LGBT Affirmation and Identity in Christian Teachings and Church Communities
In this chapter, David Hare discusses Christian responses to queer identities, drawing on both theological anthropology and political theories of authenticity and legitimacy to explore the violence of homophobic and heteronormative rhetoric within the church. He argues that a person’s sense of authenticity is a vital feature of their humanity; moreover, personal authenticity is dialogical, and closely related to one’s membership within communities of belonging. When church communities draw their ideations of political morality and theology from discourses intolerant of LGBT identities, they essentially de-legitimize the identities of LGBT people. Hare thus calls churches to begin “queering” their own heteronormative theologies and traditions, breaking down boundaries that marginalize and de-legitimize LGBT Christian identities, and thus allowing the church community to acquire the precious gift of validating “others” as authentic human beings.
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