February 5, 2017 in General
Recently, a group of LGBT evangelical Christians (Craig Watson and the Wilderpeople Collective) tried to establish a stall at the fundamentalist Festival One at Mystery Creek, which seems to be the successor of the conservative Christian Parachute music festival at the same venue. Festival management asked them to leave, and stated that the stall was incompatible with conservative evangelical/fundamentalist dogma against LGBT rights. Personally, I wonder if some LGBT evangelicals tend to be too trusting and universalist when it comes to fundamentalists. The latter want things done according to their proof texts, hermeneutics of biblical interpretation, and underlying denial of the efficacy of modern medicine and social science when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity. Within their own churches, discriminatory ordination and religious wedding requirements prevail, but not outside that penumbra. Personally, I think the LGBT evangelicals in question should have foregone the event and let the fundamentalists have their little enclave away from the real world, and avoided conflict with their fundamentalist counterparts.
However, the issue has escalated since then. According to Waipa District Council Deputy Chief Executive David Hall, Festival One is in receipt of public money for its activities and although it was well-run, he noted that its funding source was not permanently fixed, and that its current behaviour toward LGBT evangelicals would be discussed if it applied for more public funding in 2018. In Auckland, St Matthews in the City Rev. Helen Jacobi disagreed with Festival One’s policy and argued that the LGBT stall should have been accepted by it. Unfortunately, St. Matthews in the City is a liberal Anglican church and the Festival One organisers appear fundamentalist, so never the twain shall meet? According to Rainbow Youth’s Toni Duder, only six percent of its LGBT youth membership view themselves as Christians, while seven percent have spiritual beliefs, fifteen percent are atheist and eleven percent have other religious beliefs. One wonders if Festival One is aware that its fundamentalist dogma may end up antagonising liberal straight youth and sabotaging its own attempts at fundamentalist conversion? Probably not.
Kelsey Wilkie: “Christian fest Festival One to be questioned over public cash donation” Waikato Times: 01.02.2017: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/88935414/Christian-fest-Festival-One-to-be-questioned-over-public-cash-contribution
Kelsey Wilkie “Conversation about LGBT and Sexuality not allowed at Festival One” Stuff.co.nz: 28.01.2017: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/88874770/conversation-about-lgbt-and-sexuality-not-allowed-at-festival-one
Alanah Eriksen: “Gay friendly stall sparks disgust at Christian music festival” ZB: 28.01.2017: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/gay-friendly-stall-sparks-disgust-at-christian-music-festival/
Max Christoffersen: “Aren’t we all God’s children?” Waikato Times: 04.02.2017: http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/89052266/max-christoffersen-arent-we-all-gods-children
“Group promoting sexuality and gender diversity forced to leave festival” New Zealand Herald: 29.01.2017: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hamilton/news/article.cfm?l_id=206&objectid=11791015&ref=rss
Festival One: http://www.festival-one.co.nz
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