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Christian Magazine Publishes Ad for LGBT Homeless Organization After GLAAD Outreach

Sojourners-Ad

After it rejected an ad from Believe Out Loud, an organization whose purpose is to help Christian congregations become more welcoming of LGBT people, progressive Christian magazine Sojourners offered a variety of excuses for doing so:

The reasons cited were that the core issues of Sojourners are “poverty, racial justice, stewardship of the creation, and the defense of life and peace.” Wallis reiterated his support for inclusion of LGBT people in the worship life of congregations. However he also stressed that Sojourners didn’t want the Believe Out Loud ad to imply that Sojourners takes a stance on marriage equality, preferring to remain neutral. Sojourners says that it wants to be supportive of LGBT people, but prefers to do that through the editorial process, rather than through advertising.

GLAAD challenged the publication on its advertising and editorial policies regarding LGBT issues:

The representative from Sojourners reiterated to GLAAD that Sojourners wants to keep its primary focus on issues of poverty/homelessness, war/peace, and environment. GLAAD reminded Sojourners that LGBT people are involved in all those issues and that LGBT people are affected by those issues just as much as, if not more than, the general population. In the course of the conversation, GLAAD asked if an LGBT organization who worked in those primary focus areas would be able to place an ad. Sojourner’s said yes, and GLAAD took them at their word.

GLAAD then was in contact with staff members from the Ali Forney Center, an LGBT youth homeless shelter in New York City. The Ali Forney Center was instrumental presenting the stories of youth rejected from their homes to comedian Tracy Morgan after he went on an anti-gay rant during a June 3 comedy performance in Nashville, Tenn. Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, expressed a strong interest in reaching out to evangelical and mainline protestant Christians with information about causes of youth homelessness, particularly the connection between family rejection and LGBT youth homelessness. He shared with us that one quarter of LGBT youth rejected by their parents become homeless and nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT (pdf). Using these statistics, GLAAD and the Ali Forney Center created a full-page, color ad that is currently running in the September/October issue of Sojourners magazine.

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Comments

  1. Very powerful ad.

    (Although the poor child is being left literally on the railway tracks...)

    Posted by: Patrick M | Aug 23, 2011 1:06:57 PM


  2. I love Jim Wallis. Good for them!

    Posted by: Dan4444 | Aug 23, 2011 1:16:41 PM


  3. Though it's too text-filled and a bit ugly as advertising, I adore the co-opting of a New Testament gospel verse to suggest that ALL of the Bible can be used as it suits the politics of the user. I don't envy the poor editor this week, though, as the righteous hysteria builds to a frothy pitch. I hope they're hiring at Conde Nast.

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Aug 23, 2011 1:20:24 PM


  4. I find it odd to use a bible verse to advertise for a shelter. I work with homeless youth in Seattle and most of the LGBT homeless left due to religious convictions of their families. "If there is any among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?" Yes, there are many among the human race that would give a snake along with punches, kicks, and verbal abuse. All because a imaginary friend told them to do it.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 23, 2011 1:35:15 PM


  5. It's about time. Isn't that what a true Christian should do?

    Posted by: Married in MA | Aug 23, 2011 1:38:08 PM


  6. All organized religion is evil, but many non-evil people are in its grasp and it's worth reaching out to them and saving them from themselves before the evil of organized religion permanently warps them. Also, doing so might save a child from suffering at the hands of someone under the evil influence of organized religion.

    That being said, that ad is awful and a failure on every level of design, which is a real shame.

    Posted by: ohplease | Aug 23, 2011 1:46:39 PM


  7. BRYCE: I think the point here is that some Christians look at these passages and feel that they remind Christian parents that their duty is to love their child. They hope that other Christians, specifically the ones who would forget this, will see the point behind that passage and realize that what they're doing is contrary to what a true Christian should be. In their view, the kinds of Christians who would abuse, kick out, or abandon their LGBT children are the kind who have lost their way.

    Religion is what people make of it. We see how ugly and evil it is when we see people like Rick Perry, the Bacchmans, or the Phelps.

    But there are also people who show us how good it is when it inspires them beyond the point of breaking to reach out to LGBT children, to advocate for the rights of the LGBT community, fight for social justice, and spread peace and tolerance for people, all because they believe that the true message of their religion is to love one another.

    One of the fiercest pro-LGBT fighters I know, who tirelessly pursues comprehensive sex education for her kids, the kids in her parish, and for the country is a devout Episcopalian. She gets her strength from the teachings of the Bible and she uses it to explain why a loving God would never want LGBTs converted, or shunned, called "sinners", or abused in any way, or why Conservative ignorance and a lack of true compassion is morally unacceptable. She and her husband, the pastor of that church, do so much good, fueled by their religious beliefs.

    It is because she believes it is immoral to leave teenagers in the dark when their health is at risk that she holds comprehensive sexual health classes for all the teens in their parish, making sure that all the girls AND all the boys know about condoms, how to put one on correctly (on a hilarious purple model), know about safe practices for gay and straight sex, how to protect themselves and where to get tested.

    The issue isn't that religion exists (though for some people, it is), but rather what it is used for. When it goes to support close-mindedness, it's a problem. But it is because of her religious beliefs about love that she would never throw her own kids out on the street if they were gay, and why she teaches them to stand up for their peers who may be bullied for any reason.

