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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

One of the best things I've seen in awhile:

http://www.practikel.com/2012/01/27/...53vc5.facebook

Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

This is an amazing photo that captured the moment a gay man hugged a member of a Christian group, that came to Gay Pride to apologize for the way the church has treated homosexuals. It’s nice to see people of faith have common sense enough to know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in the right direction towards equality and something everyone should learn from. THIS is the kind of compassion that religion teaches, but far too often doesn’t follow. Well done.



Since seeing this photo, a friend of mine had introduced me to more of the story. A man, by the name of Nathan, is the one you see above hugging the gay guy in his underwear, or Tristan rather. Well, Nathan wrote a blog about this day and this moment and what his and his fellow church-goers had done. Here is what he had to say:

I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too.

I spent the day at Chicago’s Pride Parade. Some friends and I, with The Marin Foundation, wore shirts with “I’m Sorry” written on it. We had signs that said, “I’m sorry that Christians judge you,” “I’m sorry the way churches have treated you,” “I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry.” We wanted to be an alternative Christian voice from the protestors that were there speaking hate into megaphones.

What I loved most about the day is when people “got it.” I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day. I wish I had counted how many people hugged me. One guy in particular softly said, “Well, I forgive you.”

Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified.

My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them.

Then it clicked.

Then he got it.

He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. In all his sweaty beautiful abs of steal, he hugged me and whispered, “thank you.”

Before I had even let go, another guy ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I almost had the wind knocked out of me; it was one of those hugs.

This is why I do what I do. This is why I will continue to do what I do. Reconciliation was personified.

I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.

Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan.

However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. It’s exactly what I read throughout scripture: Jesus hanging out with people that religious people would flee from. Correlation between then and now? I think so.

Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is.

But there isn’t always reconciliation. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the beginning of reconciliation. It was in the shocked faces of gay men and women who did not ever think Christians would apologize to them.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the personification of reconciliation. It was in the hugs and kisses I received, in the “thank you’s” and waves, in the smiles and kisses blown.

I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.



THIS is truly heart-warming. I am crying as I write this because I am proud of this man and his willingness to share what he believes, despite the criticism he may receive. After this, even more came together to keep this story going. Someone had recognized Tristan from the photo, and Tristan got in touch with Nathan. These two shared how this moment meant so much for each of them, and that is what’s remarkable. One person meets another, and for each of them, this was a lasting experience and memory.

To read the interview that nathan did with Tristan, visit Nathan’s blog.


Last edited by Inger67; Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:40 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 02:40 AM
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Re: "I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry."

But why is the guy in his underwear?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 02:42 AM
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Re: Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

Touching story.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 02:49 AM
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Re: Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

I thought this was actually old news or was I just imagining things... but yeah, it's an amazing feeling to see the world gradually changing for the better and I'm sure homophobia will be mostly erased within the next couple decades just as racism was.

That said, there's still a long way to go. I find that Christians are actually much more relaxed and accepting about gays than Muslims are but being a predominantly christian nation (Western countries that is) we get more exposure to the discrimination from them which would skew our views. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Islam, unlike Christianity.

Coming from a Catholic high school, there were many brothers and sisters and had our own priest and whatnot, and they all basically said the same thing as each other: they love all people, and that includes homosexuals. The only aspect of homosexuals they disagree with is physical intimacy but they do not condemn (for lack of better words) gay people like the media likes to portray. It's just a large misconception due to media and extremism which is always going to be a problem. Off-topic but I guess that's why I'm one of the minority that believes Margaret Court is misunderstood when she advocates against homosexuality - I assume people think that it means she hates homosexuals and whatnot but I think she just condemns homosexual acts.

Anyway, I forgot where I was going with this post other than "we still have a long way to go" lol I tend to get side tracked when I'm rambling...

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 02:54 AM
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Re: Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 03:08 AM
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Re: Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inger67 View Post
One of the best things I've seen in awhile:

http://www.practikel.com/2012/01/27/...53vc5.facebook

Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs

This is an amazing photo that captured the moment a gay man hugged a member of a Christian group, that came to Gay Pride to apologize for the way the church has treated homosexuals. It’s nice to see people of faith have common sense enough to know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in the right direction towards equality and something everyone should learn from. THIS is the kind of compassion that religion teaches, but far too often doesn’t follow. Well done.



