The church's banners went up around Atlanta for Pride Month
The church’s banners went up around Atlanta for Pride Month

A Church in the Atlanta Metro region has caused upset and disgust among local LGBTQ+ folk with its Pride Month campaign. Thankfully, media organization GLAAD has hit back with some messages of its own.

The banners and billboards are the work of the Worship with Wonders Church on Powder Springs Road in Marietta. Co-pastors Myles and DeLana Rutherford preside over the nondenominational church.

The posters feature a large rainbow flag. Over the rainbow run the words, “Proud to be delivered”.

The church’s stance is unequivocal. Gay sex is sinful and people need Jesus in their lives to save them.

Here are pastors Myles and DeLana Rutherford explaining the June campaign.

Their ProudToBeDelivered website carries testimonies from people who claim to have been freed from their same-sex attraction through prayer.

Here’s one guy who says his first queer inklings came from watching RuPaul’s Drag Race when he was younger.

It’s worth repeating (for those in the back) that so-called conversion therapy, whether connected to religion or not, has been found to more often cause psychological harm than benefit. No study has found it to have any true impact whatsoever on an individual’s sexuality.

Reclaiming the rainbow

Asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution why they chose to use the rainbow colors on their campaign, the Rutherford’s rebuffed the suggestion they were aping the rainbow flag. They said they were merely using the, “7 colors of the original rainbow, indicative of the covenant God made with man in Genesis 9:13, not the 6 colors used by the LGBTQIA+ community.”

The posters have now prompted a backlash. On Sunday, GLAAD sent a truck carrying a digital billboard to sit outside the church for eight hours. It displayed several messages. One featured a rainbow flag and said: “Proud to be delivered from oppressive theology.”

The GLAAD truck and digital billboard in Atlanta
(Photo: GLAAD)

Another said, “Black families love and embrace their LGBTQ children.”

The GLAAD truck and digital billboard in Atlanta
(Photo: GLAAD)

“Dangerous rhetoric”

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, called out church leaders’ dangerous anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.

“It is apparent the anti-LGBTQ extremists responsible for orchestrating this billboard are lashing out in a desperate attempt to claim moral superiority,” she said in a statement. “With GLAAD finding a supermajority (91%) of Americans in support of LGBTQ equality, this dangerous rhetoric not only repels those seeking connection to a higher power but fails to adhere to the most basic Christian principle—love thy neighbor.

“To assume that LGBTQ people need to be saved and are not already people of faith is the epitome of spiritual arrogance. LGBTQ people are your neighbors: we are your family, friends, colleagues, and fellow worshippers.”

The GLAAD truck and digital billboard in Atlanta
(Photo: GLAAD)

Darian Aaron is GLAAD’s Director of Local News: US South. He’s been leading the campaign against the church’s message.

“With anti-LGBTQ legislation at an all-time high and aimed at erasing the existence of LGBTQ people, there is a refusal by this ministry to address real problems facing us as a nation: sensible gun reform — the real threat to American children. LGBTQ people do not require deliverance. Those choosing to inflict harm on others through religious bigotry require an examination of the heart and soul.”

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