!E-pub ⚑ Queer Virtue ⚖ LGBTQ People Are A Gift To The Church And Have The Potential To Revitalize ChristianityAs An Openly Lesbian Episcopal Priest And Professional Advocate For LGBTQ Justice, The Reverend Elizabeth Edman Has Spent Her Career Grappling With The Core Tenets Of Her Faith After Deep Reflection On Her Tradition, Edman Is Struck By The Realization That Her Queer Identity Has Taught Her About How To Be A Good Christian Than The ChurchIn Queer Virtue What LGBTQ People Know About Life And Love And Why Christians Should Care, Edman Posits That Christianity, At Its Scriptural Core, Incessantly Challenges Its Adherents To Rupture False Binaries, To Queer Lines That Pit People Against One Another Thus, Edman Asserts That Christianity, Far From Being Hostile To Queer People, Is Itself Inherently Queer Arguing From The Heart Of Scripture, She Reveals How Queering Christianity That Is, Disrupting Simplistic Ways Of Thinking About Self And Other Can Illuminate Contemporary Christian Faith Pushing Well Past The Notion That Christian Love Tolerance, Edman Offers A Bold Alternative The Recognition That Queer People Can Help Christians Better Understand Their Fundamental Calling, And The Creation Of Sacred Space Where LGBTQ Christians Are Seen As Gifts To The ChurchBy Bringing Queer Ethics And Christian Theology Into Conversation, Edman Also Shows How The Realities Of Queer Life Demand A Lived Response Of High Moral Caliber One That Resonates With The Ethical Path Laid Down By Christianity Lively And Impassioned, Edman Proposes That Queer Experience Be Celebrated As Inherently Valuable, Ethically Virtuous, And As Illuminating The SacredA Rich And Nuanced Exploration, Queer Virtue Mines The Depths Of Christianity S History, Mission, And Core Theological Premises To Call All Christians To A Authentic And Robust Understanding Of Their Faith
In Queer Virtue What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity, Edman argues that Christianity is inherently queer it ruptures the binaries of life and death, human and divine Edman also argues that the queer path and the Christian path are not so different from one another In fact, they are incredibly similar Both paths involve the discernment of an identity the reaching out to others and forming of community, despite the risks involved and the navigation of scandal Both paths also require that we participate in supportive communities, fight for justice, and look to the margins to help those who are less privileged than we are.In this book, Edman affirms, validates, and lifts up queer people She celebrates queerness her pride in and love of the queer community is palpable on every page I loved this Reading Queer Virtue was an absolute joy It left me with a sense of hope and several ideas to ponder It was refreshing to read about the ways in which queer people can benefit Christianity, rather than the other way around Edman proposed several strategies that progressive Christian communities might adopt in order to become authentic and hospitable She advises progressive Christians on how to have healthy pride in their Christian identity and on how to come out as Christians Most of all, she impresses upon the reader that being queer and Christian is not only possible, it s natural Queer Virtue is intelligent, well written, and heartfelt Edman is honest and forthcoming about her experiences and shortcomings, and she speaks with compassion and a deep understanding of the ways in which queer people have been and are still being hurt by Christians Queer Virtue is an excellent read for LGBTQ people struggling with their faith, for Christians wishing to open up their community to all people, or for anyone interested in Christianity or queerness. Though queer people certainly are forced to deal with external threats of violence, the terrorism directed at us relies heavily on weapons that we ingest with our minds, hearts, and souls They are spiritual weapons Delivered relentlessly over a course of years, these weapons prove to be so spiritually corrosive that many queer people take their own lives to escape the inflicted pain and internalized shame Some queer youth do indeed flee north, or west, to find safe harbors in urban centers with large LGBTQ communities But others simply flee the world that has bullied them relentlessly and condemned them as evil This is terrorism at work It is spiritual terrorism, and the voices that are most urgently needed to combat this terrorism are the voices of religious authority.It is good for churches to be inclusive of queer people, but it is not enough It is important for clergy to be pastoral to queer people, but it is not enough What is needed now is a bold, pastoral, explicitly Christian response that does what white antilynching activists were not willing to do with regards to race rupture the false binaries that are employed to demonize queer identity It matters that we preach not only that the violence is wrong and anti Christian, but also why it is wrong and anti Christian This book is excellent So often in the church talk of the lgbtq community gets stuck at affirmation and welcoming While that s a noble goal, it neglects the myriad gifts the community has to offer Elizabeth M Edman presents an incredibly accessible, yet deep, venture into queer theory and experience, and