Note: If you’re just here for the poster files, scroll to the bottom!
I attended Pride in Middletown Ohio on Friday. Only in its second year, this small town’s Pride celebration has grown exponentially (and I mean that literally), and was a utterly fabulous experience.
Of course, there were Christians who decided to protest people…being queer? I guess?
Before I get into that, I want to note that – just like at Dayton’s Pride – there were several Christian faith traditions represented who welcomed all people. And I made a point of going and saying “thank you” to any and all that I found.
Because the idiots protesting are not just wrong – they’re completely theologically inaccurate.
Yes, we can talk about the contradictory stuff in Leviticus, but arguably all of that was purged with Peter’s vision (Acts 10). That still ignores the clearly written bits that Yeshua ben Yosef actively had prostitutes, adulterers, and other conspicuous sinners as part of his retinue. Rather than rebuke them, he was kind to enemies (John 4:4-26) and shut down the ability of mere humans to judge other humans (John 8:7). Point being, they were completely and utterly theologically wrong.
So when I encountered an individual in a supposedly “Christian” shirt trying to take video of a young woman being led away by police , it seemed … well, wrong. Wrong enough that I decided to say something.
When I asked him why he was trying to make the thousands there look bad by videoing one woman, he would not answer. When I pointed out that it was akin to smearing all Christians by pointing at Christian terrorists, he just kept trying to film the woman. These jerks were not trying to say what they should do – they were trying to impose their beliefs on others.
I know this because after they briefly spoke to the police, they began preaching hate and hellfire.
I asked “Why are you here? How often do queer folks show up to protest at your church services?”
The guy in the far right yelled back: “None – you’re not invited.”
Yup, sounds a lot like Jesus.
Unlike the “quad gods” on campus, these hatemongers had no response to challenging theological questions. They were there to scream at people and tell them how damned they were and called them names, despite whining at the police about how a black person called them the n-word only a few minutes prior.
They were pathetic.
And they were not expecting someone who was as loud as they were… and without a megaphone.
But soon, one of the organizers came by and asked that I stop arguing with them, and I immediately complied. And I’m glad I did. Because that gave us a chance to walk around and see these magnificent signs the organizers had created. And I realized that the organizers had it absolutely right.
I asked if I could hold one near the jerk “christians”, and they said that as long as I held it in silent protest, I could.
It. Was. Glorious.
See, I’m a big straight white cis guy. I have privilege to burn. And I outmassed all of the jerks there, easily.
I held that sign up in front of them. I blocked their hate-filled sign with a sign endorsing love and peace. I was not passive – not at all. I followed them around, got between them and others enjoying the celebration, and generally interfered with their ability to both sow hate and made it difficult for them to get the ego-boost of being “opposed”.
This, I realized, was exactly the response I had been hoping for regarding the KKK last month in Dayton.
This kind of opposition was not passive; instead, it was active without being directly confrontational. It robbed them of their platform and made it clear where I (and the organizers) stand.
I’ve created a fully license-free version of the poster – in 24″x36″ and 14″x20″ sizes (the latter size I described in my post about creating striking posters), as CMYK separated files, and as a XCF file for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program so you can alter and resize to your heart’s content.
For those without embedded links:
And people like us? We gotta stick together.
We come into this world unknown. But know that we are not alone. They try and knock us down…but change is coming, it’s our time now
 I have no idea who the woman was, or what she was being taken away by police for.