Posted Oct 26, 2015 by Michael L. Brown
This is not the kind of thing that you make up. A church in Sommerville, Massachusetts, just held a drag gospel festival – as in drag queen, gospel festival. In fact, this will mark the fifth straight year the church has held this event. A public service announcement on the church’s website, provided by their “drag queen in residence, Serenity Jones,” states, “God is GOOD all the time! That means God is a DIVA … and girl … Jesus is FIERCE! Can I get a witness up in here!? Can I get an AMEN my sistahs and my brothahs!? For one weekend in October, First Church Somerville becomes FIERCE Church Somerville for two joyful days of Spirit in worship and praise, using our GOD-GIVEN musical and artistic talent, creativity and FASHION WITHOUT BORDERS, welcoming all God’s children to her FIERCE DIVA queen-dom. Hallelujah!” Translated into “boring old English,” the announcement reads: “The brainchild of James Adams, aka Serenity Jones, Drag Gospel started in the fall of 2011 and has become a favorite annual event. It is our way of demonstrating the radical welcome that we believe Jesus offered to all kinds of people – especially people exiled to the margins just for being the people God made them to be: queer or straight or a little bit of each, male or female or a little bit of each.” The congregation is First Church Sommerville UCC (United Church of Christ), and both the church website and Facebook page featured a drag queen Jesus in honor of the event. But this should come as no surprise, since the UCC denomination in 2005 voted to adopt the resolution “Equal Marriage Rights for All,” noting even then that “many UCC pastors and congregations have held commitment services for gay and lesbian couples for some time, consistent with the call to loving, long-term committed relationships and to nurture family life.” So, why not hold a drag queen and drag king gospel festival? It’s the next logical step into spiritual and moral apostasy. And it’s in keeping with the larger, ultra-liberal approach to God and the Scriptures reflected elsewhere in the UCC, as exemplified by First Church Sommerville, which issues theological statements like this: “This morning at Drag Gospel church was a gorgeous expression of the totality of God’s love for all her children, people of all colors, all genders, all ages, and all theological persuasions.” So, God is “she,” and regardless of your theological persuasion, you are one of “her children.” As for the highlight of the weekend, “The main event is Sunday morning Festival Worship featuring Serenity in full drag (with costume changes), both performing and as the liturgist for the day, with our pastors (sometimes also in drag) bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ with a distinctly loving message for LGBTQ-add-your-letter-here. Our fabulous choir and in-house band raise the roof with gospel and soul music, both beloved standards and awesome music you may not have heard yet.” As utterly bizarre as this sounds – and certainly must have been, in reality – the saddest part is the degree of deception these people are under, thinking that they can follow Jesus and be drag queens (and kings) at the same time, thinking that they can affirm their identity in the Lord while identifying as “LGBTQ-add-your-letter-here.” Let’s not forget that transgender activists remind us that they are not gay men (or women) in drag but rather men trapped in women’s bodies (or vice versa), meaning that we must distinguish transgender from cross-dresser or drag queen or king. In fact, according to one representative website, “A ‘Cross dresser’ is a general term for any person who routinely wears clothing typical of another gender, regardless of their reasons for doing so.” In contrast, “A ‘Drag Queen’ is a campy and sometimes pejorative term for a person, typically a male, who cross-dresses as a form of performance art or theatre. Often this involves exaggeration or parody of gender differences through dress and behavior as a means of provoking audience reaction.” And so, “while the public may lump anyone who cross dresses together under a typically pejorative stereotype, these forms of trans-gender behavior are completely distinct” (their emphasis). And if you have a hard time with any of this, you are a transphobe. You might even be a dragaphobe. (OK. It’s a new word that I coined for this column, but you get the point. That being said, I spotted an article written by a gay dad who confessed to having an irrational fear of drag queens!) Putting the silliness aside, though, I truly pity those trapped in this deception, believing that whoever they perceive themselves to be and whatever desires they have not only define them but also reflect God’s plan for them. I can assure each of them that he has a much better and different way. And for those wondering just how far apostasy can go, look no further.

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