articulates the gifts of this community for followers of the Christian faith I d recommend this to any church, but perhaps especially to those which are seeking to live deeper into an open and affirming identity. Rev Edman writes an excellent book on theology and ethics Her main thesis, that the church needs LGBTQ people and that there is an ethical and moral path to queerness that is entirely fitting with Christianity, is supported clearly and in depth I find her biblical analysis compelling and have referenced this book in sermons For the most part, this book is a gem.I wanted to give this book 5 stars until I read the chapter Authenticity Just 30 pages from the end, Authenticity is a disaster and made me rethink the entire book Edman never fully apologizes for having an affair with a student member of her congregation She admits it was a mess, that it had horrible effects on her congregation, partner, and children, but cannot say she regrets it and fails to describe it as sexual misconduct As clergy, we are trained regularly or have been for the last decade or two that romantic relationships with congregants are inherently an abuse of power I want to assume the best I can about her intentions, but the way she describes the relationship makes it difficult to believe she has taken complete responsibility for what she describes as a mess.As a Lutheran Christian, I believe that all people are both saint and sinner forgiven and prone to error I won t throw away the great goods of this book because of this chapter, but it did force me to question the strength of her ethical analysis throughout I was disappointed to feel that way given how much insight I gained from the other 9 chapters. This was interesting, but I feel like because I m inherently on Edman s side on this, that it didn t necessarily excite me I also must admit that I was in a bit of a bad mood when I read the majority of this book I also have to admit that I felt pretty weird about the shady stuff that happened in terms of her technically dating a student It s admirable that she owns up to her mistake, but it did make me feel quite uncomfortable I d be interested for this to be expanded, though This touches on how Judaism is also inherently queer, but I d like , and I d like to see some of that regarding Islam Because we all have the same God, etcetera. As the title suggests, Rev Elizabeth Edman, an Episcopal priest, explains how her experiences as a lesbian have provided her with insights into new ways of understanding her faith This book is a good reminder that people of all backgrounds can teach one another something, and make the groups that they are a part of stronger Regardless of one s religious beliefs and sexual orientation, the following passage can be a useful approach to life Be aware of tendencies to keep power to a few, to shut others out of decision making, to assume that you can evaluate anyone else s identities or beliefs based on whom they appear to beWhose voices are being heard Whose voices aren t How many layers of identity are being recognized, valued and drawn upon for discernment Huge disappointment Very little substance, works mostly off terminological parallels e.g Queer and Christian communities both have the word scandal is a lot of annoying autobiography, including an incident in which she had a relationship with a student whose minister she was never apologized for it either for this clear abuse of power , and did not even keep her promises that she mentioned in her preface about what she wasn t going to do talk about the persecution of LGBT around the globe to shore up her argument about North America Complete waste of time This is an inherently difficult book to review Whatever I say, for or against, will probably upset someone in either camp And I use camp instead of a mere divide, because this is an intensely polarising issue with people who would want to build trenches and throw bombs and sing fighting songs and the like Whatever I rate it will also be a problem, so that remains squarely in the middle, a 2.5, because there are many things she says that I agree with, but there are also many vague areas either due to my lack of ability to understand, or her lack of clarity in writing which shall remain question marks So, on to the content.As a professing lesbian and ordained Episcopal priest, Edman comes from the viewpoint that being queer is simply who she is She argues that the binaries that we adhere to male female right wrong good bad are overly simplistic, especially when defined in relation to current cultural norms, i.e you re Christian, therefore you re good You re not Christian, therefore you re bad You re LGBT, therefore you re bad You re heterosexual, therefore normal, therefore good You re white good you re not, no good, and so on.Throughout the book, she posits that being Christian is to be queer which makes it terribly easy to dismiss the book offhand and declare her a heretic, unless you understand how she understands the term, which is something that has at its centre an impulse to disrupt any and all efforts to reduce into simplistic dualisms our experience of life, of God. This spoke to me because at the core of my experience, my Christianity, is the need to continually break the barriers of the sacred and secular divide, being able to live a