Christians Protesting At Pride

Comments

1
I got about halfway down the comments, then got bored... But a beautiful post and a beautiful gesture. It seems like they're basically saying "Yeah, Christianity says it's sin and you're going to hell, but that doesn't mean that Christians should abuse you while you're here on Earth, and I'm sorry that some Christians do take it upon themselves to judge and abuse."

Which seems like a relatively fine perspective to me, since I don't believe in hell anyway.
2
These guys look pretty gay
3
Yeah,
you're going to Hell,
for sure,
but we don't want to rub it in;
give me a hug,
you big degenerate pervert, you!....
4
Andrew Marin is an emergent church propagandist who bashes the traditional Biblical Christians who do not accept HIS liberal agenda of spreading acceptance of homosexuality in churches. Many compromised, megachurch pastors are giving place to Marin and his false Biblical teachings. From participating with homosexual activists during the pornographic Chicago gay pride parade to attacking Christians for not tolerating his promotion of homosexuality in churches, Marin is a very wicked and evil individual.
5
I don't know -- if their message is that Christians should treat gays like (shocking!) people, with the same rights as anyone else, I don't see that it's necessarily horrible if they're still buying the love the sinner, hate the sin line.

Obviously, it's preferable if they just lose that mindset altogether and realize there is no sin involved. But if they're going to be insisting that it's sinful, as long as they're *actually* showing love and acceptance regardless, that's definitely a step forward.

Now, those idiots who claim they love the sinner but hate the sin (but sinner don't deserve the same rights as everyone else) . . . now *those* idiots I have a problem with.
6
As I've said before, the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner. You've won. These guys are beautiful, and you should acknowledge that. The tide is turning. How many people in that parade have suffered at the hands of their Christian families and communities? I'm guessing almost all of them. I cried a little at the story of the man in the underpants.
7
Well, Pastor Nathan's enjoyment of the sweaty-stolen-abs-hug seems to rule out any accusations of homophobia...
8
Um, the only person in this post using the "love the sinner, hate the sin" line is Dan.
9
@4 Yeah! Who needs acceptance? Love thy neighbor? That's some compromised, wicked, evil bullshit!
10
As a long-standing recovering (and thoroughly repentant) homophobe, I'm awfully proud to see this post!

I grew up stupid, life and experience taught me much, I've gotten better LONG ago.

I cheerfully put a LOT of time and effort into apologizing as an individual, even when I didn't tell a soul...

THIS, however, made me cry like a baby...

I'm from Chicago too, and seeing this happen there makes me terribly proud of my hometown.
11
Genuinely moving and screamingly funny at the same time. I am awestruck.
12
They are completely sincere. I liked his response to the commenter struggling with the "hate the sin" question:

It's definitely a conversation I'd rather have over coffee than at Pride. Plus a relationship/friendship earns you the right to speak into someone's life, so I hope that would happen.

It's difficult playing the 'what-if' game. "what if I said this, what if he said that..." I hope in the moment that I would answer with grace and truth; that I would represent God well; that I would embody love.

I also love this Christian man's response:
To those who struggle with not watering down what you believe: I do appreciate that. I don't know where I stand. However, do you really think (most) gay people don't know where (most) Christians stand theologically? It's the other half of the equation that's missing. I think we've got the "hate the sin" part down pat.
13
@ 12: Thanks for sharing that second one... that's been my line forever on Christian Evangelism. Your "Good News" isn't "News", kids! It's 1500 years old, and anyone who hasn't been under a rock in a cave on an asteroid orbiting Pluto with their fingers in their ears and their eyes closed in the intervening time KNOWS already.
14
Untill i know that i'm not thought of as a sinner deserving divine punishment there won't be any "reconcilliation". Great, you feel bad for being a dick to an entire population of people, but the only way you can START to make up for it is to stop seeing us as though something is defective, evil, a sin, or just not as good. If you can do that, we'll talk. I don't want apologies from someone that still does not see me as an equal, good human spirit.

I went to their website and they were very cagy about answering that question because it supposedly is too complex for a simple yes or no answer. They need to understand that LGBTQ's are MANY times bitten, and almost infinently times shy. If you want reconciliation your going to need more than an apology, your going to have to admit you were wrong.

There are many churches, such as Unity, that are completely accepting of Gay Christians and equal good spiritual beings, so it's possible. I just suspect this group doesn't want to get to this particular root. Which is a shame.

15
I still think Christianity is really, really stupid, but I am one hundred percent sympathetic towards people who are actively striving not to be dicks. Good job, y'all.

@14
I agree that it is hard to take Christian "reconciliation" entirely seriously when Unity churches have been holding Rainbow Gatherings for decades (Unity is my parents' church, and while I'm seriously atheistic, if someone has to be Christian I sure recommend Unity), but damn, this seems like a step in the right direction. I have little problem with persistent civil disagreements, even deep, divisive, irreconcilable ones, if we can all agree not to be dicks about it. (And so we're clear, "not being a dick" involves not infringing on anyone's civil rights.)
16
I feel the exact same way. Teary-eyed and skeptical.
17
I checked out their website and it raised some red flags. For one, their mission is to bridge the LGBT and "religious communities" as though the two have been mutually exclusive. I am an atheist queer, but I know plenty of religious queers who need no bridge. Marin should come out and specify that the bridge he is building is between LGBT and conservative religious communities. Those two might be mutually exclusive at the moment. The ultimate goal of the bridge is unclear. One reference states that they seek not to change the homosexual "first" as though this will follow once a relationship with the lord is established per Marin instruction. I would like this group properly vetted by a queer religious institution like MCC.
18
http://www.themarinfoundation.org/faqs.h…
It's worth reading the FAQs. FWIW they're not saying that the bible doesn't condemn homosexuality, so don't hold your breath on that one.

