A Great Idea

I’m pleased to give a shout-out to a cool new website that’s just launched. The site is called Not All Like That  (aka NALT) and it’s loosely based on the format of Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project. The site explains its purpose better than I can:

The purpose of the NALT Christians Project is to give LGBT-affirming Christians a means of proclaiming to the world—and especially to young gay people—their belief and conviction that there is nothing anti-biblical or at all inherently sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

I’ve posted Fred Clark (aka Slacktivist‘s) video above as an example of the clips you can find on the site. Most videos are by everyday people who don’t have a blog or a forum to share their thoughts.

This is potentially a huge step forward for liberal evangelicals and the gay Christians we support. It’s the kind of project that can potentially squash the public narrative that Christians hate gays (or that they’ll “love” them provided they stop being gay.) I know I might sound overly optimistic. But it’s a good time to be optimistic. The site has just launched and it already is getting a lot of buzz.

I also would like to point out a few things about the organization. First, I’m not affiliated with NALT, so please don’t take this post as self-promotion. Also, many outlets have said that this is Dan Savage’s project. As I understand it, NALT is  John Shore., Wayne Besen, and Evan Hurst’s brainchild, and Savage has publicly endorsed it.

Also, a number of sites on the Right and Left have criticized NALT. There’s no point countering the arguments on the Right – you can close your eyes and predict their complaints without reading them. But for the critics on the Left who complain that the site isn’t exactly what they think LGBT desire or need, I’ll say this:

I have been at the ground floor of the formulation of a number of new ministries. It’s hard work. These ministries always start as conversations between friends who decide to take action on their shared vision.  The process of forming these ministries (and I do consider NALT to be a ministry) is a long process that can take months or even years of meetings, seeking out volunteers, crystalizing the ministry vision, budgeting and raising money (if need be), and so on.  It’s hard as hell, and a lot of great ideas die because the process is so challenging.

If you look at NALT and find it lacking in some way, then get off the sidelines and form a ministry that fits your vision. No one is stopping you, and the LGBT community can only benefit from multiple pro-gay ministries. If the site does something that warrants criticism, then by all means do so. But give it time to breathe and spread its wings. Ministries are never static. Ministry visions always shift as founders see what works and what doesn’t, and the ideas of volunteers influence the direction it goes. Budget and workforce also make a huge difference. The point is that the site just launched, and there are bound to be hiccups before it smooths things out.

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