Reclamation – By Kali Cawthon-Freels
For many LGBTQIA+ Christians and allies, the infamous “clobber” passages (the handful of passages used by religious conservatives to demonize LGBTQIA+ people) elicit a similar response: stay far, far away. These verses haven’t been used to make us uncomfortable; they’ve been used to cause us deep harm.
As we deal with the damage that these verses have done, we each have our own healing journey to walk. For some of you, the conversation this book provides will be a healing balm; for others, encountering these passages again may be too deep a reminder of the pain they’ve caused you. Your path to healing may not include revisiting these passages or reading this book, and that’s okay. Engage both God and your own inner wisdom before choosing to embark on this journey.
To the straight cisgender folks who may have picked this book up on a whim, you may feel like you’re “on the outside looking in” while reading the experiences of the queer folks who contributed to this book. I want to encourage you to read it anyway. Treat this as an opportunity to learn about your siblings in Christ and how you might be a better sibling for them. You might even find some healing for yourself within these pages.
If you—queer folk or cishet ally—choose to take this path, know that we are not starting at ground zero. Thanks to many fantastic theologians and pastors, we know that those verses have been used improperly for far too long, and we can examine them with new eyes. We can see lessons full of love instead of hate. We can see instruction instead of condemnation. Together, we can discover a message around which people from all walks of life can talk, laugh, and be nourished.