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‘God Has A Better Way’ protest aims to stifle Charlotte Gay Pride festivities

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Saturday, August 27, two events are planned in Charlotte, N.C.: Charlotte Gay Pride and “God Has a Better Way.”

The goals of Charlotte Gay Pride are to:

  • Celebrate LGBT families from the Charlotte area
  • Provide LGBT individuals with a place to celebrate without harassment
  • Advance LGBT rights and visibility in the Charlotte community
  • Enpower individuals to be themselves in a relaxed and accepting environment

Also planned for August 27 is “God Has a Better Way” (GHABW), a joint effort of the Charlotte-based Coalition of Conscience and The Speak Truth Project. The goals of GHABW are to:

  • gather hundreds of “worshipers, intercessors, musicians, soul-winners, walkers, talkers and believers of every age, color and size to stand together”
  • to “walk through or surround the (Charlotte Gay Pride) event to evangelize, sing, pray, hand out water and reach out with love to those in attendance while resisting the (gay) agenda.”
  • And, they “expect this to be a challenging day as sexual immorality, wickedness, and rejection will abound, nevertheless, into the battle (they) must go-and (they) have a plan.”

So, imagine with me, 15,000 to 20,000 members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and their allies gathering to celebrate who they are for one day without harassment from a hetero-normative society. (This is the first year the Charlotte Pride event will be held on public property with access to anyone.)

Hundreds of “worshipers, intercessors, musicians, soul-winners, walkers and talkers of God” enter or encircle the festival event in uniform red tee shirts emblazoned with large white letters “God Has a Better Way.”

Their stated intention is to “reach out in love” and “resist the gay agenda”. I am not quite sure how you simultaneously express love and resist the rights of others, for equality is the “gay agenda”.

The stated beliefs* of the backers of GHABW — with respect to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people — are:

Michael Brown, Director of Coalition of Conscience

  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are a deviation from God’s best, God’s intentions and His design.
  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can change orientation and be heterosexual with no negative effects.
  • If they do not succeed in orientation change, they should remain celibate in order to identify as Christians.( “Gay Christian” is always placed in quotation marks to dismiss the existence of gay Christians.)
  • The majority of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are inherently unhappy, unhealthy, sexually immoral or rebellious to the will of God
  • Transgender people would best follow God’s plan by using hormonal therapy, prayer and counseling to overcome the issue of gender identity. Sexual reassignment surgery should never be used as an option.
  • Acting on same sex attraction is sinful and indicative of non-submission to God.
  • Same-sex attraction is a behavior, not an orientation.
  • * From Micheal Brown , author of “A Queer Thing happened to America,” and organizer of “God Has a Better Way”

How would the holy directive of “love your neighbor” and the intended goal of “reach out in love” translate to the LGBT community while holding in tension the above beliefs?

Well, I wondered — so, I asked.

For a 30 hour period, I linked and quoted the stated goals and intentions of GHABW from their own website. I found there is a universe of difference between intention of GHABW love goals and the message received.

The entire collection of comments from LGBT and straight believers and non-believers is linked here. If you have any doubt at all that the “God is love” message will be severely perverted in the GHABW action, please take the time to read the full page of responses.

As ambassadors of God, these are the messages you will send to the LGBT community by participating in GHABW. God is: shaming, condescending, repulsed by LGBT people, discriminating towards LGBT people, oppressive, hateful of glbt people, shuns them, bullies, attacks, threatens, insults, unloving and sly towards, confused by, patronizing of, disdainful of, hurtful towards, rejecting of, destructive towards, homophobic, hypocritical with His love, narrow, dangerous, attacking, angry, wrathful, threatening, and divisive towards glbt people.

Remember, the way in which you show love towards LGBT people is representative of God’s love for them.

Are these messages you wish to send?

No semantics, no Christian word play games here, please. Love is not defined by your truth, your translation, your moral dictates, your need to point out sin or some form of tough love you use on children. People know what love is. People are drawn to God by His love displayed in our lives.

This is the challenge to those considering participating in GHABW: Now that you know the impact your actions would have on the lives of others, would you willingly make the choice to hurt another person and push them away from God? That will be the result of GHABW.

To the people in Charlotte who are offended that this action is planned in your city, please consider:

  • Signing a petition calling on Coalition of Conscience and The Speak Truth Project to cancel the action.
  • Participating in the str8apology action. And, if anyone wants to give me a trip voucher or airline miles, I will come to Charlotte (Thank you). I will bring str8apology tee shirts so we can do this as a group to repair some of the damage.
  • Partnering with affirming churches on August 27th to love and serve the glbt community in some form (water, information, invitations to welcoming faith communities, listening)
  • If GHABW will not cancel the event, create a “sheltering” situation to block them from negatively affecting Charlotte Gay Pride. Be creative.
  • Find a way to positively interact with the GHABW marchers to exemplify what love does look like.

