Faith Communities (and a Hate Group) at Bellingham Pride

Faith Communities (and a Hate Group) at Bellingham Pride July 10, 2017

Yesterday, my family and I attended Bellingham Pride, and I just have to say that I’m so proud of our city. As I understand it, ours is the second-largest Pride parade in Washington State. And what really stood out to me, as an affirming Christian, were the many faith communities (nine congregations!) represented therein.

I’m thrilled that there are so many churches and other gatherings for LGBTQ people of faith in Bellingham, and I thought I’d showcase the ones I saw (in parade order) along with links.

(Since publishing, I’ve been informed of a congregation that I initially missed, and I have updated the post accordingly. If I missed any others, let me know, and I’ll include their info as well.)

Thank you for being there and demonstrating what loving faith looks like!

Unfortunately, a religious hate group also showed up. But the people at Pride are awesome, and their response was amazing. Read to the end to see happened.

Whatcom Peace and Justice Center

This first organization is not itself a faith community, but their important work is carried out in partnership with churches and religious organizations, and they began under the sponsorship of the Bellingham Quakers (also represented further down).

Whatcom Peace and Justice Center

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Let Love Be Our Legacy (Whatcom Faith Communities)

This second group is also not a single faith community, but rather a coalition of faith communities working together for equality and justice.

Let Love Be Our Legacy (Whatcom Faith Communities)

Website | Facebook

Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran Church

I’m not sure whether this next guy was with the Lutheran church in front of him or the library behind him, but either way, I loved his sign.

Love Sweet Love

Website | Facebook

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Website | Facebook | Twitter

First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ)

First Congregational Church of Bellingham (United Church of Christ)

Website | Facebook

Congregation Beth Israel (Reform Judaism)

Congregation Beth Israel

Website | Facebook

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Website | Facebook | Twitter

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Website | Facebook

Garden Street United Methodist Church

Garden Street United Methodist Church

Website | Facebook

United Church of Ferndale

United Methodist and United Church of Christ

Website | Facebook

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Bellingham Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Website | Facebook Group

“Psycho so-called Christians”

However, affirming Christians weren’t the only ones at Pride. These next folks are the local equivalent to Westboro Baptist, and they like to show up wherever they aren’t invited. They weren’t in the parade, but they hung around at the end, spreading their toxic message of hatred, judgment, and fear.

This guy meant for his sign to describe the affirming churches listed above, but I don’t think he realized the irony. Who do you think it really describes?

[Update: I’ve been informed that I was mistaken about this individual’s intent. It turns out he actually was directing his sign against the protestors, not against the affirming churches in Pride. I apologize for the confusion and misrepresentation.]

Psycho so-called Christians

The response from people at Pride was awe inspiring. I witnessed no arguing or shouting back. Instead, I heard drums, tambourines, and chants of “love trumps hate” drowning out the megaphones. And I saw brave individuals using signs, sheets, and their own bodies to create a barrier of love that covered the hate.

Love Surrounding Hate

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  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    How much of the ‘gay pride’ parade is supposedly claiming to belong to God? Probably not mu8ch of it correct? What does God say of those who make ‘friends/friendships of the world’?

    James 4:4 You *(*spiritual*)*adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world*(*those not serving the true God*)* is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world*(*even the LGBT community*)* makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “[c]He [d]jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace=undeserved-kindness. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. -[NASB

    Really, are such ppl saig they are ‘Christians’ truly showing ‘love’ and ‘peace’ to God by ‘uniting in community and solidarity’ with those God says are the ‘world’? Who truly is living in ‘hate’ toward God? Who is receiving the ‘hostility’ of God?

    • You asked, “How much of the ‘gay pride’ parade is supposedly claiming to belong to God? Probably not much of it correct?”

      Actually a report from just two years ago found that almost half of LGB Americans still identified as Christian. And as for the other half, I can’t exactly fault them for rejecting Christianity, when so many Christians say they’re going to hell.

      We Christians are to blame for their rejection of God if we first reject them. Is it not true that “we love God because he first loved us”? And how do we experience God’s love if not through the people who claim to serve him? So if we Christians, who represent God to the world, do not demonstrate God’s unconditional love to the LGBTQ community, why on earth would we expect them to love God?

      • Steven Waling

        Clayton Gaffre – he’s only a poor little biblian.

      • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

        Hello to you Chuck and thank you for taking the time to reply.

        I don’t trust that particular number. But for the sake of argument I’m not going to argue with it. Though, if it were to be true, why would they still not be in the wrong for being part of the world in those parades and such a ‘community that is badsed on the flesh, sex? How much of that whole community living sexual sin of one kind or another? Assuming God did allow ppl to live in ‘same sex’ conduct do you think God would want the same sex ppl professing to believe in Himto be in a community supporting all the sin they live in there whel ‘identifying’ with those ones as though they are the same sort of ppl?? The question then is ‘Why are they supporting a community of sin?

