NEW YORK (RNS) A new website aims to become a gathering place for Christians who are “Not All Like That” and want to distance themselves from others who oppose gay marriage.

The NALT Christians Project launched on Wednesday (Sept. 4) with the message that Not All (Christians are) Like That, and that many hold the “belief and conviction that there is nothing anti-biblical or at all inherently sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

Nalt logo

The Nalt Christians Project logo courtesy www.notalllikethat.org

Inspired by sex advice columnist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign for gay teens, the NALT project aims to be a platform for Christians who post videos in support. About 40 videos have been posted so far.

Supporters of the project include The Evangelical Network, Auburn Seminary and the gay Catholic group Dignity USA. The project is spearhead by Christian blogger John Shore and Wayne Besen, from Truth Wins Out, which was founded to “fight anti-gay religious extremism.”

“It’s time for us true NALT Christians — the ones who genuinely aren’t like that — to speak up and be heard, to affirm LGBT people as loudly and clearly as anti-LGBT Christians condemn them,” Shore said in his appeal. “We must eradicate the culturally inculcated moral underpinnings that serves to support such bullying.”

In his endorsement, Savage suggested that one problem with Christians has been their quiet support for gay marriage as vocal opponents like the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the National Organization for Marriage’s Maggie Gallagher got the most attention.

“Yes, yes, NALTs — we know. You’re not all like that,” Savage said. “Don’t tell us. Tell Tony Perkins, tell the pope, tell Maggie Gallagher.”

Opponents say it’s love, not hate or homophobia, that motivates them to discourage people from engaging in same-sex activity or relationships, said the FRC’s Peter Sprigg.

“I fully agree that Christians should show unconditional love toward (that is, genuine regard for the well-being of) homosexuals and transgendered people,” Sprigg said in a statement. “It is the homosexual activists who are placing conditions — namely, that such love will not be accepted unless it is accompanied by an unquestioning endorsement of their entire political agenda.”

9 Comments

  1. I didn’t see that the focus of the NALT project was to “distance themselves from others who oppose gay marriage,” as Sarah Pulliam Bailey says here. It seems to have a much wider focus. John Shore and other co-founders of the project do address the topic of gay marriage here: http://notalllikethat.org/about/ where they are explaining the project.

    As definitions are so important, the project’s site is not clear as to the definition of the term, homosexuality – whether that refers to homosexual sexual behavior, homosexual sexual identity, or sexual orientation. This ties in with what RNS Blogger, Brian Pellot, was exploring in his interview with Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt where they discussed the importance of seeing how an individual’s definition of certain key terms is often determined by a political agenda. Thus the term, anti-LGBT, also needs to be carefully defined if we are to correctly understand its usage in this project. Similarly for the usage of the term, true selves.

    • Sarah Pulliam Bailey

      Sarah Pulliam Bailey

      Article author

      Thanks, Mike. I kept going in the second paragraph (and beyond) to explain further what they’re about. But I did find the fact that they want to distance themselves from people like Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, etc. to be noteworthy.

  2. The term, Christian, is also a fluid term in our society, as it has been historically as well. So, I’m exploring further how the term is used in the context of the NALT Christian Project. Co-founder of the project, Evan Hurst, says that he considers himself in many ways to be culturally Protestant today. He says that Dan Savage says that he is a cultural Catholic today. I don’t know if Wayne Besen has said if he is a Christian. Of the co-founders of the project, John Shore directly says that he is a Christian today. John is married to his wife, Catherine. Evan works with Wayne at TWO. Dan is married to his husband, Terry.

  3. Why does the author turn to FRC for the requisite anti-gay pull quote? I know she agrees with them that gays are unnatural, sinful, perverted, will burn in hell, etc. She just does it with a pretty smile.

    What has become of RNS? This isnt objective journalism – its evangelical propaganda…,.

  4. I had begun a dialogue with some of the commenters on John Shore’s blog in the comments section of John’s article on the NALT project. You can read my remaining comments that are still pending at John Shore’s article on the NALT project, that currently show, “Your comment is awaiting moderation,” at my blog in my post entitled: http://ethnologystudy.blogspot.com/2013/09/comment-to-john-shores-article-on-nalt.html The comments are not closed there.

