I hadn’t planned to spend nearly all last week talking about the very un-Christian actions of some so-called pastors. It just happened to several stories came to light at the same time. There are a few people who have done more than talk and spread the word, and I think those folks deserve our thanks.
A group of parents in Harlem, tired of the many hateful messages appearing on a church sign in their neighborhood (and the hateful sermons of the pastor there), have started a campaign to raise money for the Ali Forney Center: Harlem Against Violence and Homophobia. The Ali Forney Center is a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless LGBT youth. The Center provides a safe, home like environment for kids on the street who are not welcome with their families because they are gay. They’re asking people who are upset about the messages from Pastor “Jesus Would Stone Homos” Manning to donate to the center.
I can’t think of a better way to respond to such hate, than to send some love and support to some kids who really need it.
Another person from Pastor Manning’s neighborhood, inspired by the trans woman who dared an anti-gay lawmaker to stone her in January, Jennifer Louise Lopez went to the door of Pastor Manning’s church and told them that she was there for her stoning. She took a video of her conversation with the person who answered, and has posted it:
(And the first time I posted this, the embedding worked, but later it turned into gobbldeguck, so click here to see the awkward moment.)
It’s funny how uncomfortable and timid people become when confronted by the meaning of their words. I do wonder why there is so little outrage from mainstream America at the outright incitement to violence of Pastor Manning’s most recent church sign, though.
Meanwhile, the leader of the God Hates Fags Church finally died this week. I’ve already seen some people repeating the early speculation that he might have had a change of hear late in his life being reported as if it is true, even though there is not one single shred of evidence to support it. In fact, the person who is probably the world’s expert on the church (she wrote her doctoral thesis on them after spending a few years attending their services every Sunday and even traveling with them on a couple of their road trips to picket funerals) has pointed out that the leader was probably excommunicated simply because he was dying. The church’s theology includes the firm belief that Jesus is returning any day now, that the “elect” alive right now will not die. If someone who is alive “now” does die, then they aren’t going to heaven because of this last of the last days belief. The church hasn’t held a funeral for any of its members since 1986, and has excommunicated each of the members that have died in that time.
Anyway, Rachel Maddow did a wonderful Not-An-Obituary for the guy, “Pseudo-religious hate-cult leader fails, dies.” You really should watch it, because it isn’t about their hate, it’s about the good that it brought out of the rest of the world.