I’m not a big fan of church marquee signs anyway, but this one’s worse than all the horrible puns and pseudo-Christianity combined.
From yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch:
“It’s not something that is really a shock if you’re a scriptural person,” said the Rev. Dave Allison, pastor of the 100-member church at Havens Corners and Reynoldsburg-New Albany roads. “We meant that as a loving warning to teens. â€¦ The Scriptures tell us that you should not do what the song tells you to do. The Scriptures are not ambiguous on this issue.”
The song, which has topped the charts and become an international hit, is about a girl kissing another girl.
Allison said he has heard from people who, he said, either were not familiar with the song and didn’t understand the cultural reference, or didn’t understand the message.
Lynne Bowman, director of Equality Ohio, a gay and transgender advocacy group, said every church has a right to its beliefs. Havens Corners has made it clear to everyone who drives by that it is not a welcoming place that accepts all people, she said.
She noted that the church’s vision, stated on its Web site, is to grow in membership. “Obviously they’re making a statement as to how they don’t want to do that,” she said.
She said Equality Ohio has identified at least 300 churches in Ohio that welcome gay people looking for a church home. “That sign just tells them where they cannot go to find the love and faith in Christ,” she said.
Ms. Bowman got it exactly right. I’m glad Mr. Allison put it out there. Now I know where this minister and this congregation stand on the issue, and I know where I’m not welcome on Sunday morning.
As of this afternoon, the church’s website is down for exceeding their bandwidth limit following local and regional attention from news media and the blogosphere. (They’re back now! Hooray!)
The sign was changed yesterday due to the pressure, but the message remains.
(hat tip to Good As You, which everybody should be reading anyway)