    In the same post on my blog I also posted the other comments that came through by other commenters to John’s article after my comments began to be shown on my end as awaiting moderation. In addition, I posted the one comment that was deleted from John’s comments section, previously, before my comments began to show up on my end as being held for moderation. For those that are interested, this may provide a fuller understanding of the NALT project.

  5. I watched John and Catherine Shore’s video that they made on Sept. 9th for the NALT project. I found this video to contain the poorest explanations of the pro-gay Christian positions that I have ever heard.

    For those who are interested, I worked through each point in the video here:
    http://ethnologystudy.blogspot.com/2013/09/reviewing-john-and-catherine-shores.html

  6. I found that my thoughts about the NALT project tied in to the majority of the comments to the article that RNS carried on Wednesday (9/11/13) in the RNS Roundup on celibacy:
    “Pope Francis (and his staff) is at it again: the incoming Vatican No. 2 says clergy celibacy may be up for debate after all, and “some modifications” could be done. For the Vatican, that’s a pretty radical statement.” So, I thought it might be helpful for readers to see one of my comments here, that was blocked from John Shore’s blog site and be able to compare it to the comments posted to the celibacy article:

    Mike Jones September 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.(never approved there)

    Lymis, Elizabeth mentioned that from her viewpoint, you can’t be affirming of yourself, but only of other people. My explanation to Elizabeth shows that it is awaiting moderation. I had written, “What is the best and most clear term for affirming something within yourself? What I was trying to communicate is that I am attracted to men in a host of ways, and only a small portion of the time do those attractions result in sexual arousal.”

    I’m not in the closet. My own story was published in 2000. I was open to all of my friends and people within the church I began attending in 1972, by at least 1995 and before that with all of my close friends. I haven’t hated myself, before or after other people knew.

    I’ve already said here that I believe it is okay for others to be gay if they believe that to be correct for them, whether they are Christians or not yet Christians or never to be a Christian. In that comment I had said, “And who accepts and respects people who are gay, ex-gay, anti-gay, bisexual, straight, not yet Christian, or never to be a Christian.” So, I thought I was being clear there.

    I am personally affirming of my sexual orientation as being bisexual and which is primarily homosexual. Some people would label that as gay affirming here, others here would label that as ex-gay, and you considered me bisexual. I thought we established that here gay-affirming was a general concept that included bisexual, transgender and transsexual, intersex, questioning and beyond.

    I believe that I have listened well and carefully to each of the views presented here. I’m exploring to see if the phrase, “to be gay” means identity, orientation, romantic attraction, non-sexual same-sex attraction or a range of sexual expressions, including for the bisexual, heterosexual sexual expression.

    Thus, I wonder what the term, affirming, means in this context.

    I have found that no matter what setting I am in, some people give me the label of Not All Like That.

    Additionally, I am not yet clear as to what forms of intimate expression the NALT project affirms or feels are moral, or expects its participants to affirm. The comments here express a range of perspectives. And John’s and Evan’s personal perspectives might not be the same on this point.

    So, maybe my perspectives are not the same as the commenter, Frank’s, perspectives on who I respect. I don’t believe that I have tried to tell anyone else what they should do in their life, here in my comments. I am not gay-affirming of same-sex sexual behavior, but I respect people who are. I am affirming of people who are gay or who are bisexual in their sexual orientation. The term gay, in our culture, does not need to be limited to a person’s intimate sexual behavior. I don’t think that is being coy. I’m trying to be precise and clear.

    I respect a whole range of people who I don’t approve of. I think we all do, or can try to. There is a difference between the concepts of support, respect and accept.

    So, for instance, I am affirming of a person who feels that their identity is gay and has decided to be celibate. I am also affirming of a person who is bisexual and has decided to be heterosexual in their intimate sexual behavior. Do those people fall under John’s definition of “LGBT-affirming Christians?”

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