Thursday, April 21, 2011

Open Letter to OCC Alumni

Open letter to OCC Alumni who use Facebook to express their disapproval of homosexuality

A note on Facebook by Erica Chu, posted on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 10:54pm

Truth: This is my life.  I have not made my choices lightly.  I said this in a recent comment, but let me say it again: I honor the Lord with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. I am also not straight. I am also not cisgendered. I am also not ashamed.

Though you say you love, though you say you appreciate, though you may even end with “we should agree to disagree,” you often treat this subject like a theoretical conversation that has no real consequences.  I am a person.  I exist.  I have beliefs that are contrary to your own.  And I can’t believe it’s necessary for me to have to say this, but THESE THINGS HAPPEN, and they do not threaten you.

There are times when close friendships, mentorships, and spiritual advising relationships require one person to tell another, “I think you’re making some wrong decisions here.”  Such conversations must take place with great care, prayer, forethought, and love.  If I haven’t had any communication with you in the past few years, that’s a cue to you that your judgmental proclamations about my personal choices are unwelcome and inappropriate.  If you are making such comments in a public forum, speaking without giving it much thought, or attempting to “correct” me without having sought guidance from others who are concerned for my spiritual well-being, these are signs you are taking a wrong approach.  And when I say “wrong” here, I mean ineffective as well as morally reprehensible.

Your passion for God's truth ought to be matched by your passion for God's love, God's people, and God's investment in placing the last first and the first last.  If you take out your Bibles and turn to the gospels, you’ll find that you look a lot more like the Pharisees, and I look a lot more like the people Jesus went to the cross for.

You have objections to what I believe.  I get that.  And if you’re looking for a place to vent your concerns, might I recommend the Facebook group, OCC Talks, where the forum is one of debate on issues—not personal attacks on my views and life.

In case you haven’t gotten the message, LGBTQ people face a lot of problems—and not just because they live what you’d probably call sinful lives.  1.6% of the general population has attempted suicide at least once over the course of their lifetime.  For gays and lesbians, the percentage is twice as high, and an astounding 41% of transgendered people have attempted suicide.  You may say sin has caused this problem.  I (and a whole lot of other people) say the ignorance, rejection, and judgment of others has caused this problem.  You may think bullies are just muscle-y boys with anger problems, but they’re also housewives, church deacons, and Sunday school teachers who misuse their Christian witness.  Whatever the reason, LGBTQs face oppression and suffering.  And more to the point in this particular circumstance, I face oppression and suffering.  Like it or not, a lot of what I suffer from stems from the rejection you embody.

Instead of love, instead of respect, instead of even critical questions to help you understand my position in this world (a world that harms me, and makes me susceptible to violence, death, isolation, and despair)--instead of all this, I just receive assertions of your beliefs, your condemnation, your rejection.

God accepts me, and calls me beloved.  God blesses my sexuality and romantic relationship.  If somehow I am wrong, let God judge.  Let God condemn.  Let God be God.  If you are a Christian, you are his hands and feet—not his gavel.  And as such, you should not be off-handedly dismissing the choices I have so carefully, prayerfully, and solemnly made.  You should be out preaching the gospel, feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, and comforting those who are suffering.  Which incidentally includes a lot of people like me.



P.S.  As pathetic as the following requests may sound, please do them as a show of support to me, who is often discouraged by the homophobia that exists among Christians.  Do them also as a sign to others who will see this and also need the encouragement.

- Whether you think homosexuality is a sin or a blessing, if you want to comfort LGBTQs because they have a rough time, please “like” this post.  

- If you want to “come out” as a supporter of LGBTQs because you believe God likes heterosexuality as much as any other kind of sexuality, respond with the word “Yes” followed by any comment you want.

- If you have a problem with this post, write whatever you like.

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