But what do YOU think?
So I've been struggling with this for over a week and I figured I'd bring it here and see what all of you enlightened folks think.
My Sunday evening church is planning to go pick up trash and pass out water at the NJ 14th Annual GLBTI Pride Celebration in Aspbury Park on June 5th. They don't suddenly agree that being gay is not a sin or that they approve, nor do they think that it is any worse than lying or tax evasion or looking at internet porn.
They do hope to raise questions and engage in conversations with the purpose of showing God's love to people. God loves everyone, but "The Church" has often excluded gays from that and given them negative treatment. So what do you think? Is it a good idea?
Andrea Krause · 16 years, 9 months ago
I'm torn. If the action really will be to pick up trash and pass out water, no agenda..then yeah. If y'all won't preach, and only bring up your feelings if specifically asked about them. I just fear it'd be used as a trojan horse kind of deal. People go to Pride to, well, be proud. Not to be ambushed by people they might logically feel supported them since they were doing the water and trash dealie.
Is this trash-and-water excursion something y'all would do for any celebration/parade/etc? Or is the only reason to do it because it's Pride and you wish to bring your views into the midst of it? If what y'all want is more involved than just to support your community and lend a hand...then I'd be inclined to say stay out of it. GLBT folks get the preaching and disapproval every day. We're aware of the opposition view. One day being able to celebrate the GLBT worldview in peace isn't too much to ask, is it?
Mind you, I realize you're saying it's not to be meanspirited or a protest or any of that. But if any of the agenda involves bringing this "it's a sin, but, you know, only as bad as lying..." POV to the celebration...I think it's unfair to wheel that in under the guise of being helpful. If ALL y'all want is just to be helpful (not in the spiritual sense of what you may feel is helpful for a GLBT soul)...then do it.
And, I'm rambling.
The idea is to go in without an agenda.
We have been invited to publish something in the magazine they hand out, and the leadership is writing something for that. I know people will be wearing t-shirts of some kind, but there won't be a message on them, just a neutral logo.
We turned down the invitation to participate in an ecumenical service with the denominations that are more open to gays, because that would be "sending the wrong message".
I hear what you're saying about not wanting to be bashed on the one big day you are celebrating, but that is not the intent. We won't even have any literature to hand out at all.
Starfox · 16 years, 9 months ago
Sounds to me like you are doing the right thing. You're not proselytizing. In my view, this is the proper response to the "great commission" that some Christians take as a command to go convert the unwashed masses. The best way to "convert" someone is just to live your life according to the faith and be a "light in the darkness" for those souls who are searching for something more.
Who knows? While I'm not saying that being gay is un-Christian, you may just very well open the door for someone who thought that Christians were all gay-bashers to change their mind and maybe find Christ simply because you picked up some trash and they started a conversation.
"We won't even have any literature to hand out at all."
How big of you. ;P
Seriously though... it's only a good idea if you don't bring religion/politics into it at ALL....
That said, if your church can pull that off, awsome.
When you told me about it I thought it was tres cool. Now I'm having reservations. People really have to be careful about what they say. I know I'd be upset if someone told me, no matter how nicely, that the way I live my life is "No worse than lying or tax evasion."
JÂșnÂȘthÂȘn · 16 years, 9 months ago
Oh being a Jew is MUCH worse than lying or tax evasion Gordon. ;)
As i've often been told, I don't live my life as a Jew. Well except for the Chinese food on Christmas Eve thing.
I think everyone chinese and not Christian should go to the Jewish Deli on Christmas Eve. Fair's fair.
Have I wondered off topic enough?
ChrisChin is Getting Old · 16 years, 9 months ago
hrmmmm...I go to Junior's and order potato pancakes on Christmas Eve...does that sorta count?
Katz's Pastrami is the food of the gods. I'm taking Saburuah there on Monday.
Well except for the Chinese food on Christmas Eve thing.
I have chinese food on Christmas Eve....and I'm Catholic. :)
oh just wait, if you end up like many folks here, you will soon be a recovering catholic.
"once you go vatican, you can't go back again."
that's what comes of spending 6 hours, 5 days a week with a simpsons fanatic.
"It says 'choo-choo choooose me!' and it's got a picture of a train on it..."
that's what comes of living with a simpsons fanatic for nine months.
seriously. he'll quote something and I'll ask where it's from and he'll say "the one where blah blah blah" and I'll know it's the simpsons.
goovie is married! · 16 years, 9 months ago
see...my boy and i were separate and independent simpsons fanatics for years before we moved in together. so we can have entire conversations in simpsons quotes. and family guy quotes. and python quotes. and kids in the hall quotes...
ha! for us it's aqua teen hunger force, sealab2021, the brak show and invader zim :P
we do the aquateens (I do a mean Meatwad), but we mostly quote ourselves and random improv stuff. it's getting more and more bizarre and esoteric.
but we mostly quote ourselves
sam and i exactly. a good one? hm.
i sit at a table at lunch with him and some other geek guys that we know. and a couple weeks ago, they were talking about something or other, and sam turns to me and goes: "things are getting weird around here. let's elope." with a straight face and everything. possibly because he didn't know that elope meant not only running away, but getting married too. ;)
Geoff · 16 years, 9 months ago
I read this as "They're going to try to convince people not to be gay". Call me cynical, but I'd stay the hell away.