But from what I can work out they're stating that by expecting something even as seemingly innocuous as a gay person acknowledging that (s)he somehow needs to be fixed, they (the church) are practising "conditional love", wholly counter to their faith. They want to propagate a transfer in stance from "well, we're all sinners after all" to "why are you asking me? Who someone fancies & what they do to them is entirely none of my business".

It's difficult to articulate the paradigm shift, but speaking as a former pentecostal, this is a BIG DEAL. In practical terms it's a social engineering campaign. If it takes off in the way they intend (which, given the conservative tendencies of the mainstream, is a big ask - this isn't the first/only christian group to take this stance), the ultimate result would be that the church comes to ignore the bible passages that state homosexuality is a sin in exactly the same way they ignore those passages speaking against divorce, working on a sunday, and wearing hats in church. Hopefully they'd also lay off policing young unmarried couples quite so earnestly.
19
@18: Also, for both individuals and the church, it's a process. I slowly moved from crazy fundie, to "hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner", to "well, we're all sinners", to "why are you asking me" and finally arrived at, "Any God that condemns love of any sort isn't a God I could follow. There's too little love in the world, after all." If my GLBT friends hadn't been patient and gracious with my transition, I don't think I would have arrived at this point right now. I'm so grateful that they took the long view on our friendships.
20
On the other hand, I would join Marin if the white underwear guy would give me a hug too.
21
I think apologizing IS admitting you're wrong. The need to make an apology starts in the recognition that you are wrong, and the apology is sharing that recognition.

And if you can think that I'm sinning and going to hell for it, and hate my sin as the motive for me going to Hell, and pray to your god to have mercy on me because you really would rather I *not* go to Hell, if you can do all that, as well as love me and recognize me as your brother or sister, and respect and uphold my rights as your brother or sister, well, than I can certainly love you and recognize you too, in spite of the fact that I am firmly convinced that you're living in a really well-organized and pervasive delusion.
22
@21 I am so full of love for that entire second paragraph.

@19 Agreed. I was going to slot in a bit about how I imagine part of their campaign is bound to be based on how utterly idiotic it is to condemn a person for loving someone, but it got cut for (relative) brevity.
23
Props to these guys. But this will never catch on; this is not the nature of religion.
24
There's some "hopey, changey" stuff right there.
25
Hey, Fnarf...

I realize we're winning. And I was genuinely touched—that's how I opened the post. But I think it makes a difference if this "So sorry" stuff is a stratagem. It'll queer it for me, for sure.
26
To err is human, to forgive divine.

These Christians understand that, and instead of pushing "Jeesuz" down other people's throats, they are inviting them to become Divine, by forgiving. And they can't do that w/o asking for forgiveness first.

You don't become closer to God by judging. Quite the opposite. You do it through forgiveness.

(and for you atheists: remember that "closer to God" is just a euphemism for the warmest best feelings in the world)
27
Whatever may be said for this, I don't think it's the folks at Pride Parades that these Christians need to be talking to. It's the _other_ Christians out there, the hate-filled ones that never seem to get challenged on their own turf, that they need to bring their message to.
28
"and for you atheists: remember that "closer to God" is just a euphemism for the warmest best feelings in the world"

We atheists, and pantheists, and pagans get that feeling all the time, sitting outside on a beautiful sunny day, sharing with friends and family.

"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."
--Frank Lloyd Wright
29
Sorry if I'm not wildly dancing with tears streaming from my eyes over this. Sure, it's a nice gesture, but it's nothing but words. I'd liken it to the Vatican's apology in 1998 over the church's inaction during the holocaust. Pretty words, but they mean nothing to the 6 million Jews who were murdered.

When I see Christians rallying in support of overturning DOMA and DADT, supporting ENDA, and truly embracing the LGBTQ community as equals with equal rights under the law, perhaps I'll do a little jig then. Not until.
30
Very sweet and brave.
31
All questions of this group's motivation aside, that picture is moving.
32
I'm really glad to read this. I went to Pride in Seattle, and when I was waling into the center, there was a man telling a girl she was going to hell. Then he told another girl that God hates her. And all of the people in the area were young-- teens and early 20's. I told him. "no, God loves all of these beautiful children." I hope none of them believed him. I really hate having someone tell teenagers that.
33
Of course, there are have been tons of Christians that have been on our side for literally decades, even MARCHING in the parades.

34
If I recall correctly, this whole "public apology" schtick originated with Don Miller, who began doing apology booths at Reed College during Renn Faire, of all places. Miller seems like a decent, sincere guy with a genuine interest in social justice, though he's friendly with local psychopath Mark Driscoll, and kind of absentmindedly sexist and theologically sorta conservative.

