This morning my friend Anne sent me an opinion article from the New York Times titled “Mayor Pete and the Queering of the American Soul”. The article’s subtitle read: “His rise is a sign that more LGBT people are finding spiritual homes in houses of faith.”
I loved the article for two reasons. First, as a gay man who has been politically active since 1990 and “out” since 1993, it is great to see a member of my community run for the highest office in the land. I wasn’t sure that would happen during my lifetime. Second, as a gay man whose Christian faith is an essential piece of my identity, it is encouraging to see Pete talk so comfortably about his faith. When I came out in the early 1990’s, there were so few spiritual resources for those of us in the LGBTQI community. Pete’s openness will let tens of thousands of LGBTQI persons of faith know they are NOT alone.
There is another level on which Pete’s candidacy excites me as well. Mayor Pete’s candidacy will help many Americans understand that there is a level of diversity in the Christian community that is not always apparent. If you read the newspapers and scroll through a variety of sites on the Internet, one might conclude that all Christians are of one theological ilk (i.e. they all believe in the Trinity, they all believe in Jesus’ divinity in a particular way, and they all believe in a literal reading of Scripture) and are of one political mind as well (they are all opposed to abortion, they are all opposed to the extension of human rights – including marriage – to LGBTQI persons, and they all are in support of building a wall at our border). Neither of those assumptions are true!
People like Mayor Pete will help Americans realize that we LGBTQI people have rich spiritual lives – and that we are eager to participate in the civic life our communities and give back to those communities through lives of service. Mayor Pete will also help Americans realize that we Christians represent a much broader segment of society than many imagine!
For these reasons and more, I am so grateful for articles like the one my friend Anne shared. They remind all of us that the face of America is changing. So, too, is the face of faith.
What’s your take on the article?