Not my town, John. Not OUR town. Find another name for your homophobic manifesto. Nashville is NOT on board with your hate-filled, exclusionist version of God. You don’t get to name it “The Nashville Statement” (an anti-gay treatise which you can read HERE). Name it after Bethlehem Baptist Church, where you weekly spread your hatred from your tainted pulpit… Name it after “The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” (CBMW) that you co-founded to ensure the continuation of a male-centered worldview and a “complementarianist” understanding of gender roles… Name it after your warped Calvinism that turns God into a monster… But you DON’T get to name it after this good Southern town–this oasis in the middle of the Bible Belt–this Nashville… A town that is doing its best to be a welcoming and affirming place for ALL people, regardless of who they love or how they express their gender and sexuality.
You have chosen one of the most divided times in our nation’s history–a moment where our country is dealing with one of the worst national disasters it has ever seen–to release a highly divisive and inflammatory statement. In a time where the majority of people–both in this country AND on your list of initial signatories–calling themselves “evangelicals” (a word so wholly compromised and diminished that it is almost impossible to use it in a non-pejorative sense) have put their support behind a philandering, thrice-married, pussy-grabbing, white supremacist, you thought that RIGHT NOW was a good time to make a statement about the “sin” of being queer. In a time where people DESPERATELY needs the help of our religious leaders to articulate with moral clarity the clear evil and depravity of white supremacy, SO MANY “leaders” within the Church decided to make a grand statement saying that folks who are LGBTQ+ don’t get to be “christians.” I seriously cannot believe it…
So here is what I have to say to the “leaders” who signed this monstrosity: You arrogant, hypocritical assholes. You have completely missed the point of Jesus. Every time the Bible tells a story where Jesus was presented with an issue where the choice was between Law and Love, he sides with love. EVERY TIME. When he’s asked about “how to inherit eternal life,” he tells a story about two religious leaders who follow the letter of the law, and then points to a Samaritan–one who gets all the theology wrong, but who goes out of his way to show compassion to someone who is hurting, and touch someone their culture called “unclean”–as an example of how to love our neighbors. And yet here you are, still focussing your misguided attention on the letter of the law.
Well, here’s the truth: We have millions of people in this country right now who are lying on the road to Jericho, wounded and in need of help… They are our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. And they are told BY YOU that they are worthless… Or at least worth less. They are suffering the emotional abuse of being told by their families that they are broken and unloved and destined for lives of loneliness and isolation, and with this hate-filled statement, you are giving theological covering and justification for the Priests and the Levites to walk to the other side of the road… And that’s the reason my eyes are filled with tears right now. It is just so utterly Anti-Jesus. This bullshit “statement” will do very real harm to kids and adults whoYou are providing a theological backing for policies that will LITERALLY KILL KIDS. You talk about being “pro-life.” Kids who are LGBTQ+ and are in non-accepting religious families are EIGHT TIMES more likely to attempt suicide… That is NOT “pro-life.” You talk about judging something by its fruit. The fruit of a statement like this is that lesbian, gay, and transgender kids are WAY more likely to kill themselves. That is some of the shittiest fruit I have ever heard of…
So with your signing of this document, you are adding your names to a list of stubborn, conservative irrelevance… A relic of a time where a privileged few stood firm in their legalism, while the Spirit of God led the consciousness of the world in a more loving direction. And just like the church leaders who defended slavery, who argued against interracial marriage, who fought tooth and nail against women’s rights, you are adding yourselves to a list of names that–generations from now–will be looked back on in horror by future followers of Jesus, trying to understand how so many could have been so misguided. And if you want to add your names to a list that is certain to be yet another shameful black eye on the face of this thing called The Church, that’s your decision… But you don’t get to add the name “Nashville” to that list. That’s not your decision to make.
I’ll leave you with the words of Nashville’s mayor, Megan Barry…
TAKE IT DOWN!
It would mean a lot to me if you shared this. If you love someone who is LGBTQ+, if you love the town of Nashville, if you love the Jesus who hangs out with the ones everyone else has called unclean… it’s important that we stand with the ones who are under attack by this garbage “Statement.” Be vocal. Use your voice, and let them know that this “Statement” is about power and privilege, and not about Jesus. And if you belong to a church that supports this, go ahead and #EmptyThePews.
