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Being a Good Ally for LGBTQ Christians

Everyone needs allies. The heart of the Methodist faith is our interdependence on others to make us, and keep us, Christian. When individuals and groups face discrimination, exclusion and violence, it is even more important that those on the sidelines intervene rather than simply remain bystanders. As the United Methodist General Conference gets underway, the Religious Institute has produced what I think is an amazingly insightful guide for those who want to be helpful and not harmful It bears a careful read, but I was struck by three aspects in particular: Don’t try to fix it Speak up but not over LGBTQ people Actions speak louder than words. I’ve written before about the tendency for other

An African Voice

How often do I hear, when leading conversations about same-sex relationshiops in the Church, one (white) participant exclaim: 'What about the Africans?' When gently challenged, said advocate usually has not consulted any particular African Christian but is sure that 'they' all think the same. When further challenged about how they incorporate the views of African Christians into their thinking about other issues, there is often the admission that they don't. 'The Africans' has become a way for some white conversative Christians to employ white guilt to prevent change in Western Churches. It is nothing short of neocolonialism, once again exploiting people in other continents for the advantage

Borderline

Borders are big news! On one side of the Atlantic, it is about closing one down, on the other, keeping one open. I was one of the lucky ones growing up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Apart from a fire-bomb that destroyed our fleapit of a cinema in the late 70s, I saw very little of the violence that plagued other parts of the country. Only on shopping visits to Belfast did I encounter the reality of troops on the street and heavily armed police checkpoints. But I do remember occasional visits ‘down South’, crossing the border into Louth or Monaghan and encountering a lone British soldier on a country road, flagging down approaching traffic. Of course, they weren’t alone - a keen ey

Brigid and Darlughdach

Today is the feast of SS Brigid and Darlughdach (DAR-le-da) and the first day of Spring in Ireland. Although I grew up there, it was only recently I realised that Brigid was one of Ireland’s patron saints, along with Patrick and Columba. Her story is a compelling one, especially for LGBTQ+ Christians who struggle to find themselves in the official histories of the Church. Yet here, in full view, is a 5th and 6th century woman who not only resists traditional marriage and the expectations of her day, but shares her life and her bed with another woman. So used are we to believing that same-sex relationships (of whatever sort) are a 20th century invention - and problem - that we fail to see the

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