Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oprah Gives Limelight to Pro-homosexual 'Pastors'

“From my perspective, we are coming up with no longer ‘the’ American pastor but an assortment of pastors who are called upon to discuss and advise on moral and social issues. I think that this is a great beginning.”

Where's the response to this from our evangelical pastors?

-- From "Oprah loves Bacon" by Carl Kozlowski, Pasadena Weekly 1/15/09

As rector of Pasadena’s All Saints Church, the Rev. Ed Bacon is proud that his Episcopal parish is one of the most socially progressive religious institutions in America. Yet . . . he still didn’t expect the whirlwind of praise and controversy that he would generate as a guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Jan. 8.

After stating on the show that “being gay is a gift from God,” Bacon and his All Saints staff received thousands of emails from around the world, with most writers thanking him for establishing a new standard of pastoral empathy for the often-shunned homosexual population.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity. We take for granted that a message of toleration and inclusion is what God’s message is about, but a lot of people have never heard this,” said the Rev. Susan Russell, associate pastor at All Saints. “What I find so wonderful is that Ed Bacon [is] able to use this national stage for an inclusive message about the love of God.”

-- From "Oprah tackles new issue: 'Gay is a gift from God'" by Drew Zahn © 2009 WorldNetDaily 1/19/09

During the original broadcast, Bacon's comment was applauded by another member of Winfrey's panel, Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder and spiritual director of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, who agreed and gave a high-five to Bacon.

"You … you are the first two ministers I have ever heard say, 'Being gay is a gift from God,'" said Winfrey.

"You don't know how freeing it felt to hear that statement, and I was sure any gay person that heard it was in awe," one of Winfrey's Internet message board writers reportedly responded. "I want to thank both of them for letting my heart lift up and feel like something in this life, not an abomination."

Rev. Bacon, as well, confessed that he received an avalanche of e-mail and voice mail response, which he says was 30-to-1 appreciative of his comment.

"What I gather is that [the comment] simply unleashed a flood of healing throughout the country," Bacon said. "People were talking about their hearts being healed, and their hearts leaping."

Bacon further explained that he perceives some Christians use the Bible to condemn people, while others use it to love.