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It Gets Better Because They’re “Not All Like That”

Jim Burroway

September 4th, 2013

Dan Savage introduces the new project, recalling he often encounters Christians who tell him, “we’re not all like that,” that not all Christians condemn LGBT people. Savage’s response had been: Don’t tell me, tell the anti-gay Christian leaders who claim to speak for all Christians. Now there’s a platform for those  Christians to do just that. Not All Like That was launched this morning, providing a platform for “NALT Christians” to post their videos and demonstration that Christians support LGBT people.

NALT is a joint project of Truth Wins Out and author John Shore, and is supported by:

Here are just a couple of the thirty-seven videos already posted:

Comments

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The Lauderdale
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

I’m ambivalent about the actual title of the project, but I’m looking forward to the videos.

The Lauderdale
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

…the more I think about it, the more I really start to like the title. How many Christians have I heard say this? How many have said it to me personally? This is a great way to own that statement and actually do something with it: turn it into a real declarative and not something that feels like a kind of apology or excuse.

Graham
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

All I have to say is…

http://youtu.be/RRrxPWQu2YI

Soren456
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Such courage! And after only a few decades! And following only a little prompting from the LBGTs!

Priya Lynn
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Graham said “All I have to say is…

http://youtu.be/RRrxPWQu2YI“.

Very well done, makes great sense.

Timothy (TRiG)
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Well, some have been saying it publicly for a while. John Shore highlighted Fred Clark’s video. I’ve been following Fred’s blog (Slacktivist) for years, and am very much looking forward to his video. (Not seen it yet: no audio on this computer.)

TRiG.

Ben in Oakland
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

I think the title is absolutely effin” brilliant.

Timothy Kincaid
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

oh how surprising… some atheists have decided to turn this very good thing into a vehicle to oppose people of faith.

gee, it almost makes me think that they’d prefer that Christians remain hostile.

surely that’s not the case. nah…

Cap
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid, what are you talking about?

Timothy Kincaid
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Cap, rather than be happy about a project that allows Christians to be allies, they reference an anti-religion video instead.

It’s like getting a birthday gift and instead of expressing thanks saying, “yeah, well I still think you’re fat and ugly.”

Graham
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy,

I shared the video because it explains what I think are the problems with the gay-friendly Christian phenomenon; it’s to oppose fallacious ideas, like the idea that Christianity and homosexuality are compatible, or that it even matters that they aren’t. If we aren’t willing to expose errors in reasoning because we don’t want to oppose people of faith, then we really are the PC police our opponents say we are. Maybe you think it’s a good strategy to support these kinds of re-interpretations; I’m not sure about that (watch the video), but even if it were, I’m not going to sacrifice my intellectual integrity and honesty so that some people can find a way to like me.

Also, I’m not going to be happy because Christians have given us the “present” of not hating our guts. No kudos for that, sorry.

Last, I’d like to you consider that the real problem here isn’t just the issue with homosexuality and Christianity (and the other monotheisms). The problem is that instead of using reason, empathy, and fairness as our compass to progress into a more just society, we look to an alleged divine revelation to guide our actions. We’ve seen how this has turned out for us LGBTs, but we’ll run into the same problem when and if we seek further progress on other issues. Maybe the same thing will happen; the monotheists after decades of wrenching and whining and debating will figure out their religion was actually enlightened all along. Or maybe not. But why not just be done with all that nonsense, take the kid gloves off, and reject their “revelation” now?

Priya Lynn
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

I’m content to let gay friendly christians make the case that the bible isn’t anti-gay. I think the video made some good points, but I don’t oppose gay friendly interpretations of the bible even though I think them unlikely myself.

Matt
September 4th, 2013 | LINK

Tim,

Please don’t go lumping atheists all together with your comments.

We’re not all like that.

Timothy Kincaid
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks, Matt, you made me chuckle. And PL, I appreciate that you are at least welcoming of the concept.

Chuck
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Very cool! I especially liked the second video you posted. However I was searching for the videos, and it is almost impossible to find by search. NALT is apparently used for other things as well (Not all ‘Women’ are like that, etc.).

And while I technically agree with the ideas Graham is posting, nobody ever changed their religion by being told it was stupid and they were being childish. Everyone has their own personal journeys to their understanding of religion and faith, and instead of using every step of growth along that journey to berate them, you should just let them be on their way with it.

For instance in the second video the mother mentions not wanting any part of a god who would create gay people and then condemn them. Yes, she eventually went back to the Bible to re-justify her faith in her newfound conclusions, but for a short period of time she realized it didn’t make sense.

DN
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I love that Timothy shits all over Graham, then Graham offers a very thoughtful and good explanation as to why he posted Zinnia’s video. And then Timothy completely ignores Graham’s thoughtful explanation.

100% typical of Timothy Kincaid.

DN
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Oh and one other thing that I’ve been meaning to post for awhile. This blog is tagged as being about fact-checking and analysis, and I’ve seen Timothy call people out for providing evidence for their claims. The very first comment I made here was to substantiate someone else’s claim that Maggie Gallagher says NOM employs gay who oppose marriage equality. This is the reason I started to read BTB.