Christianity is a rapidly shifting terrain right now, but pay attention to the folks that have been our allies the whole time: the liberal protestant mainliners, the liberation theology catholics, etc.
35
The level that we accept these Christians' apology is the level that we think Christianity is a message to be reckoned with.

Christianity is inaccurate in many ways, and we all know this through so many biblical examples: the endorsement of slavery, the prohibition of shellfish, the bipolar conflict between the humanistic words of Jesus Christ and the relentless wrath of God and finally, of course, the declaration that the expression of intimacy and love between two adult men is an abomination.

Regardless of the adversarial relationship between these two Titans, Christians and our LGBT subculture, is this worth fawning over when their very message is conflicted and primitive in the first place?
36
@33 Kevin, that is so true, and I'm sure they're as pleased as anyone about this, while not failing to note that, as usual, converts get all the attention.
37
My slightly cynical reaction: If some Christians still condemn homosexuality, but no more so than they condemn heteros who have sex outside of marriage, masturbate, or get a divorce, I suppose you can consider that progress.

My fluffy clouds and fuzzy bunnies reaction: A little bit of acceptance has the potential lead to a whole lot more. The contempt that some fundies have for LGBTQs is poisonous and dehumanizing. That a few seem to be overcoming it and reaching out seems like a good sign. (And if they're passing their new attitudes on to their kids, that's an even better sign.) I hope it takes.
38
two things to point out

1) As others have mentioned, this is not the UCC, Unity, or any other actually-accepting Christian church talking. The Marin Foundation, as far as I can tell, takes the newly popular Phillip Yancey/Brian McLaren position (we accept that most of our congregants are bigots, are fine for them to preach bigotry and promote it, and just wish they'd advertise it less so we could more easily get young,urban straights into our pews) or the Rob Bell/ Shane Claybourne position (Probably not homophobes, but too cowardly to say anything that might loose them bigoted congregants)

2) The idea of public repentance (or "reverse confession")
isn't new, and was widely popularized by Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz and his other fundie bestsellers. Miller is very clear on why fundies would use this tactic - it gives them access to sinners who won't otherwise listen to them - and is also very clear that it's a conversion tactic. A good chunk of Miller's writing is devoted to how successful this tactic was in winning converts to right-wing fundie churches at Reed college, for example.

Don't kid yourselves - the Yanceys, Bells, Millers, and Marin Foundations of the world don't accept that all human beings are human beings. f you want real repentance for Christian hate, take your killer abs to the UCC, Unity, or a similar truly-tolerant church.
39
@27 I agree with you that Christians need to be challenged on our own turf with places we are homophobic and hetero-normative. There are some of us who are doing that; I am figuring out how to do this in the Christian group I lead. May God help us Christians to repent and be changed so that we better live out God's truth and love.

And to be clear about my motivation (since motives are important as noted in 21, 25, 34), it's threefold. First, when queer people are hurt by Christian people, and for the sake of queer people, this damage needs to stop. Second, when some Christians are hateful, that's sin (destructive behavior that God forbids because it causes hurt in various forms), and for the sake of Christians, this sin needs to stop. Third, when some Christians are hateful, that defames Jesus' character, since Christians are supposed to reflect Jesus, and instead we're *not* being like him. This is a barrier for people being able to get a good look at Jesus to see if he's really worth the hype.

I agree with the Christians wearing the shirts. I'm sorry for ways I've been homophobic and supported hetero-normativity. I ask forgiveness. I am committed to working within my Christian community to change things to better reflect Jesus' love and truth for all people.

40
PS to 39. I waffled on whether or not to post this because I didn't want to give offense. If I have offended you, would you please let me know so that I can learn from my mistakes? Thanks.
41
37 pretty much got it right. This is cute, wonderful feeling, and decidedly a step in the right direction, but just declaring homosexuality "not a really bad sin, just as sinful as all the other sins we ignore" isn't going to be enough in the long run. Eventually we're going to have to reach "not a sin" if there's ever going to be true compatible and understanding between Christians and GLBT people.

That being said, it's not in religion's nature to change easily or quickly. As a pretty firm atheist myself, I'd rather just live in a secular world and be done with it, but given the tenacity of the religious meme, I think we should celebrate any progress made in their circles.
43
after looking on their website, I can pretty solidly say they are not coming from a "love the sinner, hate the sin" position. they aim to bring better understanding of LGBT issues and community to religious communities, and to help LGBT folk find their way to Christianity, acknowledging the troublesome past behind those interactions. While I personally am not a fan of religious recruitment, given their ideological stance, I find both these goals to be very noble, and gladly laud their efforts.
44
@38 let's be precise though: Don Miller's books are kind of repugnant but they're not "fundie". They're theologically conservative/politically moderate/bluedog evangelical in their perspective. That's not satisfying but it does indicate the landscape of xian belief and practice is diverse and complicated. And if you talk about McLaren, Bell, Claiborne, etc you gotta include folks like Stanley Hauerwas (seek out his essay "Why Homosexuals (as a group) are morally superior to Christians (as a group)", its a pretty bold gesture for a straight male xian theologian.)
45
I grew up in the Evangelical/Fundamentalist community, and coming from that background, I really have to say that you can't underestimate just how big of a deal this kind of thing is. A lot of people I know have barely managed to move even to the "love the sinner" stage, and those who have act like they think they deserve a pat on the back for being so open minded as to treat gay people as human beings. The idea of apologizing for acting like jackasses and treating people horribly hasn't even entered most of their minds.

