As we’ve discussed before, the IFI protest at the Gay Games in Chicago were highly ineffective. The protesters were outnumbered and then rain washed them out after about an hour and a half.
Previous reporting discussed singing atheletes from London, but James Hartline, ex-gay activist from San Diego, gave AgapePress a different report about those who challenged LaBarbera and Hartline.
“When we went inside of the homosexual community,” the Christian activist recalls, “it had to be one of the ugliest spiritual experiences that I’ve ever experienced, because of the hostility that was directed towards us specifically by members of that community. It was like a mob mentality.”
Other folks might think that James’ numerous drug and sex binges and the years he spent incarcerated might be uglier. But James found this visit to harrange gay people to be so discouraging because he faced not just the “hundreds” of demon possessed homosexuals (previous reports mentioned a couple dozen), but ministers as well.
What was most disappointing about the whole situation, the ex-homosexual speaker observes, was the fact that some clergy members in their religious garb stood alongside the homosexual activists, shouting at the Christians. This scenario presented “one of the more telling signs about how far away from the Word of God some of these churches have gotten,” he says.
What was hard to get over, Hartline explains, was “the idea that [although] we’re Christians and we’re doing what the Bible has asked us to do — what the Lord has that told us to do, which is go spread the Word of God and its truth — we would actually be attacked by people wearing collars as ordained ministers, calling us ‘bigots’ and ‘hateful.’”
It can sometimes be difficult to know whether what James Hartline reports actually happened anywhere outside his own head (his blog only mentioned one minister, the AgapePress story sounds like several). But assuming there were ministers present countering LaBarbera and Hartline’s message of condemnation and fear, they are a welcome addition. It is important that people come to recognize that anti-gay zealots do not hold a monopoly on Christianity.