The letter below was written by a friend of mine, Eddie Lowe, in response to a recent firestorm on the Tufts campus over a proposed policy change allowing religious departures from the nondiscrimination policy.
When everyone was up in arms, writing and signing petitions, arguing for and against the issue with passion, Eddie decided to reach out to those who had been forgotten, buried in a rising tide of anger and stubborn conviction. He reached out to those who had, in the first place, been disallowed by the Tufts Christian Fellowship from running for positions on the board; and those like them, who had been told "no" on the grounds of the people they were, not the choices they'd made.
That's all I have to say. I'm doing this because I was moved by the letter and figured the letter deserved a wider audience. The rest is all Eddie:
I would like to offer a sincere and public apology to any and all of the LGBT/Allies community, especially those of the Tufts community, on behalf of Christian systems and institutions that reject you, exclude you, criticize you, or make you feel unwanted and unloved. For too long these systems have used various guises to continue and propagate intolerant and discriminatory worldviews that justify the belittlement and bullying of others, and I want to make a personal apology for this behavior that is rampant in the church today.
In fact, I believe it was Jesus (you know, that guy who died on that wooden thing) who chilled with those looked down upon and rejected by the institutional religious empires of his day.
Jesus loves you, is for you, accepts you and has absolutely no desire to change you. All God wants is you to know and experience His love for you. He does not want to "fix" you. Why doesn't he want to fix you? Because you don't need fixing. You're pretty freaking beautiful just the way you are :) and He sees you one billion times more amazing than I see you (which, in case you didn't realize, is pretty freaking amazing).
I find that many people treat others the way they perceive God treats them. A god who requires specific behaviors and lifestyles out of his children does not sound at all like the Jesus I know and love. Christian institutions and systems that require specific behaviors indirectly preach messages that are inconsistent with Christ and His message of free acceptance, love and fellowship to all people regardless of sexual orientation.
Jesus brought grace, not law part 2.
I apologize on behalf of those who still believe God requires them to act a certain way or follow a book of guidelines to earn his love and acceptance.
This "God" is not the God of the New Testament (you know, that Jesus guy).
On behalf of these misrepresentations of Christ and His love for you, I would like to ask for your forgiveness for the shortcomings, prejudices, hate, exclusion and discrimination rampant in the western church (especially in the more evangelical streams).
Of course, forgiveness does not imply you stop fighting exclusion and prejudice. I merely ask that you forgive those who treat you this way, not allow them to continue to treat you this way.
One day, Christians will wake up to the realization that they are accepted and loved unconditionally by God and will put an end to instutional exclusion and discrimination.
In the meantime, I'm sorry for the pain they have caused you and would like to ask you (like you, the one reading this right now) personally for your forgiveness.
"God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean"-the Apostle Paul, Acts 10:28
Jesus will never ask you to change yourself. He loves you passionately. The flavor of religion is always trying to force yourself to become something you're not. The flavor of the gospel is Christ showing you exactly how amazingly beautiful you are. I apologize that many of us can't tell the difference.
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction"-Blaise Pascal
In the words of my buddy: "I'm in love with a man and He likes it!"