BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The NALT Christians Project launched today, giving Christians everywhere an opportunity to rise up and proclaim their unconditional love and support for their LGBT friends and family members.
This new movement, inspired by Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project, encourages LGBT-affirming Christians to upload videos that unapologetically express their full acceptance of LGBT people.
This project was created by Christian author John Shore and Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization that counters religious extremism. It will be an online platform that directly challenges the idea that anti-gay Christians represent all or even most of the Christian faithful. The project kicks off with a promotional video from author and advocate Dan Savage.
Co-sponsors of the project include: Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Auburn Theological Seminary, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, The Evangelical Network, Faith in America, GLAD Alliance, Many Voices, Methodists in New Directions, and Reconciling Ministries Network.
"We are playing a symphony inspired by Christ's Great Commandment that all of his followers love our neighbors as we love ourselves," NALT co-founder John Shore said. "If you're an LGBT-affirming Christian, there is a seat waiting for you in the orchestra of The NALT Christians Project."
"The NALT Christians Project aims to inspire Christian LGBT allies to move their support from the shadows into the public square," said Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out's executive director. "Through their NALT videos, Christians will put their values into action, and lead the clarion, Bible-based call for freedom and justice for all people."
This project will also send a powerful message of encouragement to LGBT youth who are growing up in unsupportive environments.
"This project is designed to reach people like myself when I was sixteen and growing up in a conservative religious community," said Evan Hurst, NALT Christians Project co-founder and Truth Wins Out associate director. "I wish I had known about the millions of loving Christians who take Jesus' teachings seriously, and if this project can help keep LGBT youth from the spiritual turmoil of being convinced they are hell-bound simply for being who they are, then we've done our jobs."
Frequently, well-intentioned progressive Christians approach LGBT people to say high-profile fundamentalist Christians who dominate the airwaves do not speak for them, because they believe in equality for their LGBT brothers and sisters. Savage has dubbed these folks "NALT Christians," because they often say that they are "not all like that," meaning they are not anti-gay.