To My Compassionate Conservative Friends

To my compassionate conservative friends in ministry:

In my last post, I confronted those who use religion to hurt others, specifically the LGBT. I know that’s not you because I was once one of you.  You are earnest teachers and you never stop searching for truth.  You visit the sick, lead your churches to feed the hungry, and spearhead mission efforts. If someone in front of you needs your help, you give it freely, no matter who they are.

You are true ministers.  You have an unstoppable drive to make things better, and you’d rather die than hurt anyone.

But you and I know there is a major element in our society who use religion to hurt and control others and often they use the conservative ideology to do it.  Ok, they’re on the other side of the spectrum, too, I guess, but in the South we usually find them hiding among the conservatives.  I know you hate what they do.  I know it embarrasses and frustrates you to spend so much time quietly keeping them in check so they won’t hurt your people. I know you don’t want people to think you’re one of them.

You have my sympathy and my support.

I think you wish I’d be quiet, but I can’t. I held my tongue for so long it made me sick.  So I’m going to speak my thoughts.  I’m going to say things that maybe you wish you could say but would cost you too much.

I’m going to say things you disagree with. I will argue as strenuously as I can and I won’t back off.  I don’t expect you to, either.  We’re all grownups–we can discuss our thoughts without degenerating into angry babies.

My friends, I love and respect you.  But I’m not where you are anymore. I don’t see the Bible the way you do. I don’t understand God as you do. I don’t like where our religion has taken us–I think it’s doing a lot of harm. I think the church should quit trying to go backward to the good old days and instead go forward to be something it has never known itself to be.

It should make for great discussion.

I’m also aiming at those who are spiritually violent, who wrap themselves in the pages of a Bible they never understood, yet nonetheless use to oppress the weak. They use some of the same language you do.

But I know the difference.

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