Lance Bass at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas - Photo by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1glYbEv)

Lance Bass at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas – Photo by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1glYbEv)

Growing up in the late ’90s and early aughts, I didn’t know a single girl who didn’t try to learn every move to the “Bye, Bye, Bye” dancer, or who wouldn’t have given her right arm to run her fingers through Justin Timberlake’s spring-curled hair. (The arm/finger thing might have presented a problem, but that only illustrates our commitment.) ‘N Sync was to our high school experience what the Backstreet Boys was to junior high and, from what I hear, what Michael Jackson was to those of you unfortunate enough to grow up in the ’80s. But I digress.

When Lance Bass came out in 2006, he had a great deal of support. His bandmate Joey Fatone said ”I back him up 100 percent,” and his friend Christina Applegate told People Magazine she’s ”always accepted him as who he is. It’s about his own serenity at this point.” 

The support that was closest to home, though, came from Bass’s parents–especially his mom. A devout Christian, she had a hard time with the news of his being gay at first. But, in a transcript from a recent talk she gave at a church, she says “the first thing I did was fall to my knees and ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I almost immediately knew the answer… love my son. And that is what I have done.”

With great vulnerability, Diane Bass reveals that her journey in accepting her son as he is has not been an easy one. I would imagine this is the case for a number of Christian parents — not to mention gay Christians themselves. I admire Bass for speaking so honestly about how difficult this news was for her, and always coming back to the most important thing of all — loving her son. She says that, for some time, she prayed for a miracle, for God to make her son straight. But that wasn’t the miracle she got:

“The miracle is that I learned to have unconditional love and compassion for my son and others in the gay community. I haven’t marched in parades or spoken at conventions, but I do feel that God has led me to speak out concerning the church’s role.”

Bass goes on to illustrate the need for compassion in the church, especially regarding LGBT folks. She tells the story of a young gay man who, visiting church on Easter Sunday, found a note on his chair that said “You know you are going to hell.”

I’m not sure when God died and made us the judge of who gets past the Pearly Gates. When any person comes to church for the first time, there is surely some level of anxiety involved. For a gay person, that level of anxiety may skyrocket at the thought that they are unwanted, unwelcome, unwhole. And as far as I know, it has never been the job of any Christian person to make anyone in the church feel unwelcome. The church can still deal with Scriptural complexities while welcoming every single human being who sets foot in our door. I’m grateful for the journey Diane Bass has been on, and hopeful for the day when no one will be made to feel unwelcome for walking through the doors of a church.

 

5 Comments

  1. There are other mothers out there (and daddies, and siblings, and aunties, and uncles, and grammas, and grampas) who are also respectable authentic loving Christians and forever unconditional-loving.

    AND, though it’s not always easy, those same mothers/daddies etc don’t shy away from privately and publicly agreeing, affirming, and committing to the love of Christ as expressed in 1 Cor. 10:13 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11 if they are somehow asked for a response,

    They lovingly, caringly, carefully affirm God’s Word without hesitation, and give out a lifetime of unconditional love and prayer mixed with the incomparable healing power of Jesus Christ, even if it takes a lifetime or beyond to see the final results of that affirmation.

  2. The Christian Church and of America roots are based upon the belief that God is the Creator of all life (Ps. 139), and all persons are of equal worth in God’s sight, and deserving of equal respect by each other. But, evidently, not all people are the same (e.g. male/female, IQ, genetic limitations, etc.). There is no reason to disparage persons born with a variant sexual orientation. – However, the Biblical revelation proscribes intimate sexual relations only within the context of marriage between a man and a woman – prohibiting thereby any sexual relations between unmarried heterosexuals (co-habitation, prostitution, and other lascivious behavior – e.g. pole dancing, lap dancing – that is unchaste and encourages immoral actions). It also proscribes homosexual relations, with the same effects. Thus it is not discriminatory because of either orientation – the same rule applies to all across the board. It is notable that when Jesus addressed marriage and “eunuchs” (some made by God) that he does not, in a “but I say unto you” moment, offer a relaxation of the Law for eunuchs – as he allowed that divorce was permissible in extreme case, e.g. adultery.

  3. Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1

    Lev. 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them”

    1 Cor. 6:9-10, 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.

    EPHESIANS 5:6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.

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