She wrote back, the woman who thinks its terrible that I'm not going to church with my kids. This time she told of 55 years ago, how she and two other women in college were not able to go to seminary to become pastors, as they dreamed of. Two of the women married pastors, and "they were both smarter than their husbands."
"So," she asked, "if we didn't leave the church then, why are you leaving it now?"
First, I'm thankful for all the people who stay in church and work for its bettering. The best example this week is the election of the new Episcopal Bishop of the USA, for the first time ever a woman -- a scientist, a great theologian, a straight talker. I'm overjoyed at this news of her election.
Second, I have learned that I am more angry in church than out of it. I have a difficult time reconciling the churches appeasement of insiders with our core message of Jesus' attention to the need of outsiders. When I'm in church I'm struggling to make insiders include outsiders, instead of working with outsiders. Riding Straight Into Gay America I spend my time with outsiders, wrote for outsiders first, and then make my story available to everyone. At least for this point in my life, the outside makes more sense to me.
Clearly, this will offend our insider sensibilities. That's why I'm on the outside.
Third, church has a great tradition to support the outsider way. There was this guy Jesus. He lasted three years, and then the insiders got him, but along the way to his crucifixion, I think he found a lot of meaning and satisfaction.
More about this in the book.
I'm thankful that the opening pages of A-Page-A-Day are already engendering these good conversations. If you're not yet getting A-Page-A-Day, start receiving the book for free at www.straightintogayamerica.com