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Medford residents protest church's anti-trans sign

Dan Kennedy was among the Medford residents who marched outside the New England Baptist Church, which has been using its front-lawn signboard for messages such as "Male and Female He Created Them. Gen. 5:2. Gender Identity Solved." He reports both candidates for mayor joined the protesters.

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I only know the church from walking past and the signs out front. Nothing seemed offensive in the past (or at least that I noticed) and they seemed to offer a number of substance abuse programs.

Medford is an interesting community in that it's fairly progressive overall with pockets of 1950s style Massachusetts conservatives. (And based on the city council, these dopes are better about getting to the polls.)

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Because most religions would probably agree..

I say ignore religion but you can't dictate what they believe or say.

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If you actually read the linked post (don't worry, it's fairly short), you'll notice the protesters were not trying to shut the church down but expressing their disdain for the message it's posted in a visible site - as is their right under the First Amendment. And if you look at the photo that goes with the post, you'll see they weren't even blocking access to the church - they were across the street from it.

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And my opinion stands, they are obviously hoping the church removes the sign. Telling me it's a short read was unnecessarily snarky I think.
They could spend the rest of their days protesting churches, synagogues, mosques and any other place of worship is my point, or they could ignore them. The First amendment does go both ways and if that's what they want to do, good luck to them., me posting my opinion doesn't stop them from having theirs.

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They are not "protesting a church," or a religion, or a house of worship. They are stating their disagreement with a message posted at the church. It's true that they could ignore the message they find offensive, just as I could ignore your comment. The church does not have a right to expect such ignorance, nor do you.

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Have at it.
It can be done without snark

If you actually read the linked post (don't worry, it's fairly short),

I'm too uninformed or unable to read the linked story if my opinion differs from the protesters is how I read that.

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It can be done without snark

I'm too uninformed or unable to read the linked story if my opinion differs from the protesters is how I read that.

You're quite accomplished at dishing it out, but you go all fragile when it's time to take it.

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No one was demanding that the church remove the message, which is protected by the First Amendment.

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No one was demanding that the church remove the message, which is protected by the First Amendment. But members of the trans community and their allies wanted to let them know that their views weren’t welcome

Their views weren't welcome, of course they want the sign removed and of course they say they know they can't force them to remove it, but come on.

On the corner of Welles ave and Talbot ave there is a sign on one of those storefront churches which says "God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve," it's been there for months and people who go to that church believe what they believe, why protest it,?

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or the sentiment behind the sign?

I'd be willing to guess that words on a sign are not the issue, but rather what those words mean, and the idea that people hold as a belief the meaning of the words on that sign. Those protesting view the sign as a message of hate, a message targeting their neighbors, friends, family, possibly themselves, with hate.

Hate speech, unless it directly incites violence (oversimplification, yes) has to be tolerated; you can hang a flag of Nazi Germany in your front yard if you are so inclined to display such hate, but you should not be surprised to find yourself facing the free speech of others in response.

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Although their sign says lots of stupid stuff, this church has long had an antagonistic relationship with the community and has crossed the line from free speech into illegal harassment many times including "evangelizing" their hatred to children.

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The quote and chapter/verse citation is not an unusual format for church signs on what the upcoming service will have for scripture readings and/or sermon topic. The last part of it, though, strayed a bit past exhortation or summation and somewhere towards snark or contempt.

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Because most religions would probably agree..

Citation very much needed.

You really don't know much about any religion, do you?

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Because I don’t think that solves it even for most Christians. Funny old words. Thees and thous and begats.

On the other hand, Christianity already has a “soul.” People who hold to other religious ideas, like other types of souls, should just let them be. It’s unseemly to harass people for their religious beliefs.

We have freedom of religion here in America, which means the machinery of the state should keep its hands off those who believe in heaven and those who believe in gender identity, as well as those who believe in both or neither.

The church hasn’t broken any laws or perpetrated any violence with their silly redneck Twitter. I hope the protesters will be able to restrain themselves likewise.

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It’s unseemly to harass people for their religious beliefs.

Is that what you see happening here?

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But sentiments like these contribute directly to suicidality in trans folks, particularly trans kids, and things like seeing the community come out and denounce them as harmful and wrong has been noted to be a protective factor. The protestors are literally saving lives by letting trans kids know that most of their community will not stand for the church doing harm to them.

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On the other hand, Christianity already has a “soul.” People who hold to other religious ideas, like other types of souls, should just let them be. It’s unseemly to harass people for their religious beliefs.

Can you answer some questions for me?

  1. What part of the Christian "soul", as you put it, condemns trans people?
  2. In what way is anyone not "letting them be"?
  3. How does this constitute "harassment"?

There's definitely a valid discussion to be had about the line between religious and secular life in this country -- but wherever you draw that line, it is undeniable that Christianity is shown far greater deference than any other religion, than all others put together if the truth be told. You might want to spend your efforts in leveling that playing field before trying to make a Christian church the poster child for intolerance to religion.

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it is not exempt from the consequences of doing so, particularly when their statement is specifically designed to troll the community, stoke hate towards trans people, and contribute to their already high rates of depression and suicide.

hate shouldn't be able to hide behind religion.

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And they are not free to describe sex acts to children or hand them homophobic literature or harass kids that they think *look* gay.

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Eve was a transgender clone.

Think about it.

Also, consider this: these backward hateful fucktards have harassed my son for having dyed hair when he was just a tween walking down the fucking street. They repeatedly tried to push sexualized anti-gay tracts on middle school kids who were walking in the square to buy lunch after a half day of school. I and several other parents filed police reports about it and at least that stopped.

I'm going to fucking hate on that as long as the planet spins.

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I hope the protesters will be able to restrain themselves likewise.

Do you have any evidence they would do anything but?

As for your comment on freedom of religion here in America, yes, it's literally written down in the same paragraph where our freedom to assemble and express ourselves through protected speech is declared.

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In Christ there is neither male nor female

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For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

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ואהבתי לרעך כמוך

Love your neighbor as yourself

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My kids called it that over a decade ago. This shithole has an extremely long history of inappropriate signage and hate directed at members of the community.

This is actually pretty tame for these jackoffs - they usually reveal their obsessions with the supposed mechanics of gay sex in their signage. I once commented locally that the people running this church seem to think about gay sex an awful lot, and the responses to that were freaking hilarious ("more than a table full of half-naked drunk leather guys at a P-town bar").

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In English this verse is ambiguous. "Male and female he created them." It does not specifically say that he created Adam male and Eve female; it could just as well be read as saying that He created both of them both male and female.

I don't know whether this ambiguity exists in ancient Hebrew, but I am confident that no one at the New England Baptist Church does either. Probably nobody does. When you're dealing with a text as old as Genesis, there's a lot of ambiguity there for the taking.

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When you're dealing with a text as old as Genesis, there's a lot of ambiguity there for the taking.

and when you realize that this is a feature and not a bug, religion makes a whole lot more sense.

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For those questioning about the futility of an action like this... You are right. It's not going to change the minds of the church leaders.

What it does do is minimize membership by making it known that the community doesn't agree with this message. It also sends a clear message to those in the community who are LGBTQ that the neighberhood is welcoming regardless of the sign.

In Chelsea we have been raising a rainbow flag for June for six years and at one point I wondered if we really needed to keep doing it but then at the after event I ran into a young couple where one girlfriend had moved in with the other and they felt unsure of staying in her hometown but that same day while driving past city hall they saw our Pride flag up and they said that gave them the sign they needed.

It's not about the church. It's not even nessesarily about the protestors. You never know who's paying attention.

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