The relationship between the church and gay liberation has been long and often tortuous. But on Tuesday evening, all of Orlando needed to heal.
Members of the city’s LGBTQ community were invited up to one church’s altar to be prayed over. Many accepted, rose from their seats and stood tall in front of the congregation.
The proud gesture at the First Baptist Church of Orlando said much about how the reaction to the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse on Sunday has measured a shift in social attitudes.
“Our community, for far too many, has never witnessed a sight like this, a church where they can come, be prayed over and not be forced to change who they are,” said Victoria Kirby York, national campaigns director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, as she cast her gaze over the large gathering. “For some people this image that I’m staring at right now exists only in their dreams.”
There was a vigil near where I live and among those who spoke were the Rector from the Episcopal church, a Conservative Jewish Rabbi, and, surprisingly enough, a spokesperson from the local Muslim mosque.
I was pleased with the way conservative Christians seemed to reach out to the LGBTQ communities. Heck, Chik-Fil-A (that alleged bastion of homophobia) was offering free food for people donating blood. In a better world, perhaps this would be the beginning of some sort of reconciliation. A start of an era where although we may have different sexual ethics, we share a common humanity and a hope for a brighter future.
I would like to think that in many cases this is what’s happening, but I’ve seen an awful lot of that spirit of solidarity and empathy thrown back into the faces of those offering it. If anything, it would seem that this tragedy will only deepen divides heighten polarization.
I don’t know how you can say that about Chik-Fil-A. This is not the time to heap criticism on those who have traditional values. The truth is the gay agenda is not innocent or benign. It is really undercutting and destroying the fabric of society.
I feel sorry for those who are killed by nut jobs but it seems like this may have also been an inside job. Sorry, it would not have been the first time a disgruntled gay person with an axe to grind turns on those he woos and despises at the same time.
As one writer put it, the nightclub was not a YMCA.
I think he was being tongue-in-cheek about Chik-Fil-A and not seriously criticizing them.
I agree with everything else you say though. Just because of this act of terrorism, we should not lose sight of the evils of homosexuality and the threat of gay marriage and the gay agenda that is attempting to marginalize Christianity (we have already seen numerous commentators blame Christians for this attack) and do further damage to the family unit.
I feel people need to focus more on the humanity of these people, rather than their sexuality.
I’m at the point where while I’d prefer gay marriage to be a state issue, I’m not gonna obsess over it. I firmly believe marriage is truly one man, one woman; but I will not ostracize gay people and make them out to be monsters who are destroying society.
I’m going to try to tread lightly here. There has been, and continues to be, a huge rift between the LGBT community and many Christian faith traditions, including the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, this is something that’s not going to change any time soon, primarily due to the Church’s teachings on same-sex marriage and sex outside of marriage, regardless of sex. The Church cannot change its teachings on marriage (that it is a sacrament, ordained by God, between one man and one woman for life, and open to bringing new life into the world). And so, by the Church’s definition, marriage between two people of the same sex is simply impossible. Many see this definition as homophobic and hateful. And this is understandable, really.
But at the heart of the issue is a fight over the definition of what “love” means. The Church loves everyone, as a mother loves her children. And in order to show love to her children, a mother must help the father in instructing their children in morality - what is right, and what is wrong. Yet even if one of her children falls from the path that the mother showed the child and ends up in danger of prison or death, the mother still loves that child and accepts that child. She does not approve of what her child has done, and actually mourns over her child’s decisions. Such is the case with the Church. The Church loves all of Her children, regardless of what sins they have committed. This includes those with LGBT orientations. And She loves them where they are and for who they are. But She cannot condone activities - from anyone - that could lead that person to eternal imprisonment in Hell.
When tragedies like this happen, I care not for what they believe in because we are called to heal sorrows. Its true, I dont believe in the LGBTQ communities beliefs, but they had something tragic happened to them and they need prayers of healing and comfort. I will cast aside any judgement to help them in their time of need.
I agree with you that we should focus on their humanity but sexuality is a very large part of who we are. I’m not sure you can separate a person’s humanity from their sexuality. I’d argue that almost my whole life is influenced by my sexuality. My marriage is my vocation and sex is a large part of it so even my relationship with God is wrapped up in my sexuality (in a sense). If I was gay, I would literally be a different person, even if everything else was the same.
It may sound odd but I agree with your statement about marriage. It is not only a state issue though, The state can only recognize a union, it can’t make one. Marriage happens between the couple. In this sense gay people have always gotten married, it just wasn’t legally recognized. Honestly, I view gay marriage though the same lens as religious liberty. I don’t agree with Hindu theology but will never tell someone they can’t practice.
