Obama invites my guest blogger to the White House

Southern Baptist Pastor Danny Cortez first decided that being gay is no sin.

Then Danny’s 15-year-old son Drew came out to him. Then Danny and Drew bonded even more because of awesomeness.

Then Danny told the elders of his church that he no longer believed that being gay is a sin. Instead of summarily firing him (as he thought they might), the elders decided to let Danny share with the church his thoughts and feelings.

Because apparently my own work had been so instrumental in the evolution of Danny’s thinking on the matter of homosexuality, Danny, with whom I had never before communicated, wrote me a personal email, in which he related all that had been happening with him, his son, and his church.

Then I asked Danny if I could publish his exemplary letter to me. Having chatted about it a bit (for Danny is nothing if not not a glory hound), he said okay.

Then I published Southern Baptist pastor accepts his gay son, changes his church.

Then that post went mondo viral. (Which led to Albert Mohler, the leader of the Southern Baptists, answering it with an article to which I responded with Al Mohler and the Southern Baptists’ Big Gay Lie.)

Then Danny and Drew were invited to the White House to meet Barack Obama.

Yay! Except Danny couldn’t afford to send him and his son from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

Then someone did an online fundraising campaign to raise $2500 for that very purpose.

Then, in very short order, people donated what Danny and Drew needed to make the trip.

And now, on this coming Monday, pastor Danny Cortez, of New Heart Community Church in La Miranda, CA, will, along with his son Drew, meet the President of the United States at the White House.

Congratulations to Danny, Drew, and all of you out there who are every day doing so much (NALT!) to finally leave behind us the ridiculous nonsense that God cares anymore about a person being LGBT than He/She does about them being red-headed or brown-eyed.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • Guy Norred

    Yay! This is great news. Now get back to work. I should too. :-)

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

    Wonderful news. I wish them a happy journey.

  • BarbaraR

    It’s only a matter of time before John Shore is invited to the White House too.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Really? I’ll keep my eye on my inbox. But … alas, I know that on this issue I’m destined to remain at best a footnote for historians. Not gay. Not a pastor. Not an Princeton or Yale theologian. In the end, I know, I fade, for being nothing more than a blogger. (And I’m fine with that, honestly. I didn’t spend seven years writing on this issue for any reason beyond … well, frankly, my gay friends. I’m satisfied with the difference between where this issue was when I started blogging on it and where it is today. And a very great deal more than satisfied. I rest at night now knowing that on this issue I/we/Christ/God/Christianity/society/my friends have won. There’s still blood to mop up, and strongholds to vanquish, but the war is now assuredly won.)

      • BarbaraR

        Yeah, really.
        When you started this.. project (for lack of a better encompassing term), there were zreo other Christian bloggers (at least in the US) doing the same, never mind creating a safe space for LGBTQ people to come forward to discuss faith.
        You may keep your heart safe from the picklocks of biographers, but I think your work deserves recognition and honor.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          [David: Your two comments here disappeared, because of a Disqus screw-up. So sorry!!]

          Thanks, David (and Barbara!) What I meant is that media works in such a way that a guy like me CAN’T exist as any sort of “expert” on this matter. It is true that when I started writing on this issue seven years ago I couldn’t for the life of me find a single Christian blogger who was advocating for the full rights of LGBT people. Even then I had to frame what I did write less as outright advocacy than as … sincere questioning: “What Would Jesus Do If Invited to a Gay Wedding?” and that sort of thing. It wasn’t until about a year of publishing that sort of stuff that the whole subject started opening up so enough to allow for the … direct approach I then started employing: “Christians and the Blood of Jamey Rodemeyer,” and so on.

          Today, when the media wants someone to interview on this matter, or when a college wants to hold a symposium, or a church wants a guest lecturer, or progressive Christian leaders want to group together in some way (Wild Goose, the CANA Initiative, etc.), they don’t turn to/invite me. Because all those kind of affairs, and the people who produce them, need people who have a sort of INHERENT right to represent the issue that I completely lack. I’m not an accredited theologian. I’m not a pastor. I don’t run a large Christian ministry. I’m not the author of any Christian-market books. I’m not even gay. I’m just not what media and institutions must have if they’re going to essentially market this issue (which they’re all doing now, because now it’s safe to do).

