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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Do GLBT Students Need Special Protection?

I've become tired of my own dribble and have decided to jump into a hornet's nest by addressing a hot topic in the town of Burlington, Iowa. There is an open forum for the public schools that will address making the Burlington Community School District a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) Safe place under the GLBT Youth in Iowa Schools Task Force program

Disclaimer: This may or may not be the view of my employer and I although I don't have one of those disclaimers in the top right corner of this blog, accept this as my disclaimer that these are my views and not anyone elses.

That out of the way, let me start by saying I am repulsed by the efforts most "Christian" churches make to reach out to and help the GLBT community feel safe.

Perfect example: This morning on our local AFR Christian station a panel discussion was conducted with numerous local pastors to discuss the upcoming forum. It sparked quite the buzz in the office and across town as every pastor accept one took the traditional stand that we love the sinner, but hate the sin. The one, Mark Connelly of Harmony Church, a local independant church said that Christians have done enough already to give themselves a black eye when it comes to this topic, and he said he wouldn't encourage Christians to attend the forum to oppose it. (Recipie for angst: Take idea opposite to what most think and voice it repeatedly on live radio broadcast. Shake well and let boil.) I may not 100% agree with Pastor Connelly, but I agreed more with him than I did the other people who made comments like "We're called to be the salt and sometimes salt stings" Hmm, not exactly what Jesus was talking about, but interesting interpretation.

The discussion carried over from the radio into the office where I actually heard the comment "Take em all and put em on an island in the South Pacific". The statement wasn't from a pastor, but to hear claims on the radio that the church is already the safest place in town for GLBT and then see how they are thought of by staff of the church... not exactly safe. Unless he meant to put them on one of those tropical resort islands that is all inclusive and has a great view of the ocean, but I doubt that's what he had in mind.

As much as I would honestly like to, prompted by this article, we won't be advertising ourselves as a gay friendly church.

FOR THE LOVE! People are so stupid and I am quite frustrated.