The Rev. Karmen Michael Smith, author of “Holy Queer: The Coming Out of Christ,” hopes that the title of the book will attract some attention. He aspires to generate a better understanding of queer Black men like him who desire to be embraced by the Black church, instead of being rejected. In this assessment of the denominations and congregations of the Black church, Smith said during an interview that he wishes to relate the incident of Jesus leaving the tomb to a type of resurrection for LQBTQ people and the Black community, whose voice needs to be heard.
Religion News Service reports:
(RNS) — The Rev. Karmen Michael Smith wants to clean house — specifically what he sees as the lack of full openness by the Black church to people like him.
The author of the new book “Holy Queer: The Coming Out of Christ” said he expects its title will attract attention, but he aims to create a better understanding of himself, a self-described queer Black man, and others like him who seek affirmation instead of rejection in Black church circles.
On Friday (Feb. 24), the day after the release of the book, Smith sounded similar themes as he co-hosted a symposium on “The State of the Black Church: Reconciling Communities and Reimagining Inclusion” at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. He directs the seminary’s social justice center and leads its justice, equity and inclusion initiatives.
“The God that we serve doesn’t only bless one and let everybody else sit by and wonder why,” he said in opening remarks for the event co-hosted with Pride in the Pews, an organization that supports Black LGBTQ Christians. “And that same inclusive spirit is what we are seeking to have within the Black church and the Black community.”
In his critique of the Black church — its congregations and its denominations — Smith said in an interview that he hopes to link the story of Jesus leaving his tomb to a form of resurrection for both the Black community and the LGBTQ people in it who are “often talked to and talked about but rarely listened to.”
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