          I’ll go to my grave knowing that I did what had to be done on this issue. And I’m more than pleased with just that. (And I’m also pleased that as a legacy of my work in this area I have my book UNFAIR–which continues to sell, which is nice.) But because I’ve long worked in media I’ve always understood that once the Christian-LGBT issue caught up to me it would roll right past me. I’ve always known, in other words, that my writing on this matter would definitely get the party started, but that ultimately I’d find myself without an invitation to that party. And, again, I’m fine with that. That that has happened is, in fact, my personal measure for the degree of my personal success. Yay! But, for instance, the book I’m now writing has virtually nothing to do with this matter. Because for me–even just in terms of surviving as a writer, which is “all” I really am–it’s time to move on.

          • Skip Johnston

            The name “Sam Adams” comes to mind. You know, the guy that before the American Revolution helped get the ball rolling and then quietly faded away into the historical background when stuff got really interesting. So, who knows? Two hundred years from now they might name an adult beverage after you…

      • http://Fordswords.net Ford1968

        Well, Ivy League theologians have their place in the conversation, but they didn’t affect me on a very personal level the way you have. They may be able to change minds, you have changed people – or at least this person – with edifying words and Christian love. Don’t ever think it’s not appreciated.

        • http://johnshore.com John Shore

          Thanks, David (and Barbara!) What I meant is that media works in such a way that a guy like me CAN’T exist as any sort of “expert” on this matter. It is true that when I started writing on this issue seven years ago I couldn’t for the life of me find a single Christian blogger who was advocating for the full rights of LGBT people. Even then I had to frame what I did write less as outright advocacy than as … sincere questioning: “What Would Jesus Do If Invited to a Gay Wedding?” and that sort of thing. It wasn’t until about a year of publishing that sort of stuff that the whole subject started opening up so enough to allow for the … direct approach I then started employing: “Christians and the Blood of Jamey Rodemeyer,” and so on.

          Today, when the media wants someone to interview on this matter, or when a college wants to hold a symposium, or a church wants a guest lecturer, or progressive Christian leaders want to group together in some way (Wild Goose, the CANA Initiative, etc.), they don’t turn to/invite me. Because all those kind of affairs, and the people who produce them, need people who have a sort of INHERENT right to represent the issue that I completely lack. I’m not an accredited theologian. I’m not a pastor. I don’t run a large Christian ministry. I’m not the author of any Christian-market books. I’m not even gay. I’m just not what media and institutions must have if they’re going to essentially market this issue (which they’re all doing now, because now it’s safe to do).

          I’ll go to my grave knowing that I did what had to be done on this issue. And I’m more than pleased with just that. (And I’m also pleased that as a legacy of my work in this area I have my book UNFAIR–which continues to sell, which is nice.) But because I’ve long worked in media I’ve always understood that once the Christian-LGBT issue caught up to me it would roll right past me. I’ve always known, in other words, that my writing on this matter would definitely get the party started, but that ultimately I’d find myself without an invitation to that party. And, again, I’m fine with that. That that has happened is, in fact, my personal measure for the degree of my personal success. Yay! But, for instance, the book I’m now writing has virtually nothing to do with this matter. Because for me–even just in terms of surviving as a writer, which is “all” I really am–it’s time to move on.

          • http://Fordswords.net Ford1968

            Very well said. It’s so funny that you mention moving on. It just so happens that I have many interests that have absolutely nothing to do with being gay. Contrary to how it might seem, my life does not revolve around issues of faith and sexuality. So if you’re ever looking for someone to engage in an interesting conversation, I’ll be eager to join in. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
            Looking forward to “next”.
            David

  • Jeff Preuss

    yay!

  • JohnStefanyszyn

    [fundy rave deleted]

  • BrinKennedy

    Fantastic!

  • Neal99

    Dear John Shore (Johnshore?),
    U r awesome. Ur work is appreciated more than you know by folks in the closet. Thanks for giving so many a courage boost to escape the fundagelical box. But r u sure ur not gay? That photo …


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