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← Locked Out: How the Church Responded to their Pastor’s Coming Out

achromat666's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by achromat666

Having come from (and left the religion of) a still quite religious family, I feel I can actually sympathize on both ends. Though there is so much of her predicament that is unique.

The break from Christianity is a cultural one as well as a belief based one. In the culture you are accepted and doing work for the church or for the community in the name of the church is considered both respectable and highly looked upon. To be the pastor of said church doing these things both puts you in a great position of respect and influence and puts a lot of pressure on someone having doubts. You are after all passing to the parish the word of God that faith worships. You chose to be the person to do that through the years it took to get to that position in seminary school. By community thinking, in order for the parish to maintain the strength of their faith, your faith should be absolute.

And, like many in the Clergy Project, that simply isn't the case. These are people that struggled to do what they thought was their God's will, only to discover the God they were raised to believe in became more distant and less resonating in their lives. How can you pass down the word you don't believe in? How do you face a community that looks to you for guidance in faith only to discover you have none?

And from the perspective of the community, regardless of how we may feel, this isn't just some rebellious child or wayward spouse, this is the person you look to for strengthening your faith when you are in crisis. If they have no faith, what does this say of their teachings over the years?

This isn't a question of who is right and wrong, but much closer to what was mentioned in a previous post to a divorce or breaking up from a long term relationship. Everyone feels betrayed, everyone feels hurt. Obviously I sympathize for Teresa, it brings up a lot of the feelings I had when I had my conversations with family members on the subject. But I can certainly understand the feelings the church has even if I don't agree with a single one of their positions or the wat they responded.

My best wishes to you Teresa, I know nothing about this predicament was or is easy.

Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:10:39 UTC | #933647