Donnie McClurkin's vicious hate speech at the recent Church of God in Christ convocation in Memphis has thankfully not gone unchecked. Yvette Flunder, the fabulously progressive orator and founder of the "radically inclusive" LGBT affirming City of Refuge Church, gracefully reached out on Facebook after McClurkin attacked gay youth and recently out gospel singer Tonex as "perversions" and "vampires".
Pastor Donnie knows like I know that Tonex’ is more the ‘rule’ than the exception to the rule. What makes Tonex’ unique is not that he is a Gay gospel music artist and Pastor but that he told the truth about his sexuality, while not claiming to be delivered. I believe that these public hateful words directed to the Same Gender Loving community come from the need to instill fear of public ridicule in the hearts of those who may be considering coming out and come from folks who felt they were denied the opportunity to be authentic in their sexuality AND remain successful in the mainline church. I am not worried about Tonex’. He will feel the pain of rejection for a time but he will rise up and answer the prophetic call to be a liberator to his generation. My deep concern is for those young people who are part of the COGIC and for their families who have now been driven deeper into the closet by experiences like this. The closet is a dangerous place, where theological, and physical self-abuse runs rampant.
These young people love the church and feel the only place they can go is underground. I am encouraging these young people to find their voices and not run to the shadows to live in fear like my generation has. Watch the signs, change is possible. God is greater than any denomination and bigger than the narrow theologies that seek to hold us hostage. I am excited about our future and I am determined to let folks know that there are safe places to land.
Amen, sistah. There's a great Facebook discussion happening around Flunder's response. Join the conversation, share with friends, tag ... reach out to LGBT youth and remind them that they are loved.