[Editor’s note: The Evansville Review, the official newspaper for the City of Evansville, Wis., has been facing criticism from members of its community and beyond after disseminating several anti-LGBTQ publications submitted by local pastor Ronald Gay to all Evansville residents.]
Dear Pastor Gay:
We attempted to call you on Sunday after your church’s worship service, but you were not available.
Recently, we learned of the ads you purchased to run in the Evansville Review newspaper that claim members of the LGBTQ+ community engage in the grooming of children and various forms of perverted behavior.
We are gravely concerned about the tenor of your ads and write to you to express our unconditional support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Your ads make unfounded claims about the LGBTQ+ community which are not supported by either the holy scriptures or secular imperial data. Members of the LGBTQ+ community do not inherently engage in any of the conduct you allege, and to make those unsupported assertions is not “telling the truth” as you suggest, but rather wrong-headed and irresponsible.
Your ads don’t offer any citations of any kind.
Rather, we believe that God loves members of the LGBTQ+ community, sees the humanity in them and holds them in esteem. In the gospels, in all of Jesus’ pronouncements, sermons, and teachings, he never once condemned queerness or called it a sin.
What we do see, however, are Jesus’ frequent calls to love everyone, and to be radically inclusive of those who are on the margins of society and are oppressed. What’s more, the scriptures are clear that Jesus provided a pathway and a relationship with God to anyone who believed in Jesus Christ’s teachings.
We know that the essence of Jesus’ teachings is to love. To love God above all else, and love your neighbor like you love yourself.
We call on you to stop running these factually inaccurate and hateful ads as they are not rooted in the scriptures or in the teachings of Christ.
Rev. David Hart, M.Div., J.D.