In response to an ex-gay conference brought to the valley by the largest fundamentalist church here, Bloom's leadership decided to publish a rather large ad in the our main newspaper on Saturday to coincide with the conference and the rally against it. It was a big financial commitment for our fledgling church, but this was determined to be a moment that came to us. If we did not step up to make a statement in opposition to something we consider dangerous, unbiblical and abusive, an opportunity for our witness as the love of Christ is lost. Blooom's ad appeared on the Opinion page, with a projected exposure to 130,000 unique readers.
When Love Truly Wins
Gay is not straight and hate is not love. “God is still speaking,”
We in Palm Springs’ United Church of Christ are deeply distressed regarding the misinformation in the promotional efforts of Southwest Community Church and Focus on the Family for (the September 23, 2006) “Love Won Out” conference in Indian Wells and the credence given to it in the local media.
While various ancient cultures disapproved of some homosexual actions for religious, tribal or military reasons, we believe those discriminations are now irrelevant. God’s ongoing revelation has guided us through many levels of ignorance and bigotry as a nation to times of knowledge and betterment. We no longer believe women are the property of men. We no longer believe that human beings can own other human beings. We no longer believe that separate is in any way equal or valuable. We no longer believe that sexual orientation is something to be ashamed of or hidden.
Mistake #1: Homosexuality is a choice a person makes. Such claims are entirely false. They ignore and deny solid scientific research. Moral choices are those over which we have power, as with: compassion, selfishness, kindness, woodenness in the face of suffering, thievery, and murder. Aspects of ourselves that we do not choose – hair color, skin color, genetic make-up, sexual orientation – are not things we can control and therefore are not moral choices to make.
Mistake #2: There is something wrong with being homosexual and the Bible supports this bigotry. Looking at the teachings of Jesus seriously, we must recognize that the very people society rejected were central to Jesus’ faithful circle: the Samaritans, the people of the street, the woman with many husbands. He knew them and loved them as they were.
Mistake #3: Failure to love. The promotion of “Love Won Out” is filled with inherent hostility for those among us who are gay and lesbian. Jesus taught that we live most powerfully and fully by love’s power, not by rejection or demand. We become new people in our hearts by the power of that love. We do not change our natural structure as human beings.
God is still speaking. In 1620, Rev. John Robinson led our Pilgrim ancestors with the certainty that “there is yet more light and truth to break forth from God’s holy word.” The light and truth of today is that love wins out when we believe God loves us without concern for sexual orientation.
This statement is written by the Social Action and Missions Team and paid for by a vote of the Open Leadership Team of Bloom in the Desert Ministries United Church of Christ and Reconciling Methodist Congregation.