Monday, May 29, 2006

Faith In America Determined To End Religion-Based Bigotry

When you read through your Sunday Indianapolis Star, you may have noticed a different kind of ad. What you saw was a photo collage in the shape of a cross depicting gay families. The text read:

DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS HOMOSEXUAL?

WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR LIFE FOR THAT PERSON?

JESUS DID.

The ad is part of a national campaign by an organization called "Faith In America" to "emancipate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from bigotry disguised as religious truth." Locally, Jesus Metropolitan Community Church (JMCC) is actively participating in the national campaign. If you take a look at Faith In America's mission, it is very similar to what we've been saying about the deleterious impact Christian hate groups operating in Indiana have had on social and political discourse on matters partaining to gay civil rights. Describing the problem and how to eradicate it, Faith In America's stated mission includes the following passage:

This expression of religion-based bigotry against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has historical precedents, including violence, intolerance, and inequity toward women, people of color, and people with religious traditions different from those of the majority, such as Jews, Roman Catholics, Mormons and others. These precedents are recognized today by the mainstream of America to have been misguided, wrong and evil. To end the persecution of gay people engendered by religion-based bigotry, its common link with these historical precedents must be acknowledged. Faith In America, Inc. is confident that, just as Americans have rejected the distorted religious teachings that sanctioned these injustices, Americans will reject the religion-based bigotry against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people when it is exposed.


As AI has similarly argued, linkage of these groups treatment of gays and lesbians to their treatment of other groups in the past, such as women, blacks, Jews and Catholics, is necessary to give the American people perspective on the way religious teaching is distorted to sanction unfair treatment of people. An important aspect of this education campaign is to provide a more accurate account of Jesus' teachings when it comes to the treatment of people who are different than we are. You may even be surprised to learn what Jesus taught about gay people. The efforts of Faith In America and JMCC come at a critical juncture in the gay civil rights struggle.

As part of this education effort, JMCC plans to hold a Town Hall meeting on June 15, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the church located at 2950 E. 55th Place in Indianapolis. Rev. Jeff Miner and Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson will share their insights on why everything you've always been told the Bible has to say about homosexuality is actually something quite different. If you would like to learn more about JMCC's efforts, click here. If you would like to learn more about the Faith In America campaign, click here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable.

I guess it's not enough for the GLBT community to push for equal civil rights, something most people are willing to endorse.

Instead, you have to trample upon other people's private religious views and belief systems.

So it turns out that you're not after mere civil rights after all. Rather, you are seeking blanket moral acceptance for your lifestyle.

That makes you far more intolerant--and far more dangerous--than your so-called enemies among religious people.

lori said...

You know what is even more unbelievable Mr. Anonymous? The bible is still used as a tool to promote bigotry and hate. Why don't you take off your hood for awhile and post in the open?

Anonymous said...

Yada. Yada. Yada.

As long as your side describes the faithful interpretation of Christian, Muslim, or Judaic tradition as "hate" and "bigotry," you make yourselves easy to ignore.

You also risk alienating those who might otherwise be inclined to support your civil rights agenda.

Kevin said...

"You also risk alienating those who might otherwise be inclined to support your civil rights agenda."

Yada. Yada. Yada yourself. You've become a broken record repeating this mantra over and over.

paula said...

4:24,
What about MY private religious views and belief system? I have committed to spend the rest of my life with my partner. We already have 20+ years together. We have been married in our church (Jesus MCC), and have travelled to Vermont for a civil union. As far as I am concerned, we are married under the sight of God.

SJR-7 is an affront to my marriage, my personal view, and my belief system (and, I believe, God). That doesn't stop a very well-funded and determined group from pushing through an ammendment to the Constitution.

I didn't ask for this fight. SJR-7 is the catalyst for me. Now that I'm in it, I intend to stand up for what I believe. I don't give a hoot if you do or not, just don't deny me my right to my belief.

The sad part is, even if SJR-7 passes, I will still be married in by belief - which includes my God. So really, what was accomplished?

I ask one thing of you. Put yourself in my shoes. Maybe you are married, maybe even for 20 years like me. Imagine that society told you that your relationship is perverse and vile enough that it is in society's best interest that you not be allowed to choose who you want to live your life with. How would you feel? Would you feel like you were under attack? Would you defend yourself?

dbc45 said...

MITCHELL GOLD NAMED AS ONE OF THE ADVOCATE’S ‘PEOPLE OF THE YEAR’


MITCHELL GOLD NAMED AS ONE OF THE ADVOCATE’S
‘PEOPLE OF THE YEAR’
Honored by Leading LGBT Publication for Work with Faith In America

RALEIGH, N.C. – Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith In America, was named one of The Advocate’s ‘People of the Year’ in this month’s issue. In receiving this distinction for his pioneering work with Faith In America, a national non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about the history of religion-based bigotry and how it is being used today to justify discrimination, Gold joins the ranks of Senator Russ Feingold, Billie Jean King, Bill Maher and Bishop Gene Robinson who have also been honored by the national magazine.

“We are all so thankful for Mitchell’s vision and tireless energy and efforts that brought us all together over the past year,” said the Rev. Jimmy Creech, executive director of Faith In America. “We built this organization on his vision of engaging people directly in communities across the country in open and frank conversations about how religion is misused to deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens the full rights and protections guaranteed by the US Constitution. As a result, through the activities of our first year, we have seen much success.”

In its first year, the organization focused its efforts on engaging people - primarily evangelical Christians - in this conversation about religion-based discrimination. Through newspaper ads, a Web site, billboards, direct mail and door-to-door canvassers, Faith In America reached more than 2 million homes in Indiana, Colorado, Maryland and North Carolina. Newspaper, television and website articles have been circulated to untold millions in the United States.

“Mitchell’s work has benefited so many segments of our society, especially members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and religious communities," Creech said. "We are all proud to be a part of this team and of this distinction.”

Gold is also the co-founder and chair-man of a renowned furniture company - Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams- with 700+ employees operating out of 600,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space in Hickory, NC. The company has over $100 million in sales and products sold through America’s most popular retailers and catalogs.

Faith In America Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2005, has launched a nationwide effort to challenge the injustice of religion-based bigotry against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in America. The mission of Faith in America Inc. is to end legal and spiritual discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in America and to gain full and equal rights for those citizens. A web site (www.faithinamerica.com) has been established to provide information about religion-based bigotry and its historic expressions, and to help people become active with other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations.
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