“surely this one was innocent”
- Do you find yourself confronted with hateful speech and/or anti-gay rhetoric often? How do you respond, especially if scripture is used to demonize you as a threat to children, traditional marriage, Christian community, civil society or public health?
- Pilate questioned Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said so.” Are you able to own “who you are” as an LGBTQ person or ally? If not, how does it feel to be untrue to yourself? What would it mean to “come-out” and alter preconceived expectations of you?
- “For the third time Pilate spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found no grounds for the death penalty.” Have you or those you know experienced violence, criminal proceedings, social ostracization, or death threats for an LGBTQ/ally identity? How has living with these fears affected you? Do you feel immobilized or motivated to cry out for justice?
- “As the soldiers led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” As an ally, what has been your experience to carry such a “cross” for the LGBTQ community? Who or what made you feel you needed to share this “burden?” How has the LGBTQ community acknowledged and thanked you? As an LGBTQ person, have you helped carry the cross of others in the community?
- “Abba, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Do you feel that this is an appropriate Lenten response for injustices done to the LGBTQ community? Why or why not?
- “But this one has done nothing wrong.” What would be a fitting redemption for any hurt caused you on account of your LGBTQ/ally identity? How do you envision “glory” or “paradise” that Jesus speaks of in verse 43?
Based on the life story of Garrard Conley, the movie “Boy Erased ” serves as an uncomfortable example of how reptilian bigotries can be traced back to a misguided sense of one’s “expectations.”
Conley, the son of a Baptist pastor was sent to a gay conversion therapy program when he was outed to his parents at the age of 19. Speaking about the psychological torture he endured in therapy, Conley, in the interview below, is joined by his mother, Martha, who shares her perspective (and change of heart) on being the mother of a gay son.