By Will Small

I used to know all the right arguments
I was articulate and systematic
both in my theology and oppression

I was comfortable compartmentalising
‘lifestyles’ from lives
loving sinners, hating sin
well versed in language contortions
that painted pictures of sexual distortion
transposing the ancient cultural baggage that was convenient
for my patriarchal privilege
while leaving behind the parts that past prophets
helped us move on from

if you can value the Bible 
without insisting women wear head coverings
or slaves should obey their masters
then you already have the tools for liberation,
you just use them selectively. 

I used them selectively. 

Let’s stop pretending one side gets to monopolise interpretation

Let’s stop allowing one side to decide what is meant by the word ‘biblical’

Particularly when the ones who complain most about 
a lack of biblical literacy
are often the same ones advocating for ‘biblical marriage’
while ignoring all that polygamy..?

Yeah, let’s be biblical 
like a movement that has only ever been increasingly expansive 

Let’s be biblical 
like Gentiles coming in 
without cuts to their foreskin

Let’s be biblical 
like God has set a table for everyone

If you’re still here,
if you’re still listening, 
I am sorry.

If you’re still here, 
and you’re queer
your belonging is not a concession
it is not a ‘generous position’
for some of us to arrive at

It is a justice that has been withheld

And I am sorry.

That you ever had to choose between
belonging ‘undercover’
or coming out then heading out

I am sorry. 

That you ever questioned whether your life was worth living
based on someone else’s position on sexual positions

I am sorry. 

Sometimes I think it is a miracle that the Church,
body of Christ on earth
is still filled with women
people of colour
the chronically ill
all those who we label as ‘other’
who still faithfully show up
still somehow see the sacred
through the sacrilege
these patron saints,
these patient activists.

And yet, how could it be any other way?

You are not an aberration
not just a position for accomodation
you are part of the face of Christ
you are part of a body that is incomplete without you

And the Jesus I give my allegiance to
never condemned or excluded you
he consistently modelled behaviour that leads me to the conclusion
your full inclusion is all part of the spirit’s movement
and I will either get on board
or be left in the wake of justice rolling like a river.

If you’re still here
and you’re listening
I am sorry.

If you’re here
and you’re queer
you belong.

2 Comments on “If You’re Still Here – Spoken Word Poem

  1. Oh wow Will. Thank you. This is a message so much needed and so long overdue in being said.

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