I didn’t follow the first “perfumed traditionalist” thread at PrayTell very closely. I see author and theologian David Berger has returned to the scene. Don’t get me wrong on what I’m about to opine: I believe in the truth and in its telling. This new post can only be described as lobbing full containers of gasoline into a bonfire. Entertaining, sure, in its own way. And for the catharsis of a homophobic Church and a navel-gazing segment of traditionalists, probably necessary.
I had two staff members approach me some time ago. “You’re not perceived,” one said, “as friendly to LGBT parishioners.” That struck me as curious, because I was one of four staff members who had done university training in LGBT awareness. I have an “ally” visual on display in my office. I’ve written publicly that I don’t have a problem with many LGBT issues, including civil unions or adoption, not to mention ordination.
I shared that insight with another colleague. I told her, “I don’t even know any gay or lesbian parishioners.” She laughed. “Of course you do.” she said. You just don’t know them as L, G, B, T, Q, or whatever.
And it’s true. They play an instrument or sing. They serve at liturgy, sit on one of my committees, or have an occasional beer or coffee with me. We have discussions about liturgy, the Church, the community, or the weather and stuff. That they might be gay or lesbian, old or young, male or female, liberal or conservative is pretty much irrelevant to me.
I have two young people who play their instruments in the Saturday music ministry at my parish. Some people note, “Oh, it’s great you get the teens involved.” Teens? Well, yeah, I knew that. They’re also darn fine musicians who contribute musically and spiritually to the group and the parish.
Back to the bonfire …
I don’t know that Professor Berger is the one to crack open the traditionalist/homophobic pathology. I think an ally who turns coat on the groupthink will be more villified than the heretic standing on the far Tiber shore.
How’s that suggestion number seven working for you these days, my conservative friends?