If God Is One of Us, Then God Is Gay
I’m just going to come right out and say it.
There is nothing more fragile than a former believer who never extracted themselves from the ideologies of their religious heritage.
That extraction process is now known as deconstruction. It’s a relatively new term. I hadn’t even heard of it until I came to TikTok a few years ago. I had been deconstructing for years prior to that, but I simply called what I was doing “untangling from my religious heritage that no longer served my highest good.”
Deconstruction is much simpler, and according to at least one mega pastor, the “sexy” thing to do. He was being sarcastic of course, but the fact that the word deconstruction is being used by these pastors in modern evangelical Christianity says a lot about the power of the word.
These pastors have a lot of shapeshifting to do to keep the eyes in the audience on the pulpit and away from those walking out the doors, never to return. They’re masters at story spinning, weaving carefully crafted statements that deflect from any responsibility they may have for those departing.
That is—plain and simple—church marketing 101. Never accept blame, and never deviate from the tried-and-true tenets of that structure’s faith….
Only men can lead.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
And God hates LGBTQIA+.
“You can’t say that we hate members of the LGBTQIA+ community!” They’ll scream at me.
“We love them. It isn’t a sin to be gay. It’s just a sin to act upon it.”
Give me a break.
It’s a homophobic and weaponized trope that harms LGBTQIA+ by trivializing their existence and implying that God is standing behind a fence, and Christians are entrusted to guard it. The reality is Christians erected that fence, and well, hey as long as you don’t have sex, just hop right on over that fence and be one of us!
I want to scream that their arrogance is astounding, but they’re not listening. And if they heard me, they wouldn’t care. They’re convinced of their moral and spiritual superiority and simply banish the rest of us to hell for not believing as they do. They believe their spiritual gatekeeping is next to godliness, and godliness is theirs to define.
That brings us back to the former believer.
I saw a quote recently—it’s crude so brace yourself.
“A white woman who doesn’t decolonize from patriarchy is just a white supremacist with a vag.”
Ouch—but very true.
The life lesson is simple. There must be a season of extracting, deconstructing and decolonizing from a high-control indoctrinated experience or you are still a dangerous human capable of doing more harm to the historically oppressed than good.
That truth bomb hurts, but the time for calling it out is long overdue.
The real work of deconstructing is hard, but when you dive in and do this work, it’s life changing. The most challenging aspects of that deconstruction are accepting how much you benefited from the structure that you are now rejecting. Evangelical Christianity in particular is designed to protect a hierarchical structure that protects the white Christian male’s dominance at the top of the pyramid. Anyone who willingly supported that structure benefited from its existence.
No one knows how difficult it is to deconstruct from a high-controlled patriarchal religious structure—that is until they come face-to-face with a former belief that they didn’t realize they were holding onto. This scenario plays out in social media every day, especially in my comments on my social media posts.
“I left church years ago, but I need to correct you. I heard you refer to God as She. God is only a He.”
“I love you Rev Karla but being gay is a sin. I don’t go to church anymore but I know what the Bible says.”
“Your teachings inspire me, but if I were you, I’d be worried about hell because I don’t think women are supposed to be pastors.”
On and on this goes as people are offered a mirror to face their indoctrinated beliefs. Instead of looking in that mirror, they knock it out of my hands where it crashes to the ground, breaking into millions of tiny pieces.
This came home in a new way when a professed atheist demanded that I stop telling people that being gay isn’t a sin, because people need to understand the consequences of hell.
Do you see the irony in this statement? What skin does an atheist have in the game where they felt compelled to come out to protect an indoctrinated belief? I was astounded but also fascinated that a professed atheist was doubling down when I sought to understand their stance to condemn people to a hell that they didn’t believe in. We went back and forth until they responded, “You’re impossible,” and then they blocked me.
Am I impossible, or are you blind to an indoctrinated belief that is causing you to protect a bias you have against someone who doesn’t show up in the world as you do? If by being impossible you mean that my questioning you to explain your stance challenged your indoctrinated belief, then perhaps I am impossible.
I’m okay with that. I can accept my part in this.
Are you then ready to look at any indoctrinated beliefs you may be holding onto and release them so they no longer can inflict harm on the marginalized?
Because that’s what is most important here.
Extracting — Deconstructing — Decolonizing
We will always—repeat always—feel justified in gatekeeping another’s right to freely exist when our indoctrinated beliefs that convince us of our moral or spiritual superiority are challenged.
It isn’t that each of us doesn’t have beliefs that encompass everything about our lives. Of course, we do. Beliefs help us define our moral compass and values. They guide our steps and help us find our communities of like-minded people. And when those beliefs are rooted in elevating the human condition, they move us to action to do what is right for the good of the whole.
But when our beliefs about ourselves move us to protect those beliefs by annihilating the rights of another, those beliefs are rooted in some form of bigotry. That may be difficult to accept but undeniably true. Even more difficult is a willingness to look in that mirror when it is offered to you so that you can begin the work to release the belief once and for all.
There are many ways to do this work, and I encourage you to read, seek the advice of a mentor and find gatherings where people are doing this hard work. Accountability from another can be the difference between you releasing or vehemently protecting a bigoted belief.
Where is God in all this?
Beloved, I can’t answer that for you because I released the indoctrinated belief that my belief about God was the only one that was right. When I no longer felt responsible for “educating” the world on who God was, my relief was palpable.
Gone was the need to proselytize my faith.
Gone was the need to be the gatekeeper of spirituality.
Gone was the need to wield spiritual superiority over the world.
Gone was the need to define who or even what God is.
And in its place?
Curiosity and wonder.
Peace of mind from having to contort scripture to justify beliefs that harmed others.
I’m still learning. Instead of planting my feet and saying, “this is as far as I’m willing to grow,” my spirituality compels me to say, “I’ll never stop learning. For in that learning, this is where I discover God.”
And who is God?
What is God?
I may never know, but my journey to discover the answer is even more sacred and powerful when I thought I knew the answer.
Here’s what I do know.
I know that each human has the right to exist free from fear that another human being might strip them of their rights to freely exist.
I know that each soul has the right to exist without another gatekeeping the journey to discover who or what is God.
I know that we are intricately connected to one another in indescribable ways that we may never completely understand.
I know that if we chose to live with this spiritual connection guiding us, we could solve much of the world’s problems.
I know that this soul that intricately connects us is the most accurate reflection of a Universal Divine Love that some call God.
I know that this Universal Divine Love transcends human understanding, and therefore humans’ ability to contain it.
I know that if this Universal Divine Love exists in all of us, then every humans’ expression of this Love is sacred and valid.
Simply put—if God is, then God is gay.
And that is what deconstructing looks like.