Black + Gay + Church = WTF?!!!!
Alright dammit. I just had a heartbreaking phone conversation with a friend of mine that is one of the most talented pianist I’ve ever met, and who also happens to be gay. My friend has being playing in churches all his life, and let me tell you, he is FIERCE on that piano. Imagine my surprise when he told me that he’s had to leave his church because he’s gay. I’m sorry… what?
First off, for those of you that don’t know, nearly EVERY choir director, pianist, minister of music, or musician in the black church is a gay man. I’m not exaggerating, people. It’s a GIVEN. Nobody talks about it, and they try to act as if they don’t know, but trust me….gay and fucking fantastic… all of em.
ANYWAY, back to my friend. Evidently there’s some sort of campaign within black churches (predominantly in the south), to “help” gay people change their lifestyle. They’re wanting them to know that God doesn’t hate gay people, God hates the gay lifestyle. To drive this home, there are preachers doing God vs Gay sermons. Basically the sermon outlines all the reasons why you should choose God over being gay. My friend had heard about these sermons, but it hadn’t hit home until 2 Sundays ago when he had go to his piano and play after enduring a sermon filled with anti gay sentiment. Time and time again he had to listen to the pastor, whom he’d come to love, say that he (and all gays) were going to go to hell if they didn’t change this lifestyle they’d CHOSEN. He said it was like being stabbed by a family member. He finished out his day, said his goodbyes, left without getting paid, and hasn’t gone back since.
Needless to say, there are a FEW things I have to say about this. Firstly, regardless of whether you believe in God or not. Regardless of what you think about religion, the person that I’m talking about does. Hell is VERY real for him. He believes with all his heart the things he sings about in church. He believes that there is a hell and his service to God and the good way he lives his life will keep him out of it. So the idea that his pastor, his LEADER, is telling him that he’s going to hell is fucking excruciating for him. If you don’t believe in God and you’ve never gone to church, you might not understand the severity of going to hell. It basically means that nothing good you’ve done in your life matters, because ultimately you’re gonna spend eternity burning.
2ndly, I have had just about enough of people using God the wrong way. I have nothing against people that go to church. I have nothing against Christians. I grew up in church as a Christian. So this is NOT about bashing religion or Christians. What this is about is misuse of God and the bible. That’s where my beef is. The bible is a guide by which we’re supposed to live our lives, right? It’s left up to interpretation most of the time because there a million different versions and a billion different interpretations for each version. So, at the very LEAST you can say that, though it serves as a tool, you probably have to be VERY careful with taking what is written literally. To add to that, depending on what church you go to, one scripture can mean 12 different things. So, it’s also safe to say that you should probably actually read the bible yourself to form your own opinion. But do we do that? No. We take what is fed to us as the gospel and we run with it.
Most preachers use Genesis 19 to support their anti-gay sermons. The story is God sent 2 angels to Sodom because he felt the city was wicked. The angels stayed with a dude named Lot. The men of the city came to Lot’s crib because they found out there were strangers and demanded the angels come out so that they could ‘know’ them. Now, the term ‘know’ is translated from a Hebrew term ‘yada’, which means (from what I’ve read) to know or to be intimate friends. But most preachers say that in this context “to know” means to have sex with. Their argument is that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the angels and it was an abomination, so God destroyed the city. So…God’s destroying of Sodom proves homosexuality is wrong.
Now, something that they leave out is, God was sending the angels to scope out the place and see if things had improved. If they hadn’t, he was gonna destroy it. In other text, the exact reason God destroyed Sodom is stated pretty clearly: God saw “pride and fullness of bread and an abundance of idleness….neither did they strengthen the hand of the needy and poor. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.” Ezekiel 16:49-50…. Basically they were lazy, fat, prideful, and arrogant, and didn’t give a shit about anyone, including God. That’s why he was pissed. This shit about the men wanting to “know” the angels is less about sexuality and more about violence. They stormed this man’s house as a mob. Again, though… this is all left up to interpretation.
My point is that they’re using the story WRONG. They’ve taking one verse out of context and based a belief on it. Don’t get me wrong, there are other places in the bible that talks about sexual perversion, but there are so many versions, that each one you read says something different. Pastors are picking and choosing what they want to teach and not giving a full overview and it’s infuriating and dangerous. So much is wrong with the fucking country right now because people are doing terrible things in the name of God. Sparked from half assed interpretation of a half assed pastor.
It’s especially infuriating for me that it’s happening at black churches. REALLY y’all? How do we justify treating homosexual people, essentially, the way white people treated us for so long? It’s all there: hate, bigotry, prejudice and violence. We’re no better than the people that enslaved us and treated us like shit if we’re doing the same things to gay people. Why is it ok for a gay man to work his ass off in your choir, but not okay for him to live his life the way he wants? Openly, in church, without fear? It’s so disappointing.
I know my friend will be fine. I know another church is gonna scoop him up and he’ll be doing what he loves again. I just hope that where ever he goes, he can be himself and not have to pretend. I hope he doesn’t have to share his gift with people that secretly think he doesn’t deserve the blessings they’re all praying for. Most of all I hope he knows he’s NOT going to hell.