All posts by Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He was called to Atlanta in 1994 to pastor All Saints MCC. Five years later he founded Gentle Spirit Christian Church. He lives in Decatur with his husband Bill, who he met in 1982 while living and working in Ohio and legally married in 2015.

This Week’s Message

“For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant,  I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.”  Isaiah 56:4-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

This Week’s Message

“Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘Treat one another justly.  Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’”  Zechariah 7:10 The Message (MSG)

 

Why do we continue to celebrate Gay Pride?

Gentle Spirit Christian Church
Gentle Spirit Christian Church

So why do we continue to celebrate Gay Pride? It is for actual equality. Here’s why:

  • LGBT people can still be fired or denied housing or public accommodations for no other reason than the simple fact of who we are in just about as many states as same-gender couples can now get legally married.
  • Transgender people worldwide are regularly shot, stabbed, beaten, burned, mutilated, tortured, strangled, hanged or stoned – generally to death – simply for being who they are. It’s why the single biggest transgender-focused event in any community is a day of remembrance to honor those who have suffered in the last 365 days.
  • About 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT. LGB youth are also 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers – and this is in a context where suicide is already the second leading cause of death among young people age 10-24.

And, this is to say nothing of adoption rights, wage gaps, transgender underemployment, and unemployment… you get the picture.

My point being that, while it has been thrilling to see same-gender love advance from second-class status in America, it’s important for us – and for our allies and observers – to understand that the fight for marriage equality in many ways happened on its own timetable thanks to the courts. However,  the fight and struggle are not over. There are people out there who want us to be quiet, sit-down and go back to our closets. As long as that is the case, each year at this time we will stand with Pride, Courage and the Love of God in our hearts.

Most importantly let us not forget these powerful words of scripture: Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.

Rev. Paul M. Turner

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at http://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

This Week’s Message

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30 (MSG)