Call me cynical,
You're cynical... but... I'd be lying if I said I don't think it'll devolve into that.
I just don't understand why people with any given faith can't coexist with other faiths/no faiths.
But... it seems there's always ONE in every group who's looking for a fight.
(and I don't limit that to religions... mind.... I think that's the case with athiests, etc just as much)
renita · 16 years, 9 months ago
One in every group...
agreed. any group of any sort. if it's made of people, there's someone looking for some kind of fight.
Excuse me, could you please give me directions to any sort of fight?
Is this that trick where he picks a country at random, and doesn't show it to you, and you guess it?
Tori Rose · 16 years, 9 months ago
I love my hometown.
We have a Pride Parade every year at the beginning of the summer (sadly I'm missing it this year) and practically the whole damn city comes down to support. A few of the churches have actually gotten involved in a very positive way, marching with the young people that they've watched grow up. I think they just understand that you don't stop loving people just becuse the Bible says they are living "sinfully." No offense to anyone who follows an organized religion, but sometimes I'm so glad that I dont.
I think its a very nice gesture for your group to go and clean and hand out water, as long as that's as far as they plan on going. As everyone else has stated, no one likes to be told what's the right and wrong path to follow. I dont think such things exisit. I feel bad when people on the street yell at me and shove mini-Bibles at me and insist that the only way to survive is to trust in the lord. I realize that that's what they believe to be true, but I guess I feel that it doesnt need to be so forcefull. So go for it. Just keep in mind where you'll be and the effect you might have.
I find it interesting that I saw disappear fear at SMAF and have their rainbow bumpersticker on my car, and SONiA, the lead singer is going to be performing at the pride event. I love to watch her perform. She gets so into it. Maybe I'll ditch everyone else to go hear her play.
SONiA has been a 24/7 earworm factory for me ever since SMAF. You can tell her I said so if you see her. :) I think she'd probably dig that you're there with your church and you're trying to do a helpful, nonjudgmental thing -- IF that's what it stays.
I expect you'll try to keep it on that level; I just hope the rest of your church has the same intentions at heart or it could get ugly. I worked a Philly Pride event last fall and there were some problems with church groups crashing the event and getting very confrontational -- including with me over my Scouting for All booth. I certainly didn't appreciate their attempt to hijack an event another group had spent much time, money, and effort organizing in order to spread a divisive and non-accepting message.
It can pretty much go from being super cool to being godawful. Like so many things in life it comes down to execution.
I'd like to point out that there was nothing wrong with the church groups' being present at the Philly Pride event -- since it was not a closed event, and since it took place on city streets, they were perfectly within their rights to be there and do outreach. The problem I had with their presence was with their complete misrepresentation of purpose -- when they went beyond being a peaceful presence with resources to offer those interested, to being in-your-face confrontational and condemning.
Despite their claims of "loving the sinner" blah blah WHATever, in their dialog and behavior they showed no regard or courtesy or emulation of Christ in their treatment of Pride celebrators. I don't think any member of the glbtq community was feeling their "love" that day, so their presumption that they were representing "Christ's way" seemed an appalling distortion to me. (Not to mention a huge turn-off.)
'q' is for .... queer?
I've heard it called GLBTI, the I being for intersexed, but the Q?
(Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersexed)
yeah, "q" is for queer. that's how i've usually seen it in newsletters or such -- I think "intersexed" often gets lumped in with "transgendered" (when it's included at all.) I've also seen "I" used for "inquiring".
"Queer" is often used as a catchall for those who don't consider themselves "straight" (or the mainstream idea of "straight"), but don't necessarily fit the other initials.
hee - i always saw it G/L/B/T/SS - gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight-supportive.
Kris 'engaged' Bedient · 16 years, 8 months ago
It turns out that I was unable to go to the gay pride event, but for anyone interested in finding out what it looked like, check this link: Liquid.
Local papers wrote articles about it, and it seems like it may have worked rather well to break down some of the stereotypes that some gays have about christians. Check it out.
stealthlori · 16 years, 8 months ago
this does look like it was a barrier-softening interchange. congrats to Liquid for making the outreach, and especially to its members who went into the event with gentleness, empathy, compassion, and recognition of equal humanity in their hearts.
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