A God Who Loves Queers

March 21, 2013 § 3 Comments

Valerie quoted to me recently Kate Bornstein’s direction to find the God who likes you, the God who acknowledges and affirms your being.   I found this God initially, oddly enough through the Christian church, and primarily through studying the Bible.  Lately, I’ve been at risk of letting go of what I know.  I’m going to bypass the question of if God is real, since people name God as a motivator for all kinds of things, and thus God is real, whatever kind of real that means.  And also since more than one God has been real for me, in my life.  I’ve heard other queer people struggle with this, to keep hold and keep learning this God, as God.  Not everyone can put it into words, and not everyone has to.  But for myself in this moment, and for other people, I am going to try.

Who is the God who affirms queers?  Who loves the people society hates?  What have I seen about him?  What do I know about her?

This God is not a God who is invested in control.  This God does not need to shape creation to please himself, break it open, contort your truth, your individuality, consume you and leave you obedient.

Instead, this God is a God who is invested in freedom, committed to free will despite the cost, who is invested in consent.  That God created from a place of taking joy in creativity, who wanted the joy of watching what was initiated take on a life of its own, go places and learn a self separate and divine.

This God is not going to hurt you.  Even if, sad to say, you hurt someone else.  Instead of control, instead of intervening in our free will by stopping us or punishing us until we are controlled by fear and made “good” she gave us the resilience of the human spirit, the presence of conscience, empathy, the will to change, the brilliance and potential of humanity to unbury the wisdom the Creative Spirit put into their own bodies and the living world and find it still there after suffering so much violence, and see new ways of being, nonviolent and creative and loving ones.

This God is not in the angry voice, the machine gun, armies made uniform and obedient and ready to be deployed, the nuclear bomb, the voice of shame, the electric rake of fear going up our spine and threatening what will happen if you do not obey.  This God is not in the machine, the suppression of the self, the murder of the soul.

This God is in your own body, in the opening of your chest when witnessing something beautiful, in the energy of new truth running up your spine, in the pleasurable ache of desire in your belly, in the exhaustion of content.  This God is in the resistance of the spirit against its own oppression, the courage of the commonplace person to refuse to harm another despite the threat of punishment, this God is in the vision of the radical, the humility and strength of the civilly disobedient, in each connection between human beings, in each moment of truly seeing the world, in the humanity and vulnerability of knowing ones own or another’s suffering without blindness or a need to move away.  This God is in the natural world, in the reverence for one’s own true loves, the expansion and liberation of the soul.

When I say this God is real, it is because I know her.  I know that other God, too, the one who hates us queers.  And I say, from the spirit, don’t follow that one.  That one is real.  But that ain’t God.


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§ 3 Responses to A God Who Loves Queers

  • Rairun says:

    I’ve never been a theist. Growing up, I did have beliefs you could call religious, but they never revolved around a god. It was only when I was 18 that I grasped how a certain idea of god could feel right. That happened as I asked myself what it meant to love someone, when I started trying to unravel my feelings, my motivations, drawing a distinction between my attachment for another person and my love for them. It meant holding their decisions sacred, wanting them to do what they desired rather than play a role in my life. And then, one year later, I met another person who joined me in this; our relationship was based on the wonder of discovering how liberating it was to love like this. That was when I thought: “This is what mystics mean when they talk about the purest self. This is what the Holy Spirit is to some people.” It was a resoluteness – a love for life and a love for another – that humbled me. Suddenly the metaphor of being a little wave in the ocean made sense. I loved with all my heart, but it didn’t feel like that love came from “me” – it felt like in reality there was no “me” at all. There was no free will as such: “I” didn’t choose to act. “I” was a flux of action. I was what I was, and the realization of that was overwhelming.

    I never had to struggle with the other god you talked about, at least not literally. Nor did I begin to believe that this feeling that empowered me AND humbled me all at the same time was evidence of the existence of god. But since then, I can’t help but feel a strong sense of kinship with those who conceive god in that way. I mean, I do love discussing the reality of things in an scientific sense. One of my favorite things to think about is how to express this feeling in my own cultural framework, which is basically atheist (dust specks floating around in a universe that has no meaning other than the one we give it). But in a way it’s also kind of irrelevant how I express it.

    In short, thanks for the post. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming we are saying exactly the same things, but when I read it, it felt right.

  • Rairun says:

    I seem to recall you live somewhere near Boston… I hope everything is OK over there.

  • Thanks for thinking of me. My close people and I are all overwhelmed. There’s an aura of collective trauma — being disconnected, afraid, frozen — all over the city of Boston. I am searching for the skills to process this, get it to move through my body and not get stuck there, and wondering what I can do to help the community do the same.

    At times like this, I’m struck by how few skills I have and how hard it is to find them. Hopefully, I will have some words coming soon.

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