But the *instant* the topic turns to religion, Timothy shuts off the “please provide evidence to substantiate your claim” switch. A lot of American society does that so I don’t really think it’s a big deal. But when someone like Graham posts not one, but two comments that even *slightly* oppose Timothy’s chosen religion, he gets all pouty and bitchy.

Intellectual honesty, thy name is not Timothy Kincaid. Nor has it been since he deleted his own comments about two months ago. Way to live up to your website’s motto, Timothy.

Timothy (TRiG)
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I still haven’t got to a computer with audio yet, but Zinnia Jones’ video has a transcript, which I broadly, sort of, agree with. Ish.

I am very uncomfortable with people arguing for human rights on the basis of religion. Human rights are human rights, and should not depend on anyone’s interpretation of any self-proclaimed holy book. However, (a) my understanding is that this project is not about legal equality: it’s about religious acceptance, so that’s alright; and (b) Zinnia is, I think, wrong to say that the liberal Christians are interpreting the Bible nicely just to suit their ends: I think it’s genuine belief founded on a reasonably sensible hermeneutic. I’m an atheist myself, but I am, frankly, a little tired of atheists proclaiming that the nastiest and least educated fundies are the ones with the best understanding of the Bible. I think that’s unlikely.

(Fred Clark’s video also has a transcript.)

TRiG.

markanthony
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Great idea and name, I hope it actually goes somewhere. It needs a big name from the Christian media world to endorse it in order to accomplish that.

Richard Rush
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

A part of me feels that this is a pandering deference to Christianity akin to selling my soul to the devil in order to secure favor. While it’s true, of course, that Christians are not all like THAT, they all do, unwittingly, help enable those who are like THAT.

But having said that, I’m on board with the NALT Project, and based on the videos I’ve watched so far, I’m already becoming optimistic. If the project succeeds in changing the attitudes of some who are like THAT while further marginalizing those who remain like THAT, then hopefully the NALT Project will expand to deal with all the other areas where human progress is retarded by the attitudes/beliefs of those like THAT.

Scott McGowan
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Too little, too late. Never trust a person claiming to be Christian as they will slop sugar to your face while thinking of ways to stab you in the back.

Terence Weldon
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

DN, Graham.

Sorry, but Graham has NOT posted a “reasoned” response to Timothy. He has stated that his intent was to “expose the fallacious idea that homosexuality and religion are compatible” – it is hatred and exclusion that are incompatible with Christianity, not love, of any kind.

I can understand that not all people appreciate the value of religious faith, and that LGBT people have particular reason to be put off religion entirely by the centuries of outright persecution and textual abuse they have endured – but that’s no reason to belittle those who are now finally attempting to put the record straight.

Sandhorse
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Actually, DN gets it half right.

Graham shits on EVERYONE who professes a faith background. Timothy calls him out on it. Graham then provides a small dissertation of how he is justified in shitting on people of faith. Timothy doesn’t (nor is he obligated to) respond.

Sandhorse
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

TRiG said…

“I am very uncomfortable with people arguing for human rights on the basis of religion. Human rights are human rights, and should not depend on anyone’s interpretation of any self-proclaimed holy book.”

I understand what your saying and I agree with you. However, it’s not hard to see why human rights often get viewed through the lens of the theology of a particular faith.

The constitution describes the origin of rights as coming from ‘Our Creator.’ Thus, people of faith and even no faith at all will look to their ‘Creator’. Unfortunately, this contemporary view is a far more narrow view of ‘Creator’ and very much apart from what the founding fathers intended.

The founders were wise to use such an ambiguous term, and I don’t think for a second it was an oversight on their part. In using the term ‘Creator’ it allowed for an appeal to the commonalities of all people of faith and even the faithless. Not causing bodily harm to another would be one such universal theme.

All people can agree there is certain behavior that can collectively be agreed upon as good. It goes without saying that the reasoning behind this ‘good behavior’ will be different for everyone. However, in these cases, the ‘why’ is not important.

Most, if not all major religions contain a ‘live-and-let-live’ code of behavior, regardless of what others perceive by the actions of some.

So when encountering someone who is looking at human rights through that lens, I don’t persuade them not to do so, I just suggest they ‘refocus’ that lens.

Sandhorse
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Exactly Terence,

If someone wants to insult someone else by telling them their faith is a joke, by all means go ahead; it’s a free country. But then insisting they’re interpreting it wrong only makes you look foolish and obtuse.

Priya Lynn
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I’m going to agree with the christians here, this is not the place to be trying to convince people there is no god or that gayness is incompatible with religious belief. We’ve got these people on our side and at least we owe them is being left alone to their beliefs. We won’t convince the vast majority of them so there’s no point in antagonizing those that seek to help us.

