Rev. Julie Peepleson
She sat in my office, nervously sharing a story that was both unique and familiar. She
recounted the name-calling, the judgmental looks, the shunning she had endured. But for this
young woman, the bully was not a schoolmate or family member. The bully was her church.
From the pulpit, in Sunday School classes, in youth group gatherings the message was loud
and clear: if she was gay, she was a sinner, an abomination, not welcome. “Why does God hate
me?” she asked me through tears that day as we met.