Naidia Bolz- Weber
On March 5th Naidia Bolz- Weber came to speak as part of the Lenoir- Rhyne Visiting Writers Series. She had two events during that day. The first one was in the morning and was just an interview. The second one was in the evening and was focused on her writing. I went to see her at both times. In the morning event was a simple Q&A mostly based off her career as a pastor. The one question that I will never forget is when a member of the audience asked for “How can someone repent for homosexual sex?” Her response was wonderful. She cut the young man off mid- question stating that she could not answer that question because she didn’t view that as a sin. She then said that it was her belief that god doesn’t care about sex. She talked a lot about the way the Christian community views the LGBT+ community. She talked about the video that she did for a group called The Nines. The topic was “the issue of LGBT” Nadia’s response to LGBT+ people being referred to as an issue was wonderful. Her video was of members of her church that are also part of the LGBT+ community telling these people that they are not an issue but part of the church. Another point that she made in her morning talk was about the saying “love the sinner, hate the sin.” She talked about how that wasn’t really love. That the statement was just a way to pride yourself as being Christian without having to truly love and accept everyone.
The evening talk was more focused on her writing as well as stories about her church. She started the night with wanting to see just what religions were there. After that she talked a bit which led to her reading a some from her new and not yet published work. She talked about demons. She started with saying about how in the bible Jesus would be able to case out demons and they will run in fear. She talked about what are demons and if it was just mental illness or if they were real beings. She then talked about her depression, explaining how she had gave it a name and how she would live with it. She was able to make her depression sound like a real person, and not a mental illness. She talked about her anger issue, telling a story of how holding a baby was able to calm her down. After she was done talking she was able to answer some questions and finding some people that knew her and knew the people that go to her church.
Naidia Bolz- Weber was an amazing speaker, she was funny and honest. She made it known that she believed in being truthful to her peers and not showing them someone she is not. She doesn’t hide. I grew up in a small southern baptist town. Everyone that is part of the church lies and hides about who they really are out of fear. For me it was refreshing to hear from someone, from a pastor, that wasn’t afraid. It was empowering and a good change. It’s a change that we need to see more members of the church make, be yourself not what you think god will want you to be.
Here is a link to her amazing video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/pastor-nadia-bolz-weber-video-lgbt_n_6004420.html