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Street preachers asked to pray for this ‘broken’ woman. She took them to church instead.

Street preachers asked to pray for this ‘broken’ woman. She took them to church instead.
Charlotte Clymer Photo: provided

Charlotte Clymer, the rapid response press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, is not to be messed with. A small group of evangelical street preachers found that out the hard way last weekend.

Clymer recounted her experience on Twitter, saying the group stopped her at a downtown cafe, motioned for her to remove her headphones and asked if they could pray for her.

“I asked them why they wanted to pray for me, and the same person answered that they felt called by God to walk around the streets of D.C. and let God’s voice tell them who might be broken or otherwise need prayer,” she tweeted. “She literally used the word ‘broken’.”

So she decided to give the would-be evangelists a taste of their own medicine.

“My introduction to Christianity was in evangelical churches,” Clymer wrote about her experience in the Washington Post. “For years, I navigated conservative religious spaces where I encountered bigotry and attempts to shame LGBTQ people and women as often as I found warmhearted people eager to serve others.”

“I have heard the statement ‘I’ll pray for you’ said with love, and I have heard it said full of judgment and scorn. I know the difference, and the folks who confronted me outside the cafe were making their judgment clear.

“Instead of a theological debate that usually goes nowhere for lack of good faith in discussion, I wanted them to feel what it’s like to have someone supposedly approach in love but inflict pain and discomfort. Perhaps that’s what it takes. A forced perspective in empathy. Why not try that approach?”

And that’s exactly what she did.

“I could have ignored them, but I’ve had it up to here with some evangelicals giving a bad name to their community by insisting on defining my humanity for me. They saw a transgender person and assumed I was broken because of my gender identity,” she writes.

“It angered me that the whole of my being could be reduced to their flawed understanding of LGBTQ people, a view that could easily be revised if only they would take the time to get to know me instead of assuming they already did.”

Check out the tweets below and try not to smile in satisfaction at Clymer’s approach.

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