i feel like i’ve become a magnet for all the metaphorical lepers of my church by being visibly on the margins of acceptability and sometimes it’s heartbreaking
it ranges from the queer kids who’ve been beaten or disowned by their parents (christians! elders, sometimes!) or the young women who aren’t virgins through to the agnostic ones who love the community and the atmosphere too much to leave (or in one case has to stay, because her foster family are in leadership and extremely fundamentalist)
and we’re not even a big church, or a church whose leadership is anything short of dedicated and well-meaning so the fact that i’ve found myself being impromptu, extremely covert shelter for a flock of teenagers who are rape survivors or closeted/homeless/battered queer people or just plain feminist/pro-lgbt/pro-choice/mentally ill/non-neurotypical/poor and being actively manipulated by people in positions of power in the church because that’s unacceptable (more people than just me have been taken out of church for ‘personal counselling’ which turns out to be more pressuring than helping, more teenagers than me have been told prayer and faith is the answer to mental illnesses they clearly can’t handle) is kind of horrifying
the church today cannot honestly tell me it has not become a mirror of the very pharisees jesus challenged, worshipping rules and laws which will maintain the social status quo rather than spreading anything worth considering ‘good news’
not when implicit in its social structure is silencing those among it who don’t fit the mold and cannot leave.