“God Has a Better Way” is not a come-as-you-are, whosoever, I-paid-the-price, I-love-you-unconditionally Jesus action. It is deeply flawed in intent, highly conditional in its love message and ultimately destructive. And that, is not God’s way.

Sign the call to halt the action.

“God Has a Better Way” (Facebook page) will be lead by Michael Brown, author of “A Queer Thing Happened to America” which I reviewed chapter by chapter and co-lead by Lou Engle of The Call and the “Kill the Gays” Bill in Uganda.

The Charlotte Pride event is one of the most family-friendly pride events in the U.S. — children’s activity area set up, no profanity from the stage and many families attend. Into this, the GHABW people will be speaking the “destruction of family values.”

If you take part in GHABW, here are just a few of the messages you will send, intended or not. (The full 14 pages of responses I received are here.):

‎(Real) Christians treat others as they want to be treated. Apparently this misguided group has no interest in sharing the love of Jesus. They are mindless sheep following an ignorant, bigoted shepherd.

These people are nothing more than bullies. I never take a group and walk into their churches and tell them what I think of them. They are pushing people too far with all this behavior and one day someone will get pushed for the last time too far and something bad will happen. And they will have caused it with their bullying

I don’t appreciate anyone telling me that God has a better way in a context that is only used to change or “fix” me into what they think God wants for me. What about what I have come to know God wants for me?

They are not serving Jesus, they are serving their own ignorance … they would do better to stay home and pray — for their own hearts to be right with God.

When I see “God Has A Better Way” what I really hear in my head is, “We want you to be like us, but we know we can’t sell you on that alone.”

God DOES have a better way, people…better than your way, which is narrow and self-centered. Look to God and see that He is infinite. Open. Bigger than anything that can fit inside your minds, and realize that.

I am a Believer. I am transgender. God has told me, shown me, PROVEN to ME that He loves me, that He doesn’t want me to change, that He made me exactly as I am. Anyone believing I am transgender by choice has never talked with a trans person, or they would know that nobody chooses the pain or hatred or lack of understanding and love to which they are repeatedly subjected, most often by “Christians.”

More responses are here.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. The Gauntlet has been thrown down, the battlefield has been set. The Black civil rights in the 1960s won because they showed people the reality of how out of proportion reactions to black people were. So hopefully this will be an opportunity to do the same for the LGBT crowd. Don’t give in! Keep going and you will win against hatred.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:16pm
  2. These Southern Baptist, Catholics & Other Right Wing Republican,Conservative, Tea Party,& Anti-Gay Hate Groups Need to Wake Up to The FACT That WE In The GLBT Community Are NOT Ever Giving Up Or Going Away!! They Don’t Get it & Probably Never Will. But When The Going Get’s Tough? The Tough Get Going!! ..So to All Those Hater’z Out There…U think U won the battle..But WE WILL WIN THE “WAR!!” WooHAA!!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:26pm
  3. Click the link, scroll down, and sign the petition!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:28pm
  4. Stay STRONG Charlotte!! Never Back Down! & Never Say Die!! Equality For US ALL!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:29pm
  5. Be strong don’t let any one down god loves you keep up the good work.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:33pm
  6. LET’S GO FRIENDS!!! Sign the petition and get them OUT of there!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 7:34pm
  7. Jesus Christ.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:11pm
  8. Convince an enemy, convince him that he’s wrong. To win a bloodless battle, the victory is long. NOH8. Enjoy your day, expect little confrontation if any…and I personally wish you the best and admire Charlotte’s LGBTQ courage. Peace!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:32pm
  9. Without exception, whenever a Christianist group uses the word ‘truth’ to explain themselves, you automatically know that it’s code for a limited number of people.

    The word ‘truth’ has a specific definition. Truth is demonstrable and reproducable. That’s never the case for Christianist mythology, which relies on belief, suspension of the laws of physics, ignorance of history and the denial of reality.

    Christians also ignore that fact that their ‘truth’ is a fraud. The vast majority of the people on this planet do NOT believe that Christianity is true. More than 4 billion people know for a fact that it’s not.

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:37pm
  10. You know, I’m continually amazed at all the people who act as if they speak for God. One can only assume they’re getting direct memos from God about how much he agrees with them about the LGBTs.
    Seriously, don’t these people have better things to do with their time? With all the wars, famine, poverty, corruption, etc etc etc in the world… crashing a pride event should be at the bottom of the list. Go out and help people and leave us alone!

    Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 8:41pm
  11. wow…

    Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:31am
  12. Some people fear the most that which they see inside themselves. !

    Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 4:51am
  13. This group of hoax worshippers is nothing about love and being friendly, it’s all about the condescention of the one who says “I know better than you what’s good for you, here, take a bottle of water!” We don’t need another fucking MOTHER!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 7:40am
  14. Maybe we should use their slogan with a twist,,, how about..

    God Made Humanity Better with Gays!!!

    Humanity would be a sadder lot without us and deep down they know it, they are only afraid of the Love we have in our hearts. Sad that Fascist Nazi Theology can be so Mainstream here in America.

    I am an American. Get off my case, I don’t want your God(less) Theology. I deserve the respect of my fellow Americans to be Free to Live as I choose,,, If I can loose my rights due to my Love for the Same Sex,,,,, These Bigots can loose theirs as well,,,, They are just giving it to the Hitlers they have created..
    This really is War,,

    WAKE UP AMERICA,,,, The Banks stole your money,, now the church is going to steal your soul and drag us all to Hell if we allow these idiots to gain more power in our government.

    BEWARE OF THE WOLF IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

    First they come for the Queers,,,, but I wasn’t a Queer,, so I did nothing……

    sound familiar?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 8:46pm
  15. You know what God does not have in his design?
    A behaviour that is unique only to the human race?
    A way of living that is found nowhere else in the natural known universe by any living thing that we know of?

    It is a behaviour imposed by the Church and by religion.
    That behaviour which is totally unnatural: Celibacy!

    Maybe the chuch should wake up and listen, see, feel what God is really telling us. Religion is a form of control, not a source of salvation or anything else.
    Religion has used tactics like hangings, war and slaughter for ages to advance their grip on society.
    You can’t say the same of the LGBT community.

    If the church really has the right way to impose what they think the will of God is, perhaps it’s time to review the way the LGBT followers, who believe in the natural doctrine of the universe should go about to share the good work?Perhaps it’s time for Jihad, or an Inquisition.

    Nah, the LGBT has really learned the real lessons from their environment: Peace, Love and Respect for others…

    A-Men!

    Posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 3:35pm
  16. IF Michael Brown or any of his redshirt goons happens to approach you, remember that they are at a private event to which they were NOT invited and where they are not welcome. Have Law Enforcement either remove them from the PRIDE event, or request that they be arrested. IF the harrassment gets bad enough, I encourage law suits. There is no reason to pretend that you have any common dialogue to be had with these people. They are dishonest, without integrity, and certainly without an iota of credibility. Remember when you see them that THESE people are why so many gay people have killed themselves … and why bullying seems okay to some kids. People like Michael Brown and his good buddy Lou Engle are WHY the Uganda Kill the Gays Bill is in place. BEST to all who will be in Charlotte this weekend!!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 7:57pm
  17. I SO totally agree with this point, Kathy ..

    <> Take note of the “Angels” and Motorcyclists who have very effectively blocked the Westboro Baptist Church people from being visible and it can be done in Charlotte as well. You can tell who they are by their red shirts (kinda like Hitler and his Brown Shirts)… Simply block their sorry asses and cheerfully hand out positive literature to the folks attending PRIDE.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 8:02pm
  18. There is only one way to deal with “God Has a Better Way” at PRIDE .. it’s not to dialogue with Michael Brown and the Red Shirts (Hitler and the Brown Shirts) but to do whatever you possibly can to block them from being visible, and if necessary once they have trespassed onto a legally permitted and licensed event that is intended to serve those who they plan to harrass … Have their sorry asses arrested,fined, and sued as much as the law allows. If this were the KLAN coming to an NAACP rally would anyone be trying to dialogue with them? Or think of them as the mass murderers and perpetrators of violence that they are.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 7:56pm
  19. What do you expeect from the people who gave us slavery , the kkk and segregation. I thought the catholic church was bad bad bad.

    these people are the very embodiment of the devil. Of course its all about the rush of power and notoriety they get. And of course the money.

    Human garbage is all they are. The reformation for the southern baptists / evangelicals went backwards.

    they can be / sound so nice, but many of them internally are boiling with hate.

    their motto best described as if you tell lies often enough and outrageous enough , they will be seen as the truth

    everything I see though says that younger people are ignoring their hate and to me the real big job 1 is not marriage b ut coming out of the closet.

    its hard to hate someone you know and respect. And easy to hate people you dont know.

    Hitler knew that when he put the Jews in the Ghetto. We know where that one went

    Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 2:26pm