Expelling the Genital Exchequers

by Louie Crew

First appeared in Gay Community News 4.4 (1977): 6.
It was first given at a panel on "Gays and Religion" at the
Second Southeastern Gay Conference in Chapel Hill, April 1977

© 1977 by Gay Community News; © 2004 by Louie Crew

The proper task of Gay Christians is not the seeking of acceptance. Gay people won the only important acceptance at Calvary. Our proper task is to bring the Good News to nongays that God loves them with no reference to the sexual privileges that they have appropriated for themselves. Without this Gospel perspective. we run the grave danger of worshiping respectability, not Christ.

Our message must be a prophetic call for nonGays to repent, demanding not their guilt-trips, but their amendment.

Perhaps the most common thing the Church is saying today is, "We love Gay people; we just don't approve of gay sexual acts"--a fancy way of updating the earlier claims to "love the sinner but not the sin." That claim by the church is patently false, as it has always been. When the Church has genuinely loved sinners, it has sent missionaries, even to the antipodes. There has been a visible gay community in America for over 50 years without so much as a chapel mission from the Church. The New Testament standard for "love" is always service: "Do you love me? Feed my sheep."

Nongays in the Church frequently talk about us as threats to the family. We gays also have vital interests in the family, particularly in those families who cannot love us their gay children. Every year between six and eight million parents desert their children; two to three million teenagers run away from typically unloving homes. The divorce rate is rapidly approaching 50 percent, not including those hetero couples who remain locked in dead unions. Heteros do indeed need a radical reassessment of their sexual priorities, but it is hardly on target for gay people to be accused for hetero crimes.

For the last three years I have monitored as closely as possibly the plight of lesgay people in the Episcopal Church. Some positive developments have occurred. We have organized. We are approaching 2000-2500 people on our membership rolls. We have thirty or so chapters meeting regularly for worship and sharing. We had supportive, if preliminary resolutions about lesgays from our Church's legislative body, the General Convention meeting in Minneapolis last summer. We have met with dozens of bishops, diocesan commissions, etc. Bishop Paul Moore ordained the first openly lesgay person to the priesthood this January. Many more priests already ordained have had the courage to come out, and others are becoming increasingly militant in their closet underground railway stations....

But the need for spiritual sustenance and religious education is vaster than even most gay people realize. Gay people are suffering literally in every block in America, not just from the very real threats of political and social stigma, but from the spiritual loneliness and incompleteness caused by the unloving hetero majority. Everyday I come into contact with new gay pain: a lesbian wife of a clergyman languishes in fear and confusion in Nevada. A young man leaves his parish in profound disappointment because it has become an exclusively heterosexual club.... Multiply these stories by millions.

We must expel the genital exchequers from the temple. We must have the courage to turn over their tables.

"Thy kingdom come" we are commanded to pray, not the heresy the hetero usurpers of the Gospel would preach: "Thanks for sending us your kingdom already, neatly capsulated in the model hetero nuclear family."

Christians of all times face their biggest temptations in the rewards given to those who would dilute the Gospel and make it servant of reigning establishments. Few have the stamina and the conviction to demand justice. to follow a Christ who separates husbands from their wives, wives from their husbands, children from their parents. Gay people are called to such a spiritual and holy mission.

We are the meek inheriting the earth. The Queandom is at hand. 


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