I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


How the Church is Driving People Away


When preachers and other Christian pundits write about falling church numbers they often blame church members. They say church members are not dragging their friends and neighbors to church or annoying strangers with their testimony. Recently, an author took note of the most frequent answers ex church members had when asked why they left. The most common answer was the bashing of gays.
I've always thought gay bashing, also known as "homosexuality is sin", would be a negative game changer for the Christian faith. Conservative branches of the church are still preaching the same old garbage that people are either gay by choice or if there is not a choice they must remain celibate. The faith missed an opportunity to grow as society began to understand this issue.
Certainly, there are branches of the faith which have addressed homosexuality in an enlightened way. A United Church of Christ down the street from where I live has been doing same sex marriage ceremonies for a couple of decades. It is thriving. Nationally, the denomination has been getting smaller like the conservative branches. The exception to the exodus is the branch called Pentecostalism.
Nearly all young people I am aware of have no hang ups about homosexuality. This has been the case for a couple of decades. When the church labels gays as "sinners" they have driven off friends of gays as well as their families. What could be more foolish than making up a rule about some group and demonizing them?
We all know the gay bashing demographic tends to be older people. This makes the positions of denominations who cater to the bashers all the more a death sentence.
Back in the day there was saying for people who could not see the obvious, "Wake up and smell the coffee." It still applies.

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