I dont know where I stand on this, I do feel sympathy for what happened, no matter if it was due to terrorism or just some guy bent on killing for his own reasons.
Jesus warned us “we would be HATED, just like they hated him”, of course this would be due to our beliefs and how they do not ‘mesh’ that well with such a hedonistic society, especially like the one in the US.
We can have all kinds of sympathy for the victims, but we also must recognize this was a place where homosexual activities were taking place, drinking, drugging, etc. Plus, God HIMSELF destroyed 2 entire cities in dramatic fashion due to this very sin, the OT, those people back then were instructed (by God ) to KILL over this sin???
Im not sure Im getting the point across I want to make…in other words, if we as christians DO NOT find most of the secular society ‘hating us’ due to our beliefs, it is my understanding, there is probably something wrong with us and we are either not standing up for Gods laws or twisting them so we look better to the secular world.
I’m not sure what you mean by “homosexual activities”. If you mean sex, it’s unlikely that this was happening at the club. Most of the people there were probably dancing and I’ve never heard that dancing is a “homosexual activity”. Nor are “drinking” and “drugging” special activities that only homosexuals engage in.
Ah for the record that was meant tongue and cheek, as another poster mentioned. Chik-Fil-A seems alright by me. The hysterical reaction towards it is silly at best.
My broader point is that the conservative Christian community - by in large - has made great efforts to connect with with the LGBTQ community in the wake of Orlando. Its been that community, not Christians, who have been keeping tensions high. Its not clear what efforts conservative Christians can make to make peace if they won’t accept anyfhing other than unconditional surrender.
They will not accept anything except unconditional surrender. Those who think this is funny, can easily see that in 30 years, all of the below as already come to pass (editing in parentheses).
Michael Swift “Gay Revolutionary” 1987:
We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools [Project 10], in your dormitories [forced homosexual roommates], in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups [Wandervoegel , Boy Scouts], in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses “gays in the military”], in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons will become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.
Women, you cry for your freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy [radical feminism, lesbian separatist movement]. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then. We will amuse them; we will embrace them when they weep. Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of men. Then go ahead and be with each other. We shall give your men pleasures they have never known because we are foremost men too and only one man knows how to truly please another man; only one man can understand with depth and feeling the mind and body of another man.
All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked [anti-discrimination ordinances, minority status based on homosexuality]. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men [graphic “pro-gay” sex and AIDS education, mandatory “sensitivity training,”].
All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically and financially [the multi-faceted and powerful “gay rights” movement]. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy [suppression of internecine conflicts and other negative information about homosexuals by the homosexualist dominated media].
If you dare to cry ******, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead puny bodies “hate crimes,” speech codes, fines].
We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man [the play Bent and a multitude of others; the lesbian counterpart in the television show, Ellen]; we will make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens.
Our writers will make love between men fashionable and de rigeur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles [invention of “gay-speak” — “gay,” “homophobia,” “diversity,” “sexual orientation”]. We will eliminate heterosexual liaisons through usage of the devices of wit and ridicule which we are skilled in employing.
We will unmask the powerful homosexuals who masquerade as heterosexuals [outing]. You will be shocked and frightened when you learn that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators, your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere [a commonly used bumper-sticker]; we have infiltrated your ranks [strategic “surprise” announcements by “conservative” homosexuals, e.g. Mel White, former ghostwriter for Christian leaders].
There will be no compromises. We are not middle class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race, and steely-minded aristocrats never settle for less [Brand/Friedlander, Fuehrer principle]. Those who oppose us will be exiled [the “Fems”].
We shall raise vast, private armies, as Mishima did, to defeat you [Rossbach and Roehm, Frederick the Great]. We shall conquer the world because warriors inspired by and banded together by homosexual love and honor are invincible as were the ancient Greek soldiers [Plato’s Banquet ].
The family unit — spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence — will be abolished [homosexual “marriage” and adoption]. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated [Plato’s Republic]. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants [Sparta].
All churches who condemn us will be closed [attacks on the McIlhennys, St. Patrick’s Cathedral]. Our only gods are handsome young men. We adhere to a cult of beauty, moral and esthetic. All that is ugly and vulgar and banal will be annihilated [Kummerlings]. Since we are alienated from middle-class heterosexual conventions, we are free to live our lives according to the dictates of the pure imagination [Nietzsche, Hitler]. For us too much is not enough.