San Diego Christian Church Apologizes for Prop. 8 Via Giant Billboard

Crack open a cold can of awesome and get a load of the Mission Gathering Church‘s billboard in San Diego, which reads:

“Mission Gathering Christian Church is sorry for the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive, manipulative actions of those who took away the rights and equality of so many in the name of God.”

The church was founded by a group of young adults who say they wanted “to embody God’s grace to the emerging/postmodern culture they were a part of.” It’s affiliated with The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) which has approximately 723,000 members throughout North America and is the denomination Ronald Reagan was baptized in. So, despite having a Facebook page and a podcast that includes titles like “Sexuality & Spirituality: Sex, Lies and Craigslist”, the apologetic Christians sit squarely within the mainline Protestant tradition.

San Diego has been arguably the epicenter of the Prop 8. protest movement, with over 25,000 people marching in the streets in last week’s “Day of Impact Protest”– the largest group anywhere.

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  • Rob Moore

    That’s nice, but I still won’t buy agricultural products from California.

  • EdWoody


  • Joe Moag

    A good reminder of the variance of people and groups. A good reminder for when we say “gay people” or “black people” or “old people” that we are doing some serious lumping…not that I’m not the first to do so on any given day…

  • panasonicyouth

    That is wonderful.

  • Tim in SF

    Rob, gay California farmers who grow vegetables can do without your money.

    Since you’re so hot to boycott something, why don’t you boycott the Mormon empire? It’s a target-rich environment and they are more responsible for Prop 8 than the average Californian. (just remember, any boycott starts with letters of intent to those you are protesting, otherwise they aren’t going to know.)

  • Farah

    Wow-that really is fantastic!
    San Diego is one of my favorite places in the world.

  • Darth Paul

    @Tim in SF: WORD.
    Most definitely boycott ZCMI and all the other Mormon owned/propped businesses as well as those who supported 8. A produce boycott on CA is ridiculous psychological masturbation at best.

  • Bruno

    They obviously have nothing to be sorry about…maybe they should’ve said IS ANGRY or something.

  • Matthew Wilkinson

    Joe makes a good point. Here in Palm Springs there’s a move afoot to boycott a very popular restaurant — popular among gays, but straight owned — because the owner is Mormon. This would be guilt by association on an epic scale and tragic, not only because I’d have to find somewhere new to get my Barbecued Chicken Ceasar, but because he is a Mormon, that makes him as anti-gay as me anti-semetic because I’m Catholic.

  • Joe Moag

    @Matthew Wilkinson: I don’t know…Barebecued Chicken Caesar gives me wind… :-)

  • chuck

    @Joe Moag:

    Glad I didn’t get wind of that here in Florida. :-)

  • Tim in SF

    I said “Mormon Empire” not “Mormon owned businesses.” The Mormon Church, as an organization, owns many businesses, like the Marriot chain, half of Vegas, Bumblebee Tuna, etc. For all of those businesses, there are bigot-free alternatives that are just as good. But to boycott a business because it’s owned by a Mormon is, I think, counter productive. And kinda mean.

    If you want to know towards whom you should specifically target your ire, who is worthy of your wrath (be it in the form of boycotts or angry letters or simply bad wishes), start by reading this list here, the Dishonor Roll:

  • john

    All the gay boys in West Hollywood take their cars to Santa Palm Car Wash to get their cars cleaned and waxed for the weekend, the problem is that all the employees who WORK there all have VOTE YES ON PROP 8 bumper stickers on their cars…so what to do? The mexican workers who clean those cars and work for tips all belong to the catholic church who scared them all into voting YES or they would all go to hell….so do we boycott the place because it’s employees all belong to a brain washing/guilt control organization? I would say yes but I hate punishing the stupid, plus they do a really good wax job.

  • Joe Moag

    @chuck: You must have been out at sea…OK, I’ll stop :-)

  • mark

    Mission Gathering Church….thank you, we will remember who our friends are.

  • Tim in SF

    @john: I don’t think you should punish people for their votes. People are easily led. The pro-8 people ran a great campaign – they lied very effectively and had a great ground-game. The No-on-8 campaign, on the other hand, was inept. They had zero ground game, ran ineffective commercials (which, BTW, featured no gay couples), and made a lot of bad decisions; they took our money and ran a truly shitty campaign.

