Coming from a very religious family, I often have a difficult time reconciling my spirituality with my politics. As someone who studies Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, I am a feminist who believes in equality for all people. I believe everyone, regardless of his or her sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, or social class, deserves to be treated like a human being. I also believe that no one should be denied basic rights due to any of their status characteristics.
I am also a Christian. I love God and I love going to church. My spirituality and my relationship with my church family have been instrumental in my growth and development. However, when I go to church or I am around church folk and I hear homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, sexist (etc. etc.) remarks I am deeply disappointed and offended. I wonder, if God is love, why do Christians spend so much of their time spewing hate? Obviously, I am not speaking about all Christians. Many Christians spend a great deal of time serving those in need and spreading God’s love, but there are still far too many who spread hate, and quite frankly I’m sick of it.
I watched a video blog this past week posted by the founder of For Harriet, Kimberly N. Foster, which almost entirely sums up my feelings about the church right now (in the video, she is referring primarily to the Black church, but her sentiments can be applied to the church in general). I can totally relate to her dilemma of reconciling her spirituality with her politics, as this is something with which I continuously struggle. In fact, it has become quite an internal battle for me. It feels as if two pieces of my identity are clashing and I struggle with how to deal with this clash. The God I know and love is not the same God that is often (mis)represented in the church. I long for a church where ALL people are accepted. We need to stop judging, condemning, and hating, and start listening, learning, helping, healing, and most of all loving.