Big Gay Question

What else could I call this post, in which I follow up to Peter J. Walker’s gracious comment? For context, see the article he wrote on his blog, worldspeak.

The Big Gay Question with respect to Christian faith might be the biggest question Christians have to face in our lifetimes; it isn’t the most pressing (mission, perhaps) or important (poverty?) issue, but because it wraps up issues of individual autonomy, the creation and dissolution of family and community, primal issues of safety and sex, Christian authority and liberty, and the use of political power in human relationships — it is hard to find a more deeply knotted issue. Add two well-organized and resolute “sides” and you get the makings of a fight.

And I don’t want to fight because I’m Christian and gay, one’s not going to go away at the expense of the other. As a Unitarian Universalist Christian, I’m already used to being thought an ontological impossibility. I don’t like that either, but better to be clear, if sometimes uncomfortable, and engage in respectful, measured speech.

But here’s the thing: gays and Christians — at least those with a vocation — are both likely to make a lot of other people uncomfortable. Neither is going to “go away.” Neither has a perfect track record of doing right by themselves, or truthfully (on the whole) of the other.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I really liked this post – maybe it’s because I’m going through all of my old papers that talk about being queer and Christian and how the “fight” really takes away from the charge of Christ to love our neighbors and ourselves. Too many gay and bisexual folk that I know have the hardest time loving themselves, from religion and how it can cause distress.

  2. The struggle for me has often been that it hurts to BE a question or a puzzle (for yourself and others). And it is exhausting emotionally and spiritually to be both engaged in a near constant “fight”, and the object of that “fight”. In many ways it puts up a barrier that prevents you from fully being “my/your best self” (ugh, that sounds like gloppy psychology).

    But gloppy psychology or not, the gay Christian is not going away. Neither are the puzzles going away. So how to make peace with this costly dynamic?

  3. Man, this is hard. Painfully so. Thank you for YOUR grace in calling my own comments gracious. You rightly pointed out some inconsistencies in my attitude/approach, but I’m thankful you found the heart and intent underlying.

    To “Derek” >> I hear you! This is truly an exhausting “fight” and I am daily saddened that it is so. I was just listening to Caedmon’s Call on the way to work this morning. One of the songs is a plea to “Free the Dalit,” the “untouchables” of Hindu society. I think we (the Church) have treated gays in America as Dalits.

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