Should Portland's Queer Community Greet Anti-Gay Megachurch With an Olive Branch?

Comments

1
Maybe by attending the Church and showing them the reality that gay is ok. Hearts and minds work both ways.
2
How can anyone have a rational discussion with adults who believe that their sex lives are dictated and judged by an invisible man? There is absolutely no hope for anyone whose mind works this poorly; very few of them seem to come around to rational thought.

Just ignore these folks.
3
Rev. Chuck says we should embrace these hateful, retrograde bigots. If we don't, well, then we're the bigots!

I say, Fuck 'em. I've done enough shit work without making nicey-nice with the hate community. That castle church will be back on the market within 5 years, once Mars Hill fails to attract enough of a congregation to pay for heat and light bills.
4
If they raised $1.25 million to buy the castle, I doubt keeping the heat and lights on is going to be a problem.

"Hearts and minds work both ways."
Does it really, when one side has already strenuously dug in its heels that the other side represents sin and temptation?
5
Clarification: they need not have raised $1.25 million, but rather enough to buy a $1.25 million castle, but my point still stands.
6
"How should local LGBT folks react?" Maybe I'm missing something, but why isn't "ignore them and get on with their lives" an option being discussed here?

I mean, everyone's acting like this will be the first church or group of people in inner Portland that hold to the belief that same-sex sexual activity is sinful. I'm pretty sure it's not. So ... how did everyone live their lives before this particular church moved in? Wouldn't that be a good guide for how to live them after this particular church moved in?

"The idea is to figure out how to coexist. I don't know if that's possible, but I have to try." Oh good grief. He doesn't know if that's "possible"? What, because he's afraid that church members are composed of antimatter that will cause one or both of them to wink out of existence upon coming into contact? Or he's just afraid he might not be able to restrain himself from murdering them all? Yes, they can coexist.

The city is full of people who disagree with you, no matter who you are. Has Lynn not worked out how to cope with that?
7
Geyser said, "one side has already strenuously dug in its heels".

Pretty sure both sides are a little entrenched here. Or is the LGBT community open to considering Mars Hill's beliefs on this subject, and I just missed the memo?
8
If people from the LGBTQ community approach Mars Hill that shows a willingness to have a rational dialogue that the other side almost surely doesn't share to the extent that they would change their minds, especially because the former would be seen as sinners and the voice of license and temptation. Of course the side of acceptance and tolerance is "a little entrenched" as well they should be. But I think the other side has some antecedent beliefs that make having a rational dialogue at least very difficult, if not impossible.
9
No olive branch. Polite cold-shoulder and hair flip.
10
Geyser (@8), according to Q Center blogger Lynn, both sides were willing to -- and did in fact -- have a "rational dialogue".

But it's unlikely that either side was going to change their minds, so why do you only pin the blame on Mars Hill? You decry Mars Hill's having "strenuously dug in its heels", and then praise the LGBTQ community for doing the exact same thing ("as well they should be"). And do you really believe that the LGBTQ community doesn't have "some antecedent beliefs"?

How is yours not a double standard? I get that you happen to side with the LGBTQ community, but shouldn't your standards apply equally, regardless?