I suspect that the reason this group is being as cagey as they are on the sin question is because their message is as much to conservative evangelicals as it is to the gay community, and the second that conservative evangelicals hear that you think it's not a sin, they're going to clam up and stop listening to your message completely because you're just one of those liberal apostates in their minds. As much as I prefer the direct approach, the nature of the conservative evangelical community is such that they don't handle direct criticism and disagreement well (it feeds into their irrational persecution complex), and modeling the idea that Jesus would be the one hugging the guy in his underpants at a pride parade is the kind of indirect message that will start people thinking about their own actions and beliefs and that will, in time, bring about real change.

46
relevance to seattle; i missed it.
47
@45 Good point. It's a lot easier to get behind a moderate position if it's the only rhetorical point that could possibly reach evangelical ears. If it has to start with moderating a bad position before slowly coming to a good one, than this is the way to go.
48
Dont Matter what you believe it is written that Sodomy is a sin and a abomination before God
49
@48 Along with shellfish and mixed fabrics. In the same chapter actually. Be very careful with your sweaters.
50
Everyone, gay or straight, is deserving of Hell because we ALL are sinners. The only reason anyone will go to Hell is if they do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, and died on a cross of all of us -- paying the ultimate price that we may live with Him eternally.

I, too, apologized to our former lesbian neighbors (whom we love) for how they have been treated by many "Christians" and the church as a whole -- clearly those individuals and churches haven't spent enough time reading their Bible. It is a shame that those with the loudest mouths do such a poor job of representing Christ's love and forgiveness...
51
@44 - Donald Miller - while he claims to have voted Democratic at times - is hardly a moderate on any of the issues mentioned here. He's a member of Imago Dei in Portland and a big advocate of the "macho Christian" idea (feminism has demasculinised men, encouraged divorce, which leads to fatherless men needing to have their masculinity repared through the father God).
I do not deny that there are large and growing numbers of truly tolerant Christians out there - I've listed several in my previous post...but Miller is part of Imago Dei, not Marcus Borg's church in Portland, and these protesters are drawing on his suggestions for conversion tactics to be aimed at sinners one wants to "fix," not people one truly accepts.
Even the blog post ("Look a gay man hugged me!") could come right out of Miller's writing.
52
Made me think that maybe humanity might be improving.

Now if we can get the schmucks from BP, Goldman Sachs and all those other thieves to say "I'm Sorry" and start working toward making the world a better place for everybody, I might give us a chance.
53
A real Christian should know that being gay is a real sin...we can't be Christians only when we want...
54
9

Hi.

Dan isn't satisfied if Christians "love their neighbor".

They must also accept homosexual behavior as moral.
And alter their definition of marriage.
Oh yeah, and get over their hangups about adultery and fornication.

And it helps if they are "repentant" about the whole Christian thingey....
55
I agree with a few others above: it's not like the "LGBT community" and "Christianity" are mutually exclusive. I know plenty of queer people who go to church on a regular basis. They just don't go to fundamentalist Christian churches. That would be stupid. So I applaud Marin's efforts to change the minds of bigoted Christians about queer people -- it's about time fundamentalist Christians started taking care of their own problems instead of projecting them onto other people. But I am highly skeptical of his efforts to bring queer people to fundamentalist Christian churches. 1) If queers want to be at church, they probably already are, and 2) assuming that they aren't means you're making some big assumptions about them. In summary: I like that they're apologizing, but I am suspicious of their attempts to recruit us.
56
@39 & 40 You didn't offend me, but then, I'm not gay, and haven't had to listen to Christians telling me I'm a sinner for years. But, your post seemed measured and thoughtful. I think, for some people, me included, we have gone to church, had our children baptized, taken communion, and then come to realize that Christianity just simply isn't inclusive enough, and too many of its followers are hateful to justify attending even an open-minded church. The more I examined religion in general, the more I realized that the oldest nature-based religions are the only ones that aren't male-centric and based on guilt and fear. I think people get tired of hearing the Christian "message" when they know they can be a good person and have joy in their lives without all the other baggage.
57
@6 Fnarf

Shut the fuck up. Nobody wins this.
58
It seems like a lot of these comments are missing the point of the evangelical church. Yes, OK, many LGBTs "go to church," but not all churches are the same: a quick Wikipedia search shows that the UCC is classified as "mainline," and the overview of Unity makes it seem pentacostal. Evangelical is another thing entirely. Evangelicals will spread the Word to anyone and everyone, whether they "believe" already or not. (although some churches take the commendable position - attributed variously to St Francis & Mother Theresa - "Preach the Gospel at all times; use words when necessary.")

