“Seek and pray for deliverance.”
“We natural men are sinful men, yours may be homosexuality but mine could be lying, is is the same an abomination before The Lord.”
“delete this video and say this in a prayer closet say it by yourself and you will have your answer”
“God’s love is calling us into repentance, whether it be homosexuality or murder his mercy give us place to choose this day who we will serve. “
I produced a series of videos on YouTube for Queer Theology taking a fresh, unexpected look at the so-called “clobber passages” and while the first rule of the internet is to never read the comments, I just can’t help myself. There are anti-LGBTQ comments on every single one. Every. Single. One.
A common narrative is that “the bigots” are getting old and will die soon and we just have to wait until that day when it’s sunshine and rainbows for queer folks. But that’s too easy—and what I’ve learned from the YouTube comments is that it’s just not true. Many of the anti-LGBTQ comments I get on YouTube are from other young adults.
Martin Luther King Jr is credited with saying “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Here’s the thing though: the moral arc of the universe doesn’t bend itself, we bend it.
Jesus bent it when he went toe-to-toe with the occupying Roman empire. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and countless other leaders and everyday people bent it when they went toe-to-toe with Jim Crow and a violently racist police force and white public (and apathetic, well-intentioned white moderates too). Stephen Biko bent it when he confronted apartheid South Africa. Dorothy Day bent it when she worked relentlessly for social and economic justice. Mel White and his husband Gary bent it when they sat together holding hands in the front pew of Jerry Falwell’s church every week. Fr. Shay bent it when he was ordained as the first openly transgender priest in the Old Catholic Church.
You’re bending it too.
You’re bending it when you choose to love your queer self—even when you’re scared, even when you have doubts. You’re bending it when you stand up for your gay brother or your transgender sister. You’re bending it when you stop giving money to your homophobic church and start giving it to the local homeless shelter. You’re bending it when you tell your story.
Progress isn’t inevitable and it’s not something that happens only in the halls of Congress or by trained activists. We all have a part to play in bending the arc of history. We can’t take progress for granted, if I’ve learned anything from the comments on YouTube it’s that anti-queer theology is alive and well in younger generations as well. But I learned something else on YouTube. It doesn’t have a monopoly.
“What a marvelous video, with such a loving, accepting, caring, and hopeful message. Thank you so much for sharing.”
“Amazing, wonderful, beautiful, inspiring video. Wow. I can’t even tell you how much I love this. Now I just wanna know WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T THEY TELL ME THIS IN CHURCH???”
“Thank you soooo much for this. This gave me strength and showed me that god made me for a reason and that I am NOT wrong or a mistake. Thank u”
So take a stand. Speak your truth. Tell your story. Make a difference. Because the world needs what only you have to offer.
Photo by Manny Rosas