Rosaria Butterfield

Butterfield 1Rosaria Butterfield was a feminist academic who self identified as lesbian despite previously having had male partners, who was then converted to the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, married and had children. What do she and others say about this experience? What do I hear?

What I hear is the exultant conservative Christian message, that gay sex is sinful and God can save you from it, so if you are still gay your faith is wrong. People say that. Webutante steals lengthy passages from Butterfield’s book, in particular chapter two, “Repentance and the Sin of Sodom”. Butterfield there argues that the sin of Sodom is Pride and love of wealth, from which come other sins including homosexuality unless we discipline ourselves by God’s standards.Gay Pride!” exults Webutante, quoting Proverbs 16:18- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. But you need not go to Webutante, because it is on Google Books. Just before the excerpt ends, Butterfield writes that anyone may repent and turn from that sin, seeing God’s power manifested. When she repented, Butterfield imagined that celibacy and the single life would be her way, but in the preface she gives away the happy ending of marriage and children, and, oddly, continuing love of Wealth: “get a pedicure, buy a new TV!”

Wheaton students protestButterfield has the odd dig at conservative Christians, who still scare me when they reduce Christianity to a lifestyle and claim that God is on the side of those who attend to the rules of the lifestyle they have invented or claim to find in the Bible… narrowly circumscribed lives… Republican politics, homeschooling biases, refusal to inoculate children etc. She is right to say that too often the church does not know how to interface with university culture because it comes to the table only ready to moralize and not dialogue. She values the human encounter: though obviously these Christians and I were very different, they seemed to know that I wasn’t just a blank slate, that I had values and opinions too, and they talked with me in a way that didn’t make me feel erased.

There is value in her book. What you get from Webutante is “Gay is Sin!” But the evangelical Carl Trueman notes that gay perceptions of Christian hatred, intolerance and ignorance are too often rooted in reality. Julie Rogers, a gay Christian who feels called to celibacy, is sufficiently self-confident of her own position to welcome Butterfield’s story, for if she hears conservatives say that God can make you straight if you have faith, she can explain Christianity- sanctification- to them. That helped me, and prompted me to this post, though Rogers’ post has those vile, self-righteous and self-pitying comments from Lili, a woman unable to hear or see her own daughter.

Tell me who you are, what you desire, feel, think, believe, and at best I am enriched by it. Tell me I should be that way too and you attack me, aiming a blow which I must evade any way I can. I have been too conscious of the kicks, seeing too much as an attack. As I gain self-acceptance as a trans woman, through the love of Christ, I may be able to see Rosaria Butterfield past the facile gloating of Webutante and others, and allow even her to be herself too: but only when I feel safe to be myself. And- I hate the oppressors who use her, like these homophobes where I got the photo; and as she permits herself to be so used, she remains my enemy.

One thought on “Rosaria Butterfield

  1. Dearest Clare,
    As I read your article, I am frustrated by the “churches” because they are using Old Testament to demoralize people that don’t “fit” their ideals. The truth is we live in the Age of GRACE. We are New Testament Christians! Christ paid for ALL of our sins on the cross over 2,000 years ago. Whatever we do today is between us and Him! He has already forgiven us! He saw it from then and still forgave us. There is no difference between sins either. Sin is sin. If I take office supplies from work, that is stealing and its is sin. It is no different that what this pastor is claiming is sin! God has never differentiated one sin from another. And since Jesus paid the price for ALL of our sins, if we name the Name of Jesus as our Saviour, we are saved from all of our sins, past, present and future! Does that mean that I can now go out and steal all of the office supplies? No, because I will feel convicted for it because of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us. But If I DO continue to do it, it is between me, my employer, and God. NO ONE ELSE.

    We are living in the New Testatment! Hallelujah! Does the Old Testament have value? Yes. It is historical. It is Jesus concealed and the New Testament is Jesus revealed! The New Testament actually begins in the book of Acts. The first four books are still prior to his death, burial, decension into hell, and his walking the Earth alive as promised 3 days after he was buried. Then he ascended into heaven and told the 120 to wait in the upper room for the promise of the Father which was the Holy Spirit. The 120 didn’t have the patience but those that remained were blessed with that gift! You can read it for yourself. My point is, these condescending preachers use Old Testament scriptures to judge people and it is NOT their place to judge anyone!

    Praise the Lord we are living the in age of GRACE! I hope that you have been encouraged and maybe even encouraged to search out your scriptures that I was talking about! Hold your head up, stay close to the Lord as He is not condemning you. Only ill-informed preachers do that. I don’t have to have a degree in theology to know this. I have my Bible, which I prefer the NKJV, and I know that whatever we do is between Jesus and us. If we have offended someone else, we need to make that right, of course, but it is still between Him and us!

    Glory to God for the Age of Grace! Thank You, Jesus, for what You did for us on the cross!

    Rhonda aka nanarhonda
    Founder ~ LIKE PRECIOUS FAITH Ministries


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