For all the references to "conservative evangelicals," no one seems to be acknowledging that an alternative has been emerging recently: *liberal* evangelicals. My guess is that these people aren't using their apologies as "recruitment techniques." My guess is that they're apologizing and talking about reconciliation because they truly believe it, and they're trying to recruit *because they're evangelicals.* Everything they say and do is to help you know Jesus better. Although you can't really separate the apologies from the evangelism, that doesn't make them insincere or manipulative.
59
@21
"...if you can think that I'm sinning and going to hell for it, and hate my sin as the motive for me going to Hell, and pray to your god to have mercy on me because you really would rather I *not* go to Hell, if you can do all that, as well as love me and recognize me as your brother or sister..."

That pretty well sums up the attitude of most "Christians", Dan likes to focus on the crazies and extreemists but most people are where you describe.
That, however, is not nearly enough for Dan, who demands total capitulation as the starting point.
60
Honestly, I don't think it matters whether or not you think that homosexuality is right or not, as long as you are not taking away their rights to live the way they choose. I don't agree with most religions but I don't want to make it wrong for you to be part of a religion of your choice just because I don't agree with it.

So, all in all, I think this was a good step for those Christians who came out to Pride.
61
We may hope they sincerely believe in reconciliation. Time will tell. But as a Christian, I am concerned by a number of seriously erroneous assumptions in some of the posts above. First, "hell." It's a myth to begin with, a myth invented by the church in the Middle Ages to scare "Christians" into obedience. The three words translated as "hell" in the Bible have not one damned thing to do with eternal torment and blazing fires to punish "sinners" forever. They refer to 1) the grave, where the dead lie until the promised resurrection. 2) the underworld of Greek mythology, 'Hades" and 3) the valley south of Jerusalem where they burned garbage. None of this even remotely suggests a supernatural place of eternal torment.

Second, "sin" simply means "to miss the target" in Greek, in Hebrew and in English as well. It's a term taken from archery in all three languages. It carries no weight of condemnation, since it simply means we are imperfect beings. I guarantee that the world's greatest archer didn't hit the bulls-eye on his very first try. It takes practice, lots of practice. And sin is nothing to be ashamed of or feel guilty over; it simply means we're human. God knows that we're human. He doesn't expect us to hit the target on the very first try or every time; He knows it takes practice. He just wants us to keep practicing until we can hit the target reliably, most of the time. The Christians in the story reported above seem to be practicing, practicing Christian love and recognition of the right to miss the target now and then. More power to them.

And by the way, it is easy to "prove" that God is an inhuman monster by taking quotes out of the Old Testament laws that no longer apply to Christians. We are told to follow a new, spiritual law that is engraved in our hearts, not chiseled into stone tablets. By my reading, this law tells us not to condemn anyone or to judge others by obsolete standards. That should stop all this hatred and prejudice. It should also show us that those who hate and condemn are not genuine Christians at all.

With love under will,

Bob, Adastra,
The Wizzard of Jacksonville
62
I interviewed Marin a few years ago and in my research prior to the interview found he often dramatically changed his message depending on his audience. To the gay crowd he'd be much more nuanced but when he spoke on Christian radio etc he was quite explicit that gays could/should change etc. I approached him in the interview as a Christian (I grew up in that community and know the language etc) and he didn't hide the fact that he thought homosexuality was a sin. I think I still have the mp3s of radio interviews w/ him I collected prior to the interview. I really hoped he was different as well. I was wrong.
63
My cockles were warmed by this post. Not all Christians can be painted with the same brush. I suppose I have been fortunate to have been raised in the United Church (Canada's liberal denomination) and have had mostly positive experiences with self-identified Christians (some of whom are also gay). My sister in-law is an Anglican minister and is very progressive (in support of gay marriage etc.), but even in her organization there are conservative tides to push against. It is encouraging to hear the progressive Christian voice speak out above all of the blind rhetoric that spews from the Christian right for once. It almost makes one forget about the batshit crazy nutbars from Westboro....almost....

Baby steps, my friends.
64
Dan - Please tell me you read thsi article about Andrew Marin from 2006:

The preacher lied: Michelangelo Signorile examines the case of Andrew Marin, a lay minister who exploited his lesbian friends to promote himself as a "bridge" between gays and evangelicals. After HRC and others bought into his pitch, his true antigay colors began to shine through.

The preacher lied: Michelangelo Signoril…
65
I've read Andrew Marin's (the founder of the Marin Foundation) book "Love Is An Orientation", and his outlook never really specifies if homosexuality is a sin or not; there's a chapter delineating and discussing all the Biblical references that are cited by anti-gay religious folks, but in general the whole point he makes is that we're all children of God, we shouldn't judge others, and that it's impossible to bring gay folks into the Church when you're screaming that they're sinners; basically his goal is to bridge the gap between the two communities to bring more people to God. I do remember that he directly addressed the "love the sinner, hate the sin" phrase, noting that when being gay is who you are, part of your identity, and not something you just "do", then that phrase can't mean anything other to the GLBT folks who hear it as "I hate YOU", and he said he would never use it.

The book was problematic in some spots (he doesn't goes so far to allege that all gay people suffered abuse/molestation/emotional trauma in their pasts, but he does cite his own anecdotal evidence and say that most or all GLBT people he's met have confessed this to him) and his philosophy appears to believe that God can change the heart of someone and make them straight, or that God might have it in His plan to require a gay person to remain celibate or out of the partying or promiscuous parts of the GLBT community.

