The meet and greet with the congregation on Sunday at the Tremont Baptist Church, for the most part, was a very positive experience. I found gentleness and kindness in the eyes of almost everyone who stopped to chat, shake hands, or greet our group. The outward loving feeling this church projected was inclusive and positive. With the welcoming atmosphere, I found it difficult to understand why such a loving congregation would rent their safe space to Focus on the Family, such a hateful and hurtful group.
I was not troubled by the members of the congregation that were nervous or fearful of our presence. I was not hurt by those who walked by and ignored my smile and my extended handshake. The people who I found most hurtful were those who tried to explain that Tremont Baptist Church was merely renting space to Focus on the Family.
Many assured me not to confuse FOF with their church and their congregation. They wanted to make it clear that the church was not anti-gay and that they truly welcome everyone. It is difficult for me to understand that some church members can live with the contradiction of welcoming all people into their church, while simultaneously hosting the Love Won Out conference. LWO is detrimental to the queer community. Lies, hate, and bigotry are spread because of this group and their national conferences.
• How can Tremont Baptist Church stand by idly and detach themselves from the situation by inviting the enemy into our community?
• How can this loving, positive church disassociate itself from the hate it has brought into our neighborhood?
While the pastors and congregation all loudly proclaim their love of others they support Focus on the Family through passively hosting their LWO conference.I am hoping that in the upcoming weeks I will have a greater understanding of the Tremont Baptist Church and the people who worship there. It is difficult for me to struggle with the contradiction of feeling so embraced and welcomed by so many, while the same people who value diversity ignore the hurt and harm Focus on the Family is bringing to their church and our community.
Q & A with the blogger
Why do you identify as queer?
My politics, my lifestyle, my culture, my friends, my relationship ( my boyfriend is FTM trans) are all counterculture, and I love it.