Problems Among Queer Christians: Arguments

O’Brien discusses the changing narratives in the environment of queer Christians. Although he believed that being one is an uncomfortable position full of conflicts, many of his interviewees embraced the contradiction and defined themselves with it. Thus, the first argument is that it is possible to be a queer Christian without agonizing over one’s identity. However, people achieve reconciliation differently: some remain with the Church and attempt to justify homosexuality through the Bible (apologists), while others emphasize God’s mysterious nature and the transgressive massage, rendering queerness divine (mosaic expansion). The first group has a division that practices celibacy, as the Bible does not authorize sexual relationships, and its members tend to have low self-esteem. No matter how one rewrites the narrative, it allows them to remain spiritual. The third argument is that even when the Internet did not exist, and the queer representation was largely negative, people managed to rewrite themselves in a positive direction individually. It could happen because a figure of authority challenged one’s beliefs and questioned their rigidity. Lastly, while affirmative communities are becoming widespread, some young members still suffer and require a more welcoming environment.

Gould studies the meaning of silence in association with religion. For instance, the author argues that non-religious places may have a silencing effect on Christianity. It can happen due to the language, the message, which does not have to be stated, or even one’s identity. When a religious group and a secular one share the same goal (environmental protection), mutual suspicion may also occur. Moreover, those who support the Church’s authority and reject it are likely to experience the same because the differences seemingly outweigh the similarities. However, Gould suggests that using silence to enhance a conversation and navigate it respectfully is possible. Such mute moments are not uncomfortable – they allow for digesting the information and reacting to what was said. Sometimes silence, especially after a challenging question, closes a potential conversation. However, it can resume in private, which is not the worst outcome. Lastly, Gould suggests that believers may silence themselves when they are unable to fit a secular practice into their religion. It is likely to threaten one’s faith, so muting environmentalism due to the powerful religious presence seems easier.

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