But overall, he and the Foundation seem pretty decent- at least from what I've read, Andrew believes gay people are people worthy of love and respect, that you can be a practicing gay Christian, that the best outreach is to be kind and to listen and to teach people about God's love, to treat gay Christians like any other Christian (i.e. not THE GAY CHRISTIAN), and that churches and straight Christians need to be doing more outreach and surrounding themselves in the GLBT community to become more understanding and loving.

So it's still a little frustrating- he refuses to state whether or not he thinks it's a sin (and admits at the end of the book that he's sure that by doing so, he's pissing off both sides), and I could very well see him privately believing that if he brings people to God, God will help make them straight- but for an admitted former homophobe in a world full of angry bigoted Christians, he's still pretty much a gem.
66
This is quite nice to see.

@50: I'm sorry, I'm Jewish. Your people have been telling my people that we need to "PRAISE JESUS!" for centuries, and it's really just getting old. Fuck off.
68
61
You offer some useful insights.

The Bible suggests that 'hell' is a place unrepentant sinners go to pay for their sins, but not where they will remain eternally.
David says something to the effect that 'I know You won't leave my (murdering adultering) soul in hell forever...'.

The target analogy is a good one.
God is more interested in what we become than what we are at the moment. As long as we are on the right path, continually striving and improving our 'aim' as it were, we are doing OK and will get there eventually.
Some see accepting homosexual behavior as rejecting the target God establishes all together and sustituting a new target.

The God of the Old Testament seems a harsh fellow but he was dealing with a stubborn quick to backslide people who had spent centuries as slaves to heathens and in those days before social welfare nets it took a very harsh regime to keep their society from falling into chaos. Stoning and such.
The infamous 'fibres' and 'shellfish' rules the heathens love to mock were particular to that time, Christians believe Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses and instituted a higher law, one in which outward obedience alone was not enough but righteousness in intent was also required (and which, far from abolishing the strict moral dictates of the Law of Moses, strengthened them to include not just adultery/fornication but lust as well- not just murder but anger).

'Sinners' bristle at the ol' 'love the sinner- hate the sin' but there it is, and loving the sinner does not require embracing, endorsing, condoning or ignoring the sin.
69
66
gosh Jr
being Jewish is nothing to be sorry about
change if it bothers you so much
70
....just...

...

DAWWWWWW!
71
Next up: lose the Braves (Indians, Redskins or whatever) hat.
72
My friend posted this on Facebook and I just read it. I'm at the office and tears are rolling down my eyes.

After the ridicule that have experienced and continue to experience from my family who say they're doing it in the name of God, I too forgive and thank you so much for letting me know that there are those out there who know the true meaning of love.
73
Read their website. They won't give you a straight answer about whether they ultimately aim to "cure" gay people and turn them straight. I find that suspicious.
74
DF
"And if you can think that I'm sinning and going to hell for it, and hate my sin as the motive for me going to Hell, and pray to your god to have mercy on me because you really would rather I *not* go to Hell, if you can do all that, as well as love me and recognize me as your brother or sister, and respect and uphold my rights…"

See, the real problem lies right here…the "you think that I'm sinning and going to hell" part. Plus the "pray to your god to have mercy" part.

Those tenets are the problem with Christianity. The "It's a sin, you're going to hell. let me pray for you" crap. There's no proof of these ideas anywhere.

To those of you using the Bible as a weapon against homosexuality, you are wrong. Homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible is constantly being taken out of context to support anti-gay views.

http://www.soulfoodministry.org/docs/Eng…
http://www.jesus21.com/content/sex/bible…
http://www.christchapel.com/reclaiming.h…
http://www.stjohnsmcc.org/new/BibleAbuse…
http://www.gaychristian101.com/
75
@ 29 Why is there even a comparison between the treatment of Jews in that Halocaust and Gays and Lesbians of today? The Vatican apologizing for innaction during the Halocaust had a lot to do with the fact that they were not completely aware of what was going on, and what could they do really, take up arms to Germany as well? There is more than just "words" being said by this group as well, if you expect them all to conform to everything you believe how all of "their deluded ideas and theologies" are incorrect and stupid, then how are you any better than them? You're standing from a point saying "I'm right, and they are wrong because they refuse to admit that I'm right"? You are condemning them for doing the exact same thing that you are doing. That doesn't make you any better. The treatment of gays and lesbians is wrong, not just by conservative christians, but as I'm reading it, we have all come to the realization that the gay and lesbian community is "winning". So what do you want? Do you want everybody to conform to your belief? You are selling your own religion then, it's just not called "religion". It seems to me that you don't want to co-exist with religion at all, you want to eliminate it and replace it with your own beliefs. I think this christian group is doing exactly what they should, no more and no less. You are expecting them to give up not just what they believe and read about homosexuals, but about everything else as well. I fully support what these men and women are doing, they are striving to bring peace and love into the world, and doing it at the possibility of condemnation. They are leaving the judgement for their God, not themselves, as they should, as they are taught to do. They are not forcing or asking you to conform, they are living their lives and letting you live yours. If you really want peace and coexistence, this is the movement you should latch to. But please, don't make this about trying to bring down religion.
I, Zachary Barry, as a Catholic Christian from Seattle am trying to say that I love all of God's children, which includes everyone on this Earth. I do not believe that it is my place to judge you or condemn you, and I also refuse to believe that I can't practice my religion and love you at the same time. I am not gay, but I have no problem with homosexuals and what they want to do with their lives, who they want to be with and how they want to live. I practice religion for my own love of God. When my judgement day comes, I hope to go to Heaven, and I hope that you all will be there with me. I have no idea what God really wants, but I'm going to follow him as best as I can. Lucky for me though, I fancy girls, it's just how I was born and that makes following my religion a lot easier. I think diversity in all forms makes this world great, So please let me practice my religion in peace, and don't condemn me for existing and believing in the Catholic Church, and I won't condemn you for believing in what you believe. This goes both ways.
76
@45- nail on the head. thank you.
77
I just wanted to add that in addition to Unity, Quaker meetings are a very good option. They've been on the side of justice for hundreds of years, for instance banning ownership of slaves among all Quakers by the 1770s.