    In short, I wouldn’t punish people for their votes. But I certainly would punish people for financial support of the Pro-8 side: they were the enablers of this atrocity at the highest level – punish them hard and long.

  • Carsen T.

    @Rob Moore: Um I hope you know the companies that back the “Buy CA” campaign are all LGBT themselves or LGBT friendly and help sponser a lot of great programs in CA. So please don’t boycott them, boycott those who actually helped pass prop 8. Heh, my mom is the accountant for their lobbying firm, and well they all just avoid her because she is a wee bit mean to LGBT people, plus they remember her passing out yes on 8 stickers and that is why she is out of the loop.

  • Joe Moag

    Back in the ’80s, I was extremely active – and happy about having been so – in the Divestment Movement. Part of that movement, here in the U.S., focused on boycotts of companies that would not divest from South Africa.

    It got real tricky: the U.S. economy is so unbelievably intertwined in so many ways through so many companies, and money is so fungible, it just gets tricky.

    I still believe in boycotts. I just want to say, for what it’s wroth, that we should show a little patience with each other as we try and figure out the “best targets” for boycotts. Boycotts are just plain tricky, and “purety” is impossible to achieve.

  • Jon92027

    @Tim in SF:

    The Mormon Church does not own any of the Marriott Chain, or BumbleBee Tuna, or ZCMI, I am not sure what you mean by half of Las Vegas. The Mormon Church is the largest private landholder in the US west of the Mississippi however. The Marriott family and stockholders own Mariott, ZCMI is actually owned by Macy’s now. The Mormon church has to be very careful about what they do and do not own, they dont want to lose thier tax exempt status. While I fully support boycotts, lets be sure that we know who we are boycotting.

  • chuck

    @Matthew Wilkinson:

    The link doesn’t seem to work….

  • greybat

    What’s with all the ads? I call shenanigans!

  • psy

    friggin spam

  • Fred Conwell

    It’s so nice to be reading good news occasionally. That which is right, just, fair and loving will always please those who want to make a civil contract with another.

  • Kevin

    Hah! Good luck with that Rob!

    A vast majority of produce comes from California or through CA. As we are the 8th largest country in the world economically, I highly doubt a misguideded “boycott” will affect us in the slightest.

    And will you also boycott wine, television, movies, and music?


    If you want to help, why don’t you change the minds of homophobes in your own backyard. Does your state allow same-sex couples to marry?

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Matthew Wilkinson:

    Thanks for the clarification, guy.

    Been there. Done that. HeeHee

    Don’t know much it will do however, but as the old lady said when she pee’d in the ocean…

    “Every little bit helps”. ;-)

  • Rob Moore

    @Tim in SF: I didn’t make my position clear. I am not advocating a formal boycott. In fact, I think formal boycotts backfire.

    I recognise that not all farmers voted for Prop 8, but enough did along with their families and friends that those areas went solidly for Prop 8. I cannot identify individuals who voted or how they voted, I can only do my best to tailor my response to hit the largest number of supporters I can while doing my best to affect the fewest who did not support it.

    I don’t care what others do in response, but I will not provide revenue to people and areas that likely voted to strip my people of a right. I will not buy California produce, nor will I buy food I can identify as made from California produce.

    The fact the Mormon Church funded this abomination is not as relevant to me as how voters chose to cast their votes. The voters had plenty of information and experience to know the Mormons, indeed, all the supporting groups, lied, yet, they chose to vote to remove a civil right from a group that did them no harm and threatened no harm.

    If I can identify a business or fund as having significant financial involvement with the Mormons, the Catholics, or any other pro-8 groups, I will seek to avoid their company.

    That is my choice. It is not a choice I expect many to make. It is not something I will end once there is some “agreement” reached. I still don’t drink Coors Beer and not just because it is just water with alcohol and a little flavouring added. They reached an agreement with gay “leaders”, yet the Coors family remains just right of the John Birch Society and right wing fundies in its political activities.

    Do what you will. I will do what I feel I must do.

