Honorable Mention: The NALT Christians Project

If you haven’t heard of it yet, check out this video introduction to The NALT Christians Project:

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I have some thoughts on this that I’ll post soon … appreciative as well as analytical.

For now, here it is, what do you think?


About Caryn Riswold

Caryn D. Riswold is a feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition. She is Professor of Religion and Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she has worked for over a decade teaching undergraduates to think critically and creatively about religion. She earned her Ph.D. and Th.M. from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, holds a master’s degree from the Claremont School of Theology, and received her B.A. from Augustana College in her childhood hometown of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

  • Leum

    I have two problems with the project. The first is that their mission statement reads

    The purpose of the NALT Christians Project is to give LGBT-affirming
    Christians a means of proclaiming to the world—and especially to young
    gay people—their belief and conviction that there is nothing
    anti-biblical or at all inherently sinful about being gay, lesbian,
    bisexual or transgender.

    which can easily be interpreted as the standard Christian line that it’s fine to be gay as long as you don’t act on it. Elsewhere it’s made a bit clearer that this isn’t what they mean, but they need to be upfront about gay sex being okay.

    The second is that when I voiced these concerns to John Shore, he did not take them seriously. That is, to me, a much more serious problem and indicates that he, and by extension his project, is both not in touch with the lived reality of being LGBT and Christian and unwilling to listen to those who are.

  • Christine

    My discomforts come from not believing in defining one’s self in the negative, and the lack of transgender cultural competency in John Shore’s video. He mentions ‘transgender’ only when naming the full coalition, and thereafter uses only ‘gay’. I was told in another thread that this isn’t due to a lack of concern on his behalf. It may seem nitpicking to someone outside the trans community, but we frequently do not find ourselves welcome unless we are welcomed with fully inclusive language. He said these videos were especially needed not by gay and transgender youth, but by gay youth, period. To come from an assumption of goodwill, I can either conclude that he thinks ‘gay’ is an umbrella term that includes transgender (it isn’t), that all transgender people are gay (some are, some aren’t), or that he truly believes that transgender people need assurances of acceptance and welcome less than gay people do. Because there’s less of us? But surely that would make him realize our greater isolation and deep need for community? I don’t think he’s a bad man, but there are a few red flags for me that make me less confident that I am welcome…. in his view, anyway.

    As I’m told he’s done work for transgender people, I am grateful for that. I hope that if his desire to work with us is fully sincere, he can come to understand a little more our need for inclusion…. and inclusivity in the language he uses.