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Church members take fight against gay pride parade to city hall

A petition circulated and backed by local Church of Christ members to stop an upcoming gay pride parade was submitted to Kalispell, Mont., City Council and dominated the public comment period at its most recent meeting.
Opponents of the Montana Pride Celebration called it “immoral,” while supporters urged councilors to support equal rights and embrace diversity.
Mayor Pam Kennedy pointed out that the council could not discuss the parade because it wasn’t on the agenda. Both she and Interim City Manager Myrt Webb did confirm that organizers had received a permit for the parade and met all the city’s contractual obligations.
Barry Brubaker presented the petition to the council and said that allowing the parade to proceed would “further erode morality and set precedence for future lasciviousness and lewd displays that other communities have experienced.” He said, as of May 18, about 200 people had signed the petition.
He and four others spoke in opposition to the march. About a dozen people told the council that they supported it.
Neal Brown, who is on the board of directors of the Montana HumanRights Network and lives in Bigfork, said “we don’t discriminate byrace, or creed, or religion, or sex or sexual orientation. So I askthat this council not only allow this celebration to go forward, but toembrace it.”
Other community members echoed that sentiment and vowed that the paradewould not be vulgar. “We’re not going out to make a scene like in SanFrancisco,” Dee Boyce said. “…We want to show some pride that we’refrom Montana and that it’s a welcoming state.”
Some speakers referenced religion in stating their positions. Rev.David Beaulieu of Valley Victory Church said he was concerned about“the agenda – the agenda that might silence voices that might want tostand up for Christ or stand up for what the Bible says about moralbehavior.” Kathy Kelly, who represented the Flathead Valley Church ofChrist, said, “We believe we are all made in the image of God –everyone of us.”
The Montana Pride Celebration is in its fifth year, and was previouslyheld twice in Billings and twice in Helena with little disruption.Kalispell was chosen for 2009 and the event on June 19-20 includes aparade, a fair with booths at Depot Park and two dances at Red LionInn. All the events are open to gay and straight people.
Local law enforcement reportedly expects protests at the event and willhave extra patrol during the two days. An anonymous e-mail circulatedto local media last month warned that people may try to disrupt theparade. But following an investigation, police couldn’t confirm thereport and there have been no threats since.
Some of the 175 members of the Kalispell Church of Christ also have been active in circulating and signing the petition. The community has three congregations.
(Story used with permission.)

  • Feedback
    So long as we focus on the specks in others’ eyes, we do not have to see our own logs of conspicious consumption as we lounge on our couches of ivory, greed, gossip, PRIDE, self righteousness, trodding on the poor, exclusion and shunning of “sinners”, schadenfreude (rejoicing when others suffer)….
    Bobbie Huebner
    SW Central Church of Christ
    Bellaire, TX
    June, 30 2009

    Brian is correct. This is an opportunity to evangelize. The bible does not condone us getting into the affairs of the world. If we focus on outreach and evangelism as we are commanded to in the Great Commission then this “parade” probably wouldn’t be happening in the first place. Christians are to be peacemakers not policing the world and stopping the inevitable. This will only happen at Christ’s return. We help change the world through love and outreach with the goal of soul-winning.
    Sister Terri
    bright angel
    las vegas, nevada
    June, 29 2009

    It seems to me that we are not to hold non-believers to the standards recorded in scripture. Those standards are for believers only. I see this “Pride Parade” as an opportunity to evagelize and minister to those attending. What a great opportunity for the church to show the love of Christ…hmm.
    Brian Rayburn
    Alameda Church of Christ
    Norman, Oklahoma
    June, 19 2009

    Sin is an outdated religious concept invented by primitive man to explain things. It’s no different than primative man believing that thunderstorms are the wrath of the Gods. Only wrongdoing exists. In the context of reality, speak out against wrongdoing- not the offence of an invisible being.
    spokane, wa
    June, 18 2009

    I can’t believe the position of some Christians when it come to gay rights. The Bible clearly teaches us that God does not give anyone the right to be gay. It doesn’t matter what the reasons or excuses being gay is ungodly. Yes, I know that sin is sin but we must teach against all sin, not endorse homosexuality because heterosexuals sin too, that is silly. We must stand against all sin. Everyone must repent of sin and live in God’s grace. Not only should we stand against gay pride, but most importantly we must stand for the salvation of everyone. Speak the truth in love. Jesus wants all to be saved.
    K. G. Bethea
    East Baltimore
    Nottingham, Maryland
    June, 11 2009

    As long a we are Christians, baptized belivers, we have not lost a battle of any type. Just because one person feels that “Christians have lost the battle against gays” does not give it acceptance. The Bible states, “be ye either hot or cold but if you be lukewarm I will spew thee out of my mouth” (PARAPHRASED). Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt because she just looked back at the cities of Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed. God does not have temprance for that type of SIN.
    If you are of that persuasion you should stay celibate in yourself and serve God as an unmarried or single soul and “buffet yourself daily (as Paul did) to keep yourself under control.
    Don Sinquefield
    SouthSide Church of Christ
    Rogers, AR
    June, 7 2009

    Sin is sin. Any sin will seperate us from God if we are not penitent. God opposes gay pride. He also opposses proud Christians. If we humbly oppose sin, and still manage to love the sinners- then we are doing His will. If we loudly oppose the sins of others, while ignoring our own, then we are hypocrites. If I remember correctly, hypocrites will spend eternity in the same place as homosexuals.
    Barry Bentley
    Holly Springs church of Christ
    Pangburn , AR
    June, 6 2009

    This is the way to “take a stand” that alienates those most in need of the message Chrisians have. It does nothing to further the Lord’s cause, hurts some gays (whom the Lord loves) and feeds the anti-Christian stereotypes hled by others . It makes the church seem, a) politically correct to the religious right and, b) hateful to the wider community. Why stop someone with whome we disagree (i.e. gays) from exprressing themselves? Where is the golden rule in that!? How about going to the parade with placards saying “God Loves Gays— too much not to change them too”? May He forgive us for any sense of self rightouesness in all this. PR stunts will…and should… backfire.
    John F
    Los Angeles, CA
    June, 2 2009

    Christians lost the battle over Gay Rights long ago due to their acceptance of adultery, fornication, co-habitation, intolerance of birth-control measures etc. When Christians watch ‘R’ and ‘X’ movies they are endorsing the activities in the movie. If it is acceptable for Christians to observe heterosexuals engaged in all types of sexual activities real or simulated, why shouldn’t homosexuals enjoy the same privileges? Heterosexuals recognize Common Law marriages and Palimony suits so why not homosexual commitments and the associated legal privileges? Gay unions of some sort are just a matter of time and Christians’ tolerance for sins they understand takes them out of the debate.
    John Jenkins
    Great Smoky Mountains Church of Christ
    Gatlinburg, TN
    June, 2 2009

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