Monday, September 30, 2013

Christian panel promotes humanist values at Lenoir-Rhyne's "community dialogue"

Update: Video of this discussion is now available online.

This weekend I attended a "community dialogue" on "Politics, Religion and LGBT Equality" at Lenoir-Rhyne University. The discussion was hosted by Wolf Blitzer and included a local businessman and longtime advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, and two local Christian pastors. All three panelists made a strong case for LGBT equality based on the Fourteenth Amendment and common human decency. They all also argued against Biblical literalism and inerrancy. And to the concern by some about being seen as a bigot if you are against LGBT rights, all panelists seemed to agree with the businessman: "if the shoe fits, wear it...or get some new shoes."

There were only a couple of attempts to shut the discussion down. One guy got up early and starting yelling "IT IS A SIN!," but the police quickly escorted him out. Overall the audience was quite receptive to the progressive message of the panelists, and the arguments against Biblical literalism and inerrancy drew the loudest applause.

If not for the occasional reverences to God and Jesus, the whole dialogue sounded a lot like humanism. I commend Lenoir-Rhyne for hosting the event. I only wish that they would have included a secular humanist panelist. Maybe next time they will contact the Hickory Humanist Alliance or another CharlotteCoR group...

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