From: Dorothy Deasy, contributor
Dear Kate and John,
We prayed for you in church yesterday. Though we do not know you, though we are not Mormon, we are part of the family of Christ. We understand the pain that comes from being told that God does not commune with us, does not approve of us, though, of course, our hearts tell us otherwise. Some of our clergy have had to leave the denominations in which they were raised, simply because they are women, or because they are gay. Yet their voices are the voices of a God who is still speaking, a God who loves and accepts. Their voices are prophetic voices for peace and justice.
Because your Church can not yet say “thank you,” please let me say it. Thank you for the example of courage. Thank you for speaking your faith. Thank you for being willing to accept the most painful of rejections, the rejection of your faith community, to say what God has put into your hearts.
Thank you most importantly for challenging the myth that being a woman or being gay somehow means that God is less accessible, or less approving of your Spirit. Thank you for saying that man-made customs are not truer expressions of God than actions taken that emulate the Christ.
Thank you for your actions that emphasize that God the Beloved does not hold women and gays as inferior, defective or deserving of punishment. This is more than a point of theology; it is, sadly, in many places, a matter of life and death. Thank you on behalf of men and women who have been beaten or killed because of their gender or whom they love. Thank you on behalf of gay men in Africa for whom being gay is punishable by death. Thank you on behalf of adolescents whose developing identities are tortured by “therapy” that seeks to deny their sexuality. Thank you on behalf of women who are victims of “honor” killings. Thank you on behalf of women who are trafficked in the sex trade. Our religions should witness that these crimes are crimes against God; they can not be tolerated because each of us, regardless of gender or orientation are deserving of human dignity. Instead, faith that denies the basic, essential mutual connection that each of us have with God, diminishes that truth.
May you be blessed with peace and surrounded by love in the days ahead.
With warmth and support,
Dorothy Deasy, who yesterday attended a United Church of Christ service