On Wednesday 50 gay, straight, bisexual, and transgender Christians will converge on Kansas City, Kan., for the inaugural leadership conference of the Reformation Project, a Bible-based Christian nonprofit seeking to reform the church's stance on sexual orientation and gender identity.
You, a well-meaning Christian, sign on to Facebook, only to see an overweight deacon from your church downing the super-sized everything at the local fast-food joint. Are you going to tell him he's going right to hell because he is a glutton? You would have some biblical backing if you did.
Of all the people I've met in my life who claim that a god exists, you have come closest to living a life of love, respect and charity. Perhaps this is why I have such a strong reaction when you discuss your position on homosexuality and equality for the LGBT community.
Dear fundamentalist Christian readers: As per your advice, I am composing what could potentially become my online dating profile in my search for a wife, but I need your input. I need to know more about the gay people who have chosen to be in opposite-sex relationships.
"The Bible doesn't say anything about any contexts or situations in which it is, or might be, OK for gay people to actually be gay. Same as it doesn't with lying, stealing, killing, and all the other sins it mentions. It doesn't talk about contexts at all."
Here is my message to my Christian friends: If you love us so much and support us wholeheartedly, then stand up for us. Do not allow the fanatics to taint your goodness. That is precisely what is happening.
Their resolution is gay bashing at its worse, because it implies that in the end God, too, is a gay basher who will sentence the unrepentant homosexual to an eternity in hell. Ultimately, the Southern Baptist resolution is an act of what I call "holy terrorism."
The use of religion to justify prejudice or as a means of controlling others is not acceptable in a diverse and free society. Sloganeering about "religious freedom" to force your dogma on everyone else is an insult to intelligence.
Next time we want simply to dismiss Charles Worley, Sean Harris, Fred Phelps, and other "extremists" as "just a bunch of crazy fanatics," let us investigate the fuller picture by addressing where these attitudes and behaviors stem from.
A lawmaker says something anti-gay while hiding behind the Bible, our community demands an apology, the lawmaker refuses to back down, and finally the lawmaker is looked upon by some as a hero for supposedly standing up for Biblical principal.
Fornication was one thing that both married and celibate Christians could agree upon. Broadly understood, "fornication" covered all sorts of behaviors that seemed not to fit into the other two categories. When "fornicators" talk back, it's bound to trigger a crisis for everyone.
For all the shouting back and forth we hear in the media over gay marriage and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the issue at the heart of all the rancor -- what the Bible says about homosexuality -- is still remarkably difficult for everyday people to talk about.