point taken but it makes me wonder if you have to "wear" a label to identify yourself as inclusive to be inclusive?if the pride flag isn't displayed at an establishment, retail store or church etc, are they not inclusive?is what you do and how you act not a truer testament to what you believe than what you say?andrew
Thanks for your thoughts, andrew. A person's (or church's) actions are definitely a better sign of what they believe than what they say. This is especially the case where someone says they are not racist, not sexist, etc., but their actions show otherwise.My intention here was not so much to suggest that churches need to "wear labels", but to explore the pastor's response to her offer of the sticker. However, it's a great question. The obvious answer is "no, you don't have to wear a label saying 'we're inclusive' in order to be inclusive." But perhaps there's a deeper issue here too which depends on the cultural trend. For example, if most churches are inclusive, then the label is not necessary because a stranger looking for a church has a good chance of ending up in an inclusive one. But if most churches are not inclusive? Does one use a label or sticker to let people know? Or perhaps word of mouth and the tone of the church's website would let people know? What do you think?
Hi rob g,Brian here from the comment section at Wendy's blog, BTG. I'm so glad to have found your thoughtful blog. I like the questions you raise and the gentle way in which you do.As a gay man, raised fundamentalist and now atheist (coming out did not go over well in my church or my family, reconciled now with some/most family members)... it's an unfortunate consequence of the trauma around my coming out, but I assume an anti-lgbt bias unless a positive statement of support is made. The rainbow sticker goes a long way toward telling me that there is a desire present there to gain my trust, that support is offered that actually feels like support, that I'm not going to be blindsided by some subtle (or not so subtle) snub.
Hi Brian,Good to hear from you - I've appreciated and learned from the various comments you've made on BTG. Thanks also for your kind words about this blog.I hear you in terms of assuming the anti-lgbt bias of churches, and agree that it's the best assumption unless they explicitly say otherwise. The rainbow sticker is an obvious sign of lgbt-friendliness, and one that unfriendly churches are not likely to use. I've also read about individuals in churches that are not overall or officially 'welcoming and affirming', choosing to wear rainbow pins to indicate that they themselves are.