Pro-gay Christian groups counter messages of intolerance at this weekend’s Values Voter Summit (VIDEO)Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, October 11th, 2013
Today, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C., the Values Voter Summit, a veritable who’s who of right-wing conservative politicians, journalists, religious and media personalities, will gather for three days to promote their exclusive brand of Americana based on faith, family and opportunity. Such iconic anti-gay figures as Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Gary Bauer, Michele Bachmann and Cal Thomas, to name but a few, will all be there espousing a unique Christian viewpoint; one that tends to be predominantly white, middle-aged and decidedly anti-gay. But increasingly, a growing movement of pro-LGBT Christian groups are countering their message with one of their own; one that espouses dignity, respect and equality for all LGBT people.
One such group, The NALT (Not All Like That) Christian Project is at the forefront of this movement. NALT was founded by John and Catherine Shore who, after a particularly mean-spirited incident at the church they called home, encouraged them to find an alternative message by and for Christians. “We were asked to sign an anti-gay document in order to become deacons. The Sunday after we declined, the pastor distributed copies of an article he had written calling Christians who didn’t share his anti-gay views “heretics.”” John said that led him to a further study of the Bible, and his conclusion was that Christians routinely ignore some passages that run counter to the great commandment of love and compassion. “The preoccupation with fighting LGBT equality not only hurts youth – both LGBT and straight – but is also damaging to Christianity itself,” adds Catherine.
John and Catherine were just two of several speakers who hoped to pre-empt what many already know will be messages of exclusion, hate and bigotry at the Values Summit. Joining them at the Press Club in Washington D.C. yesterday were Brent Childers of Faith in America. “I am thankful that I was allowed to be liberated from that prejudice,” he said. He urged pastors who are asked to partner with the organizations attending the Values Voter Summit not to “make a mockery of their faith” by embracing the harm those groups cause.
Standing by them was the very Rev. Gary Hall of the Washington National Cathedral who argued that “not only is homosexuality not a sin, homosexuality is actually good, because it is a gift from God. Too many children and youth suffer in silence in oppressive families, schools and churches, and if those of us in pulpits can say with energy, clarity and compassion that it is good to be LGBT, we will save lives.”
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