Last week the Herald Whig posted a letter to the editor from a community pastor who shared his extremely homophobic opinions. You can read that if you want.
As I got to the bottom of his letter, properly pissed off that anyone in Quincy would feel confident sharing a letter like that, I realized it was my old pastor. Everything clicked in my head, right then, and I understood with newfound clarity why I had always felt that I hated myself. Because I had been told to from the pulpit. I wrote a letter to him in response (you can read the original version) and after a little bit of revision from the editor at the Whig came up with what was printed.
Here is the letter that was printed if you care to read it. I wanted to put it up on my own site to make sure I’d still have it if it got taken down. Also I didn’t come up with the header. Enjoy:
Christ’s followers often don’t show God’s love
Posted: Oct. 17, 2018 4:35 pm
To The Herald-Whig:
Being bisexual, and having grown up in Pastor Gary Wallace’s congregation, it was sometimes hard to express the certainty with which I believed God didn’t love me because of the way he made me.
It was difficult to put into words the bigotry and hatred I felt from the church even while inside the church. It was easy for me to say that I felt it, but I didn’t have a way to prove it or really even be sure that it was as gross as I remembered.
Last week’s letter to the editor has given me more concrete proof of that bigotry than God has ever given any proof to back the hatred publicly shared by a representative of the church. This hatred was the reason I hated myself for 23 years. The love shown and taught to me by the church was temporary, conditional and always out of reach. That was the example of Christ shown to me and a lot of people like me.
If you’re someone in the church, whether or not you agree with Pastor Wallace, I hope you agree with me that the way he went about what he said was disgusting. Show the love of Christ to people, bring them to Him, and if God decides to change their attitude about something you personally disagree with, trust God to do that. Spewing hatred from the pulpit isn’t saving souls.
The church has never been an example of love. I’m glad I have finally found a community that is.
I’m finally proud of who I am, sexuality and all. I’m finally vocal about being proud of who I am, and I’m going to keep being loud about pride until people stop coming to me because they’re scared what the church and their families will do if they come out.
If you’re lucky enough not to be straight, know that people love you and accept you. You might not find that in the church, but we’re here.
Steven J. Stock