a different kind of demonstration at gay pride

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    Jul 01, 2010 10:09 PM GMT
    hope the link works.

    thought this was kind of cool.

    what are all your thoughts on it.
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    Jul 01, 2010 10:43 PM GMT
    I think it's great. I've seen some Christians do the same around gay clubs. It's a very progressive way of adapting with social changes.

    Anyway, you're hot. Can we date?
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3162

    Jul 02, 2010 12:50 AM GMT
    That's fantastic. The world needs more Christians like these!

    Did you guys see the Catholic church which marched in NYC pride but couldn't carry a banner with the church's name on it because the archdiocese forbade it, so they carried a blank white banner instead? Pretty great stuff.
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    Jul 02, 2010 1:21 AM GMT
    Finally, real christians!

    Standardsocal, I can't thank you enough for this.

    " A couple of months ago I interviewed Nathan Albert from the Marin Foundation about Mercy, Justice, and the GLBT Community. It generated some interesting dialogue around a tough issue… how does the Church communicate God’s love to the gay community?

    This past weekend Chicago, along with many other US cities, celebrated Gay Pride with a parade. As a part of the weekend, Nathan and a group of over 30 Christians from various Chicago churches went to demonstrate at the Gay Pride Parade with the Marin Foundation.

    Their demonstration was much different, though.

    While the most vocal “Christian” presence at the parade was in the form of protesters with “God Hates Fags” signs, Nathan and a team from the Marin Foundation took a different approach… they chose to apologize.

    The volunteers wore black t-shirts with the phrase “I’m Sorry” on the front and held signs with messages of apology, on behalf of all Christians, for the way the church has treated the gay community.

    While the ultimate message Jesus came to preach was one of love, grace and compassion, we’ve sadly misrepresented Him and alienated sons and daughters from their Father’s embrace… and I’m so excited to see how Nathan and his team took a different, humble approach and in the end, did something far more powerful than preaching or shouting… they showed love.

    Nathan posted a story from the Pride Parade outreach on his blog that absolutely needs to be heard…Here’s some excerpts…

    What I loved most about the day is when people “got it.” I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day.

    Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified.

    My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them.

    Then it clicked.

    Then he got it.

    He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. He hugged me and whispered, “thank you.”

    I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.

    Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan.

    However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. It’s exactly what I read throughout scripture: Jesus hanging out with people that religious people would flee from. Correlation between then and now? I think so.

    Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is.

    Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.

    What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the beginning of reconciliation. It was in the shocked faces of gay men and women who did not ever think Christians would apologize to them.

    I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.

    What’s so cool about this story is that when Nathan posted the picture it lit up on Facebook and someone recognized Tristan and Tristan got in touch with Nathan yesterday afternoon. He said that all he could talk about from his experience at the Pride Parade was meeting Nathan and all of the Christians who were there to say they were sorry.

    He was moved and he and Nathan are going to meet up later this week for coffee.

    That’s what it’s all about. Who knows what will happen or what will come of this, but one life was impacted and countless seeds were planted in the hearts of many.

    Pray for Tristan and Nathan’s conversation and pray that this will be the beginning of a movement of reconciliation between the Church and the gay community.

    Huge props to Nathan, Kevin, Andrew, everyone at the Marin Foundation, and those who courageously joined them this weekend in taking Christ’s love to a place most Christians would run away from. Thanks for being an example and setting a high bar for the rest of us to follow."

    -Doug of meninlove, a christian

  • Geoedward

    Posts: 657

    Jul 02, 2010 1:50 AM GMT
    Thank you for sharing this. It is absolutely beautiful. I am going through something right now with my nephew. His church has turned him against me and I found out he and his wife have been posting anti gay, one woman and one man bullshit. He has really hurt me because I helped raise him. This story has given me hope.
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    Jul 02, 2010 1:51 AM GMT
    That is such a hope inspiring story. Those guys are examples of people who really get what Christianity is supposed to be. Gives one hope that not every religious person is caught up in the politcal and social power machine the church has become.
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    Jul 02, 2010 2:53 AM GMT
    very cool
  • lozano86

    Posts: 293

    Jul 02, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    I LOVE THIS. Think its really awesome
  • Thomas757

    Posts: 260

    Jul 02, 2010 3:47 AM GMT
    it's great when someone get it. it's astoundingly awesome when a group does.

    thanks for the share icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 02, 2010 5:23 AM GMT
    This was a great bedtime story for me, thanks for posting. I'm gonna have some happy dreams tonight icon_biggrin.gif
  • hartfan

