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Reader: There is a delusion of religious oppression




The crux of my essay is this — the tension is internal, between my identity and the culture of my religion ("A life in tension," Queer & There, July 5; "Response to a 'sinner,'" Letters). I know who I am and I know my God, but I have spent many years being taught these things cannot coexist.

What you call "pushing an agenda" is me living out the fullness of my God-given identities in courage, despite the ways I have been discouraged from doing so by those with the audacity to speak on God's behalf, who have neglected Jesus' advice of taking the plank out of their own eye before attempting to remove their neighbor's speck. This is the cause of the wound, which is deeper and has more history than one election can fix.

This is what I mean when I say that there is a delusion of oppression. My existence and the existence of my queer siblings is not harming you in the least bit, but our shared religion has been used as a weapon against us. This is a battle for queer lives, physical and spiritual, yet we are the ones seen as pushing a progressive agenda. Non-affirming doctrines and those who re-entrench them are the "powers and principalities," but nothing will separate us from the love of God. That is the true power of the gospel, which I am called by our God to proclaim.

The joy is that your assessment of your own faith body is wrong. While what you say about evangelicalism as a whole has traditionally been true, faith leaders within your own community are speaking out on behalf of queer folks.

According to the Pew Research Center, a near-majority of young evangelicals support gay marriage for the first time in history. The seas are changing and it is a lovely thing to watch.

— Mallory Everhart, Colorado Springs

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