Date of Award

5-1-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to discover how lesbian, gay, bisexual. transgendered and questioning persons struggled against oppression in the African-American church. They experienced oppression in the African-American church and wanted justice. The project included 6 members, friends, or persons who frequently attended Truth Center Metropolitan Community Church (Truth Center MCC). for a consciousness-raising group. Members of the group were selected from a questionnaire. The effectiveness of the group was monitored through the use of a before and after survey. Group sessions were held over a four-week period. The topic of the first session was patriarchy and its effects on parenting styles and gender socialization. The second session addressed racism, sexism and classism. The third session surrounded biblical interpretations of Genesis 19 and reading strategies used by Bible scholars to interpret scripture. The last session sought answers to questions such as, ‘what was the worst sermon that you heard about homosexuality?’ ‘how did it make you feel?’ and ‘what did you do about it?’ The issue of the project was ‘how do lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning persons struggled agaipst oppression from the African-American church.’ The literature review revealed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning persons struggled against oppression by forming small consciousness groups that supported and helped each other. The literature review also revealed that our differences should be embraced. The project revealed that the group had a difficult time accepting new information that would help them as they sought justice. The African-American church has had a strong influence on its people and it appeared to be very difficult for members to transcend the teachings even if they were detrimental to one’s personhood. New information presented to the group did not appear to be effective.

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