  • Rob Moore

    @Kevin: Kevin, I almost didn’t notice your little note. As I just stated in a different post, this is my personal decision not a call for a boycott. No, my state does not allow gay marriage, and I try everyday to change the mind of bigots both gigantic and small. The difference I draw is that California allowed gay people to marry, then stripped it away. So far, the only thing my state did was when the state supreme court ruled sodomy laws unconstitutional. Georgia has never been a beacon of tolerance in its entire history. Thanks to Georgia, all Native Americans mostly Cherokee in the 1840s and Creek in the 1830s, were force-marched out of the state and their lands confiscated for white slave owners.

    I must confess, I will continue to go to the cinema, but actors and others in entertainment were the most visible opponents of Prop 8. If there is a film that interests me, I will see it. Wine is another matter.

    Most of the wine we buy is not from California. California wines are very predictable and mostly uninteresting.

    California has a lot of competition when it comes to agricultural products. Did you know we can buy oranges from South Africa here in Georgia? South Africa removed barriers to gay people marrying. I prefer cheese from Vermont and my native England and buy milk produced in the east. I make my own yoghurt. I buy blueberries from Oregon and Georgia, grapes from Chile, mangoes from Mexico, Florida, and Haiti. I buy raspberries from Georgia, onions and potatoes from Washington. Grapefruit comes from Florida and Texas. Broccoli comes from Florida, Georgia, even Tennessee. Peaches, well this is the peach state, even though South Carolina produces more. Avocados come from Mexico, Merlot from Chile and France, Shiraz from Australia, Chardonnay from New Zealand. In season, I can get lettuce, cabbage, and carrots from Georgia, Florida, even Alabama. Out of season, well Nafta does have its upside.

    I don’t care what if anything you do Kevin. I am doing what I feel I must do. For the record, if Arnold was American born, I would consider voting for him, but alas, like me, he cannot hold the office of president.

  • Greg K

    wow. I’m just curious how many of the people that commented on this actually live in California? I do. Boycott California produce? You’re as bad as the Mormon church by assuming that the farmer/growers in the Central Valley voted for Prop 8 because of there ethnicity. People that think like that are the people that need to learn about diversity and tolerance. Not all Hispanics voted for Prop 8, just like I’m sure not all white/anglo/gay men voted against 8. While symbolic victories are still losses, progress in civil rights moves slow. Anyway reading most of these comments were quite worthwile, but again, Arnold wouldn’t be a good president. Please, please NO more Arnold.

  • Tim in SF

    @Greg K: Let him boycott. It makes about as much sense as peeing in the ocean to make the tide come in. Still, it seems to make him feel better. And some people need their self-righteous indignation just to get through the day.

  • Rob Moore

    @Tim in SF: Since I did contribute money to the campaign to preserve your rights, I must ask what you suggest other than sitting there feeling smug. Do you think we should simply not do anything? Perhaps, those of us outside of California should ignore future pleas for money to help fund your fight to restore marriage rights since you obviously don’t care. If the shoe was on the other foot and Georgia decided to block what property rights we can arrange through much paperwork and attorney’s fees, would you simply shrug and say “they should just leave it alone.”? Do you not feel any kinship with gay people outside of San Francisco?

    You already have more rights and legal protections than those of us who live in the South. Atlanta has the largest gay population in the Southeast. Gay pride festivals still mean something more than parties. Most years, we have two to three hundred thousand gay people attend who live and work within the metropolitan area with many thousands more holding backyard barbecues or just getting together. It is estimated that out of a population of 5 million in the Atlanta Metropolitan region there are probably 600,000 of us. We are the ones who organised, funded, and volunteered to help during the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s. We are still the ones who provide the meals to people living wih AIDS, but we expanded it to include anyone who needs the help.

    Were you around when direct action was required to get any attention paid to th AIDS crisis in the gay community? All those nice, polite folks like yourselves got nowhere. ACT-UP made other people actually see us. ACT-UP made others face their silence. Until then, we were ignored the same way people ignore homeless people or white people ignored nonwhites.

