An Ohio Church That Had a Transphobic Speaker Wants to Pretend It Never Happened July 28, 2021

An Ohio Church That Had a Transphobic Speaker Wants to Pretend It Never Happened

The people running Crossroads Church in Oakley (near Cincinnati, Ohio) want LGBTQ people to suffer.

The members of Crossroads Church in Oakley want LGBTQ people to suffer.

David Mahan, the policy director of the Center for Christian Virtue, wants LGBTQ people to suffer.

I know all this because the church recently invited Mahan to speak about the problems with LGBTQ people during a recent service and there was plenty of applause during his sermon.

The church is now trying to erase all evidence of that. They’ve removed the speech from their website and social media. The only version I could find is one with decent audio and horrible video, but here’s an example of a Mahan lie — potentially deadly misinformation — that he told this Christian audience (with the approval of church leaders):

I want you to listen to the news for the next week. I want you to listen to all these hip-hop artists, all these rock stars, you know, all these American idols, and I want you to hear either “You’re a hater, a bigot, a racist.” “You know, everybody’s got this label.” “You’re not loving people.” “You want people to commit suicide.”

If you’ve got a child in here that’s struggling with gender dysphoria, and you go over here to your clinic in this area, eventually you’re going to get down to the [brass tacks] of “Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?”

Because the reason why so many kids are committing suicide is not because they’re trying to conform themselves into a form that they can never become. It’s because nobody affirms a lie.

Family, think of a kid that has anorexia bulimia. She’s 60 pounds soaking wet. Come in here talking about “I want to commit suicide because I’m fat.” How do you respond? What is your loving response to that child? Affirmation, or do you try to get her dysphoric mentality of herself to line up with her biological reality?

What do we do? And if we would do the latter, why wouldn’t we do that with the same dysphoric condition for transgender?

He’s comparing trans kids to children with eating disorders, and the Christians in the crowd are applauding for it because they’re just awful human beings who either don’t understand these issues or don’t care about the people who are affected by their cruelty.

During the sermon, he also cited research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden:

He said the study concluded those who undergo a complete transition have an increased risk of mortality from all causes, being hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, convicted of a crime, and committing suicide.

He did not tell the Christians in the audience that the person who conducted that research has insisted, repeatedly, that conservatives interpreting the study that way are completely wrong.

And now the backlash against the church is on. Over the weekend, there was a large protest outside the church with a goal of making sure the community is aware of this church’s anti-LGBTQ positions:

Jack Crofts said she wants to hold [a] demonstration to demand accountability from Crossroads.

“The problem with Crossroads is their stance on LGBTQIA+ issues, and people, is very unclear publicly. If this happened at like the Westboro Baptist Church, we wouldn’t have a demonstration because their views are very well-known. But many people think Crossroads is pro-LGBTQ,” Crofts said.

She added that it would save many people the heartache of having what they believed to be a loving community ripped out from under them if Crossroads would take a clear stance on the issue.

That’s a fair statement, by the way. Crossroads doesn’t advertise it’s anti-LGBTQ hate, but it’s certainly there. The website Church Clarity says the church’s position on LGBTQ issues is “Unclear” but also “non-affirming.” In other words, they hide their bigotry.

The church is also trying to do damage control, saying this in a statement:

“This past weekend, Crossroads hosted a guest speaker who broached the subject of children seeking to transition to a different gender. Unfortunately, there are many who have been hurt and are looking for clarity. Regardless of a person’s sexual or gender identity, we love them and welcome them, as does God. What was shared this weekend was never meant to hurt anyone, and we deeply regret that it did. This is a topic that warrants increased care and empathy and we’re sorry that didn’t happen this weekend. Crossroads also does not financially or otherwise support any political organizations and their platforms including the Center for Christian Virtue, where this weekend’s speaker is employed. We have no intention of being activistic in this or any other political space. Our main goal has and will always be to bring people to Christ.”

That’s all bullshit. The problem wasn’t the insensitive delivery. It was the core of the message. They don’t love trans people, because they’ve made it clear they don’t even accept the existence of trans people.

The church’s senior pastor Brian Tome confirmed all of this in a separate statement:

Tome said he should have spoken to his congregation about this topic in a more sensitive way and regrets it gave the appearance they were in partnership with a polarizing organization.

We aren’t disavowing everything in the talk, but there should have been adjustments, and it should have been from one of our pastors,” Tome said.

Responding to the critique that Crossroads doesn’t have a clear stance LGBTQIA+ issues, Tome said:

People will be upset because we’re not going to say exactly what they want us to say… We have been abundantly clear for 25 years that God loves all people and it is through Jesus’ death on the cross that we experience eternal life and true abiding love. No one goes to hell because of their sexual orientation or their sexual practices, and everyone who comes to Christ must put their spirituality before their sexuality.

We don’t talk about LGBTQIA+ issues or even sex very often because people are tired of the rhetoric. But I do think that people need to understand the love of God and His instruction relative to sex. We are going to double down on that because our culture needs it.

Let me translate that: We hate LGBTQ people. We use words like “love” to hide that hate because we’re Christian liars. And although we fully agree with what Mahan said, we wish we could’ve phrased things less bluntly to avoid people sharing short clips online that make us look bad.

He also issued a statement on Sunday that included the line, “We love people in the LGBTQ community, and that wasn’t clear last week. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

Notice that he didn’t say he disagreed with what Mahan said or that the church opposes what he said. That’s because Brian Tome is as much a bigot as Mahan. There’s nothing to forgive him for because he’s not apologizing for anything meaningful.

Mahan’s organization put out their own statement defending their bigotry.

Hats off to everyone who protested for drawing attention to this problem. Because here’s what Crossroads Church in Oakley doesn’t want the world to know: They think LGBTQ people need to be fixed or cured or (at the very least) celibate. That’s not my opinion; that’s literally their position on these issues. They don’t want people to know it because even they understand it makes them look like bigots.

Our job is to make sure everyone knows where they stand on this issue so there’s no ambiguity whatsoever.

Crossroads Church in Oakley is an anti-LGBTQ hate-spewing church. Their mistake was inviting someone to speak to their congregation who accidentally said out loud what they prefer to save for private conversations.

If they disagree, they should make it very clear on their website what their position is on same-sex rights, transgender people, whether homosexuality is a sin, etc. Failure to do so just means they’re too cowardly to admit what they all believe. Saying that LGBTQ are welcome in the church — i.e. you’ll take their money and try to fix them — is not the same thing as saying you accept their gender identity or sexual orientation and support their decisions to get married, have families, etc.

They shouldn’t be able to walk this back. No one should let them get away with it either. Don’t just blame the leadership either; every person who still belongs to that church — and gives it money — after this debacle is part of the problem. Christians who defend them are part of the problem, too.

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