June 27th, 2009
NOTE: The original title of this commentary was “LaBarbera Award Winner Hagee Meets With Gay Christian Group”. At the request of the Jeff Lutes, we have revised the title to be more accurate. See update below.
John Hagee, pastor of the
Austin San Antonio mega-church The Cornerstone, is well known for his nonsensical rants about gay people. For example, he announced that Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment on New Orleans for a planned gay event (he failed to explain why God chose to spare the French Quarter – but maybe God just has bad aim).
It was nutcase hatery like that which won him our coveted LaBarbera Award for the “most outrageous, offensive, malevolent, crazy or excessive statement or claim.”
Well, proving that the best policy is to never confuse the unlikely with the impossible, gay groups have scheduled a sit-down discussion with Hagee this Sunday. (Statesman)
Members of [Austin-based advocacy groups Soulforce and Atticus Circle], which support equal rights for the LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — community, wrote to the senior pastor of the church, the Rev. John Hagee , in early June to ask for a meeting.
Hagee invited them to services Sunday and agreed to sit down with organizers afterward.
I don’t think Soulforce or Atticus Circle are fooling themselves into believing that they will change Hagee’s theology. And Hagee seems mostly to be patting himself on the back for even meeting with them.
In an e-mail statement this month about his decision to meet with Austin advocates, Hagee said, “We gather in the spirit of Christ that commands us to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves.’ ”
But if this helps rachet down some of the hateful rhetoric then my hat is off to these groups.
Update: Jeff Lutes, the Executive Director of SoulForce, has provided clarification about my miscategorizing them as a gay Christian group:
One very important point of correction is that neither Soulforce or Atticus Circle identify as “Gay Christian” groups. Soulforce members include a diverse array of folks who simply believe in nonviolent direct action as a method to achieve social justice; Atticus Circle focuses on recruiting straight allies to join in the fight for equality. Because we challenge religion-based discrimination, we are frequently mistaken as religious organizations – which automatically excludes many LGBTQA people who don’t identify as people of faith. We want all those who seek justice to get involved in our efforts, so anything you can do to help us undo the “Gay Christian” misnomer would be greatly appreciated.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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