Beyond Welcoming Churches: Faith Organizing with Non-Christian Identities

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  • Becky Saltzman & Kevin Watson


5th Annual Minnesota OUT! Campus Conference

by Minnesota GLBTA Campus Alliance
November 13, 2010

Slides & Resources:


There is often a tension when people of faith are out when organizing within LGBT communities, this can often also be the case when a person is out as LGBT in faith communities and organizing within them. How does one do their work when they are the minority in both of these settings? In this workshop we hope to discuss what happens when a person identifies as LGBT as well as a person of non-Christian faith. Much of the hostility towards people of faith within LGBT communities comes from the extremists within each religion, but because of this many groups, especially on college campuses, solve this issue by ignoring and removal religion from their programming. This can create an unwelcoming feeling for those that feel the need to leave their faith identity at the door, especially when they are a non-Christian faith.

We hope to address the idea that religion and spirituality can invigorate and center one’s organizing depending on how it is done. We hope to show and validate that one can be queer and spiritual and work with those that may not have the same beliefs as us without discounting faith work. We also hope to call out the intersection between faith organization and other social justice organizing including LGBT and how denial and hostility towards the existence of the intersection in -some- organizers can hurt our movements as a whole. Lastly we want to discuss how to work as a queer person of faith who is not part of this culture’s dominant religious tradition. For too long we’ve been a community that works for change in secular society and often shut down conversation around the spiritual areas of our lives.

This discussion can be a place to speak to our whole selves and how bringing all of who we are to the table creates a more powerful and effective movement.