‘Holy Queer’ author seeks Black church inclusion beyond singing with choir

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Religion

(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 denom …

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