gay community

Pope Francis Says He Won’t Judge Gay Priests

Pope Francis announced Monday in an airborne news conference that he’s ‘not one to judge’ the sexual orientation of Catholic priests. On his journey home from Brazil, Pope Francis declared open-mindedness by sharing his support on behalf of the gay community. The Washington Post reports:

 “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked.

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Christian 'Exorcism' Leads to Gay Teen's Suicide

Eric James Borges via Facebook.
Eric James Borges via Facebook.

Eric James Borges was teased his entire life for being different. Though he didn’t come out publicly until his sophomore year of college, he recalls emotional and physical abuse as far back as kindergarten for his differences. And though most children undergo some degree of hazing from time to time, the seeming indifference of the adults in his life made matters dramatically worse.

In a video recorded for the “It Gets Better” Project, an LGBT advocacy group focused on offering hope and community to LGBT people on the margins, Borges, 19, recalls being physically assaulted in a full high school classroom while his teacher stood by and watched.

The distressed teen had nowhere to turn at home either. His Christian parents decided to perform a ritual exorcism on him with the hope of “curing” him of his orientation. When that failed, they kicked him out of the house.

Though Borges went on to advocate for LGBT rights through the “It Gets Better” Project and his work with The Trevor Project (a group committed to preventing suicide among LGBT teens), the demons of his past still lingered. Despite finding a community that affirmed and embraced who he was, the damage had already been done.

He killed himself on Jan 11.

Seeing Things Through

PASTOR AND civil rights activist Gardner C. Taylor has influenced a nation, providing counsel to presidents and leading a movement. Alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and others, he helped establish the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC) and served as its second president. In 2011, the PNBC celebrated its 50th year.

For 42 years, Taylor served as the senior pastor of the historic Concord Baptist Church of Christ in Brooklyn, New York. The cross street where I live in Brooklyn is named after this iconic man of God. He is 93 years old and still bearing abundant fruit. His most recent book, Faith in the Fire, is a collection of reflections and stories gleaned from his last 60 years in ministry.

Jason Storbakken: You were pastor of Concord Baptist Church of Christ for more than 40 years. That’s unusual today, when so many move on after three or four years.

Gardner C. Taylor: I think there is a restlessness on the part of pastors and on the part of congregations. They do not seem to be able to settle down for the long haul. It is very important for the pastor to come to know the people and understand the goals and purposes of the people and how they plan to get there. It takes time to learn all of that.

We have many identities—ethnicity, nationality, gender. How should our shared identity in Christ affect our life?

If we understand the dimensions of our identification with Jesus Christ, it gives us a balance and a sense of purpose and the determination to see things through.

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