For those frustrated by fakers like this Marin character, just remember MLK's quote... The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.
78
YAY!!! What an incredible story. God loves everyone no matter what sexual orientation an individual may be. Love to you all!!
79
Here's the thing. Religions all have rules and regulations and beliefs and the rest of it. Some believe one thing, others another. They've got a right to that; it's one of the things our country was founded on. What they DON'T have a right to do is shove those beliefs on others, abusing and intimidating and generally making their lives miserable, no matter what those beliefs might be. As a nation and a community, what matters is not what the individual THINKS but how that individual treats others. I can hate my neighbor's guts, but if I treat him with courtesy and don't mess with his life, my feeling is irrelevant to anyone but myself. So if these Christians have learned, and continue, to treat gay people with respect and courtesy, what they believe in their religion is their own business. So long as they act like civilized, housebroken human beings, let the think what they want. Thoughts are one's own property; it's actions that count in the real world.
80
What ever happened to being treated equally....those who are without sin should cast the first stone....yeah right we are all sinners and if there is a God above he will treat us all equally.
It won't matter if your Catholic or Christian... I was taught that God loves all!!!
81
I read Marin's account of this parade. Too many of his fellow travellers seemed to be congratulating themselves and him for being "more like Christ" in overcoming their homophobia. The irony that the guy who showed the true compassion and forgiveness they aspire to is the gay dude in white underpants seems to have passed them by...
82
Christ said "Love your neighbor," "judge not,"and "he who is without sin, cast the first stone," yet nothing about homosexuality. In my opinion, a follower of Christ focuses on their own relationship with God, treating people the best they can and remembering that only God is the final judge, not man. There is no "love the sinner, hate the sin"
83
Never trust anyone who uses the word 'Conversation' as they do. It's from MLM (Amway, Tupperware type business models) and effectively, it's sales speak. In the old, pre-literate days, thy could get away with John 3:16, not mentioning that the next lines damn everyone who won't by their snake oil.
A wise approach with any Xian cultist is to remember the Milgram Experiment, and Aesop's fable of the Scorpion and the Frog (if you don't know those, Google is your friend)
84
i dont think that we have the right to say whether gay men or women who love the Lord and believe that He died for their sins will or will not enter into heaven. We will not know the answer to this until we speak with God face to face. Christ loves all.
85
If nothing else, I'm truly liking how engaged this conversation is and on so many fronts.

I'm not sure I care whether Marin's "secret" philosophy is that being gay is a sin. If we value religious freedom, then the very best we can hope for is that people of all different beliefs can live harmoniously and not try to change others. I don't really care if they're reaching out in hope of conversion; I'm simply happy that they are apologizing. It needs to be said, it needs to be done, and more power to those members of the Christian church who feel compelled to do it.

I am a Christian who believes that the greatest value is to love, the greatest gift is to receive love, and that God cares less about who we love and more about how we love and whether we love.

Its not my job to define whether what someone else does is sinful; that's between them and their belief system. My job is to love them. Period, end of story.

86
I also attended the Chicago pride parade, and was struck this year by the scarcity of "Christian" protesters. Perhaps they are "getting" the message, or just getting tired of claiming to speak for me, when, of course, they don't.

I'm a lifelong Christian, and a gay male. Those protesting "Christians" obviously DO NOT speak for all Christians, either gay or straight. At the parade I wore a t-shirt from my church, the United Church of Christ, proclaiming that gays are WELCOMED at my church! We offer an extravagant welcome: "God is STILL SPEAKING! Whoever you are, and wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!" See: http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/ We, along with several other Christian denominations MARCHED IN the parade. Thus, the protesting "Christians" do NOT speak for us all!

