Advertising | Indiana | Jesus Christ | News | Religion

Indianapolis to Receive Pro-gay Message from Jesus

A new campaign from Jesus Metropolitan Community Church of Indianapolis, with help from Faith In America and Metropolitan Community Churches this week began blanketing the Indianapolis area with billboards challenging Christian assumptions about homosexuality.

FaithinamericaAccording to Faith in America, the five billboards (pictured) direct viewers to a website that provides support for the claims made on each.

Said Rev. Jimmy Creech, Executive Director of Faith In America: "In the past, many Christians misused the Bible to support slavery, oppose equal rights for women, and oppose interracial marriage. They went so far as to accuse people on the other side of being unbiblical. The same thing is happening again with respect to same-gender relationships. It has to stop."

Added Pastor Jeff Miner of Jesus Metropolitan Community Church: "Right now, most people think this is a debate between people who love the Bible โ€“ conservative Christians โ€“ and people who want to throw out the Bible โ€“ godless homosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Church welcomes hundreds of devout gay Christians who love the Bible deeply. Our goal is to rescue the Bible from misinterpretations driven by cultural prejudice, so its true message of grace, hope, and peace can come through."

The Indiana legislature recently killed a proposed ban on same-sex marriage despite dogged efforts by religious and "pro-family" conservatives (including Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy) to pass it.

The billboard campaign is slated to remain up for a month.

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. Uh-oh...

    Posted by: Jason | Apr 17, 2007 2:24:48 PM


  2. I'd rather remain a godless atheist homosexual and toss all religions on the scrap heap, but I will give these guys a thumbs up on their effort

    Posted by: pacificoceanboy | Apr 17, 2007 2:33:50 PM


  3. it's precisely because the left has been unwilling to address issues of religious belief that the right has been so successful in promoting discrimination. this is a great political and religious campaign. i hope they take these billboards everywhere in america.

    Posted by: gwyneth cornrow | Apr 17, 2007 2:46:34 PM


  4. Finally.

    Like some mainline church couldn't have done this work, like, ten years ago? Ugh.

    Posted by: ebsur | Apr 17, 2007 2:50:50 PM


  5. I am so proud of my fellow Hoosiers for taking such an awesome step to show Jesus' love is all-inclusive.....I just wish I could be a fly on the wall when children go home and ask their parents to read the verses cited and discuss them!

    Kudos to Jeff Miner and Indy's MCC!

    Posted by: David | Apr 17, 2007 3:21:12 PM


  6. While I'm a queer Christian in all meanings of the word, I have to give this campaign a "Hm". Parsing scriptural text is what the religious opponents of GLBT do all the time, which results in preaching to those whom already agree with them. I don't see it working any better in the opposite direction. Hm.

    Evangelicals Concerned, a GLBT affirming organization with the mission of providing support as GLBT Christians engage in the reconciliation of their sexuality and spirituality, once had a tract that was entitled, "What Jesus Had to Say About Homosexuality." You opened it up, and it was completely blank, which, of course, spoke volumes and was more effective, IMHO, than playing dueling scripture verses.

    Posted by: KJ | Apr 17, 2007 3:21:42 PM


  7. The Bible advocates slavery, treating women like property, and the killing of gays. Deal with it already!

    Posted by: borut | Apr 17, 2007 3:26:56 PM


  8. I can't believe that this hasn't attracted a bunch of right wing trolls. It's a great effort, but I sort of agree with KJ. One of the things that would really help is to get more churches to join the Reconciled in Christ movement.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 17, 2007 3:30:03 PM


  9. The Jesus Metropolitan Community Church of Indianapolis has some reading comprehension issues.

    Matthew 8:5-13 isn't about a gay couple. It's a centurion asking for help with his property. We, in the 21st century, have a lexicon of sexual images of master and servant; the early writers of the gospels didn't have that lexicon.

    Matthew 19:10-12 isn't about homosexuals. It's about eunuchs. Eunuchs weren't homosexuals -- or, at least, not all eunuchs were homosexuals. That shows both bad reading comprehension and bad logic.

    Acts 8:26-40 is another instance where the concept of "eunuch" isn't apparently understood.

    The David and Jonathan stuff is compelling -- but ultimately, the Bible goes out of its way to be anti-gay. The Bible does not support homosexuality. Jesus says both kind and unkind (reprehensible, actually) things. It's a troubling book to base one's faith and ethos on.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 17, 2007 3:34:58 PM


  10. I don't Stephen will like that website.

    Posted by: Chesnut | Apr 17, 2007 3:47:22 PM


  11. Wonderful! this is a great political and religious campaign. i hope they take these billboards everywhere in america.

    Posted by: vince | Apr 17, 2007 3:51:17 PM


  12. That's nice. Why do we have to argue for rights on religious terms again? The ultra-religious right wants to play by their book of rules...let's not affirm this desire by firing back shakey bible references.

    Posted by: scientitian | Apr 17, 2007 3:52:53 PM


  13. While I commend the effort, and think the bible is abused at the expense of gays, those passages don't really paraphrase the way the ad campaign says they do.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 17, 2007 3:55:59 PM


  14. "That shows both bad reading comprehension and bad logic."

    Considering the religious right has been doing that very thing to support discrimination for countless years, I'm not going to get too upset if this group is equally liberal with their interpretation.

    Posted by: mark m | Apr 17, 2007 4:13:17 PM


  15. In the past 2000 years there has been some progress made in the philosophy of ethics, some of which is well known (slavery is bad, for example) and some which is not. It's really a question of overall education rather than trying to rescue old ideas.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 17, 2007 4:26:43 PM


  16. "Considering the religious right has been doing that very thing to support discrimination for countless years, I'm not going to get too upset if this group is equally liberal with their interpretation."

