NPR makes a nightly joke of its evening newscast title, All Things Considered. On Monday, they aired a completely one-sided press release for a project called "Pride in the Pews," which advocate for the black church that "not only welcomes queer folks, but uplifts and affirms them." The Bible is not a Thing to be Considered.
Ailsa Chang touted "there's been an increase in the number of so-called welcoming churches, gay marriages performed in churches and openly gay pastors. One minister in Chicago wants to see Black churches in particular become more affirming of LGBTQ people. So he started a ministry called Pride in the Pews." The story came from Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ, and their reporter Adora Namigadde:
NAMIGADDE: There are 1.2 million adults who identify as Black and LGBTQ, according to the Williams Institute, a UCLA Law School think tank that focuses on gender and sexuality. It says 71% of those adults are religious. Many still seek a connection with the church, all the while grappling with its stance on homosexuality.
DON ABRAM: I had to go through the journey of reconciling my faith and my sexuality.
NAMIGADDE: Which he did when he attended Harvard Divinity School. And he launched Pride in the Pews in 2020.
ABRAM: Our ultimate goal is to invite the Black church back into the public square and into advocacy for all of those who are on the margins of society, including LGBTQ+ Christians.
Namigadde helpfully explained that Abrams holds workshops in the Chicago area and across the country to push for not just "acceptance," but for advocacy. On a "recent Saturday morning," she said, "Abram met with ten people at Second Baptist Church in Evanston," just north of Chicago. He asked the tiny crowd to rank "how welcoming" their church is, from "antagonizing queer communities to advocating for them."
NAMIGADDE: During the three-hour workshop, the group talked about ways to make their church more welcoming to queer people. Abrams says this type of work helps churches soberly identify where they stand. Pastor Eddie Journey, who invited Abram to Second Baptist, says this discussion about the LGBTQ community is a crucial one.
EDDIE JOURNEY: Churches that don't answer this question or have an answer for those individuals, I don't believe will exist in 20 years.
NAMIGADDE: For his part, Pastor Abram believes the ideal church isn't advocating one, although he knows his theology is controversial, even erroneous to many Christians. But to Abram, arguing theology is a waste of time. He wants to work with churches that are open to having this conversation, whether they're liberal or conservative.
ABRAM: We're interested in meeting you where you are so that LGBTQ+ folk don't experience as much harm, as much violence, as much theological sort of berating as they do now.
Obviously, NPR heartily agrees that "arguing theology is a waste of time." They have no space for the "Bible thumpers" to argue their side of the debate. They're just supposed to send their taxpayer money in to "affirm" the side they oppose.
Here's the weird part: a brief search found that Namigadde reported this story back in March for WBEZ. They just repackaged it a little for the national folks, since propaganda like this is easily updated.
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