June 18th, 2010
Guest author Justin Lee is the Executive Director of the Gay Christian Network.
Regular readers of Box Turtle Bulletin already know what damage the Christian community has often done to LGBT people, whether it’s going to Uganda to preach anti-gay messages or putting on ex-gay conferences like Love Won Out that teach parents to push their kids to become straight.
The way some Christians talk, you’d think that Jesus was a card-carrying homophobe whose public ministry consisted of preaching against homosexuality and “healing” people of “homosexuality demons.”
None of this is true, of course. As depicted in the Bible, Jesus spent his public ministry preaching a message of love and forgiveness, meeting people’s needs without judging them. He was most heavily criticized for being so accepting of the outcasts of his day. He never spoke a word about homosexuality; instead, the only people he publicly criticized were the self-righteous religious leaders who excluded others while glorifying themselves. And even though some believe that a handful of Bible verses cast a negative light on gay relationships, many Christians believe those passages have been misinterpreted, and they certainly don’t justify the kind of obsession we see in some Christian circles.
Nevertheless, many in the LGBT community are willing to concede the entire Christian faith to the likes of Fred Phelps and his “God hates fags” clan. They insist that Christians are beyond redemption, and that the only step forward for the LGBT community is to somehow rid the world of Christianity altogether. (I wonder how they plan to accomplish that!)
Those of us at The Gay Christian Network think otherwise.
We know that there are many LGBT and affirming Christians in the world. We know that too often, we’ve allowed the anti-LGBT Christians to speak for our faith while we remain silent. Frankly, they’ve been better organized and more vocal. And we aren’t willing to put up with that anymore.
Starting this weekend, we’re working with affirming churches from across denominational lines to begin a series of mini-conferences called “Reclaiming Christianity” as a way to take a stand. The events will include training in how to respond to Bible bashing, screening of a pro-LGBT Christian film called Through My Eyes, and group discussion on practical steps to take to combat homophobia in churches and local communities. We’d love the help of BTB readers in getting the word out.
The kickoff event will be this Saturday, June 19, in Raleigh, NC. After that, events are scheduled in Indianapolis, Birmingham, Detroit, and Houston, with more to follow. The events are being sponsored by local LGBT-affirming churches in each of these cities, and organized by The Gay Christian Network, an interdenominational nonprofit organization serving LGBT and supportive Christians around the world.
The Reclaiming Christianity events are designed to counter anti-gay and ex-gay events with an affirming Christian message. It’s time for our side to get as organized as their side is, and stop letting the ones with the megaphones define Christianity.
If you’re interested, we’d love for you to be a part of what we’re doing. Details are on the conference website at ChristiansWhoLove.com.
In the meantime, I’m listening. What do you think affirming Christians need to do to counter the anti-LGBT messages? And will the secular LGBT community ever be willing to work with them to make change, or have they been permanently been written off?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
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"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.