        Shall we talk of the same sex community as thugh they are the only ones who are going to go to the grave in their sin/s? We all know that isn’t true.

        Currently practicing same sex individuals are able to receive the trueh to the full as any other human onearth that has come to know God through Jesus.

        Personally, I don’t find it the wisest thing to go to those sorts of events for the nonbelievers either gay or straight. And many LGBT ppl have many other sins besides the same sex issue that they must also address.

        REaching out to ppl living in sin is one thing. Clearly that is to be done. Supporting their is and wrong things no matter how ‘loving’ and ‘good’ it comes across to them ‘in the world’ it is still wrong on our part and even ‘sin’ before God.

        • There is nothing sinful about their community, who they are, or what they do.

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Hello to you again Chuck and thank you for replying.

            Chuck, we certainly can agree thqa same sex conduct is notthing new right? Do you think same sex marrigae for these ones is something new? If same sex attraction has been around long enough for Mosaic Law to forbid such practice, and yet is was acceptable then where is the long list of married same sex couples in Israel and even through the Christian churches over the centuries?

            As had as it may be for many to hear and even accept, ‘same sex’ relations is a matter of ‘lawlessness’ before the morl eyes of God- it is ‘sin’. This being the case, the whole LGBT community is built on ‘lawlessness’. As nonChristians they are free to do a they please with their life. But Christians absolutely do not have that right.

            Do you think God would or does approve of Christians going to a heterosexual equivalent of what the LGBT community does at parades or other places?

            The honest answer to thi sis ‘no’ is it not? And would that not be because they were carrying out ‘sin’ of a heterosexual kind there among other ‘sins’?

          • You seem to have quite a skewed idea of what “goes on” at pride parades. It’s just a celebration of being who they are. Nothing sinful is going on.

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Hello to you again Chuck.

            They are simply celebrating who they are? By that you pretty much mean ‘according to the flesh’ and the sexual preferences they have? And you are saying the majority of those ones are there for solid God honoring moral reasons?(I don’t think you’re saying that. But i am asking.)

            According to what James 4 said in my original post, do you believe that God wants his followers to be part of such a flesh driven community that has no regard for God? The answer to this question is the same for straight and nonstraight ppl.(and it certainly isn’t limited to sex based identity communities/movements etc is it?)

            YOu aslso didn’t anwer my question on the marriages of same sex ppl through out history among the ‘Christian’ and Jewish ppl beloning to the God Christians worship today. ‘Same sex’ attraction is nothing new right? Why weren’t ppl of the same sex not being married to each other back theif it weren’t a ‘sin’ to the ppl of God?

          • Clayton, you’re going on and on about things that just aren’t true at all about the LGBTQ community. Go make some real friends with them. Get to know them personally, and understand where they’re coming from, without all your moral superiority nonsense. Then get back to me, and we can have a real conversation. In the meantime, I’m not going to continue debating your caricature. Have a good one!

          • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

            Thank you again Chuck for the reply.

            If I got to know many heterosexual ppl living in sexual practices that God didn’t approve of would it make their ‘sin’ oday’?

            Two ‘loving’ ‘consenting’ ‘adults’ that have a relationship together sexually is still a ‘sin’ when at least one of them is married isn’t it? Even if I know these ones, will that fact change?

            If I am somehow misunderstanding them then please explain to us why they are the ones using their sexual preference/label to identify them and the community they are part of according to the flesh?

            And again I ask you: Does God want His ppl associating with this sort of thing?

            This has little to do with ppl being decent ppl so much as it has to do with whether or not same sex conduct is truly a matter of sin in God’s eyes. (not that it is the only sexual sin)? The only honest answer to this according to Scripture is ‘yes’.

            Same sex practices all all a matter of ‘lawlessness’. It doesn’t matter how decent these ones are. And I am sure there are many decent ppl that practice homosexual conduct.

      • Evermyrtle

        What does the gay community do with Romans 1:19-32? How do the handle the fact that HIS WORD says that homosexuality is an abomination to HIM?

        Of course we all sin and come short of the “Glory Of GOD” but repeatedly practicing what HE says is an “abomination to HIM”, with no intention of giving up the evil, should worry them, exceedingly, it seem to me!!!

  • Jeremy

    What an encouraging report, Chuck. Thank you!

  • Shirley Blake

    I read this with tears in my eyes and a full heart. So thankful to read something that encourages me to hang on to the belief (now badly battered) that there is a reason to believe in the message of Christianity. It is increasingly hard to identify with a group of people who seem the antithesis of Jesus. This proves that wrong. Thank you for sharing.

    • I hear you, Shirley. I often feel as though I’m following Jesus in spite of Christianity. But I persist because I believe in the love that he so perfectly taught and lived. May we all continue to live in that love today.