“Just as it was the church in the South that perpetuated racism so that slavery and white supremacy could have legitimacy, the Christian church has been responsible, more than any other institution, for perpetuating the sin of heterosexism …”*
So wrote Jimmy Creech, a former Methodist minister who has been a pioneer in championing equal rights for members of the LGBT community, primarily within the various denominations of the Christian church in America. I say “former” because his ministerial license was stripped from him by the United Methodist Church because he conducted holy unions of two same-sex couples.
Back in May, I wrote a post about Jimmy Creech and his new book, Adam’s Gift. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting him back in April when I was visiting my sister in North Carolina, and I found his book life-changing.
It was Jimmy Creech who introduced me to the concept that the church was and is immoral for perpetuating bigotry against gays and lesbians, just as the church had been immoral in using the Bible to justify slavery or perpetuate racism and segregation in the South.
After being silently wounded for decades by my own church’s leaders, accused of being immoral for merely being who I am, the concepts that it was the church itself that is immoral, that it was the church that needed to repent and not necessarily me, had a powerful empowering effect on me, enabling me to burst myself free from the shackles of self-hatred and self-doubt by which I had been bound for so long.
I think every gay and lesbian Mormon needs to hear this message, so I am sharing here a couple of videos of Jimmy talking about who he is, his ministry and his prophetic message of repentance aimed at religious bigots everywhere, whether they be in the pews or in the pulpits.
In the first video, Jimmy discusses his book and briefly summarizes parts of it. In the second video, Jimmy talks about his views concerning a United Methodist minister who was recently tried and convicted for conducting same sex unions in defiance of the Church’s Book of Discipline. I would suggest you start with the second video. Again, though his comments are made in the context of the United Methodist Church, the concepts he discusses are applicable to all members of the LGBT community and, in particular, resonate with we gay Mormons who have been taught very different concepts of the role of a prophet (discussed in my earlier post) and of morality.
*Heterosexism is defined as a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships; or more bluntly, discrimination or prejudice by heterosexuals against homosexuals.