UA-40673842-1

From Beyond to Within: The Fall of Queerness

0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares ×
Wikimedia

Wikimedia

 

 

*Excerpt from my essay “Queering the Fall” in Ellin Jimmerson’s new book Rainbow in the Word

 

 

In the midst of normativity, temptation unleashes the queer. Queerness is what makes us divine. We all have our own unique responses to temptation. If not for temptation we would be just like everybody else. If not for God’s responses to temptation, God would not be God. God knew that we needed that fruit tree. The Fall is what makes us like God.

 

Do you ever think about aliens? Can you imagine what it would be like to find another world? What if we figured out that it was inhabited by intelligent life? What if we were able to go there? Once we made contact, we would lower the spaceship. When we were able to assure the inhabitants that we meant no harm, we would open the door. Slowly descending the stairs, we would look around.

What if we found a pre-fallen world? Temptation never hit the inhabitants. Maybe they were able to resist. Maybe God forgot the tree. Whatever the reason, we cannot believe our eyes. Looking around, it is impossible for us not to see that everyone is exactly the same. There is nothing unique about anyone. We quickly realize that temptation is what makes us queer. The normative beings that inhabit the planet find us to be sinful. The normative always dismisses the queer.

 

Figuring that they have nothing to learn from us, the normative aliens just go back to their normative ways. We thought we found new life and quickly realized that all we had found was death.

 

I have often found myself back in Eden. Temptation has followed me throughout my life. For better or worse, how I’ve responded to temptation has made me who I am. I guess this is true of all of us. Divinity is found in the choosing.

Salvation is an interesting concept. We yearn to be saved and assume that we know the way to get there. The first humans were convinced that salvation was based on staying away from the fruit of a tree. It’s interesting that sometimes what we assume to be salvation is actually death. The totality of God was found in temptation. God was found in rejecting concepts of normativity and embracing queerness. God is found in pushing back against concepts of salvation and embracing the queer.

 

Like many Christians, I grew up in a world full of the temptation of salvation. Every time we gathered, we were asked to come down the aisle. Every time we gathered, we were asked to pray a prayer. Every time we gathered, the temptation of salvation stalked us. We were told that we had to, “Know that we know that we know that we know . . . that we were truly born again.” The problem is that no one realized that salvation was not about knowing. Salvation is about being who God created us to be in the first place. Humanity discovered salvation when they overcame the temptation of salvation. Salvation is about being the queer.

 

God has never been about certainty. The temptation of certainty diminishes our lives. God created life to be about seeking. God is found in our seeking. How can we blame the humans in the Garden for seeking greater knowledge of God? Our certainties about the Fall are incredibly harmful. Humanity was trying to seek God. What could be more queer or divine than that?

 

Throughout my life, the temptation of certainty seems to always be close by. There was the time that I read the entire Bible to make sure I believed it all. When I made it through, I was no closer to certainty than I was when I started. There is something queer about reading the Bible as a mystery. I repeated prayers to be certain of my right standing with God. The prayers never helped. There is something queer about learning to pray with our being. Certainty isn’t real . . . God is.

 

*Read the rest of this essay and a variety of other essays from LGBTQ voices by acquiring Rainbow in the Word at https://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Word-Christians-Biblical-Memoirs/dp/1532632088/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504501377&sr=8-1&keywords=rainbow+in+the+word .

0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Email -- StumbleUpon 0 Pin It Share 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×
0 Flares Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Email -- StumbleUpon 0 Pin It Share 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×
UA-40673842-1