There’s a religious debate brewing in Indiana, and for once it has little to do with God. Well, okay, God is still part of the debate – When isn’t she? – but this time around it’s got more to do with illegal advertising than anything else. The Jesus Metropolitan Community Center, which is being lauded for its inclusion of the gay community, is also on the receiving end of criticism for the way it’s going about promoting itself: by placing signs in public rights of way, including on people’s yards, in violation of local law. Local publication The Word is mounting the offensive.
The “Would Jesus Discriminate?” campaign is part of the Jesus MCC’s push to include all people in its faith, and not just those Pat Robertson would approve. But The Word is calling the church on its have-cake-eat-cake approach, as well as its attempt to speak for an entire community of people that never authorized it to do so:
So what gives with the MCC Church and their recent anti-homophobia campaign? Church volunteers posted signs in public rights of way and then screamed discrimination when towns and cities rightfully asked that they be removed as they would any other illegal postings. And, we’re told by at least one source, church leaders were reminded in advance that such postings were illegal and might result in a backlash, but they went forward anyway.
While this newspaper does not and never would support discrimination, we find the MCC’s double-standard difficult to deal with, but somewhat sadly, we feel, typical of a church which we feel in many ways is as intolerant of others’ points of view as many they criticise for being inflexible and unresponsive to gay and lesbian needs. […]
… from witnessing and attempts at proslytizing by church members to those who are happily not religious or who have chosen (or been born) into a non-Christian religion, to suggesting that some of the MCC’s leadership speak for many in the general gay and lesbian community who might not agree with parts or all of their message, especially as it relates to their brand of Christianity.
It saddens us when anyone tries to speak for us gays as a group, because just as this newspaper does not have that right, nor do we expect it, neither do any of the often self-appointed “leaders” who step forward and throw themselves in front of TV cameras and call daily newspapers pretending to talk for you and me.
As far as the current hooha and the MCC Church–nothing against their beliefs, but we feel that any attempt to convince outsiders that they speak for you or me any more than local rights groups, rabbis, or mainline Christian leadership do is wrong –regardless of whether or not they feel they have a unique relationship with a higher power.
And we tend to agree. In the same manner we’d call out an anti-gay organization for illegal promotion of their agenda, a pro-gay group has no more right to post placards on property they don’t have a right to.
The Word Not Happy With “Would Jesus Discriminate?” Campaign [Advance Indiana]
Would Jesus Discriminate? [Jesus MCC]