Priya Lynn
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Heck, I’ve even myself on occaision made biblically based arguments that the bible doesn’t condemn gayness.

markanthony
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

@Sandhorse

“Creator” isn’t in the U.S. Constitution, expect in a date (Year of our Lord). I believe you have confused it with the Declaration of Independence, which is really just a list of complaints to the king not a government document.

That said, I agree with your general point that theology plays an important part in the foundation of Human Rights and the continued defense of those rights.

Sandhorse
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

Hi markanthony,

You’re absolutely correct, I got my documents mixed up. (gerrr) Hate it when that happens, but thanks.

Priya Lynn
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I’d say theology plays no role in human rights, its just coincidental that people who advocate for human rights also happen to be religious.

Sandhorse
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I agree Priya,

I think those that do see human rights at a theological level forget that God is not a moral busybody. As Gods followers, they need to first follow that lead.

tim lusk
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I can understand why many in the GLBT community have strong anti-religious feelings due to the way religion has been used to hurt and condemn…we all have been impacted by that one way or the other.
But I struggle with the closed minded view that condemns anyone with religious views and has pro-gay views as well. I have an M.Div. and I am very religious. I attend a church with openly gay clergy and openly gay parishers….we are accepted and a part of things. That may not be your thing…but don’t judge me….I find strength and affirmation from this faith community. All philosophies toward life whether religious or not boil down to a statement about religious by Elaine Pagel: religion (philophy) is good and healthy if it promotes the sacredness of life and humanity. It is bad when it does the opposite. In a community that has been condemned for being different you we think our experience would make us the most open to differences.

Brian
September 5th, 2013 | LINK

I share the discomfort expressed above that this support is being expressed in religious terms. That our supporters use the same kind of reasoning as our detractors — even though they are on our side — doesn’t make them sound any less irrational.

And yes, that this support is coming from Christians does indeed make me very suspicious. So this lot won’t send me to hell for being gay. Where is the website for the ones who won’t send me to hell for the sin of not being a Christian?

Just because a Christian claims to be gay-friendly — that does not automatically make them my friend.

Sandhorse
September 6th, 2013 | LINK

Brian,

Think of it this way.

There has been a big meal and a very large table with plenty of seating space for everyone. Some people already seated at that table are telling you and others like you that you are not invited to sit at the table.

Unfortunately for them, they did not prepare the meal or set the table, so they have no authority to deny you that seat.

Others seated at the table who know better are telling you and the others that you are welcome to join and are offering a seat.

Now; you may or may not want to join them, and some of them may tell you you’re missing out if you turn it down. But others who have been hungry and tired and are more then ready to eat and rest can now know they have friends at that table.

Just because you do not want to accept the invitation, doesn’t mean others should be denied the knowledge that the invitation stands.

Brian
September 6th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse,

Think of it this way:

When the conversation among the disputants degenerates into yet one more round of “my God is better than your God” I do not want to be in the middle of it. Nor do I think anyone else should be made to stand in that crossfire.

Putting the dialogue entirely in God-talk dooms the conversation to disaster. There needs to be a grounding in reality – concrete, tangible reality so that the God-talk doesn’t turn into another oh-good-grief-get-over-yourselves pissing contest over who has the superior set of beliefs.

Brian
September 6th, 2013 | LINK

…and no – I did not assert that the project should not exist. I did quite clearly state that I see no reason to trust it, not for a good long while, until I can see that it will do no harm. I am not yet convinced.

Priya Lynn
September 6th, 2013 | LINK

I fail to see how christians advocating for the decent treatment of LGBT people can cause any harm.

Brian
September 6th, 2013 | LINK

The WAY in which they advocate can indeed be wretchedly harmful. So they won’t send me to hell for being gay – - but for the crime of not being a Christian? Hellfire and damnation for me.

It is exactly this Great Commission, Fishers of Men, missionary zealot BS that makes Christians act as though they have a monopoly on truth that makes them dangerous, egotistic, unhearing and uncaring, arrogant and untrustworthy.

So long as THAT crap doesn’t find it’s way into NALT, then I might actually **believe** they are NALT.

I’ve said it many, many times: homophobia is only the tip of the iceberg, the SYMPTOM of institutional Christianity’s deepest flaws: namely the conceit that they — and only they — know the REAL truth.

tim lusk
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

Brian,
Many Christian, particularly main line Protestants would be shocked to find out they believe they only have the real truth….but thinks for letting us know. My Jewish husband would be very glad to find out that is what I believe as well. Bigotry is bigotry….yours is just a different flavor….

Brian
September 8th, 2013 | LINK

Then you would be the exception, not the rule, in my experience.

DN
September 11th, 2013 | LINK

Yeah Tim Lusk, it’s Brian’s and my fault that as outsiders to christianity, we don’t take the time out of our lives to figure out just how nasty your theology is. Forgive me my trespass.

Timothy Kincaid
September 12th, 2013 | LINK

DN,

I would agree that you are not obligated to find out what someone believes or how nasty their theology is.

However, if you wish to opine on their theology or make statements about what people believe, then yes, you do have an obligation to find out before you do so.

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