BTW, I got a lot of hugs for my t-shirt too... and I enjoyed them all!
87
@83: Newsflash, asshole: You can be a fundamentalist atheist, too--that's when you call Christians cultists and try to drop extreme examples of human impressionability to make yourself sound smart and shit on other peoples' beliefs. I'm not a Christian and I deplore their views on and treatment of homosexuals, but as far as I'm concerned you're every bit as much of a fucking closed-minded bigot as they are. You're not helping.
88
Well the Bible says we're ALL sinners. Christians NOT excluded. I think they're simply apologizing for the way fanatics have been treating homosexuals. In my opinion, it was a very good thing to do.
89
Yeah, like the second commenter wrote, these people all seem like [ex-]gays to me. There's a nice sentiment in there somewhere, but there's too much other stuff associated with obscuring it.
90
I saw the picture, read Nathan's post, and I dug deeper. You won't like what I found. I sure didn't:

http://www.bilerico.com/2010/07/christia…

91
Let's try that link again:

http://www.bilerico.com/2010/07/christia…
92
After reading these comments, I feel threatened by a wave of anger from the pro-pan-sexual community. You guys are boiling mad. No wonder very few people have posted opposing your views.
93
Here in the UK we're expecting a visit in September from Pope Ben Josef. Yesterday's pride march in London included a contingent from www.protest–the–pope.org.uk -- and we got a marvellous reception from onlookers.

[I'm the one wearing the "Ordained Minister - First Church of Atheism - http://FirstChurchOfAtheism.com" T-shirt.]

www.facebook.com/n/?photo.php&pid=133308…;
94
Christians apologizing for being jerks is an awesome thing. It's what we were supposed to be doing all along (that and not be jerks in the first place). But as far as (the majority of) Christians going back on thinking that homosexuality is not the way God designed us to work, don't look for that. Christianity is not an organization solely contrived to make those who follow Jesus look like perfect humans while the rest of the world burns. Christianity is about believing there is a God who loves all of us, loved us enough to send us someone to tell us how to live life like it was designed to be lived. And when He sent us that person, we killed Him, because we didn't like being told that we weren't doing it right already. Christians are trying to get life right. None of us will succeed while on this Earth, and it is 100% wrong how much the Christian church has ostracized the gay community and has set them up as some paradigm of human depravity. However, it is also equally wrong for the gay community to condemn all Christians as "bigots" because they truly believe that God designed sex a certain way and if you try to remake it to suit yourself, you are headed down a dangerous path. It would probably do both sides good to turn down the hate and try and understand where the other is coming from. What this group of Christians did at this pride parade is a great start.
95
I am a Christian - and a minister... and I would happily stand with an "I'm Sorry" t-shirt.

But I - and the congregation with whom I serve - would mean what the writer of this article would hope.

We don't believe God hates anybody. We don't believe that God hates people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, two-spirited, or the myriad of ways that are not "heterosexual". Loving someone - of whatever gender or sex - is not a sin.

(Any thoughts on what my t-shirt and signs would need to say to distance myself from the "love the sinner / hate the sin" crowd?)

Christ's peace.
96
Don't be a hater (like they used to be) people. Don't hate them for reaching out and admitting they were wrong. I think it must have been good to see some nice comments instead hate. Sorry you were so hurt that you have to lash out on others kind gestures.
97
I wish I could have have known about those t-shirts for the Santa Fe Pride parade - our location also had hecklers - but they were heckled by others in the crowd and soon left the parade area!
98
Here's my deal: this article meant so much to me. I've been born-again for 30 years. I grew up accepting the cross, that Jesus died to pay the price for our sin, all of it. That didn't cause me to have the second birth that Jesus spoke of in the beginning of the gospel of John chapter 3. Having experienced God through becoming born-again, I thoroughly believe that anyone who would create a sign that said, "God hates homosexuals" etc. isn't a Christian but someone who isn't aware that there is an experience that comes to those who are willing to let God lead them. I put it this way, perhaps I'm too casual when I say that those people are using "christian" like an interchangeable word for American. Amazingly, God loves me and that's bigger than parting a sea in my book. So, you see, I have been needing an article just like this. I'm so happy that people saw the love that many many many have for all!
99
Additional comments: I've looked around and noticed those who require me to compromise what I believe in order for them to give me the sign of approval. That's when the bias against christians is manifest for all to see. It is said that one becomes like those he refuses to forgive. It seems that there is a measure of judging people to be judging oneself that undermines any worthwhile conversation. To require that I believe like someone else to avoid being reviled is what I think we all agree is unreasonable. I've become even more aware of how homosexuals have been hurt over and over again. I would just offer than caution should be used to avoid falling prey to the same wrong attitudes that others have exhibited.
100
Yeah so they hug the gays.. This is nothing but a big media spin.

"OH GAY KIDS ARE KILLING THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF OUR ABUSE!"
"WE"RE GONNA TAKE THE HEAT FOR THIS!!!!"
"QUICK!!! CALL THE PUBLIC RELATIONS GUYS!"

Yeah? So where are the hugs for all the rest of the countless millions of humans that have been affected, beaten, murdered in mass, burned at the stake, raped, sold into slavery and tortured psychologically and damaged for life as a result of their "personal choice".

They want a hug? I say spit in their face.
101
you probably just committed about 10 sins in the last hour. How are you any better than gays?
With your reasoning, God said that all sins are equal, and thus we are all burning in hell-that means you too self-righteous homophobe that made this post.
That's why God sent Jesus down to save us through grace. Gays are included.