Evangelizing While Gay

Nov 4 2012 @ 10:33am

Clancy Martin reports on schisms in the LGBT evangelism movement:

It’s hard to be Christian and to evangelize. It’s considerably tougher to be gay and to “evangelize”—to spread the word that homosexuality is okay. But imagine having to spread the word both of Christ and of queerness. Because of the religious right’s hostility to homosexuality, gay evangelicals are generally disliked—or even openly despised—not just by straight Christians but by other gays, too. And the LGBT evangelical movement faces its own internal divisions, which threaten to undo all the progress it’s made. Queer evangelicals have the potential to cast homophobia out of the religious right and change the face of American politics—but only if they can keep their own movement alive against the odds.

He focuses on two activists who epitomize that debate, Ralph Blair, founder of Evangelicals Concerned, "probably the oldest queer evangelical organization in the world," and Eunice Coldman:

The crucial difference between their philosophies lies in the question at the heart of all Christian evangelism, gay or straight: what does it really mean to be an evangelical? For Blair, it is the acceptance of the “evangel”—the good news that Christ is God—and the obligation to spread the word of that news. For Coldman, it is the more general idea that anyone can be a Christian, regardless of sexual orientation, gender or race. According to Blair, this represents the introduction of relativism to the evangelical message, threatening its purity and therefore its very Christianity.