There’s a fascinating article this morning about last month’s anti-gay church ad and the outrage it engendered in the Loudoun community. For the record, the ad was not submitted to the Times-Mirror.
Ad spurs controversy across Loudoun
July 25, 2007
By Jana Renn and Matt Van Tassel
An advertisement regarding an act in the U.S. Congress has ignited a local controversy between a church and a gay rights group in Loudoun, calling into question the advertising policies of two local newspapers.
During the last week of June, The Church of the Valley, which has congregations throughout Loudoun, took out an ad in Leesburg Today, Ashburn Today and the Loudoun Easterner with the headline, “Will you ask your Pastor to take a stand against the sinful practice of homosexuality?”
Notably, Jay Ahlemann’s remarks to the reporter reveal a man so eager to portray himself as loving and accepting of everyone that he is willing to use – perhaps even violate the confidentiality of – individuals to whom he is trying to minister.
“I hugged – physically embraced – a practicing homosexual who is a leader of Equality Loudoun,” Ahlemann said. “I love all people, but I’m not going to stop speaking what the Bible says.”
As we said in an earlier post, and as I told the reporter, we see the appearance of this ad as an opportunity to have the conversation that the administration of Patrick Henry College was unwilling to have. Unlike them, we are not afraid to have a conversation about being gay and Christian, and what the Bible really says. Therefore, an Equality Loudoun board member has been engaged in that conversation with Jay Ahlemann.
Contrary to the image presented here – Ahlemann tries to make it sound as if he has openly GLBT people in his congregations – in actuality he has no experience with or knowledge of the gay community. He admits to never having had a gay friend, and expresses surprise that our board member seems to be just a regular person.
To his credit, he is willing to have this conversation. What we seem to have here is a person who has never before tested his assumptions about our community. It looks like it will be an interesting journey.