Altoona Atheist has been highlighting a baptist pastor in Kentucky who seems to work at outdoing Fred Phelps. He's been holding mock funerals of key people he hates including Hillary Clinton.
He's recently turned his sites against a "sodomite" United Church of Christ congregation that is open and affirming because of their welcome of gay and lesbians and their work with a number of churches in supporting an AIDS ministry in this community.
The ministry is aptly called the Matthew 25 Aids Services and is sponsored by Mt. Zion UCC, the PCUSA, First United Methodist, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Community Baptist Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and the Holy Name of Jesus.
I'm glad that this pastor's hate is being called out. It should be. But none of these sites seemed to noticed that in rural Kentucky there is a gay and lesbian open and affirming congregation or that so many churches were working to support an AIDS ministry.
The narrative is: look at the crazy religious bigots. And they do exist. But how easily the work of those Christians who are trying to live out a simple vision of compassion and justice are overlooked, not included in this narrative. I wonder why that is?
I suspect it's the all too human tendency to pick extremes from another group so as to energize us against them. It happens in all sides of these religious, political debates but it doesn't do much to find the common connections that can cut across these divides.