On Father's Day weekend, Rick "Purpose-Driven Life" Warren of Lake Forest's Saddleback Church will do something extraordinary in evangelical Christian circles: he'll treat queers as normal folks.
He'll be meeting with members of Soulforce, a nonprofit dedicated to seek "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance." For the time between Mother's Day and Father's Day, Soulforce has conducted an outreach program called the American Family Outing. "We seek first to understand, and then to be understood, as we engage the families at six of America's leading mega-churches," reads its website. "We visit these churches because we recognize the enormous influence each has within Christianity and the larger culture, through ministries, radio and television programs, and books that reach millions. We believe these churches have the potential to be a positive force in ending the physical and spiritual violence perpetuated by some religious voices against LGBT people and their families. Some of these churches have exercised inspirational leadership on social issues such as poverty and AIDS, and we believe they can exercise comparable, courageous leadership in ending spiritual and physical violence against LGBT people."
So far, Soulforce has visited megapastors Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes and will visit Willow Creek Community Church tomorrow. We congratulate Warren for accepting Soulforce's invitation, pray he will use his influence to make Saddleback Church congregants defeat those who seek to deny marriage to gays and lesbians, and urge other OC Christians to follow in their footsteps--yeah, we're delusional.
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Meet the participating families here. If you're interested in participating, Soulforce is still looking for families.