Jesus told us to love our enemies, not to deny that they exist. In context Jesus clarified who our enemies are -- those that "revile you and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for [Jesus'] sake." If you doubt that people in this church revile lesbians and gays, I suggest that you go incognito for a week in a town far away from your own and identify yourself to several clergy and congregations as a lesbian or gay person. And you won't know the half of it, because you can always leave the experience and return to hetero privilege. If we can't refer to our enemies as "enemies," we will have to rip out well over half of the Psalms. There is quite a difference between having enemies, and making enemies out of people who disagree with us. We have no right to demonize others, but we must be quite clear about the fact when others demonize us. Cf. Archbishop Akinola's statement regarding the consecration of +Gene Robinson, "The Devil has entered the church." As Christians we should not expect our enemies to remain our enemies forever. We live in hope. I have found it best to treat enemies well, as it makes the transition so much easier when they become our friends, as so many have through the past three decades. A young man wrote a few years back asking, "Are you the same Louie Crew who used to live in Fort Valley and had a black lover?" "Yes," I replied, and asked, "Why do you want to know?" "I feared I would never find you and I am so ashamed of myself and need your forgiveness. I was a teenager back then. My parents encouraged my brothers and me to call you and threaten you with murder on several occasions. A couple of times when I was with him my father saw you jogging and tried to scare you by revving the engine of his pickup truck and rushing straight at you... "I grew up gay, and feel horribly guilty. Can you possibly forgive me?" In the twinkling of an eye I wrote back, "You were forgiven even before you were born, from the same source of my own forgiveness, and the forgiveness of everyone else. I rejoice in your wholeness. May God fill your life with goodness." He later mentioned that his parents had been reconciled with him and had even welcomed into their home his Hispanic lover. I believe in Resurrection. I have seen it happen. Quean Lutibelle of the Alabama Belles/Louie Chair of the Newark Deputation, Member of Executive Council
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