    Posts: 1038

    Jul 02, 2010 5:39 AM GMT
    Thanks for sharing. This is a great story and I'm starting to hope again. This really was what Jesus was about, and I applaud this group for paying the best homage to the man.
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    Jul 02, 2010 5:43 AM GMT
    this made me teary-eyed.. i love this.
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    Jul 02, 2010 5:46 AM GMT
    Very cool!
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    Jul 02, 2010 5:51 AM GMT
    RJ needs a "like" button.
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    Jul 02, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    Ya i saw that my old youth pastors wife had posted it on her facebook and thought it was so cool
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Jul 02, 2010 6:30 AM GMT
    Like a lot of the guys on here, I was raised in a pretty religious family. And reconciling faith and sexual identity was a difficult thing for me, as I'm sure it was many others on here. Luckily I escaped the Midwest and landed in LA where there are a lot of gay affirming churches.

    (If you're living in a part of the country that isn't very gay friendly I would really recommend looking into relocating someplace that is gay welcoming.)

    There can be a lot of debate on both sides of the theological discussion about whether or not the Bible condemns homosexual sex. Very few serious scholars today think the Bible is anti-gay. But there really isn't any debate at all about the teachings of Jesus being about unconditional love and treating people the way you would want to be treated yourself. It's as if social conservatives want to take the Old Testament literally and then leave Jesus' words open to interpretation. As Americans, conservatives like to try and justify there love of money but Jesus was very concerned about how we treated the poor, the needy and the outcasts of our society. It boggles my mind to hear so-called Christians justify the way the actively hate gays, the poor and minorities.

    I don't think I've been as harmed by the church as a lot of guys have been. But I know a lot of guys who were hurt in a lot of ways. I am thankful for this group who is really doing something that should have been done a long time ago.

    I would also offer up this website to anybody who is looking for churches in their areas that are gay welcoming:

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    Jul 02, 2010 9:03 AM GMT

    Thank you Christians... however, it's a little too late to ah... *cough* ... "save me," and I still think very little of religion. But it was a very nice story.

    Notice how young all these Christians are...younger Christians care less about social issues than their parents and the 'Jerry Falwells' of the world. Things will change... and religion will lose it's grip over our government.
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    Jul 02, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    Thank you for sharing this. I think the story is great, and I truly hope this is a genuine effort to work with the gay community.

    However, I actually went to the site Marin was promoting http://www.loveisanorientation.com/ and I found a link to a story that indicates that Marin might be a bit disingenuous.


    To Marin's credit he does list the link on his site, but does not seem to address the claims in it. I'm still looking around, so I really don't know if there is anything to it, but it does merit some investigation before sending any money to the organization.

    If anyone finds out anything more about this, I would appreciate posting the information.

    I am not religious, but I do support those who wish to participate.
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    Jul 02, 2010 4:03 PM GMT
    Dammit, creyente, here I was going to post a comment about finally figuring out what I had to do to get half naked dancers with awesome abs to hop off their float and come hug me.... and you had to make the topic all serious.

    While the guy does sound suspect and while it may be true that he's in it for himself, this is either a very long con (what is the end game? "We treated you wrong but now we can 'cure' you?") or maybe he'll end up doing good and disappear again if he tries to twist things and is called on it.
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    Jul 02, 2010 4:20 PM GMT
    I am so verklempt...its a nice gesture.
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    Jul 02, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    I went to a Christian college (still am Christian). I was with some friends, who aren't gay and didn't know about me, and we walked downtown near the gay bar. We saw protesters with signs such as God hates fags, etc. My friends and I talked about making some anti-protest signs, such as God loves you. We never did, since it was so late. But hearing my Christian friends talk about true love and reconciliation brought tears to my eyes.
  • curve

    Posts: 668

    Jul 02, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    this is encouraging

    have you seen "For the Bible Tells Me So" ? It's about how the bible deals with homosexuality. Very compelling insight on the blind power of people taking the bible literally.


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    Jul 02, 2010 6:03 PM GMT
    Wow. This really just made my whole day. Thank you so much for this. Really, this is amazing. Thank you.
  • NashRugger

    Posts: 1089

    Jul 02, 2010 6:25 PM GMT
    We really do need more people like this, truly understanding what God is all about, love and acceptance. However, here in the South, it is completely different and you'd think fire and brimstone are pummeling us every day during church sermons.
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    Jul 02, 2010 6:29 PM GMT
    It's great. I saw this on another RJ thread earlier.