While we’re on the topic of deception, it’s only fair that we bring in concerns from the mainstream Evangelical perspective.
About three weeks after our public coming out in the Evangelical Organization, a woman we befriended at the church sent us an email. Here’s an excerpt from the email: “Ladies, Now that the initial shock is over, I can sit down and write you. I understand that you guys were trying to prove a point but you don’t prove points with deception. I don’t love you any less than what I did but I can’t condone your lifestyle no matter how I look at it. To be able to be a deceiver also makes it possible to be deceived.”
Based on her theory that being a deceiver makes it possible to be deceived, does that mean that the entire leadership and members of that congregation, including herself, are deceivers as well, since they all believed that we were who we said we were? Hhhhmmm…. In her judgement for us, our friend didn’t realize how close she came to the truth that there are countless church leaders who deceive the masses and then take up an offering. It’s not the believers who corrupt religion, but the leaders who teach HATE and separation in the name of God, only to build their own empires.
The email closes with, “Just remember this one thing, if you guys are right and we are wrong we will still end up being together in heaven. But if we are right and you are wrong we will not be together ever again.” Here’s a classic example of the ill-effects of organized religion, teaching “us against them”, and everyone argues over who’s more anointed. What a tragedy.
While the film is in post production, Ceil and I have conducted focus group meetings to unveil our project and discuss our findings. Many of the focus group participants are from the GLBT community of faith; however, we’ve received highly positive feedback from a diverse group of mainstream Americans in regards to the content and storyline of this documentary film.
One element of concern raised among focus group participants active in their faith communities is the issue of deception. Indeed, we acknowledge that portions of our experimental project involved deceiving this Evangelical church into thinking we’re somebody other then who we truly are. We’d learned, based on our previous experiences with another Evangelical church that we attended for over a year as two open lesbian ministers, that people, especially and including “men and women of God”, are geared to judge others based on their outside packages. We theorized that our experience at the first Evangelical church would have been totally different, better, had we been a heterosexual couple. The only way we would find the Truth for ourselves would be to experience the Evangelical Organization as man and woman.
As you will see documented in Faith of the Abomination, striving to maintain our own spiritual health and balance throughout this project proved to be one of the most difficult challenges we endured. The irony for us is that the concern about our deception was predominantly raised from the GLBT community of faith. Every person who is gay or lesbian understands what it’s like to have to pretend to be someone we’re not in order to preserve the feelings of someone we love.
We understood that undertaking this project would include answering for the controversy; however, it was all we were left with to try to find a solution to all the HATE and division propagated by “men of God” in their “houses of God”. Did the end justify the means of searching for the Truth? You decide.