    But that's two wrongs toward a right, then, no? "*Finally*, we get to haul out our own shoddy logic."

    I really liked Scientitian's response: Why is religious acceptance important again?

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 17, 2007 4:31:27 PM


  17. I'm surprised the campaign didn't go all the way and mention Jesus' own love for the apostle John (whom Jesus loved). What has bugged me the past several years about the DeVinci Code controversy is that they got it all wrong. It was John whom Jesus loved, and not Mary Magdeline. It is John who DeVinci deliberately painted to look feminine, and the only code he was putting in the painting is due to the verse in the bible where Jesus on the cross gave his mother to John ("whom he loved") and John to his mother ("this is your son"). Anyway....Jesus never did marry. hmmmm

    Posted by: Patrick | Apr 17, 2007 4:34:25 PM


  18. It's not a matter of reading comprehension, it's a matter of a thousand year old document written in a very vague language and re-translated too many times, which is why it shouldn't be used to guide anything but the individual lives of those who wish to follow it.

    Posted by: nycredneck | Apr 17, 2007 4:43:06 PM


  19. Why is religious acceptance important again? Notice that this is being done not by gay people to gain acceptance, but by people already in a church.

    Jimmy Creech, for those who may not remember, was tried by the United Methodist Church, and eventually removed for performing same sex unions back in 1997 and 1999.

    If the Bible is constantly distorted to oppress us, why shouldn't somebody press back? I agree that some of these passages are a stretch, but they are not nearly as bad as the right-wing interpretations are.

    I'm intrigued by the Matthew 8:5-13 passage, and it could very well be a gay couple. The primary meaning of Greek "pais" is boy, so the centurion is asking for Jesus to come heal his boy. How would we interpret that?

    Yes, "eunuch" is more of a stretch, and I don't buy that one.

    And I wish they had speculated on what is meant by "the disciple Jesus loved" -- which was taken in the Middle Ages to mean John, the youngest disciple (often portrayed resting his head on Jesus' chest), was his beloved. (See Boswell)

    The website itself is well-argued and well-documented.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Apr 17, 2007 4:52:02 PM


  20. That website with all its talk of teen sex slaves! Crap don't the Christians have enough problems with the little boys?

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 17, 2007 4:53:39 PM


  21. Patrick: started writing my comment before yours was there!

    Yes: that's bothered me about the Da Vinci Code, too!

    Posted by: KevinVT | Apr 17, 2007 4:54:14 PM


  22. Mike B, what are you basing your statements upon?

    Are you a bible scholar and/or an expert in ancient Greek?

    I don't know if you bothered to check it out but the website provides a scholarly study that takes the ACTUAL translations of the words, their context and cross references with other Biblical writings (and other ancient texts) into consideration.

    That holds a lot more weight with me than the yahoos who think that the Bible, in its current form, is the word of God, printed directly from His lips, in Elizabethan English.

    What reading comprehension problems are you referring to? You are complaining that people are lacking reading comprehension skills when interpreting a translation of a translation of a translation of an ancient text. What does reading comprehension of a text in Modern or Elizabethan English have to do with understanding the intention of the original text?

    Plenty of Bible scholars, even those who aren't gay friendly, agree that "eunuch" is sometimes used in ancient texts, including the Bible, to refer to homosexuals.

    As a gay Christian I applaud this courageous move.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 17, 2007 4:55:32 PM


  23. I suggest that people go to the website and read the explanations before automatically discounting the claims made in the billboards.

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 17, 2007 4:58:18 PM


  24. "Why is religious acceptance important again?"

    If you are not a person who follows any particular religion then it means nothing. That's your right.

    But it means something to millions, no, BILLIONS of people in the world. As much as we rational, educated atheists (I'm not actually one but I play one on TV), people of faith are NOT going anywhere anytime soon.

    Your position is fine for a philosophy class or over coffee with like-minded friends, but it has virtually no application in the real world where flaud and imperfect humans choose to believe in things you do not.

    Posted by: mark m | Apr 17, 2007 5:02:31 PM


  25. "I don't know if you bothered to check it out but the website provides a scholarly study that takes the ACTUAL translations of the words, their context and cross references with other Biblical writings (and other ancient texts) into consideration.

    That holds a lot more weight with me than the yahoos who think that the Bible, in its current form, is the word of God, printed directly from His lips, in Elizabethan English."

    Agreed. (And, by the way, I'm neither a Bible scholar nor do I know Greek.) However, now you (or not you, but the universal "you") is in the position of reconciling texts in the Bible. For all the scriptures that might marginally be pro-gay (and that's still pretty speculative. I wouldn't take the marketing copy on a website as unequivocal proof; nor would I accept their sources just because they happen to coincide with my own beliefs), there are other scriptures which are, without a doubt, very much anti-gay.

    How do you choose which is correct?

    You have a text that, on several occasions, makes it clear that it's the word of God. That what it is reporting is what God wants to be known. And some of those pieces of scripture are lovely (Song of Songs, the Ruth and Naomi story, the Beatitudes); and some of that stuff is just downright nasty and ugly.

    The Bible is so loosely compiled as to support any viewpoint. I don't think religion is the way for us to get -- and keep -- acceptance.

    Posted by: Mike B. | Apr 17, 2007 5:14:18 PM


Post a comment







Trending


« «News: Sanjaya, Hugh Jackman, Great White Shark, Wegman« «