    So, besides playing in your nice, safe, and secure neighborhood, what risk have you actually taken recently for your right to live equally. Did you, Tim, or you, Kevin, go to rural or Latino areas to meet with people and talk to them, or even just make yourself visible? Did you do anything to directly challenge the folks campaigning to take away your rights (and I don’t mean TV commercials, candlelight vigils, or walking up and down a safe sidewalk)? It wouldn’t surprise me if you mostly just expressed your thoughts to the choir without taking any risks.

    I remember the days of segregation when my elementary school was completely white. I remember the marches and the white politicians of both parties declaring their support for segregation. I remember the struggle for civil rights for black people. It was not slow and smooth. It lurched this way and that and required people to take action to show not just defiance but also their unity. Sometimes, it involved not just mental courage but physical courage. The boycott of the Montgomery bus system was before I was born, but it was based on the assumption that the whole system was racist not whether one individual was or wasn’t a racist. So smug comments comparing me to bigoted Mormons and claiming I need training in diversity are shallow and insulting. I know a little something about being on the outside.

    I was an oddity to my schoolmates because I was foreign born but lived on a farm in rural Georgia with my American grandparents. They thought I “talked funny” and in first grade other boys even made comments about my dick because I was uncircumcised. I learned about diversity because I was a Catholic in a region where the closest Catholic church was 30 miles away, and I had a teacher who was openly racist, anti-semitic, and anti-Catholic. It was a public school, but we still had Bible readings every morning from a Protestant Bible with prayer and a little spiel from Mrs. Jackson. I kept quiet, which meant she felt free to continue. So think what you will, just don’t be surprised when doing nothing but talking about something changes nothing.

  • Joe Moag

    @Rob Moore: BOOM! Great post!

  • Tim in SF

    @Rob Moore: Hey, asshole, I don’t need to justify my right to speak my mind to you or anybody. I don’t need to prove my activist bona fides, the work I’ve done in the past for PWAs or more recently against Prop 8. You can take every assumption you wrote about me and shove it up your ass.

    As for what I think you should do (regarding a boycott of California), how about you do the world a favor and boycott oxygen instead.

  • Rob Moore

    @Tim in SF: So something pricked your skin. There might be hope if you take that and climb out of your safe zone. Challenge the 52% of voters who voted against you. Make them see you, not as some fag with a sign, but as a person worth more than they thought.

    From my perspective 3,100 miles or so distant, No on Prop 8 lost because they were timid and wanted to be seen as just like everyone else. Well we aren’t just like them. We live our personal lives in a way they don’t comprehend. That 52% of voters needs to see us as something different.

    Rather than seeing us as just straight people with bad sexual habits, they need to see us as unique. We are gay. Despite claims to the contrary, it is what defines us as a minority group. We like to get naked and cozy with someone possessing the same anatomy. Until we make them see that we are a minority group distinct from them, we have little chance of gaining all our rights.

    We need to take control of the conversation that is defining us in this land of the free. I don’t give a good goddamn if they like it, but they cannot tell me I am like them. Get mad and yell. Saying “we lost” and leaving it like that ensures it will stay like that. I’m pretty tired of being nothing more to straight people than some wannabe fashion designer or hair stylist on Bravo for their amusement.

    There has never been and never will be a group that gained equality under the law without making the majority miserable. Martin Luther King did it with civil disobedience that snarled traffic, caused ruckuses in diners for whites only, and by making them turn their dogs loose. That was when white southerners began to see themselves as the bigots they were (are). He and the Civil Rights Movement didn’t do it by being polite and making nice. He didn’t hurt people or property, but he didn’t let them settle back into their comfort zones. It is the only way that works.

  • Tim in SF

    I don’t disagree with a word of what you just said.

    I worked for a political consultant for several years. The experience of having worked with long-time political operatives on successful campaigns—and especially on unsuccessful campaigns—has given me a different view of campaigns.

    When I look at the two Prop 8 campaigns, I really do not see it in terms of right and wrong. Instead, I see it in terms of what works and what doesn’t, what was done well and what was done badly. Mostly, I see it in terms of what we need to do in order to get what we want.

