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The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay

by Timothy Fraser Hampton

The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay
The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church tries to pray away the gay

SASKATOON. The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church is a trim neat building that sits on the corner of Kingsmere and Kingsmere, making it easy to locate. I watch two groups of protesters, one on the corner of K&K and the other on the sidewalk astride the walkway to the doors of the Church. It is a half-hour until the official start of the protest and Ryan Willey arrives, his bright red runners bouncing as he greets members of the group Social Work Student Society than quickly moves to those at the corner. A women offers me coffee and I find that the fine folks from the Sanctuary have set up a table with doughnuts and the biggest container of Tim Horten's that I have ever seen.

As I fiddle with my digital recorder a elderly lady asks me why I am there, a question I have already asked myself, to see what happens I tell her. She refuses to give her name and says she just stopped to say hello.

So this is the problem that has brought us all here today, The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church is hosting an event by Saskatoon Christian Counselling Services who has brought in speaker Wilna Van Beek. Ms. Van Beek, a celibate lesbian, lectures on her personal commitment to uphold her faith, after years of wallowing in debauchery, through the repression of her sexuality. Mr. Willey, a Christian, finds her message demeaning and damaging. The chance of some hardcore protesting falls off to almost nil when two opposing Canadian Christian sects square off over a point of theological dissent and I amuse myself by counting how many times I hear the words excuse me and I'm sorry in two minutes.

By 11:30 am there are about 150 people scattered about the lawn and sidewalk, the media people are easy to pick out but the folks attending the lecture inside The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church are coming out to mingle with the protesters and soon they are almost indistinguishable. Everybody is hanging out drinking coffee telling each other how much they respect each other's right to disagree and how happy they all are to have this opportunity for dialogue with each other. The mood of the on the corner is almost carnival as a women in red sequined pants and corset stands beside a man in a super hero rainbow man costume, both waving to the passing cars which honk enthusiastically, each response drawing a mass cheer from the crowd. I half expect the Shriners to show up and start wheeling their clown cars around the pylons of conversational knots to all you need is love by The Beatles . The other reporters nod and say hello, in some unknowing way I have been accepted as one of them, far out. I am wondering if I should go smoke a scud when a man who identifies himself as a minister wants to talk. I am explaining to him that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is a theory that is why it is not called the Darwin's Facts of Evolution when the double front doors of the The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church open and from within come all the flock bearing large bowls which hold their own buffet sans loves and fishes. Tables appeared and men and women bearing laden trays move through the crowd asking all to please come and have some lunch. It was like the church ladies had catered the protest, a very friendly fellow in a well cut suit offers me and the preacher a selection of truck driver size sweets. MMMMMNN chocolate, I go for the giant brownie thing, it weighs in at two or three hundred grams and I just smoked a chonger about an hour ago. Soon a guy is trying to hold a paper plate of potato salad, ham, cheese and pickles, a cup of coffee and a sign that says you can't pray the gay away. The people from the church try to be helpful and hold the sign well the protester has lunch. The minister I am speaking with gets entrusted with one that says Jesus had two dads, he told me he thought that was true and proudly held the sign for the next ninety minutes. I wish I had a bag of sugar cubes to pass around. I get the distinct felling that the minister is trying to pick me up or maybe it is the brownie. He refuses to accept my definition of the word believe and uses his smart phone to check the online Oxford dictionary I wondered way he didn't just check with the big guy on that one. I give him a brief rundown on why religion was and is so dangerous. He dose not have a critical response to this and displaying his ignorance of the New Rules of Argument he said you know Hitler was an atheist. Instant loss. Bad burn. Epic Fucking Fail.

So were Mr. Willey et al placated by the buttertarts and pasta salad, the lime jello mould with the grated carrots and pineapple? no but it is very hard to dislike someone with whom you have just shared a a barbeque lunch. It is only my opinion but I think that the flock of the The Rock Of Ages Lutheran Brethren Church learned something and I hope they run with it. Oh yeah thanks for the luch.


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Timothy Fraser Hampton (timothyfraserhampton)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Member since May 2013

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