When Carrol Grady received a phone call telling her that her organization, Someone To Talk To, was being disinvited from having a booth at this week's North American Gathering of Seventh-Day Adventist Teachers because "this convention is not the right venue for your group," she was shocked and distressed. With only one week before the start of the convention this was painful news to absorb, to say nothing of the expense already incurred personally by her and her volunteers.
Someone To Talk To is a ministry to Adventist families and friends of gays and lesbians. Grady is the 76-year-old founder. "I found it difficult to understand how this venue was not right for our group," she says, "when we are a ministry directed toward young people who are often the target of bullying in our schools and one of the themes of this convention is bullying and harassment in schools. What students and teachers often need is simply someone to talk to." Grady wrote a book, "My Son, Beloved Stranger," and ultimately founded this ministry after walking with her own gay son through the challenges of being gay and an Adventist Christian....
The Seventh-day Adventist Church's official position is that, "sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman." This places Someone To Talk To's viewpoint outside the official church doctrine. Other Adventist leaders wonder whether every booth is being submitted to the same scrutiny.
[For the full article, see here.]
I can virtually guarantee that if every single Christian worthy of the name, and all decent people, refused to give one red cent to any church or secular institution that discriminates against LGBT people, such discrimination and exclusionary/hateful rhetoric and actions would largely disappear.
In churches, just like in virtually all secular institutions, money talks! Indeed, as the late attorney Melvin Belli once quipped, "Money doesn't talk! It screams!"
Put these hateful clergy and institutions at risk by not enabling them to continue to spew their venom by withholding all monies from them, whether or not you attend those churches; putting no money in their collection plates, and they will quickly change their tune. As I wrote a long time ago, if there were more money to be made by supporting LGBT people and equal rights, as opposed to preaching homophobic lies and hate, most strident homophobic "Christian" clergy who make money from their ignorant and hateful rhetoric would be proudly marching in Pride Parades!
The best way to neutralize verbalized homophobia is by withholding funds, and that is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful activism to help move the LGBT civil rights movement forward. In addition, taking just one homophobic church in each city or jurisdiction, and continually picketing that church every time they are holding their services, carrying signs that state that what goes on in that church violates Gospel teachings, can do a lot to mitigate homophobia in churches.
As I've written before:
Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep's clothing take the Bible, God's love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.
[For the full article, see here.]
By withholding funds from all homophobic churches, churches that don't embrace all of God's LGBT children, you will be saving lives!