NewBeginningsFellowship

From postnews Thu Jan 18 09:04:59 1990 Subject: Daniel In The Fundie Den Newsgroups: soc.motss Distribution: na

In Halifax, some members of the community, myself included, will be attending a conference on Saturday the 20th organized by "New Beginnings Ministries" and "Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship."

The conference is called _Homosexuality and The Church._ One of the speakers is an ex-lesbian, who with the help of Jesus, has been healed, and another is one of the two AIDS epidemiologists for the prFrom postnews Thu Jan 18 22:10:47 1990 Subject: Daniel In The Fundie's Den Newsgroups: soc.motss Distribution: na

In Halifax, some members of the community, myself included, will be attending a conference on Saturday the 20th organized by "New Beginnings Ministries" and "Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship."

The conference is called _Homosexuality and The Church._ One of the speakers is an ex-lesbian, who with the help of Jesus, has been healed, and another is one of the two AIDS epidemiologists for the province who is a very, very good doctor, and unfortunately a homophobe and fundie- but that's another story. These are the sessions:

1 _A Look At Homosexuality_ We will look [at] some causes of homosexuality, various levels of expression, understanding the essense of the struggle. 2 _A Biblical Perspective_ By way of a careful analysis of I Cor 6:9, Biblical issues surrounding homosexuality will be addressed. 3 _What About Aids_ An overview of the medical realities and false ideas about AIDS. ... 4 _Ministry To The Homosexual_ What are the issues in counselling someone looking for a way out? ...

It is incredible that in the 1990s, such rubbish can still be propagated.

These guys are, apparently, campus fundies, so we expect lots of homophobia, misinformation, and perhaps pity. So we've got many really positive people from the community going to the conference, but don't know what to expect yet- we'll have to cope on the fly. Some ideas so far:

- we won't segregate ourselves in the conference, but mix in as much as possible with the other participants. - Being politely insistent rather than obstructive. - There may be a place for testimonials from unhappy homosexuals and/or people who have been freed of their affliction, so we'll try to counter with an equal number from people who are happy and proud of their gift of homosexuality. - I'm taking my Boswell notes, all gleaned from the net, in case there's a possiblility of argument- yeah, I know that arguing the bible is a no-win situation. I'll take 'em anyway. - The outside demonstrators will have informational leaflets to give out, and placards to bash people with (just kidding!). - some other insidious and tricky ACT-UP type things that we wouldn't want anyone to find out about until, ... well into the event. :-)

Please wish me luck, motssers! I'm taking a Kliban cartoon for the back side of my clipboard. It's a drawing of Adam in the garden, and there's a speech balloon coming from the sky; it says

	"I made you in my image, and I want you to remember that
	 parts of us are dirty.  Got it?"

Into the fray.... -dan

-- +---------+ IIS Public Usenet | _ | From the Halifax, Nova Scotia | (_)===| disk of ... mackay@iisat.UUCP | | daniel ...{utai,uunet,watmath}!dalcs!iisat!mackay +---------+ MACKAY@DALAC.BITNET

From postnews Sun Jan 21 15:13:39 1990 Subject: Re: Daniel [back from] The Fundie's Den Newsgroups: soc.motss Distribution: na References: <1990Jan19.021107.3729@iisat.uucp>

and not one claw mark! I knew my Lord would protect me.

Well, it was interesting.

There were lots of people from the gay community. At registration that morning, we refrained from the usual gushy greetings so we would blend in with the crowd. I would guess that there were thirty or so members of the social or political gay community there, in a conference of about eighty people, although Peter Wood, a local gay political activist, estimated half a dozen to a dozen in interviews with local media. A lot of lesbians showed up who hadn't attended the organizing meeting; they had organized through their own network.

We dispersed ourselves throughout the room, and everybody chatted up people sitting around them before and between sessions. As people made comments, objections, or asked questions, it sometimes became obvious that we were gay. Since there wasn't coffee out at the conference, I ran to the coffee shop down the street and bought coffee for everybody sitting around me before the first session as an informal gesture of goodwill.

I was surprised that there was not one anti-gay comment from the floor during the entire conference, perhaps because of our dispersion -- no-one could tell if they might be sitting next to, or have chatted with, one of the gay participants. There were a few appeals for order during Pat Allen's presentations, as our criticisms thoroughly disrailed the presentation of her personal observations of an unhappy, lonely, gay community driven to bars and washrooms in a desperate and futile attempt to find companionship and an understanding of its place in the universe in a bleak, hostile world.

I'd like to think that the immense interest shown in and microscopic examination of this conference is giving the organizers second thoughts about moving onto the campuses in Halifax. The chairman of the conference, and Pat Allen, the strident ex-lesbian, mentioned several times, with more than a touch of irony in their voices, how surprised ("and pleased" :-) they were at the interest.

On the other hand, I feel really bad that this fundie group made 200-400$ from the gay community!!! I had been toying with the idea of writing a cheque for the conference fee, and cancelling it Monday as my act-up activity; I forgot to refill the cheques in my wallet and didn't have any at registration time. In retrospect, of course, I wish I had. I can't get over the feeling that this could all have been staged and promoted for exactly this purpose; as a fundraiser for their cause in Halifax, a way to trick the gay community into giving them money, and as a promotional tool.

I missed one cue at a powerful moment; when the ex-lesbian was telling about all the teenagers she had seen in the hospital who had slit their wrists, overdosed on drugs and smashed themselves in cars because of their homosexuality, there was a split second to shout, "BECAUSE THEY'RE AFRAID OF HOMOPHOBIC ATTITUDES JUST LIKE THE ONES YOU'RE PROMOTING RIGHT NOW!" I missed it. However, I also hit a few right on the beat. She thanked me for my comments at the end of the day. Kissy, kissy.

I'm not sure that the anti-homosexual propaganda wasn't heavily watered down because of our presence. Certainly the ex-lesbian was forced to reword major chunks of her presentations on the fly as we objected to her biased language. Some of the gay theologians there said that the second session, a hermanudic, (sp?) was wishy-washy.

Overall, it was a pretty positive experience. This was the most wonderful opportunity for the most homophobic people, and the most positive gay people, to meet and learn a little about each other.

-- +---------+ IIS Public Usenet | _ | From the Halifax, Nova Scotia | (_)===| disk of ... mackay@iisat.UUCP | | daniel ...{utai,uunet,watmath}!dalcs!iisat!mackay +---------+ MACKAY@DALAC.BITNET

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