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Gay Man, Evangelical at a Bar: Beyond Culture Wars

The Journey church recently rented a night club in St. Louis for an evening of calm discussion over the red-hot topic: Marriage. They billed the event: "A Gay Man and An Evangelical Walk Into a Bar." Read Transcript


Reporter: MOST OF US

ARE ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH

THE BATTLE OVER MARRIAGE.

GROWING FULL OF ANGRY

ACTIVISTS, SOUND BYTE

SLOGANS, AND SEEMINGLY NO

COMMON GROUND.

THAT'S WHY ONE CHURCH RENTED

A NIGHTCLUB IN DOWNTOWN ST.

LOUIS, AND INVITED BOTH

SIDES FOR AN EVENING OF CALM

DISCUSSION OVER THE RED-HOT

TOPIC.

TAKING CENTER STAGE, GAY

PHILOSOPHER JOHN CORVINO,

AND CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER,

MATTHEW ANDERSON.

WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE IN

ST. LOUIS PROVIDES A

DIFFERENT WAY TO TALK ABOUT

ONE OF THE MOST DEVISIVE

ISSUES OF OUR DAY.

IN FACT, THE EVENT IS BILLED

NOT AS A DEBATE, BUT AS A

REASONABLE CONVERSATION.

SO MUCH OF THE MARRIAGE

DEBATE THAT WE SEE IN PUBLIC

ON STAGE DOES INVOLVE THE

SOUND BYTES, THE ZINGERS,

THE HOW DO I SLAM THIS GUY

AND GET EVERYBODY TO CHEER

AND YELL AND LAUGH AND

CLAP?

AND WE WANT TO DO SOMETHING

DIFFERENT.

Reporter: A

NON-DENOMINATIONAL

EVANGELICAL CHURCH, "THE

JOURNEY," ORGANIZED THE

MEETING.

ALL HOPING FOR A DEEP

EXPLANATION OF THE ISSUE.

WE'RE HONESTLY WONDERING

AND WONDERING WHAT BOTH

SIDES HAVE TO SAY.

I'M HAPPY THAT IT IS EVEN

HAPPENING IN GENERAL.

I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD

SUPPORT HOMOSEXUALITY AND

GAY MARRIAGE AND ALL OF

THOSE THINGS, AND I FIND IT

INTERESTING THAT PEOPLE ARE

SO AGAINST IT FROM A

RELIGIOUS STANDPOINT.

Reporter: AS THE

EVENING PROGRESSED, IT

BECAME CLEAR THAT CORVINO

AND ANDERSON, WHILE CALMING

SIPPING TEA, WOULD NOT SHY

AWAY FROM SPEAKING ABOUT THE

HARDEST POINTS.

LIKE THIS.

CONCEPTIONS ABOUT

FAIRNESS AND EQUALITY ARE

MASSIVELY DISPUTED.

AND THE ELDERLY MOVEMENT HAS

DONE A VERY GOOD JOB OF

BRANDING ITSELF AND CLAIMING

INEQUALITY, AND I THINK

THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL

DISAGREEMENT OVER WHAT THE

DEFINITIONS OF EQUALITY

ARE.

Reporter: AND THE VALUE

OF MARRIAGE FOR GAYS.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE GOOD

FOR PEOPLE, AND MARRIAGE IS

GOOD FOR RELATIONSHIPS.

MARRIAGE IS A WAY OF

RECOGNIZING PEOPLE AS THE

FAMILY UNIT THEY UNDERSTAND

THEMSELVES TO BE.

Reporter: ALSO

ADDRESSED, HARASSMENT OF

GAYS AND INTOLERANCE FOR

CHRISTIANS.

SO IT MAY BE THE CASE

THAT IN MANY RURAL

COMMUNITIES AND SUBURBAN

COMMUNITIES, SOME PEOPLE

EXPERIENCE SEVERE HOSTILITY

AND DEPRESSION, AND THAT IS

UNFORTUNATE.

BUT IT IS ALSO THE CASE IF

YOU GET INTO AN ELITE

CONTEXT IN THE ACADEMY, IN

HOLLYWOOD, IN NEW YORK, AND

SOME OF THESE PLACES, THERE

ARE GENUINE SOCIAL CASTES

THAT PEOPLE WITH

CONSERVATIVE POSITIONS ON

HUMAN SEXUALITY ARE.

Reporter: WHAT SEEMED

TO MAKE THE EVENING WORK,

CORVINO AND ANDE ANDERSON'S

WILLINGNESS TO ENGAGE IN ALL

QUESTIONS, WHILE SHOWING

HUMOR ALONG THE WAY.

I'M INTERESTED IN A

CHRISTIANITY THAT THINKS NOT

ONLY ABOUT OUR CURRENT

SITUATION, BUT THAT THINKS

500 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.

AND IF WE --

THAT'S A LOT TO HAVE ON

YOUR MIND.

IT'S A LOT TO HAVE ON

YOUR MIND.

BUT I THINK IT IS ACTUALLY A

RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO.

TO THINK

MULTI-GENERATIONALLY ABOUT

THIS.

Reporter: IN THE END,

NO ONE CONVERTED TO THE

OTHER SIDE, BUT THOSE WE

SPOKE WITH FELT BETTER

INFORMED AND GRATEFUL THAT

NEITHER SIDE TURNED ON THE

OTHER.

I THINK IT IS GOOD THAT

THERE IS A DIALOGUE GOING

ON.

IT IS NOT AN US VERSUS

THEM.

IT IS NATURAL TO

DISAGREE.

THAT'S JUST HUMAN NATURE.

BUT TO BE ABLE TO BE

POIGNANT, BUT AT THE SAME

TIME NOT OFFENSIVE, AND OPEN

ABOUT THAT DIALOGUE, I

THOUGHT WAS AWESOME.

I COME FROM A CHRISTIAN

BACKGROUND, AND SO GETTING

TO HEAR BOTH SIDES AND

GETTING TO ESPECIALLY HEAR

JOHN, COMING FROM AN

ATHEISTIC VIEW, AND GETTING

TO HEAR HIS PERSPECTIVES WAS

REALLY ENLIGHTENING.

Reporter: AS THE CHURCH

SEEKS TO FIND ITS VOICE IN A

CULTURE THAT FREQUENTLY

DISMISSES BIBLICAL VIEWS,

THE FORUM COULD PAVE THE

WAY.

HE SAYS THE TEA, SHOWS

BOLDNESS, HUMILITY, AND

LOVE.

IF YOU'RE HEART DOES NOT

BREAK FOR SOMEBODY

STRUGGLING WITH SAME-SEX

ATTRACTION, YOU HAVE NO

BUSINESS TALKING TO THEM OR

EVEN ABOUT THEM.

WE'RE CALLED TO LOVE PEOPLE,

RIGHT?

SO IF PEOPLE DON'T SEE THAT

LOVE, HOW ARE THEY NOT GOING

TO TUNE US OUT?

Reporter: IF IT IS UP

TO CORVINO AND ANDERSON,

THEY'LL TAKE THIS SHOW ON

THE ROAD.

A SMALL STEP, PERHAPS, BUT

ONE THAT COULD LEAD THE WAY

FOR ADDRESSING AN ISSUE THAT

AFFECTS US ALL.

REPORTING IN ST. LOUIS,

HEATHER CELLS, CBN NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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