letter: ‘Queer People of Faith’


A reader discusses an Op-Ed by an Episcopal priest that hailed Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy as a milestone.


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To the Editor:

Re “Mayor Pete and the Queering of the American Soul,” by the Rev. Steven Paulikas (Op-Ed, nytimes.com, April 17):

Mr. Paulikas was clearly moved to hear his Episcopal parishioners laud the “strength of character” they see in Mayor Pete Buttigieg. So few words have been spent to celebrate the spiritual virtues of queer people, and I agree, it is a balm to hear some. Yet I am troubled by Mr. Paulikas’s emphasis on “society’s widening affirmation,” which insidiously shifts the focus back to straight society.

We must lift up the voices and stories of queer people of faith ourselves. We are here: Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and beyond.

For me the powerful part of Mayor Pete’s comments to Vice President Mike Pence was hearing him make a decisive statement in religious terms: “If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my Creator.”

Queer people think our own religious thoughts; we are not just the subjects of others’ judgment.

Mandi Rice
The writer is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, where she wrote her thesis on “Queer Spiritual Genius.”

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