life that is whole, no matter who is watching or what I m doing She also quotes, early on, Paul s passage on neither male female, Jew Greek, slave free mainly to say that these are false, temporary binaries, both then and now If you expect her to continue quoting scripture to explain why it s Biblically justified to be LGBT or queer, the umbrella term she uses , you ll be sorely disappointed Instead, she uses her life and her experience, the reality of her lived life as a Christian and as a lesbian, to point and say that this is who I am, this is my identity, and God loves me Which is true You cannot deny that.She also redefines Pride, acknowledging the traditional Christian definition of pride as a destructive sin, an excessive self esteem and self sufficiency, but using instead the queer definition, which is about healthy relationship with Self, Other and transcendent reality, and involves a reciprocal dynamic in which one s sense of self worth feeds and is fed by relationships with others In many ways, what Edman does in this book is translate basic Biblical theology and knowledge into queer terms, most of which are usually misunderstood because we are not part of that community, drawing parallels between progressive Christianity and queer community experiences.Edman doesn t go into specifics of how a queer should live as a Christian frustratingly and admirably because, in the end, Christianity is a path a pilgrimage, if you will into the arms of God Urging her to do so would feel rather voyeuristic, and falls into the trap of defining people only via their sexual expression It comes back to that problematic system we have made of grading sins, as if one were worse than the other The reader can guess, though her casual references to sex and partners, her celebration of casual grinding, her final story of breaking up a community due to her own failure and affair that she is much on the liberal end of things I am much conservative in these matters so I would disagree on this point And yet, as I said, she does not give any firm answer on these questions pressing questions to the heterosexual, I suppose, rather than to the queer community so I cannot catch her out in any explicit fallacy or heresy, if I were so inclined But I am not I am no stranger to self hatred, and if the gradual opening of the Church to accept queers into their communities to tell them that they are loved is a help, I am all for that In Chapter 5 Scandal, Edman says this Pointing to that cross wasn t an accident, or an odd literary choice Paul was telling his audiences, the people in his churches, that it was impossible to ignore the cross and very specifically the scandal of the cross and fully understand what Jesus was up to.Again and again, she comes back to that central point that most of us have forgotten, in our comfortable Christianity and our simplistic, dualistic view of the world the cross itself, in its day, was a scandal, not a pretty bling bling or badge of honourable membership This draws me back to what Craig Greenfield says in Subversive Jesus An Adventure in Justice, Mercy, and Faithfulness in a Broken World, that Jesus Himself was a friend of the broken not just an occasional visitor.Whether queerness is something you re born with, whether it is a genetic aberration, a mental disorder, or just a quirk of nature we don t know I don t know if we ll ever know It s not our place to judge Throughout this book, Edman is calling us Christians to remember the scandal of the cross and the Jesus of the Bible who ate with the sinners and who did not throw the first stone She opens up a doorway, a bridge, into understanding the lives of the people we ve branded as queer, as abnormal, showing us that they are just like us Human Fallible Broken Desperately wanting love She ends by inviting authenticity and hospitality, asking us once again to ponder what it truly means to do justice.Our mission in life is not to maintain the status quo It s not to protect the sanctity of Us the Church from the evil of Them the Other It s to stand in the gap for those on the outside and to help them reach sanctuary It sFrom a list of lawsseeing all our flawsTo the blind, the lame,we are all the sameOur High Priest has cometo make us all as one in Him 6 Inside His Presence Question Mark Neal MorseYou may ultimately disagree with her stance I don t know I think that I do not want to definitively decide one way or another because I would rather have someone come to God because of the existence of this community the ability to find like minded people who will fight the fight of faith with him her hir than to turn them away until they repent Because if God had done that to us, none of us would be saved.I ll just leave you with this last quote Be the priest, who simply by standing in a place of vulnerability, invites someone else to enter the sacred Note I received a digital ARC of this book for review via Edelweiss. A refreshing and mind bending interpretation of the gospel through a queer lens It seems that Jesus tended to shatter dualistic thinking and queered the lines between Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, male and female and so much A refreshing vision of what faith community could be and perhaps a somewhat rose tinted vision of what the queer community is.A worthwhile read.