You don't know me, but I'm your friendly neighborhood queer. We don’t live in the same neighborhood, but aren't we really all neighbors on this same planet?
I got your e-mail regarding your American Family Association's "I Stand Sunday" event. And even though it will be held in my hometown, I will not be able to attend. But I did want to RSVP.
I don't know where Houston's Grace Community Church is located, but I could probably Google-search it and find out. But I have plans already. I bowl in a gay league on Sunday evenings, and the times conflict.
But the real reason that I will not attend the event is that I do not think that I would feel welcomed. Well, not for who I really am. You see, yes, I'm a Christian, and there are many Christian churches in Houston, where the majority of the congregations are gay or lesbian. I do feel welcomed there. Even heterosexual people are welcomed in these churches.
From your invitation, I understand that the objective for your gathering is "to focus on the freedom to live out our faith, free of government intrusion or monitoring." I can respect that. Many people believe that our country was founded solely on the basis of religious freedom. So it was shocking for me to learn that one of our founding fathers, John Adams, once wrote to another one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, that, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there was no religion in it." Strong words, that I definitely do not agree with. I'm certain that you don’t either.
I understand from your invitation that the city of Houston "issued subpoenas demanding that some of the city’s pastors turn over sermon notes and private communications dealing with homosexuality and transgenderism." I don't know much of the background on that, but I think the city backed down on the issue.
Thank you for your listing of some of the confirmed speakers at your event:
David and Jason Benham, "co-founders of Benham Companies, who had their program on HGTV canceled because of their stand for time-honored marriage."
Myself, I've been married since 2012, so I'm not sure if it's “time-honored." I don’t watch HGTV, but my husband does. He may know who David and Jason are, but I don’t watch much TV. Well, unless it’s “The Big Bang Theory.”
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, "President of Southern Baptist Convention."
I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, attending every Sunday school, Sunday morning worship service, Sunday night training union, Sunday night worship service, and Wednesday evening fellowship. I even was a member of our church’s puppet troupe that entertained children and the elderly. I was a devout member of the church, until the truth of my homosexuality was found out. Then the entire church turned its back on me. That hurt. It didn't seem to me like something Jesus would have done.
Mike Huckabee, "television host, political commentator and former Governor of Arkansas."
I guess he has a strong anti-gay stance. I think my husband told me that, but I don't pay attention to most news items (although I do read your e-mails). All I know is that my Dad likes him, so Mike is probably very conservative
Alan Robertson and Phil Robertson "of the hit television show 'Duck Dynasty'."
I do not watch this show, but my sister's family and my step-sister's family do. They really enjoy it. Some time back, one of these guys compared homosexuality to bestiality. Now that is a true crime against nature. But I'm not sure what the Robertsons think about what happens in my bedroom, but it's not sex with animals. And ultimately, that’s none of their business. I don’t know, or care, what goes on behind their bedroom doors. That is none of my business.
Like I said before, I do hope your event opens some eyes, but not in the way that you hope it will. I hope people will recognize that they and I are more alike than we are different. Take you and I for example: we love our families, we go to work, we have children, and we are both Christians.
The best to you, Tim. I know that's what Jesus wants for you. And I know that's what He wants for me too.