Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First post - This blog contains mature content.

First posts are typically reasons for the blogger's intentions for starting a new blog. They typically express a desire to write more and to do self-therapy in a place where "anyone who cares about me" will look. Being almost 30-years-old, I realize that few of my loved ones actually use that contraption called the World Wide Internet and that many who do not care about me will read posts on my blog. Some will even look to my blog to find impurities or "secrets" to use against me.

I blog here, not because I wish to have an international [English-speaking] following, but rather because I want to share things with my colleagues and friends: I often find news articles and photos that prompt discussion or at least demand our attention. Oftentimes, simply posting links on Facebook or Twitter does not give me enough space to explain why a news article or photo is worth our attention. This blog will help me accomplish that.

I am also aware of a tight-rope I walk as religious educator in a congregation vs. my identity as a gay male. Whether you "accept" gay people or not, we must all be aware that the accepted stereotype is that gay males are over-sexualized and a threat to propriety. While I have no plans to post nudity here, I promise to challenge those accepted stereotypes by being provocative when needed. Members of oppressed groups need to feel that they are being heard and not profiled or ridiculed. My posts will challenge political and religious assumptions that you may hold. All people continue to grow through the course of adulthood, and the posts here are meant to inspire a new world for the sake oppressed groups.

My personal mission statement is becoming more clear the longer I remain in church ministries. I want to welcome those whom other denominations deem "sinners." I want to love people who have been wounded by that popular enemy, "organized religion." While organized religion has injured people everywhere--including those who continue attending churches that have already wounded them--I am resolute in my personal testimony that finding faith in an inclusive church is the most efficient way to heal from the terrors of mis-damnation. Church still redeems. To dismiss organized religion wholesale is an emotional reaction that I can understand, but I see it as cutting off one's own foot. It separates a person from receiving the salve. Even people who are unsure of their beliefs or sexuality should feel welcomed to share their faith with their faith communities. Such welcoming churches exist. This is where we share conversations that help us create inclusion in our faith communities.