One of the saddest changes out of the last 5 years of divisiveness is the rampant increase in hate; hate for anyone who is Other than white, cisgender, Christian (of only the conservative variety), and to a large extend male or patriarchy identified. We have seen a resurgence of not only hate speech and hate crimes, but a devolution into a false narrative that anyone who isn’t a white Christian nationalist is therefore wrong, evil, or going to hell. We’ve seen conservativism pushing back against LGBTQ+ folks’ rights to medical care, employment, parental rights and their place within Beloved Community.
While some states have succeeded in banning conversion therapy for minors, many more still pressure youth and adult LGBTQ+ folk to change their innate nature and subvert it into one acceptable to heteronormativity. Today there are over 4.2 million youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness; 40% of those youth identify as queer, trans &/or nonbinary. The vast majority are on the streets because the people who were supposed to love and protect them instead condemned them, as not being worthy of the love of the Divine.
You. Are. Worthy. Every person is worthy of love and respect, but far too often religion has been used as a club to beat a person into conformity. More and more families are recognizing that their child, or friend or relative is divinely made just as they are. But the conservative element would have submission rather than wholeness, and so propagate the myth that if you pray hard enough you can change your very nature. Those who have tried to live that lie have done great damage to their souls and their psyches. And even those who have not gone through conversion therapy have suffered deep religious wounding from the families and churches that cling to scriptural words which are devoid of context, linguistic accuracy, or compassion.
These fear-based religionists claim to believe in a loving and Living G-d but do not allow that G-d to evolve and grow – along with Their creations – in understanding, compassion, and hope. They deny science, mental health, and modern research into the development of the fetal brain and body which, in truth, only expands the wondrousness of how we are made.
Because of religious wounding, many LGBTQ+ folk have thrown G-d out with the Holy Water and reject all forms of religion and spirituality, as a result. Cutting off their own innate sense of spirit and creativity, rather than be hurt again by a Judging G-d. But one can heal religious wounding, reconnect with a sense of Spirit beyond traditional or conservative understandings; moving from fear to love of self and Other and reclaiming their sense of worth.
Please join Shelter For the Spirit and our co-hosts MCC Portland, for “Pray Away: A Conversation about Healing from Conversation Therapy,” either in person (if you are local) or via Zoom, this Sunday, Nov. 7th. For full details go to https://shelterforthespirit.com/upcoming-events/ to learn more, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you attend or not, if religious wounding has impacted your life, consider joining our next support group for religious wounding, starting back up again in January.