An article appeared today on the AP on a Denver Evangelical church which has opened its doors with full acceptance to gays.
The very well written article confirms a number of my beliefs about gays in the mainstream society, as well as vast changes in the Evangelical community. I will also add, for your amusement and comments, a number of propositions that I have put forth on this site, which normally gets me hide rated, but, hey, let's have some fun.
An Evangelical church in Denver "opens doors fully to gays" according to an AP article at
Highlands is a "hip" (for a square town like Denver) gentrified neighborhood that probably votes 75% or more Democratic. The article starts:
Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line "queer or straight here, there's no hate here."
The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word "gay." But he changed it to "queer" because it's the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.
This follows a number of observations I have made over the last few years.
- I have known a number of Evangelicals who are very religious Christians. Some of them were sick and tired of the single message anti-gay tirade of the Republican Party. They resent how they have been played for years by the antiabortion / anti-gay stance of the party that wages war and ceaselessly works for the welfare of the rich, while fighting every social initiative for the poor. They voted for Obama. Evangelicals are not all Sarah Palin.
"Highlands Church represents a breakout position, where you have a gay-affirming stance that moves beyond the traditional kind of liberal-conservative divide," said Mark Achtemeier, an associate professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "I'm finding lots of moderate conservatives just think there's something wrong with a default position of excluding gays from the life of the church."
- Our society is changing. The arrow of time points to continued acceptance and end of stigmatization of gays by a large majority of our society. This is a generational trend and IMHO will not change to a more conservative attitude. The younger generations don't care about being gay or straight, in the same way they don't care about interracial marriage.
The controversial part:
- OMG! The Reverend used the word "queer." I hope he is inundated with teary-eyed mail from the community that believes that gay people are exactly the same as straight people except that they don't fill every possible niche of behavior like straight people, and unlike every other group in the world, have no culture, don't like to hang with each other, or behave like every other group, whether it is ethnic, sexual, religious, political or the local Lionel train collector's club, with their own vernacular and style. To me, that's the most anti-gay attitude there is. If you wanna be "queer," be queer, that's your fundamental human right to happiness and self-expression, and I support it. Please don't waste my time that this PC attitude is not a prevalent one on this site.
- I am completely against hate crime legislation of all types, for numerous reasons beyond the scope of this diary. It sure was easy to throw the gay community the symbolic Matthew Shepard Act. But when it comes to the tough stuff that actually grants real civil rights to those that are being denied, like DOMA and DADT, to name just a few, there has been a total lack of political courage. In fact, I am willing to say that most "queers" have had to muster more courage to come out of the closet and face this society, with its legal discrimination, than all those big Senators and politicians who don't have the guts to grant the most fundamental Constitutional and Human rights to groups that have given them their continuous support.