Also, "the side of acceptance and tolerance" doesn't seem terribly accepting or tolerant in this case. Lynn isn't even sure it's possible to "coexist" with Mars Hill. Others obviously have an even less tolerant approach than his.
11
@tODD:
Logan Lynn's post says little of substance about the actual content of the discussion. If there were no serious disagreements or stalemates, then I believe the meeting was superficial and/or disingenuous. I familiar enough with fundamentalist Christians like these and their core beliefs to know they're generally coming from an essentially irrational place on this and other issues.
Asking if I believe that the LGBTQ community doesn't have "some antecedent beliefs" seems like a meaningless question. Of course they do, but you're quoting a few words of my posts here and there rather than addressing the substance of my points about how antigay fundamentalist Christians' views about homosexuality might be harder to change through rational dialogue than would be the LGBTQ community's views about this type of Christian organization's role in the community. The sides are hardly parallel. Of course some from each side might potentially change their minds somewhat, but there's an essential difference in such a meeting when side x sees side y as misguided, confused, and potentially harmful, but y sees x as sinners trying to win acceptance for evil acts that their creator has condemned and will punish for all eternity.
My purpose isn't to blame one side or the other (thought I don't claim to be unbiased; no one is) but just to point out that one side subscribing to a fundamentally irrational worldview certainly comes into play when trying to dialogue about this kind of thing.
And no, I don't think both views of homosexuality need to be tolerated equally, and thus we should condemn both kinds of intolerance equally. If one view leads to suppression of people's sexuality and leads to widespread misery, bullying, suicide, and hate crimes, then I don't see why tolerance of that per se is a good thing. Of course they have a legal right to their beliefs and to membership in their church, but as far as tolerating it morally and socially, that's a different matter.
12
I think a far more important set of questions are: Why does Sarah Mirk get the only feature on Blogtown that comes with a banner image and her photo? And why is her photo taken with that bizarre (and totally not flattering) wall-eye angle?
13
Also, the olive branch metaphor totally misses the point. The metaphor implies the two sides are mutually feuding, which is completely wrong. The church hates gays (among lots of other things like yoga), and goes out of its way to attack them, out of the blue, when they have done nothing - NOTHING - of the kind to this church. Gays (and other attacked groups) can say "let's play nice!" all they want, or not, but it will not change a thing. An olive branch is not the appropriate metaphor to use here.
14
Here we go again. Rev. Chuck doesn't even have to poke his head in; tODD makes his facile and naive argument for him (it's "intolerant" to call out bigots for their hatred based on their belief in a magical three-part sky god).

Modern society has no obligation to tolerate bigotry or mass delusion. To the contrary, we need to relegate this crap to the dust bins of history.

Equating tolerance for bigots to tolerance for gays is ridiculous and shouldn't even be entertained by rational thinking people.
15
Muslims are pretty anti-gay too, ain't they? Gonna protest them too?
As stupid as all religion is, they base their prejudice on religous faith, right? We are a country built upon freedom of (and from hopefully) religion.
I say just ignore them.
16
Geyser (@11), again, it seems like the standards you claim to hold only apply to one side. What you decry when one side does, you approve of when the others do. Why then should I believe these are actually your standards? Why not just say that you support the LGBTQ community, disapprove of Mars Hill, and not bring these (double) standards into the argument?

And while I thought you had earlier aligned yourself with "the side of acceptance and tolerance", I see now that these are mere buzzwords. Seems you don't actually believe in tolerance for everyone -- just for those you agree with, I guess.

And, you know, if you strongly disagree with Mars Hill, that's your right. If you want to do whatever you can to legally oppose them, that's your right. But if words have any meaning, I don't see how that's "tolerant".

I mean, isn't the whole point of tolerance to tolerate those who are different than you, who disagree with you? Who has to be urged to tolerate people they agree with?
17
@tODD: My initial point was about one side having "dug in its heels that the other side represents sin and temptation." That second part is crucial to my point. You then isolated the phrase "dug in its heels" and tried to argue that both sides have done that, so therefore geyser has a double standard. But I had never argued that digging in one's heels per se is a bad thing. It's the other part, about the view of one side being labelled sinners who seek to tempt believers into their lifestyle, that was the crux of what I was saying. Digging in one's heels about self-acceptance and civil liberties is a good thing. So it's not a double standard. We're looking at apples and oranges here, not parallel sides. Platitudes about some vague thing called "tolerance" don't really get us very far in a discussion like this, I don't think.
My own view about why many secular people are not morally or socially tolerant of fundamentalist religion (e.g. mocking and scorning it) is that people like Bertrand Russell have tried the purely rational and respectful approach for well over a century, yet religious fanaticism in this country is undiminished. There's a sense that we have to try something more pointed, in addition to being rational, and thus it's become less socially acceptable at least in places like Portland to be an irrational, ignorant bigot on prominent issues like this one.
18
Geyser (@17), yes, if you limit your standards to a highly specific set of terms almost exclusively used by one side, then the double standards will largely disappear, I guess.

But this misses the point that both sides on this issue fundamentally disagree with each other on one or more key points. Both sides appear to think the other side is wrong -- or even, as you put it (@11), "misguided, confused, and potentially harmful". Both sides appear to wish that the other side would change their beliefs, although it seems unlikely that they will.

