At a dinner party Winston Churchill says to his dinner companion, “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?”
The woman responds, “My goodness, Mr. Churchill. I suppose I would.”
Churchill replies, “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
She answers, “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?”
Churchill answers, “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”
Okay, let’s tell a similar story but with a completely different setting: church.
Imagine this conversation with a visitor at your church…
“Do you welcome people here who are remarried?” “Of course.” “Minorities?” “Sure.” “How about interracial couples?” “Why… yes.” “People who sometimes struggle with drinking?” “Of course – we’re not perfect here.” “How about people who are overweight, or who don’t wear head coverings, or who do wear mixed fabrics?” “Don’t be silly, of course we do.” “That’s so good to hear, because I’d like to bring my son — he’s gay.”
Variations on this talk occur in countless churches, homes, family gatherings, communities, and political parties, regularly, all over the map. Sometimes only silently conveyed.
If you are deciding which people can come in, which people can serve, which people can marry, then you’re legalistic. Because legalism means adherence to the law for moral approval. It’s approval earned rather than given, a result of works instead of grace, a payment instead of a gift.
She is the Vice-President of PFLAG Austin, and her “Mom, I’m Gay” book has been endorsed by The Human Rights Campaign and others. Sharon Groves, PhD, HRC’s Religion & Faith Program Director says, “I often get asked by parents for resources that can address the struggles of raising LGBT sons and daughters without having to leave faith behind. Susan Cottrell’s book, Mom, I’m Gay, does just that. This is the kind of book that parents will love.”
She and her husband have been married more than 25 years and have five children – one of whom is in the LGBTQ community. She lives in Austin, Texas, and blogs at FreedHearts.org and here in IMPACT Magazine’s FreedHeartsand Jesus Blog columns.