Sunday, November 30, 2014

When Will Evangelicals Stop Hating And Start Following Jesus' Teachings Instead?


Despite the $762,885 in independent expenditures organized crime gambling kingpin Sheldon Adelson and his circle threw into the CA-33 race to elect a random Republican stooge, progressive champion Ted Lieu won the race handily-- and with a bigger turnout than any other Los Angeles districts-- 59.19% to 40.81%. Lieu significantly outperformed his predecessor Henry Waxman, who had another conservative trying to buy the seat in 2012. Waxman's margin against billionaire Bill Bloomfield was 53-47%. There were several reasons Lieu beat Elan Carr so decisively despite all the Adelson cash and the racist smear campaign Adelson directed. But Lieu's inspiring record of effective, courageous and cutting edge leadership in the state legislature was by far the most important. Lieu's political career has been increasingly about addressing tough issues that effect the real lives of Californians, from Climate Change, crooked mortgage banksters and the NSA's unconstitutional domestic spying to family issues like excessive pharmaceuticals forced on foster care children and forceful "reparative therapies" forced on LGBT children. When Alan Grayson endorsed Lieu, it was his successful battle against the harmful effects of conversion therapies that he singled out.

Today we find evangelicals from around the country having to confront the realities of the twisted, ugly, hateful religion they decided to join-- usually long before they discovered they had a gay child. From the Washington Post:
Rob and Linda Robertson did what they believed was expected of them as good Christians.

When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered “reparative therapy,” met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.

Now we realize we were so wrongly taught,” said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. “It’s a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made.”

The tragedy could have easily driven the Robertsons from the church. But instead of breaking with evangelicalism-- as many parents in similar circumstances have done-- the couple is taking a different approach, and they’re inspiring other Christians with gay children to do the same. They are staying in the church and, in protesting what they see as the demonization of their sons and daughters, presenting a new challenge to Christian leaders trying to hold off growing acceptance of same-sex relationships.

“Parents don’t have anyone on their journey to reconcile their faith and their love for their child,” said Linda Robertson, who with Rob attends a nondenominational evangelical church. “They either reject their child and hold onto their faith, or they reject their faith and hold onto their child. Rob and I think you can do both: be fully affirming of your faith and fully hold onto your child.”

It’s not clear how much of an impact these parents can have. Evangelicals tend to dismiss fellow believers who accept same-sex relationships as no longer Christian. The parents have only recently started finding each other online and through faith-oriented organizations for gays and lesbians such as the Gay Christian Network, The Reformation Project and The Marin Foundation.

...The collapse of support for “reparative therapy” is also a factor, Shopland said. In June of last year, Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus International, a ministry that tried to help conflicted Christians repress same-sex attraction, apologized for the suffering the ministry caused and said the group would close down. At a conference on marriage and sexuality last month, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, the Rev. Al Mohler, said he was wrong to believe that same-sex attraction could be changed. Baldock, The Marin Foundation and the Gay Christian Network all say Christian parents have ben reaching out to them for help in notably higher numbers in the last couple of years.

“If it doesn’t work, then parents are left with the question of what is the answer?” Shopland said. “If I can’t change my kid into being a straight Christian, then what?”

... Some evangelical leaders seem to recognize the need for a new approach. The head of the Southern Baptist public policy arm, the Rev. Russell Moore, addressed the issue on his blog and at the marriage conference last month, telling Christian parents they shouldn’t shun their gay children. Mohler has said he expects some evangelical churches to eventually recognize same-sex relationships, but not in significant numbers.

Linda Robertson said the mothers who contact her through her Facebook page usually aren’t ready to fully accept their gay sons or daughters. Some parents she meets still believe their children can change their sexual orientation. But she said most who reach out to her are moving away from the traditional evangelical view of how parents should respond when their children come out.

“I got a lot of emails from parents who said, ‘I don’t know one other parent of a gay child. I feel like in my community, I don’t have permission to love my child,’” she said. “They have a lot of questions. But then they’re going back to their churches and speaking to their pastors, speaking to their elders and speaking to their friends, saying, ‘We have a gay child. We love them and we don’t want to kick them out. How do we go forward?’”
Yesterday, I ran into Congressman Lieu. He had read the news report of the Robertsons as well. He told me that "Rob and Linda Robertson's son Ryan died because of the evil known as reparative therapy, a false and harmful theory that a human being can change his or her sexual orientation through quack therapeutical practices. But a more fundamental evil exists: that of churches telling people that God somehow does not love them because of who they are. I am a Christian and a Catholic. And until more of us speak up and tell our clerical leadership that the fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ is LOVE, not rejection, then more human beings like Ryan will keep dying." It wasn't just his constituents who got that kind of inclusive message from him. A few days ago he finished the congressional freshmen orientation week. His 20 colleagues all sized each other up and elected a class president-- Ted.

Labels: , ,


At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evangelicals are not christians, for they follow the Old Testament far more closely than they do the New. The Old Testament (OT for short) is filled with hate and war, things near and dear to the cold stone hearts of dominionists (so called due to the desire for divine dominion over the Earth and all who live here). The New Testament (NT for short) is far too liberal and unselfish for dominionists to tolerate.

OT is also incredibly sexist, with women seen as property to be used and abused as desired. NT has been misrepresented as such (see: Mary Magdalene) in order to present Yeshua as some kind of sexless being.

OT is filled with the acquisition of wealth and riches, something no dominionist can exist without (see: Pat Robertson) while NT expresses the admonition to give away all of one's earthly goods to the poor who need it more and follow Him instead.

So the clear answer to the title question is NEVER!


Post a Comment

<< Home