As to your take on "platitudes about some vague thing called 'tolerance'", I think you were the first one (@8) to bring up the term, referring somewhat humorously to "the side of acceptance and tolerance".

I also like how you imply that the goal of the "rational and respectful approach" was to diminish the very thing being treated respectfully. Let's try that shoe on the other foot: "The reason why many Christians are not morally or socially tolerant of gays is that some Christians tried the respectful approach for a long time, yet homosexuality in this country is undiminished. There's a sense that Christians need to try something more pointed."

Nope, that statement sounds remarkably intolerant, and not a little bit threatening. Maybe that means something.

So has it "become less socially acceptable at least in places like Portland to be an irrational, ignorant bigot"? Yes, if it applies to the LGBTQ community. But no if we're talking about Christians. Got it.
19
There's a fundamental confusion here. Bigots are bigots by choice. I don't have to passively accept their politically poisonous, fantasy-based rantings. Sure, they can have their speech constitutionally protected and their place of worship can be tax-free.

But I don't have to stand idly by when they try to oppress others for *how they're born.*

Fuck 'em. I will oppose them however I choose, and if it's too overt for people who preach some fucked up Portland version of "I'm OK, you're OK," well, fuck them too. Portlanders need to grow a friggin' spine and take a stand once in a while.

"When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not a gypsy.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I am not a Catholic.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak."
20
Responding to each paragraph:
1)I don't believe I did that.
2) I didn't miss that point; in fact, I agree with what you're saying here. But this ignores the differences I was pointing to.
3) Yes, I brought up the term first. So what? I didn't say it was a tainted term, just that it shouldn't be used to blur crucial differences between two sides.
4-6) A goal of rational, respectful discussion can be to diminish the tendency to embrace irrational beliefs, which overtly take the form of (or, more covertly, give ammunition to) hatred. Nevertheless, in such a discussion one would still have a basic respect for the person holding these beliefs. I don't see anything wrong with that, but I don't think it goes far enough. The philosophical and rhetorical approach of a Bertrand Russell or Richard Dawkins won't deter the most irrational and bigoted, because those people don't really fear losing a calm, reasoned debate, so that's where other tactics have come in. I'm hardly abandoning the rational, diplomatic approach in many cases. But the dyed-in-the-wool bigots need to be ridiculed, get hit in their bank accounts, and anything else that will actually make a mark. I'm saying this as someone who has sat down at the table in goodwill with people who turned out to be truly hateful, and I've reconsidered strategy in such cases. Logan's post sounds a little too sanguine to me, but who can say for sure?
Anyway, your constant attempts to trap me and turn the tables and catch me in a double standard show that you haven't really addressed the point that I and others have repeatedly made that the two sides here are not parallel equivalents. One side is the aggressor here. The goal is to diminish fanaticism and bigotry, not people's civil liberties, so of course you can't test my statements about one side by plugging in the other to see if it works.
21
@tODD: one last comment on your paragraphs 4-6: I've made it very clear that I'm not arguing against Christians or Christianity as a whole by qualifying what I mean by groups like Mars Hill, and yet you repeatedly use those entire terms in your attempt to draw supposed "logical conclusions" from my arguments, making it appear as if I would put all Christians in the same category. Unfair, sir.
22
tODD, there's no point being logical here.

Does this church have any real power or influence? No. And being in that neighborhood, really, who gives a fuck. Best ignored, or "tolerated" as the oh-so-tolerant Portland fancies itself. But then, tolerating those whose opinions and lives aren't in lockstep with the knee-jerk liberal masses in inner SE/NE not exactly this town's strong suit.
23
Gay people are not at equal fault of intolerance of a belief that they shouldn't exist. I don't know why evangelicals get the upper had so often in this. If this was a say a race issue and not gender / orientation issue, who would be at fault? The racist for not wanting the _____ to exist, or the _____ not tolerating the racists belief that he/she should not exist (or should not be granted equal treatment)? You can't argue that one has to tolerate intolerance or both are meaningless ... and if these evangelicals were not going after gay people and their families in the first place, then gays wouldn't have to DEFEND themselves. Gays didn't start this, and they are not on the offensive against others (if you don't believe me ... I dare you to find any real direct opposite to an anti-gay campaign, like attempts to make it illegal for straight people to marry, adopt, teach, etc ... just for bing straight).