A Strange Anger

by: Jill Bateman


It's been a long time since I've tried putting words about faith on a page. My experience of discovering my sexual identity was agonizing as a mother's labor pains. Unsuccessful attempts at Metanoia (changing) tore me from the warm, accepting confines of the family of God. They were my mothers and brothers and sisters and fathers, and we agreed so violently to never speak...or have lunch with such a one...as I.

When I finished that leg of the journey...that is when I uncovered the layers of language within those passages of the Bible used to keep lesbians and gay men from entering the Kingdom of God, I became very angry. My old beliefs were wrong. All those sermons about the "sin" of homosexuality were wrong. But I was not angry at the people who bashed us with the verses. I was angry at God. Strange reaction, don't you think?

God, I believed, made the book too hard. People are no where near intellegent enough to understand this book, it's translated from another language (three actually!), it's written in another time, in another culture, how can we possibly be expected to pattern our lives after this immense piece of literature? People justified slavery with this book. People justified the Salem witch trials, and the Crusades and so many other untold atrocities against precious human beings made in the image of God...those for whom Christ died.

Lilly Tomlin points out that when we talk to God, it's called prayer. When God talks to us...it's called schizophernia. Maybe so, but somehow God got through to this soul, who like so many other homosexuals, walked away from God...only to find that it's kind of difficult to walk away from an Omnipresent Being!!

I was laying in a hospital bed after a nasty surgury on my head. The morning devotions just finished over the intercom system and God spoke in my thoughts. It occured to me that maybe, just maybe, the Bible is a compliment. Maybe God, who created the human brain, understands it's potential. Maybe God thinks we can handle it.

When I was training for the Portland Marathon a few years ago, one of my mantras as I ran was "it really is THIS hard." I think it also applies to the Bible. It can't be taken lightly. It can't be glossed over. It wasn't meant to be read in English.

God is still teaching, and leading, and working miracles in the life of this lesbian who loves Jesus, and whom Jesus loves.


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