    If more Christian parents were like her or my other Christian friends, many of these kids in these shelters wouldn't have had to flee from their homes. Inspiring parents to be better Christians through scripture in ads like these is meant to remind them that the Bible calls them to rise above their pettier instincts of prejudice or hatred and to love their children when they need love, instead of responding with venom or hatred.

    Posted by: luminum | Aug 23, 2011 2:00:25 PM


  8. The message is so important. True Christianity in my opinion.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Aug 23, 2011 2:03:33 PM


  9. Hmm. I find leading at-risk gay teens toward Christianity to be quite disconcerting, to say the least. I would never approve of this, very much the same way that I would never approve of known child abusers adopting kids. These troubled teens have had enough problems. They don't need parasites trying to claim their souls too.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Aug 23, 2011 2:13:38 PM


  10. hmm my post isn't showing up... and it was a long one.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 23, 2011 2:20:58 PM


  11. Luminum is exactly right! This ad is cutting edge where the mass Evanglical world will be forced to go to...living up to their own message. This ad will cause many to begin speaking their own hearts, rather than being silent as the loud minority continue to promoting their hate.

    Great job!

    Posted by: Rick | Aug 23, 2011 2:27:17 PM


  12. "But it is because of her religious beliefs about love that she would never throw her own kids out on the street if they were gay, and why she teaches them to stand up for their peers who may be bullied for any reason."

    She isn't doing good things because of her religion. She is doing it because she is a good person. Take away religion and she would probably be doing the same things she is doing now. I hate how you people give credit to god for all of the good things but ignore the bad. Give credit where credit is due, if you want to credit god you have to credit him for all of the messed up things that happen in the world.

    Religion isn't the problem. It is belief without evidence. Even a atheist that has beliefs and convictions not rooted in facts can go down a evil road. The problem is, religion is based on belief without evidence and that is why it can lead to some of the most awful things this world has ever seen.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 23, 2011 2:29:20 PM


  13. I'd like to trust the Christian groups but...hope they don't use this to get folks into conversion therapy.

    Posted by: Todd | Aug 23, 2011 2:30:02 PM


  14. "I think the point here is that some Christians look at these passages and feel that they remind Christian parents that their duty is to love their child. They hope that other Christians, specifically the ones who would forget this, will see the point behind that passage and realize that what they're doing is contrary to what a true Christian should be. In their view, the kinds of Christians who would abuse, kick out, or abandon their LGBT children are the kind who have lost their way."

    You failed to see my point, that same collection of plagiarisms is what is used to inspire hate and evil. Why use the book at all, just use love and common sense.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 23, 2011 2:32:31 PM


  15. http://www.towleroad.com/2011/08/iowa-teen-beaten-to-death-by-mob-in-anti-gay-attack-video.html

    @LUMINUM where was god for him? Or the countless others that are killed in his name or a misguided view of god? People can help people without religion and people can care for others without religion. Belief without evidence is powerful and most of the time used for evil.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 23, 2011 2:45:08 PM


  16. The Sojourners fail to realize that anti-gay discrimination CAUSES gay homelessness. Their refusal of Believe Out Loud's ad is proof that they are part of the problem.

    Running this ad is nice, but it seems they haven't repudiated their earlier bigotry.

    Posted by: Raphael | Aug 23, 2011 7:16:08 PM


  17. Cheese and Rice! Anything can be used to justify what you already believe. Hence, crappy people can take the Bible or the Constitution or even genetics research to justify being a jerk, and good people will take those same things and justify doing good with them.

    Blaming religion is far easier than blaming people. It's like saying that being gay is what makes you bad. There are good and bad gay people. There are good and bad Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, agnostics, Rastafarians, Democrats, Republicans, etc.

    Have people used religion to hurt gays and women? Sure. They've also used science--hello China, Russia, Nazis.

    I've heard many a person here complain about femme gays or drag queens ruining things for them, well...its no different for anyone else when someone who shares some idea or belief or hair color, etc does something we don't agree with.

    Posted by: Rin | Aug 24, 2011 10:05:25 AM


  18. "Have people used religion to hurt gays and women? Sure. They've also used science--hello China, Russia, Nazis."

    They used belief not based on evidence, not science. If it were actual science and secular reasoning those things wouldn't have happened. As far as Russia and nazis go, they used the church/same actions of the church to push their views. Get your facts straight.

    Posted by: Bryce Ageno | Aug 24, 2011 12:37:40 PM


  19. I love what Luminum said here: "
    The issue isn't that religion exists (though for some people, it is), but rather what it is used for."

    Yes - it is possible for many of us to be a good person without religion in our lives. We do it based on secular humanism, seeing the benefit to ourselves in contributing to the greater good, dna-driven desire to survive & thrive, rational weighing of the risks & rewards of our own choices, a personal imperative to live a life that is righteous - that we can remember with pride with each passing year.

    But, some people, for their own reasons, need the framework of a mythology or religion to help them choose to live a good, righteous life - to help them find comfort in the whirlwind of life's ups & downs - to help them get past the panic of our own mortality.

    And, yes, of course, some people will make bad choices with their own lives, whether they rely on religion to frame their moral outlook or whether they don't use any framework at all.

    What it all comes down to, in the end, is individuals taking responsibility for their own words & actions, no matter what they use as a moral compass.

    Posted by: Maureen | Aug 24, 2011 1:27:11 PM


  20. requisition letter

    Posted by: AYUEN PHILIP | Aug 26, 2011 7:16:36 AM


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