Church Billboard: “Being Gay is a Gift from God”

An electronic billboard in Toledo, Ohio is causing controversy with one of its newest messages: “Being Gay is a Gift from God.”

The billboard is part of a campaign started by the Central United Methodist Church, which is seeking to promote acceptance for LGBT people in the Christian community. Dan Rutt, one of the church officials behind the campaign, told ToledoOnTheMove.com that he hopes the message will spark dialogue about unity and tolerance.

The public is invited to come to the Central United Methodist Church to “meet with someone face-to-face” and discuss LGBT issues in the context of Christianity. The goal is to provide a forum “that reflects compassion and humility rather than intolerance and strife.”

The Central United Methodist Church website elaborates:

The Church is a key contributor of anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. There is a widespread view that Christians are uncivil or hateful in responding to the needs of persons who are LGBT.
 
Persons who are LGBT, have to cope with the stressors of widespread anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. These stressors, which we believe to be uncalled for, are contributing to destructive behaviors, including gay bashing and gay suicide.

The Church has an opportunity, and we believe a responsibility, to reverse these destructive attitudes and behaviors, and welcome all, regardless of sexual orientation, into the full life of the Church.

In short, … Sexual orientation is not a choice, but a good gift from God.

In addition to the billboard, the church is spreading its message by reaching out to the media, posting flyers and selling items such as bumper stickers and t-shirts.

Rutt said that the church has been receiving countless e-mails and phone calls since the campaign launched on Monday. While some of these messages vehemently denounce the church and its campaign, many are applauding the call for acceptance and community responsibility. Support has been pouring in from all over the world and from individuals of other faiths.

“We just want to offer a positive message that being gay is not something you have to apologize for,” Rutt said. “It’s simply one of the great and diverse ways that God has created us.”

The electronic billboard displaying the message can be found at the corner of Monroe Street and Sylvania Avenue in Toledo.

Related Stories:

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Conservative Anti-Gay Areas Yield Higher Gay & Straight Teen Suicide Attempts

 

Photo credit: Drama Queen

337 comments

William Y.
William Y7 years ago

Since when is homosexuality as behavioral deviation? Homosexuality is a sexual preference, which the individual is born with, the same as a heterosexual is born that way and a bisexual is born that way. None are deviations except in the dark age mindset of right-wing fanatics.

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Jan G.
Jan G7 years ago

Agreed, Zane. Who is more tolerant than God himself, who teaches us optimum tolerance by example of His Son, however, having said that, if we read the Word with any other motive than to become more like Jesus, then we are in trouble. As you rightly say, then we can justify anything from it.

In this hotly debated issue, we all need to just relax and let the Holy Spirit guide us into understanding His will. The judgement belongs to the only One who can judge fairly.

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Richard Zane Smith
Richard Smith7 years ago

If people want a "God said it" verse to condemn gay sex activity they can find one.
If others want a "God said it" verse to forgive and show tolerance they can find those.
If you want to go to war, theres some great verses, if you want peace, there are more.

all these people convinced "God said it" , never questioning that maybe these are "words put in Gods mouth". The problem with having "an inerrant God-book" is that it has to be read and explained by lots of human beings. (Somehow THAT problem gets lost in the shuffle)

I'm happy people in the Methodist faith have become more tolerant,though late in coming.
I wish they had been tolerant of my native ancestors and preached less fire and brimstone by their Methodist circuit riders of the 1800s. truth is, any Holy Book is prone to manipulation.

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Jan G.
Jan G7 years ago

Since when does God dish out "gifts" that contravene His guidelines for life in his Word?

Being gay, like cleptomania, alcoholism, violence and many more behavioral deviations are only some of the problems that people have to cope with in life. The existence of these behavioral patterns is a given, however, if they are practiced it is wrong, not by my judgement, but by the only real truth that we know, the Word of God. That does not imply that those people should be cast out of society, but it does mean that society should stand by them and lovingly help them to understand and overcome their problem.

We prefer the easy way out - to simply label the problem as a "gift from god' and allow them to pursue their unnatural and devious way of life. We forget that these and other lifestyles based on a selfish outlook in life, are the reason why Jesus Christ had to die an innocent death, to not only put forgiveness within our reach but also to help us to overcome our sins by the power of His love that is available to all who seek His forgiveness.

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Brian M.
Past Member 7 years ago

Being gay may be considered a gift of genetics, prenatal conditions, and, to a lesser extent, life experience. God is not necessary to explain this or anything else in reality. If anything, superstitious notions, such as god, are the greatest barriers to increasing our understanding of anything.

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caterina caligiuri

...simply think to live and let the others live..._!!!..is it so difficult ?...

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susan w.
susan w7 years ago

we are not to judge....god will do it in good time...each person must answer for the way they lived their life....amen

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Timothy M.

I am a religious person. BUT I would not presume to judge another person because I don't walk in his/her shoes. If a person is gay, so what? What business is it of yours? A guy was ragging on me for being gay. I told him his opinion of me was none of my business. He had no power over me. I have a relationship with Jesus and with God that is private and good. Nobody is going to tell me what I need to think. Evangelicals are the American Taliban. They need to examine themselves for the evil they represent.

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Tammy W.
Tammy W.7 years ago

I ask who is it that makes the one and final judgement on our lives.....I do believe it our lord GOD!!!! We were put here to live our own lives and not be judged by fellow man!! I believe our lives were given to us for us to live as we choose!! GOD gave me my mind for thinkin, my heart for loving and, my freedom to live my life however I choose and this I do believe applies to all men and women! I very much hope everyone lives their lives as they choose and I hope they are happy! Love who you love and be happy I beg you!!!

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Lia R.
Past Member 7 years ago

Or, from an open-minded believer's point of view... that story had nothing to do with consensual sexual relationships. That story was about rape, and one of the worst cases of lack of hospitality on record. :)

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