Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Anti-Gay Church Must Pay Marine's Family

From a reader:

BALTIMORE -- A Kansas church has been ordered to pay $3,150 for costs and fees associated with a summons and complaint filed by the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the extremist group.

Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., is suing the Rev. Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, of Westminster, and posted pictures of the protest on their Web site.

Lance Snyder was killed in Iraq in March. Members of the Topeka church claim U.S. soldiers are killed as God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality.

Click here for the full story.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pastor Resigns Over Homosexuality

What is it with Evangelical ministers in Colorado suddenly coming out? I think this it the third one in about as many months. If so many of these 'holiest' of men are having this issue, doesn't it really throw sand in the face of the argument that you can change your sexuality? This preacher talks about struggling with this since he was 5. It seems to me that's pretty concrete evidence for 'nature' over 'nurture.'

From the Denver Post:

In a tearful videotaped message Sunday to his congregation, the senior pastor of a thriving evangelical megachurch in south metro Denver confessed to sexual relations with other men and announced he had voluntarily resigned his pulpit.

A month ago, the Rev. Paul Barnes of Grace Chapel in Douglas County preached to his 2,100-member congregation about integrity and grace in the aftermath of the Ted Haggard drugs-and gay-sex scandal.

Now, the 54-year-old Barnes joins Haggard as a fallen evangelical minister who preached that homosexuality was a sin but grappled with a hidden life.

“I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," Barnes said in the 32- minute video, which church leaders permitted The Denver Post to view. "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."

His wife, Char, cradled his hand. Barnes declined an interview request through the church.

Click here for the full story in the Denver Post.

I was raised fundamentalist. Baptist for a time. It was a rough road at times, but unlike these men who repressed who they were, married, had kids and threw themselves into religion, I chose to accept who I was and how I was made, be open and honest with myself and God - and not live a lie. In my opinion, I have the better deal.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Huntsville cares - a positive response to Phelps protests.

The following came to me via email late last night. It's a great example of using a phelps protest for good, turning their hate into donations for worthy causes. Read on:

Hi all,

First off, I'd like to thank everyone for your generous support, and am sorry that there is not time to reply to all of you individually. There has been a wonderful response! We have received $1160.00 in straight contributions, and pledges of $935.00 per hour. More support is still rolling in. After the funeral today, an amount of $2406.72 has been raised.

As some of you may have heard, the Huntsville police gave Fred Phelps a permit only for 45 minutes, from 11:15 until noon, at which time the funeral was scheduled to begin. When I arrived about 10:30, there was a big police presence, and I love what they set up for a demonstration space for Phelps! They parked two city buses in front of the small space reserved for them, completely hiding them from public view.

We were allowed to stand on the other side of the street. A good number of counter-protestors showed up (see picture below). Most of them carried positive signs, like "Respect the Funeral", "Respect Grief", and "God is Love".

Rebecca Smith and I stood with two signs. One stated "Huntsville Cares", and the other said (at the end of the protest) "$2100 for Lee High Families and AAC"

Here you see the demonstration space (behind the two buses). We could hear the Westboro people shouting and singing over there, but the only time we could see them was when they left, shortly after noon.

Here's Rebecca Smith with our signs, standing in the counter-protest area.

I doubt that the Westboro demonstrators even saw our signs, but the people going to the funeral were appreciative of everyone's support for the families. However, just to make sure that Fred Phelps knows, I will send a letter to the Westboro "Baptist Church" telling how their time was redirected for positive purposes.

That is probably it -- I understand now that the Phelps crowd is scheduled to be in Orlando tomorrow, so hopefully, no more funerals will be disrupted.

Thanks for caring, and for helping convert hatred into an awesome act of community!

I would love to give further credit to the source, but this was an email forward to me. Thanks to "Bob" for forwarding it on.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What's going on with the changes?

