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Hi, Dan...

I'm the minister at St. Andrew's Haney United Church—the guy who posted the sign at the top of your article, "The Silence of the Lambs." Yesterday morning, I had a chance to read your response to LR and then your post to JLGAHF.

I'd love to get into a debate with you about this. I'd love to be able to argue that you're wrong. I'd love to lay out my proofs that the majority of Christians around the world are working our collective asses off to support and celebrate gays and lesbians and folk who are bi and transgendered... but I can't.

Because you're right.

That isn't to take away from the individuals, groups, congregations and denominations who do stand up—both in the world and with our "co-religionists"—and scream, "SIT DOWN, SHUT UP AND LISTEN, there is nothing wrong—nothing sinful—about being lesbian, gay, transgendered or bi." It isn't to take away from the Christians (like the United Church of Canada) who argued in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in favour of Same-Sex Marriage. It isn't to take away from Christians (of what ever sexuality) who are doing all they can to create places that are NOT simply tolerant, but celebratory. Because there are. And they are working their asses off, and putting their money and their life into that fight.

Sadly, I believe that a majority of Christians world-wide, here in Canada, and in your own country either tacitly or overtly support homophobia.

It hurts to recognize that. It hurts even more to know that our voice is always going to be drowned out by the majority of our Christian siblings. Because we don't have the numbers or the money to build the "moderate and 'welcoming' Christian groups that are just as big, well-funded, aggressive, and loud as the conservative Christian organizations..."

And, yeah, it hurts that people are going to be pissed off because we're not doing enough and others are going to be pissed off because we're doing anything at all.

But it's not going to stop us from doing what we can. Shouting where we can. Protesting where we can. Challenging—with love, but also with justice and strength—the messages of homophobic hate. Helping our children to see the inherent value of all people. Working (hopefully with you) to get the "it gets better" message and the "there are safe places" message and the "please, let us help" message to LGBT children and youth, and the message to everyone that the bullying will stop *NOW*.

Why? Because it's right and necessary and just and loving.

And because the guy who said, "Love one another as I have loved you," would demand it of us.

Christ's peace,

Richard Bott
Minister in The United Church of Canada
St. Andrew's Haney United Church, Maple Ridge, BC

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