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James Jones’ otherwise excellent piece on sanctified homophobia really fried my grits with the statement “Churches and the gay community are considered among D.C.’s most potent vote-producing forces, and there’s little common ground between them.” Little common ground? Maybe between the gay community and the religious right, which preaches hatred cloaked in sanctimony. But huge numbers—I guess the majority—of Christian congregations of all races in D.C. include, affirm, and celebrate the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in their midst. People who have been excluded and oppressed frequently grasp the Gospel of Jesus with an honesty and power the mainstream needs to embrace. During the 30-plus years I’ve been an ordained pastor, LGBT believers have been among this straight white male’s best mentors. Some Christian leaders—in the minority, I believe—are unfortunately stuck in the same archaic interpretation of scripture that was used for centuries to justify African slavery and the subordination of women. Preachers like to exploit this homophobia in the same way segregationist preachers exploited racism to keep their flocks in line. Their message is as different from the gospel heard from our pulpit at Luther Place as rat poison is different from radishes. Please stop lumping Christians together indiscriminately and recognize the large segment of the Christian community that celebrates diversity and justice for all God’s children.

Luther Place ChurchLogan Circle