As I sit and try to keep the site going, it's become difficult to keep things up to date and find time to write, though I'm committed to keeping the site going. So what changes should you expect?
  • More personal writing and thoughts of my own.
  • A bit more interaction (latest comments on the left), additional options as Google adds them to Blogger.
  • I'm looking for other bloggers to share their experiences being gay and Christian - a blog of this nature will manage that well.
  • We've removed a lot of the 3rd party resources as the are from other sites on the web. There are links on the right that will take you to more resources than we could post here (and we'd never want to plaigerize).
  • Regular updates as I work this into my blogging schedule.
  • Dynamic updating news (left).
  • More links and resources than before.
Hope you like the changes and the transition. Please comment to this post if there's something I'm missing, or that you'd like to see/hear.

A comedy piece with a lot to say.

This is Sacha Baron Cohen's character Bruno for his next film. Cohen is best known for "Da Ali G Show" and the current movie "Borat." While this piece is clearly done for comedy, it's a serious interview with a "gay converting" pastor and speaks volumes of the chasm between gay rights and most organized religion. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Is it inherent that gays don't pray?

I got a message from my mother the other day about an issue in our family that started out “If you still pray…” It got me started thinking. Do most Christians inherently think that because someone is gay, they have no connection to God? I’m sure my mother didn’t mean it in the way it sounded… she was frustrated with a situation and was leaving a quick message. But it still got me thinking about gays and prayer.

The irony of the answer to the question is that I pray a lot more now than I did when I was regularly attending church, living at home and surrounded by Christian love. I think that being out on my own, recognizing that the church I grew up in wants nothing to do with me, has made me seek my own closer connection to God.

I hear a lot of people say that spirituality doesn’t have to involve a building or a structured set of beliefs and rules. That sprituality is a personal relationship with a higher being, which most call God. I think that for some, the structured beliefs and rules make it easier to ‘keep the faith’ so to speak. When you walk out of that, or are thrust out (or simply don’t feel welcome anymore) it’s up to you and you alone to set your beliefs and maintain your connection to God. And that’s harder than anyone gives us credit for.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Phelps Protests - Week of 6/18/06

Funeral of Marine Sgt. Mark T. Smykowski (Killed in Iraq)
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA
Tuesday, June 20 - 8:15 am

Funeral of Army Pvt. Benjamin J. Slaven (Killed in Iraq)
St. John Lutheran Church
701 N. 6th St., Beatrice NE
Tuesday, June 20 - 2:15 pm

Funeral of Army Cpl. Andy D. Anderson (Killed in Iraq)
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington VA
Wednesday, June 21 - 2:15 pm

We only advocate peaceful counterprotests and abhor hate and violence in all forms.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Phelps Protests - Week of 6/5/06

Funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Kevin A. Lucas (Killed in Iraq)
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, VA
Tuesday, June 6 - 2:15 pm

Funeral of Army Spc. Bobby R. West (Killed in Iraq)
First Baptist Church, 101 Hwy 64 West
Beebe, Arkansas
Wednesday, June 7 - 1:15 pm

Please note: We offer information on WBC protests so that you can be informed of the hate that is spreading in your community at the hands of this group. We do not condone protests of this type, nor do we encourage an hate or violence of any kind. Peaceful counter-protests of the type Romaine Patterson held at the funeral of Matthew Shepard that allow families and friends to mourn in peace are generally welcomed with appropriate planning.

On a side note, funeral protests of this type are particularly appalling. Many states are passing laws to prevent such protest - which flirts with the gray areas of "free speech." In general, your speech cannot interfere or prevent the speech of another. It is argued that protests of this type infringe upon the free expression and speech of the mourners at the funeral, not allowing them to express themselves fully. We at GLF generally agree with this assessment and encourage prevention of funeral protests of this type.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Renewal and rebirth.

When godlovesfags.com was begun more than 8 years ago, we intended to provide a counter opinion to the hate spread by the Phelps family in Kansas. We also kept up-to-date info on the protests launched by Fred Phelps and his family, so those who wanted to, could head off a demonstration, or counter-protest themselves.

With this as a side-interest, and full-time jobs to hold down, updating the site became burdonsome. With the advent of blogging, it seems appropriate to transition to this format, with the hope of keeping things more up to date.

As we transition materials from the old site, you can still access the old site here: http://www.godlovesfags.com/index.html.