Remember that in every attack you call upon your own weakness, while each time you forgive you call upon the strength of Christ in you. Do you not then begin to understand what forgiveness will do for you? It will remove all sense of weakness, strain and fatigue from your mind. It will take away all fear and guilt and pain. — Course in Miracles, Lesson 62:1-4
When I launched Whosoever, my online magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians back in 1996, I immediately came under attack. I received letters from total strangers telling me that I was going to hell, simply for having the temerity to believe that God created me as a lesbian — a woman created to love and live my life with another woman.
The attacks were cruel and withering. I was informed that I was “filthy,” “disgusting,” “an abomination to God,” and that I “deserved death.”
How did I react? I attacked right back. I came to the defense of God and the Bible with the same spirit and vigor in which I had been attacked. I spent years and years arguing online and in person with anyone who was spoiling for a fight. I was right and they were wrong, wrong, so very wrong.
As I write in my book, Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, fending off all those attacks over the years taught me a lot. I honed my pro-LGBT biblical arguments and bolstered my own beliefs that my way of thinking was the only right way. What I came to realize, in time, however was this — arguing and attacking is fruitless. It produces no new converts and only makes your enemies more determined to defeat you just to prove themselves right and you wrong.
It has taken me a long time to realize that every time I attacked in the way I had been attacked I was not calling upon God’s strength within me — that higher, divine self. Instead, I was drawing on my own weakness, defending my own ego that would rather die than be proven wrong.
I still fully believe that God created LGBT people just as they are and blesses them whenever they live into the truth of that identity for themselves. I just don’t feel the need to defend that position anymore. Anyone who condemns the love two people find between themselves has already shown that they are operating out of that weak ego and not Christ’s strength and love. Their arguments condemn themselves.
Which is not to say that people of faith and love should not be involved in civil and religious movements for full rights for any excluded group. Not arguing or attacking is not the same as not actively working for justice. We are simply called to act in love and not in attack. Love will win out over fear if we keep showing up in love and refuse to attack others or defend our position. Love is the only defense we need.
As I have moved out of the LGBT Christian arena into this new forum, I find that again, I am under attack. Now, however, I find more traditional Christians, including some from the LGBT community, criticizing my newfound direction.
“You’re quoting the Course in Miracles?” they say to me. “Really? That stuff is heretical. You’ll go to hell for believing in that.”
Same attack, different day. Only now, I have no defense. I have no need of one. For every attack that comes I will simply respond in love. I will bless anyone who comes to attack me. They need not agree with me. Evangelism was never really my goal, even when I was firmly in the Christian fold.
“Your goal is to find out who you are …” the Course reminds us, and this is every religion’s call, at its heart — a call to move out of our small, attacking ego and into the wholeness of our True Self, where Christ’s strength dwells. For some, traditional Christianity provides the way to achieve that goal, for others its Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism or secular Humanism. Pick your path — the one that resonates with you — because that’s the one that will lead you to your true, divine self.
The least we can do for one another is walk our own path in love and kindness and refrain from attacking others for how they seek the same goal.