Since seeing this photo, a friend of mine had introduced me to more of the story. A man, by the name of Nathan, is the one you see above hugging the gay guy in his underwear, or Tristan rather. Well, Nathan wrote a blog about this day and this moment and what his and his fellow church-goers had done. Here is what he had to say:

I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too.

I spent the day at Chicago’s Pride Parade. Some friends and I, with The Marin Foundation, wore shirts with “I’m Sorry” written on it. We had signs that said, “I’m sorry that Christians judge you,” “I’m sorry the way churches have treated you,” “I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry.” We wanted to be an alternative Christian voice from the protestors that were there speaking hate into megaphones.

What I loved most about the day is when people “got it.” I loved watching people’s faces as they saw our shirts, read the signs, and looked back at us. Responses were incredible. Some people blew us kisses, some hugged us, some screamed thank you. A couple ladies walked up and said we were the best thing they had seen all day. I wish I had counted how many people hugged me. One guy in particular softly said, “Well, I forgive you.”

Watching people recognize our apology brought me to tears many times. It was reconciliation personified.

My favorite though was a gentleman who was dancing on a float. He was dressed solely in white underwear and had a pack of abs like no one else. As he was dancing on the float, he noticed us and jokingly yelled, “What are you sorry for? It’s pride!” I pointed to our signs and watched him read them.

Then it clicked.

Then he got it.

He stopped dancing. He looked at all of us standing there. A look of utter seriousness came across his face. And as the float passed us he jumped off of it and ran towards us. In all his sweaty beautiful abs of steal, he hugged me and whispered, “thank you.”

Before I had even let go, another guy ran up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and gave me the biggest bear hug ever. I almost had the wind knocked out of me; it was one of those hugs.

This is why I do what I do. This is why I will continue to do what I do. Reconciliation was personified.

I think a lot of people would stop at the whole “man in his underwear dancing” part. That seems to be the most controversial. It’s what makes the evening news. It’s the stereotype most people have in their minds about Pride.

Sadly, most Christians want to run from such a sight rather than engage it. Most Christian won’t even learn if that person dancing in his underwear has a name. Well, he does. His name is Tristan.

However, I think Jesus would have hugged him too. It’s exactly what I read throughout scripture: Jesus hanging out with people that religious people would flee from. Correlation between then and now? I think so.

Acceptance is one thing. Reconciliation is another. Sure at Pride, everyone is accepted (except perhaps the protestors). There are churches that say they accept all. There are business that say the accept everyone. But acceptance isn’t enough. Reconciliation is.

But there isn’t always reconciliation. And when there isn’t reconciliation, there isn’t full acceptance. Reconciliation is more painful; it’s more difficult. Reconciliation forces one to remember the wrongs committed and relive constant pain. Yet it’s more powerful and transformational because two parties that should not be together and have every right to hate one another come together for the good of one another, for forgiveness, reconciliation, unity.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the beginning of reconciliation. It was in the shocked faces of gay men and women who did not ever think Christians would apologize to them.

What I saw and experienced at Pride 2010 was the personification of reconciliation. It was in the hugs and kisses I received, in the “thank you’s” and waves, in the smiles and kisses blown.

I hugged a man in his underwear. I hugged him tightly. And I am proud.



THIS is truly heart-warming. I am crying as I write this because I am proud of this man and his willingness to share what he believes, despite the criticism he may receive. After this, even more came together to keep this story going. Someone had recognized Tristan from the photo, and Tristan got in touch with Nathan. These two shared how this moment meant so much for each of them, and that is what’s remarkable. One person meets another, and for each of them, this was a lasting experience and memory.

To read the interview that nathan did with Tristan, visit Nathan’s blog.

Thanks for a great article full of compassion and humanism.

Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.

Cory Booker
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2012, 03:10 AM
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Re: "I used to be a bible-banging homophobe, sorry."

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Prophet View Post
But why is the guy in his underwear?
So that's what you got out of this article?

Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people; before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children; before you preach to me of your passion for your faith, teach me about it through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.

Cory Booker
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