Harry Knox on &#39For the Bible Tells Me So&#39

by Admin

Harry Knox, HRC's Religion and Faith Program Director, on For the Bible Tells Me So

I have now had the pleasure of watching For the Bible Tells Me So with many different communities: from Washington, D.C., to Savannah, Ga. I have heard the comments of HRC board members, Christian churchgoers and those struggling to reconcile their faith and their sexuality. In addition, I've heard personally from hundreds of people who took part in HRC's Religion and Faith Program's film discussions across the country. Quite frankly, the response has blown me away and I'm just beginning to make sense of its magnitude.

Some responses are funny and reflective: In Atlanta, Ga., you could hear a chorus of amen's when Bishop Gene Robinson's parents suggested in their gracious way that it's probably a little harder to have conversations about sexuality in the South than the North. In ever politically minded Washington, D.C., people wept when Congressman Richard Gephardt proclaimed his love for his lesbian daughter, Chrissy Gephardt, was more important to him then his ambition for the presidency. Although communities react uniquely to elements in the film, their uncontrollable enthusiasm is a constant. And that enthusiasm is contagious!

People have a sense of urgency around this film: "My father needs to see this right now," they tell me.

"If my congresswoman watched this she might think a little differently about opposing domestic partner benefits."

"If our denominational leaders could see this, it would change the discussion at the next national convening."

"How can I organize a film showing in my Church?"

The film has been out for some time now, and enthusiasm is growing, suggesting that its impact is deeper and more profound than any of us initially anticipated. Recently, the historian and filmmaker Susan Stryker talked to HRC staff about the historical circumstances around Stonewall and I think there are interesting parallels. Stonewall was a combustible spark that overnight ignited a gay revolution around the country. GLBT people have witnessed the power of the Civil Rights Movement, the Chicano Rights Movement, the Women's Movement and their own work toward liberation. According to Stryker, if Stonewall occurred even three years earlier it wouldn't have had the same effect. But because it happened when it did its effects were explosive, moving GLBT liberation to a new level of consciousness it hadn't experienced before. I think for our faith communities, For the Bible Tells Me So is a similar spark in our work for GLBT justice.

People have seen the love and the beauty of their faith tortured into something ugly and exclusionary for far too long. But we've also watched a different kind of religious momentum emerge in recent years. Those of us that count ourselves as people of faith have been demanding that when our ministers and politicians talk religion they talk about religion's deepest truths-about embracing a love for God and neighbor and opening our hearts to a generous and expansive hospitality that doesn't shut people out because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The highlight for me of this change occurred in April 2007 when HRC brought 230 clergy to Washington, D.C., for our Clergy Call for Justice and Equality.

Coming out on the heels of this work, For the Bible Tells Me So is providing communities with the needed spark to take our work to the next level. This is the resource our community has desperately needed and now is the time we need it most. That's why I have commissioned minister, activist, well-known author and theologian, Rev. Dr. Chris Glaser to write a curriculum for For the Bible Tells Me So as an organizing tool for congregations in preparation for a second Clergy Call for Justice and Equality in 2009. Listen for more information about this in the spring.

I hope you'll purchase this film for yourself and perhaps buy a second copy as a gift for someone you know. I can guarantee you'll be happy you did. In addition, by purchasing For the Bible Tells Me So through HRC you will also be supporting our efforts to bring needed change to communities of faith across the country.

I hope you'll purchase this film for yourself and perhaps buy a second copy as a gift for someone you know. I can guarantee you'll be happy you did. In addition, by purchasing For the Bible Tells Me So through HRC you will also be supporting our efforts to bring needed change to communities of faith across the country.


Blessings,

Harry Knox, HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program

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