Matthew Blake Williams: “Why gays are going to save the church“
Actually, it’s really not that hard to say why I devote myself to a Church that doesn’t seem to want me around. I do it because I get it. I get what Jesus was trying to do. I get it better than most, because I need it more than most. That might sound arrogant to you. That’s okay. For those of us who are gay and have come to trust Christ’s love despite experiencing a lifetime of hate from Christians, it’s just a hard-earned reality.
LGBT Christians have a profound understanding of Judeo-Christian story of faith. We believe in the mission of Jesus, in making a way for the outcast. We get it. We understand that that no one – not the lesbian, nor the Pharisee who excludes her – is beyond the reach of grace.
And, of course – despite the provocative title of this blog post – it’s not just gay Christians. It’s all of the marginalized and sidelined, the people who don’t see the world in the same stark shades of black and white that the American church prescribes. It’s everyone who tires of the hypocrisy and discrimination and selfish warring done in the name of Jesus and says, “This is our faith too, and we won’t stand by while it is hijacked. We won’t allow voices of hate to speak for us.”
I have learned since then that Cholene knew she was gay ever since she was a little girl. She got the message from pastors, Sunday school teachers, Christian leaders and even her parents that she was an abomination to God and didn’t deserve his love. I have agonized over this. People have said, “But you didn’t know she was gay.” What difference does that make? Our behavior was unconscionable, not only as parents, but also as Christians.
Thankfully, she received the message from God himself that he loved her.
I have had a dramatic change of heart since first learning of Cholene’s homosexuality. Call it a paradigm shift, an epiphany or just plain coming to my senses. Whatever it was, I know this — God was behind it. I would give anything to have a do-over for those years when we hurt Cholene so terribly, so I’m on a mission to help keep other families from making our mistakes.
Sarah Posner: “Embracing the fringe“
A year after launching 40 Days for Life, [David] Bereit joined the American Life League, long considered one of the fringe players in the anti-abortion movement, serving as national director of its project STOPP, or Stop Planned Parenthood.
Shortly after joining STOPP, Bereit blamed the Supreme Court decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which ruled state bans on contraception unconstitutional, for “a tragic moral breakdown in our culture,” adding, “It is time for Americans to take a long, hard look at the real legacy of the Griswold decision. Although we can’t undo the consequences overnight, we can begin to take back our society one step at a time. The first step is to put an end to the destructive influence of Planned Parenthood, the organization that forced this tragedy upon our nation 40 years ago.”
At the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally, Bereit told me he opposed the legal precedent that Griswold set, as it laid the groundwork for Roe v. Wade. But when I pressed him about whether he agreed with ALL’s opposition to contraception generally, he paused and said, “I still agree with the position that anything that directly causes the destruction of human life, and there is evidence suggesting that certain birth control devices can have an abortifacient property. I do have opposition to those things,” which he said included birth control pills. He, like other speakers at the rally, repeated the false charge that the emergency contraceptives ella and Plan B, which are covered by the HHS rule, are abortifacients.