    Prop-8 ran a GREAT campaign (lies and all). The people who (somehow) were in charge of running the No-on-8 campaign ran a historically TERRIBLE campaign, strenuous efforts by the volunteers notwithstanding. That’s the sad truth. Public opinion was pushed in the Pro-8 direction by over 20 points, which is simply amazing. Any cursory analysis of their ground game shows a level of sophistication never before seen for a mere ballot prop. What little our side managed to do in the face of this tsunami was insufficient, done badly and far too late (which, by the way, is also when they got the money – way too late).

    Don’t take my word for it. Here is an analysis of the campaign in Rolling Stone. It presents an emotion-free, critical analysis which I think is fair and accurate . Queerty discussed it here:

    I don’t believe the heads of the No-on-8 campaign should fall on their swords, as do many, justifiably, I think. But I do think they committed political malpractice and should never be let near another campaign. Ever.

  • Rob Moore

    @Tim in SF: Very thoughtful response. Despite our different responses to our tremendous disappointment and anger, at the base of it, we agree on the principle and the problem.

    You guys in California might not understand that many of us who live outside California felt much like we had taken a powerful blow to the gut when Prop 8 passed. It was a reminder of the power the majority have to completely fuck us over and the majority’s willingness to do just that.


    look…WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. Every time gay marriage has come to a vote, it has LOST. People in this country will not allow it because it is SICKENING to us, as is the whole homosexual lifestyle. Now guess what, here’s the shocker…I don’t hate homosexuals and i consider them my equal, as i do all people. I hate what they choose to do, but I don’t hate them. I do not harass them and i believe they should be protected from harassment as well as having protectition from job discrimination and hate crimes. Now what most of u don’t realize is that MANY people feel just like me and instead of forcing us to accept u all getting married, why not push for progress in the things we agree on? It’s just common sense, in fact i have read that many homosexual (and no, they aren’t gay, they are homosexual, and no, I am not phobic as in “homophobic” just because i am disgusted by what u choose to do)activists agree with me. But hey, don’t take my advice, just keep shooting yourselves in the foot, if that’s what suits u. Peace.


    oh, one other thing…just so u know, hearing gay people constantly comparing their gay marriage efforts to the fight for civil rights for blacks, is very offensive to black people and good people of all races. Find a new analogy and find a new race to blame your loss at the polls on, also.

  • Rob Moore

    @LEROY JONES: You know, Leroy, you sound just like my late father. He would state, “I don’t hate ni?*&%s. I just wish they would stop trying to force themselves where most people don’t want them.” He was equally accepting of having a gay son.

    The fact that comparisons to the fight for civil rights for black people offend you is in itself pretty fucking offensive. Do you even remember segregation and Jim Crow laws? Those laws were prevalent here in the South until I was in fourth or fifth grade. You couldn’t vote. If you were able to get a driver’s license and could afford to buy a decent used car, you ran the risk of being arrested for auto theft or drunk driving even if you hadn’t had a drop. If whites so much as suspected you thought a white woman was attractive, you would be assaulted definitely and perhaps killed. In some places, if a gay man is thought to have looked at a straight man with interest, he might well find himself waking up in a hospital or he might be killed. No comparison intended.

    So I think in your eyes, the Civil Rights movement was for black people alone even though one of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close associates was gay and Dr. King knew it and even though a lot of white people risked and sometimes lost their lives to help black people.


    @Rob Moore: so instead of actually giving thought to the points i made, u instead continue on with the “being disgusted by the perversion of homosexuality is the same as being disgusted by black people” crap…you’re hopeless…

  • yorfutrxhsbnd

    By the way LeRoy, when I chose to be gay, it was because I thought you were hot; it wasn’t because of your brains.


  • Rob Moore

    @LEROY JONES: Leroy, I guess I have to write more plainly. I don’t really give a damn if you think gay people getting married is disgusting. You suggested we make progress on the areas in which we agree, but did not provide a specific agreement on which to hang my response.

    As a side note, when you declare yourself not homophobic, it is much like Georgia’s last openly segregationist governor, Lester Maddox, declaring he was not a racist just because he didn’t want to socialise with black people (only he didn’t say “black people”).

    I must ask, if you are not gay why are you participating in a gay forum?

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