Author Archive: lukelm

About lukelm

Third-year med student at University of Chicago, 2003 graduate from Goshen College. Young - yes. Anabaptist - yes, in the unavoidable sense, in the faith sense possibly, probably, complicatedly. Radical - I think so, yes.

gay/evangelical love

Love is an orientation

Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community
Andrew Marin
InterVarsity Press
Published: March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8308-3626-0

If you were to meet Andrew Marin (and providing you have some experience with Evangelical culture), it might strike you that he looks, acts, and talks like the epitome of a twenty-something Evangelical guy.  His hair is cut pretty short.  When I heard him speak, he was wearing long khaki cargo shorts and an oversized striped polo shirt.  He is effusive and outgoing in mannerisms, and when he speaks, he loves to interject words like “awesome” and “pumped up” into his emotional-wallop-packing anecdotes and series of simple, Bible-verse backed points.  Stock Evangelicalish phrases seem to work their way un-self-consciously into every other sentence.

In his own words (paraphrased from what I remember), he is what his large Evangelical church in a (quite) affluent Chicago suburb raised him to be: an outgoing, straight, conservative, Bible-believing alpha-male.  And he doesn’t just appear to be this.  He truly is this, and he fully claims it.

So… this has all been just to set up some tension over everything else I want to say about Andrew Marin, his eight year of work in the GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered) community, and especially his new book published by Intervarsity Press, “Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community.”  For those who don’t know me, I grew up very Christian and very Mennonite, went through a lot of pain figuring out my sexual orientation, am gay, and currently approach the church and the Bible with a lot of ambivalence over whether they’re fundamentally good or bad (and whether they lead one toward Christ or kill any possibility of actually encountering Christ.)  Add that to the tension.
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pink Menno campaign

NOTE: Read first before commenting:

This is a very very simple little post put up way back when only a couple dozen people have heard about Pink Menno (my, times have changed!) meant simply to announce its presence for YARers who might be interested.  If you want to actually find out about Pink Menno, go to pinkmenno.org.  If you want to talk to Pink Menno directly, you can email pinkmenno@gmail.com.  I think a number of people have found their way to this post because it’s pretty high up if you google “pink menno”, and it seems to have attracted some non-YAR people looking for a place to share their hellfire & pinkstone.   If that’s you, please see the YAR guidelines & required reading, as well as the sermon on the mount (especially the beatitudes) – Matthew 5. That said, some good discussion has also happened, so I’ll leave this post up.

original post (March 4, 2009):

If you’d like to do something to help the Mennonite church become more LGBT-friendly, check out the pink Menno campaign. We’re organizing an effort focused on the convention in Columbus this summer to start a lot of informal conversations with people and show that queers are already a central part of the church – and that most people probably know a lot of us already.  And that we’re really very friendly and good and Mennonite-y.

Proposition Hate

Tuesday was quite the night. Like Celeste, I found my way to Grant Park (coveted tickets for the official campaign event in hand) and joined the crowd of a hundred thousand gathered to scream, cry, hug, and jump our way into a new spirit of hopefulness that is solidifying around us.

Besides Obama’s victory, there was another vote that meant a lot to me on Tuesday, and left a lingering bittersweetness to the otherwise perfect night: Proposition 8 amended the California constitution to define legal marriage as exclusive to opposite-sex couples, overturning the decision of the Supreme Court and ending the right of California same-sex couples to the legal protections of marriage for the near future.

Initial reaction: rage. I found someone who expressed this very very well:

Ultimately, though, rage against injustice must energize something else, something life-affirming.

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Sexuality and the young Christian

I’m lifting a sub-thread from ST’s post inspirational lunch which has the potential for an interesting discussion of its own – we’ve certainly talked about sex before on YAR (check out sex outside of marriage, or is it really a sin? for all the talk about gayness you could care for.) Clearly sexuality is a central issue for all young people, and I think it’s one of the essential tasks for everyone, especially people in the typical YARer’s age range (thinking late teens to early thirties), to figure out how one’s sexual nature can be integrated & expressed in one’s life. But, getting ahead of myself, that already might be language that we’re not all comfortable with. So, here’s the conversation so far: (more…)

What can a GMB possibly have to do with rage? (written at 5 a.m.)

I woke up way too early this morning from a strange dream, as I knew I would when I went to bed at 1. Whenever I go to bed in a distressed emotional state (thankfully this doesn’t happen too often) I sleep my physical tiredness off in a couple hours and then wake up right before the light starts to come, toss and turn for a while. I decided to get up and do something useful. My original idea was of something useful was studying for this huge test I have to take in about a week… but then I thought I’d elicit some words from you all instead. Still useful, right?

The dream was pretty funny, actually. I found myself forced to sit in a kind of revival-style worship service, surrounded by male friends from my hometown, kids my own age. I realized that we were all gay (in my dream), and that this was a service to try to convert us (to holiness and heterosexuality, I guess) The service built to a kind of altar call. A line of young men (who I recognized as older boys from my hometown) were marched in to surround us “sinners” and all assumed a kneeling position of prayer – they were to serve as beacons of virility and heterosexuality and virtue while we responded to the call. Defiantly, I got up and tried to make my way to their line and assume their same posture, to show that they had no exclusive claim on prayer or virtue. One of them got angry and pointed me back to my seat. (more…)

Anabaptist radicalism and the life of contemplation

Hello good people
I stumbled upon this site two days ago while doing some thinking about a book chapter I’m writing for an upcoming publication about the conversation about gayness in the Mennonite world. Tim – did you come up with this? It’s fantastic! I’ve read through most of the posts here. I’m also supposed to be studying for the first round of medical boards right now, (taken in the middle of medical school), so it’s also one of those procrastination-inspiration things.

I’ve been rolling those words over in my head and trying them on for size; young is pretty easy, I guess – more the Anabaptist Radical part. I feel a little different than those who I consider my peers in this stage of faith. If I can attempt to draw a generalization first – a number of us might have been through similar phases of a childhood and teenage faith that was uncomplicated in its ability to answer all questions about the world and God, with reference to the Bible and church teachings/tradition; then for one reason or another entered a deconstructive phase where the internal inconsistencies of that (more…)