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San Diego Church Apologizes for Prop 8

Jim Burroway

November 25th, 2008

MissionGathering Christian Church of San Diego put up this billboard, which reads:

MissionGathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights & equality of so many in the name of God.

www.missiongathering.com
Our hearts are with you.
Christianity for all.

MissionGathering is a part of the Christian Church denomination (Disciples of Christ).

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Jeff in Surprise, AZ
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

Wow! If this is a true feeling, hell must be starting to freeze.

Rebecca
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

I’d love to see what that church’s position was before the vote. If its a change, great, the message is getting though, but if *that* church was against prop 8 to begin with, there’s no change

Ephilei
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

I was also wondering if this is a change of mind or just another statement against 8. No clues from their website.

Jason D
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

They have a facebook page and it links to this blog:

http://ourheartsarewithyou.wordpress.com/

You should check it out, it gives more personal depth to their position. There’s a very moving letter from “Jay” to his Uncle and Father in response to their disapproval of his belief that Prop 8 is bad.

kevin
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

Their pastor posted this message at Joe.My.God.:

“hey there…

my name is alex, and i am one of the pastors at the church that posted the billboards. thanks to so many for your words of thanks. i am a Christian, i am a pastor, and i am gay. it has been a long road and will continue to be. our church is predominantly straight but is a place for all people to come and worship.

if you go to our website – http://www.missiongathering.com – and click on the main “sorry” graphic, it will take you to a page explaining more about our statement.

we were out campaigning against Prop 8 in the days leading up to the election, working with the LGBT Center in San Diego, and with the No on 8 offices….and we will continue to fight for Prop 8 to be overturned and will fight against any proposition that tries to do this again.

together in the fight for equality…
alexr”

AJD
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

I just saw this article in Salon. It’s an interview with Richard Rodriguez, and it sort of relates to this:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/11/25/proposition_8_religion/

Timothy Kincaid
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

Missiongathering and its pastor, Rich McCullen, are part of the “emerging church” movement, a subset of the evangelical Christian church, that seek to “live Christ” to the world. In other words, they see their mission as doers of good and spreading a message of redemption and peace rather than condemnation and conformity. They tend to be political but as a force for good (opposing slavery, injustice, cruelty) rather than partisan.

While not all emerging churches are pro-gay, many have views that range from civil equality as a sign of love to full inclusion in the church.

McCullen is an advocate for treating gay people as Children of God and has preached sermons on their inclusion. He believes that Jesus was specifically inclusive of gays in Matthew 19 (the discussion of eunuchs from birth) and has adopted the understanding of the Centurian and his pais as relating to a same-sex couple.

David C.
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

Gay activists can be much more effective at pushing back against all manner of organized religious-based intolerance by formation of alliances, and even, dare I say it, mutual support of religious organizations and churches like MissionGathering. Such arrangements offer the best hope for gaining long term acceptance of gay rights by the Christian and other religious communities.

It’s unreasonable to believe that all Christians think alike, and there is plenty of debate among and within the various sects as to what level of acceptance of gay people they will accommodate.

It is heartening to see that we have an ally that actually goes on record with visible advertising to witness for the right of gay people to marry.

This is a reminder that we should not paint all Christians as intolerant or hateful. To do so would be to become as the enemies of gay rights, judging a whole class of individuals as somehow undeserving of respect and all the rights normally afforded members of society in this country.

Something I’ve started to take notice of is which organizations sponsor what kinds of legislation. Many of these are not churches, with of course the glaring exception of the LDS and Catholic churches allying to sponsor and pass Prop 8.

For instance, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, and others of their ilk are not churches, but trot out their take on Judeo-Christian traditions to justify their stances and stimulate donation to their causes. It’s not particularly clear just how much these organizations actually contribute to the direct aid of even traditional families, but it is blindingly evident how much of their substance they are willing to commit to political battles to halt the advancement of gay freedoms.

This might lead one to conclude that these so-called “pro-family” organizations are using the Christian community as a gold mine and source of ideology from which they can cherry-pick to promulgate their message of intolerance, stir up passions, and increase the yield of that mine.

Irrespective of how one views religion, it’s evident that not all practitioners of it are anti-gay, though those that would use religion and belief as a club are plentiful, well organized, and ready to sow their tares in the fertile ground of ongoing gay rights discourse.

Denise
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

To those wondering if this is a specific apology from from a specific church that has had a change of heart it is not. Mission Gathering is what is known in liberal church vernacular as “affirming” — meaning gay individuals are welcome, without condition, to openly and fully participate in the spiritual seeking and serving life of the congregation. I’m profoundly impressed by the billboard statement. I believe it comes from a place of sincere and spiritually grounded solidarity with the gay community. It also expresses, in the strongest terms, directed regret about the erroneous thinking that still dominates in the Christian community. I wonder if a beneficial alliance, much like gay-straight alliances, could be cultivated with such churches. These are brightest and best of the Christian community IMHO.

azpueblojim
November 25th, 2008 | LINK

So instead of Heterosexuality for all it’s “Christianity for all” with this outfit??

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