Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Would you harbor me?

Here are the lyrics to a song I really like:

Would You Harbor Me?
(from Safe House: Still Looking by Y.M. Barnwell (c)1994)

Would you harbor me?
Would I harbor you?
Would you harbor me?
Would I harbor you?

Would you harbor a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew
a heretic, convict or spy?
Would you harbor a run away woman, or child,
a poet, a prophet, a king?
Would you harbor an exile, or a refugee,
a person living with AIDS?
Would you harbor a Tubman, a Garrett, A Truth
a fugitive or a slave?
Would you harbor a Haitian Korean or Czech,
a lesbian or a gay?

Would you harbor me?
Would I harbor you?
Would you harbor me?
Would I harbor you?

We can skip the drama of a world war and concentration camps and Anne Frank in the attic. I have a simpler question, one that requires much less moral courage: Would you let me come to your sacrament meeting?

This isn't just rhetorical. I read a comment on one of the Mormon blogs that said, in effect, that coming to church with my boyfriend would be a witness against "revealed doctrine about the nature of the family." Maybe I'm sensitive, but this just seems wrong. Who cares what I believe or who my pew-mate is? Isn't coming to church about worship and reflection?


J G-W said...

First of all, AWESOME song lyrics. That is a very, very cool way of saying something profound about the human condition. Let's face it, the world we live in is a shipwreck. It's like the frickin' Titanic. And the question is, can we make room for someone else in the lifeboats? The answer is, we must, we always must.

The Church is (or should be) a lifeboat in this shipwreck called the world. And if we don't get that, and if we're pushing people out of the lifeboats because we think their relationship is "a witness against revealed doctrine," we are truly the ones who are lost.

I read all of the comments on that post, and there were, of course, the usual stupid, ugly comments. But I was amazed at how many people were saying, "Yes, please, come worship with us! Sit next to me! I'll save a place for you."

MohoHawaii, don't you find that hopeful?

Switch said...

Hmm.. From where I stand, I'm not sure why you'd really want to attend church to begin with.

But even with that veiwpoint, I'm pretty sure that guy's opinion is not the popular one.

Pshht. "Witnessing against the [insert holier-than-thou talk here]."

Some people. Sheesh. I think maybe it occurred to him that if congregations got used to seeing their gay family come in once a week, they'd start thinking that it wasn't such a bad thing after all. And that probably scares the shit out of him.

MoHoHawaii said...

J G-W, yes, I'm encouraged that many LDS folks would welcome a gay family attending services. As many of us have said before, in twenty years there's going to be a huge change of attitude. The impulse to shun gay people is losing steam.


I would attend Sacrament Meeting for the same reason that I blog: to connect with my culture of origin. Although my faith has shattered into a million pieces on the floor, I like to think that the reasonable people I used to know in church are still there and that there still would be something to talk about.

While some conversations with believers have been very fruitful, I'm also finding that there are limits (religion is inherently divisive). Still, I'm grateful that there are some people who are willing to push the boundaries.

I would love to see the church rise to the occasion and extend compassionate fellowship to a homosexual nonbeliever like me. I have no doubt in this case what Jesus would have done.

MoHoHawaii said...

On second thought, maybe I'm really a Unitarian. It reminds me of the old joke:

Q: What's the definition of a Unitarian?

A: An atheist who likes potlucks.

J G-W said...

My partner and I are members of the UCC, also known as "Unitarians Considering Christ."

I would love to see the church rise to the occasion and extend compassionate fellowship to a homosexual nonbeliever like me.

I find it more helpful to think of the Church as a gathering of individuals, some of whom understand what the Church is supposed to be all about, and some of whom don't. If we all "got it," there would be no need for there to be a Church, and the Second Coming would be just around the corner.

I can't tell you how rewarding it has been for me to connect with the ones who "get it." And the ones who don't... Well, like I said, the Church exists for their sake.

GeckoMan said...

Brother MoHOHawaii,

Come sit with me in my Sacrament Meeting anytime. It might make my wife a little uncomfortable for me to put my arm around you, but she would soon be holding your hand, too! (She's the type who's always looking out for the lost sheep; I just like to have a good male voice to sing next to.)