, I feel it necessary to state as clearly as possible that God loves LGBTQ people. This simple statement is my attempt at such clarity. I am aware that much more than this must be said about the massacre in Orlando. Fortunately, others are speaking too. So, please listen to their voices. Especially those who are LGBTQ. May you know God’s peace and love.
As a Christian theologian, ethicist, and minister, here is what I know:
God loves all gay and lesbian people.
God loves all bisexual and asexual people.
God loves all intersex and transgender people.
God loves all queer people.
Unconditionally. Full stop.
Here is what else I know:
God created all LGBTQ people in God’s own image.
In the image of the loving Trinitarian communion of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Therefore, when LGBTQ people love they reflect the image of God in the beautiful and imperfect ways all humans, in our loving, reflect the image of God.
In addition, bearing the image of God means that LGBTQ people carry the same God-given dignity within themselves that all people carry.
This dignity, at the very least, means that they should never be killed because of who they are as God’s beloved creation. It means much more than this, but today I must say clearly that it means this as a bare minimum.
In light of this knowledge, here is what I will do:
Denounce homophobia when I see it.
Love those LGBTQ persons with whom I am in relationship.
Fight for the rights of LGBTQ people because they bear the image of the God by whom they are loved.
And listen to the cries of anguish, anger, and fear being expressed by LGBTQ people who do not feel safe to be themselves because they fear explicit and implicit violence.
I will do these things because of what I know to be true. God loves LGBTQ people. And I do too.