Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gay Pride when you least expect it

Last time I posted here I commented on how Bonnie Prince Charlie, as I called him when I was in the Third Grade - Mrs. Parker-Bowles's husband, as he's known today - is now a grandfather already.  And his son, bonnie William, is apparently a peach of a husband and father, if you believe the PR (and I do).  I got several responses from people who thanked me for some good news for a change.  Usually I spend more time rending my garments over the dark side.

I protest.  When the world gives you lemons, you may eventually turn them into lemonade.  I just think there's nothing wrong with making a face first, if that's what comes natural to you.

Today is Gay Pride Day.  All over the country LGBT people are out marching.  That includes San Francisco.  Earlier today I waved my husband off as he headed over to the city to march with all the other young'uns and feel the pride.  I plead age on occasions like this.  The thought of the crowded trains, the endless lines, the banging drums, the squeals and the shouts -- all young people stuff, I said.  It's been going for how many years now?  Since 1972?  A million people show up for this event in San Francisco these days.

I'm not being a party-pooper, not saying "been there, done that," although I've done it maybe thirty times.  I'm just thinking how nice it is I don't have to go bang the drums anymore.  I don't have to stop people on the street and tell them how proud I am to be gay.  OK, so I never did that, but I do remember black people stopping me in the 60s and telling me, "I'm black and I'm proud," and understanding instantly why they needed to do that.  How important it is after being down so long to stand tall and proud.  I am grateful these are better times, at least for some of us.

So it was all just going to pass me by this year.  I was just going to walk the dogs, as I always do, waiting now till 8 o'clock for the cool of the evening.

As I walked up the street I saw balloons out in front of the Congregational Church.  When I got a little closer I realized they were rainbow colored.

I love the Congregational Church. They, the United Church of Christ in America, I believe they are officially called these days, most of them anyway, were among the first to recognize gay people as equals and support their marriages.

I attended a Congregational Church growing up. Left it to become a Lutheran because I found them too namby-pamby, always talking about being nice to people.  I got hold of Luther's Small Catechism and away I went.  Just what the doctor ordered.  Some serious doctrines to follow.  No more messing around with nice.

I realize today if I were ever to return to a church community it would more likely be the Congregationalists than the Lutherans.  Precisely because it took them less time to figure out how to put Christianity into action when it came to gay people, just as they were ahead of the crowds when it came to abolition and women's suffrage.

Personal preference, of course.  The Lutherans today are there as well.  Ditto the Episcopalians.  Ditto most all of the mainstream churches.  It's only the authoritarians, the guys who want to define god as the guy with a switch, ready to bang the evil out of you, that continue to cherry pick the scriptures, laying aside the passages that approve of slavery and suggest banging the heads of your enemies' kids against a rock, to focus on your naughty parts and how to use them only to make more angry Christians.

When I got right up to the church, I noticed two things.  One was they had taken down the banner that used to hang there which said, "Never place a period where God has placed a comma," or something like that. Always liked that. That banner has been replaced by a "Black Lives Matter" banner. I like that too.

The other thing I noticed was that there was a sign by the balloons.  This wasn't just gay pride Sunday.  It was a time to pray for the souls in Orlando.

Damn, I says to myself.  Those Christians can really be decent people when they want to.

So I got in a little pride today, after all.  Just never expected to feel it walking past a church.

P.S.  Here's the main entrance.  And the chapel attached, which they let the Baptists use.
and that tower in between is the Methodist Church across the street.  The Methodist
Church grounds are a bit shoddy and messed up looking.  Probably because
they make a big point of serving the homeless.

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