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“Every time the Bible tells a story where Jesus was presented with an issue where the choice was between Law and Love, he sides with love. EVERY TIME.”
I wrote about this very same truth just recently. When Jesus himself was willing to set aside the law in order to show love and compassion, the failure of christians to follow his example speaks volumes!
I guess tolerance only works one way for you, huh? You can slam & use hate-filled speech against anyone you see as oppressive, but don’t realize that the measure you use against others can also be used against you.
I tell you what… I am so tired of this bullshit line of reasoning. This whole “Oh yeah, you’re really ‘tolerant.’ You’re not even tolerant of my intolerance” garbage.
I shouldn’t have to explain this to you, but here goes. IT IS NOT OPPRESSIVE TO TELL SOMEONE ELSE THEY DON’T GET TO OPPRESS OTHERS. If there are 10 people in a room that has 10 cookies, and one person tries to grab 5 fucking cookies, ME TELLING THEM THEY DON’T GET TO DO THAT IS NOT ME “OPPRESSING” THEM! I don’t care if they grabbed 5 cookies the last time they were in the room… I don’t care if their daddy and their granddaddy always grabbed 5 cookies… I don’t care if some unjust law says that they’re entitled to 5 cookies… IT’S NOT RIGHT.
Justice is a something. It is real. It has a definition. And equality is part of the DNA of Justice. This isn’t about “tolerance.” This is about Right and Wrong. And I’ve got some news for you: YOU ARE WRONG. Deal with it, snowflake.
Time to stop pretending we should tolerate the intolerant.
And the people said, “Amen”! Thank you for this response. That “logic” is so tired and warped I don’t even know where to begin with it anymore.
“Inclusive” I see you’ve got this whole “love everyone, even if you think they’re wrong” thing down.
It is not unloving to explain to someone why they’re wrong.
You poor fragile thing…
I guess you hold all the cards about what is right & wrong. Didn’t know you were so powerful. Must be nice to know everything & have it all figured out.
One last thought, is it possible for you to respond without calling people names? Or is that part of your “shtick”?
It’s possible people are tired of your snark and your inability to have a discussion. You’re here to score points. We get that. But — what value is this discussion to you? Is it just about moral preening, to see who is better and who is worse? Or do you honestly care about your own position, and are you willing to explain it?
To whom are you speaking, Stephen?
Sorry – the threading is out of synch – I was speaking to the Wanderer who appears to be a drive by. I am sorry it was unclear.
The Gnashville Statement is hurtful, presumptuous, and ill-timed to the point of being outrageous.
Well said. Sharing.
I wonder if, given that Nashville is an ‘oasis’ of tolerance in the Bible belt, this document was done there deliberately? Here in the UK, the town of Brighton is often said to be the ‘gay capital’ of Britain. I wonder if, had it been in this country, they’d have signed the document in Brighton?
It might have been that. It might have also been that there are a bunch of convention centers and amenities… and strip clubs.
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As an ally, I’d actually like to thank the CBMW and anyone else involved in drafting this repulsive statement, because it’s only going to expedite their already inevitable path towards irrelevance. In my lifetime if not the next, denominations that preach this hot garbage will be extinct (at least in the US) and their rapidly fading ability to oppress and marginalize anyone deemed lesser will finally expire, thank God. It does make me proud to see so many condemn this statement, especially those in the Church.
My further hope is that the parents and pastors who drove their LGBTQ youths to suicide or drug overdoses by making their own family members feel worthless (as implicitly instructed in this statement) will be held accountable by the law, but that’s probably a pipe dream.
Amazingly, like clockwork, Christians with a persecution complex come out of the woodwork to play the victim when they’re held accountable for perpetuating bigotry rooted in ignorance (of the Bible and science) and bust out the ever-reliable false equivalency about no one tolerating their intolerance and even outright oppression of innocent people. Delusion fueled by narcissism.
Seriously, as if young people weren’t abandoning the church fast enough, now every single one of them has a fresh batch of ideological ammunition and a new clear-cut group to avoid associating with or supporting in any way. I’m starting to think the Church WANTS entire generations to leave.
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