Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OUR SPIRIT - A GLBTQ-Inclusive Religious Resource For Teens

'Tis The Season... Here in the U.S.A., with Thanksgiving behind us, now the momentum builds across our culture towards Christmas. Even if you're Jewish, and celebrate Hanukkah, or are Atheist, or Muslim, or Buddhist, or celebrate something else, if you live in this country you can feel the push towards Christmas.

The Ads.

The Songs.

The Commercialism.

The lights on houses.

And sometimes, even the spirit of good will toward all.

But many times religions are a source of division and especially antagonism towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning people. Scripture can be used towards hate and shame, or towards love and celebration.

There's a new on-line resource all about including GLBTQ and Allied youth in the message of love:

http://ourspiritnow.org/



While I'm an Atheist, and don't feel the need for a religion to mediate my personal spirituality, I appreciate a religious organization whose message is:

We believe that the true basis of religion is love and that all people deserve to be loved, especially youth who struggle fitting the traditional straight model of sexuality. Watch our movies, explore and, above all, know that you’re loved.


Their website has some fun videos and lists of GLBTQ-Inclusive Christian Churches and GLBTQ Support within other denominations. But most of all, their open celebration of GLBTQ Teens in a religious environment feels like progress.

And it kind of makes me want to sing...


Fa la la la la, la la... la... la!

5 comments:

Steph said...

Thank you.

I am essentially atheist - I believe in stuff, just not in s systematic manner that was specifically taught - sort of a spiritual atheist. Anyway, it works for me. The thing is that now I am in college I am meeting all kinds of people that I normally wouldn't have been exposed to in high school. Like really conservative Christians who take every word in the Bible literally. Like really conservative Christians who have spent years coming to terms with the fact that they are gay and realizing that it does not contradict their faith - and then overnight do a complete 180 and start talking about how its possible for him to change themselves for Jesus.

No one ever put beliefs on me, so I don't put my beliefs on other people, no matter how wrong I think they are. It's just incredibly painful to watch and know that something that's supposed to help people and make them feel good is being used as a way to deny people who they are. And what hurts the most is that there is absolutely nothing I can do except try to be there for him, and that's not nearly enough.

ivanova said...

Dear Steph,

I'm sure you are helping your friend a lot. There are some things that people must figure out for themselves, but having someone stand by him might be the thing that makes a difference for your friend. I think sometimes people struggle two steps forward and one step back, and it's frustrating to watch them hash through the same crisis again, but it sounds like you are being a true friend.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see this. I'm a person of faith, and I believe that love and acceptance of one another are essential parts of a faith-filled life. (See, for example, John 13:34-35, John 15:12 and John 15:17. And traditions in addition to Christianity teach love and peace as part of living in faith.)

Lee Wind said...

Steph, Nora is right - your support must mean an enormous amount to your friend.

Here's the thing: most people want to feel accepted and loved by their community. It can be tempting to change yourself to get that acceptance and love - but ultimately, you realize that acceptance and love for pretending to be someone you are not isn't really much of a prize.

Sometimes it takes changing your community to one where people will accept and love you for YOU - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, straight, atheist, agnostic, or religious - whatever and whoever you authentically are for you to feel truly accepted and loved.

But make no mistake about it: the most important person in your life who can give you acceptance and love is yourself. Everything else flows from that.

Namaste,
Lee

Robert Guthrie said...

Lee,

Thank you for posting info about Our Spirit. I just returned from a week vacation, and it was fantastic to see your post!

Your website is amazing in so many ways. Thank you for helping spread the word to youth that they're okay. You're a gift to the community.

Robert