Spiritual Leader Michael Bernard Beckwith: 'Gay People Have A Special Gift'

03/06/2015 03:54 pm ET

During a conversation with HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd about his upcoming appearance on the OWN series "In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod," spiritual leader Michael Bernard Beckwith explained why members of the LGBT community are a special part of the religious world.

"The presence of God, which is so infinite, does not do cookie cutters, does not repeat itself. It creates unique human beings. So everyone that comes to the planet is a unique expression of the infinite. So individuals have different sexual orientations. The question is, is hate and separation a family value? No, it isn't," Beckwith said.

The founder and spiritual director of California's Agape International Spiritual Center added that he's pleased to see acceptance of homosexuality among religious people becoming less abstract. It's important for that acceptance to manifest "in a real way," Beckwith said, because gays and lesbians bring something unique to the table. He explained:

Gay people have a special gift. I've said that on numerous occasions. And in other cultures, it's more highly acknowledged. You look at certain tribes with our Native American brothers, and they're called "gatekeepers," meaning they have a particular gift that allows for them to travel between the visible and the invisible much easier, which allows for a greater degree of creativity. And so everyone has a gift to give. So instead of ostracizing people because they're "different," you have to dig deep and ask what is the gift that they're bringing? What is their special nuance of the spirit that they get to express?

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