Kathy Baldock

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors. If you would like to help create a transcript, please volunteer to listen to the audio and correct the AI Text - get in contact for more details.

[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride in zero.com. [00:00:05] What the religious community and the conservative politicians did in the late 1970s, early 1980s. In the United States, we're seeing it now in the elections, this merger of religion and politics, and how strong it's become. And that merger, I often call it an unholy marriage. That merger of religion and politics has poisoned both. So the church has has used the LGBT community as a wedge to control people with fear and power. And politics has used LGBT people, as a wedge to get voters, conservative voters into the voting booths. And it worked. And it's worked for four decades. It's actually still working in our current Trump Clinton election. And But what we also see is the effects that [00:01:01] slowly, progressive Christians are starting to understand that there's another way to see scripture. So that whole that has been so prominent, particularly in the 90s, and the early 2000s, is starting to lose its grip and power in the United States. So those groups of conservative politicians and lobbyists and Christians have gone to other countries. So they've gone to the Eastern Bloc, European nations into the service nations, the Serbian nations over there. They've gone into [00:01:37] absolutely Africa, South America, and we started exporting our products, or hate products into both Australia and New Zealand, and the UK, in the early 2000s. We can see it in the elections of 2004. In Australia, our conservative lobby started to inform Australian politicians of how to motivate those conservative voters. So what's going on in Australia right now and in opposing marriage equality? Some of that opposition and the the points of objection, have absolutely been informed by Americans. [00:02:23] So can you give me some examples of what people are doing? [00:02:27] Well, the family research council is a very big lobby group, it's probably one of our most prominent and they have legal arms that are associated with them, liberty, counsel, etc. They're the ones that if you follow American politics, when marriage equality pass in the United States, and there were county registrar's that refuse to issue license to same sex couples, people like Liberty Counsel and Alliance Defending Freedom came in for free and supported those, those public officials would not extend those licenses to same sex couples. And they are very strong legal arms behind some of these christian right lobby groups. So Family Research Council is one of the strongest Focus on the Family is also in there. And there were absolutely meetings in 2004, between family research council and Australia and Christian lobby, to have how to when they introduce the restrictions on marriage of one man and one woman to the Australian constitution. Family Research Council advise them since Australia is more of a secular nation to perhaps remove some of the religious language that absolutely works in the United States, and pose it as more of a traditional family. This is the way family looks. [00:03:57] Safe Schools all of those the the language that is saying the same thing, but they've removed the Christian ease out of it. And they did advise the Australian Christian lobby of how how to position those objections to extending marriage equality to same sex couples. So we have been here. And in 2013, when Sydney hosted the world, Congress of families that invited hundreds and hundreds of conservative Christians and politician merges into Australia. And they, they had an impact as well. So it's not working particularly well in the United States. But some of those groups then start to export it. There's a very active group within the United Nations called united families International, and they're based in spin Phoenix, Arizona, and they're very under the radar. But what they do is they go into the UN, and they've been working there for 50, 15 years now. And they help in air quotes, countries to preserve the their version of the traditional view of marriage, to moderate women's reproductive rights, to watch how other countries deal with gender identity issues and sexual orientation. And they are, they are American, and they are Mormon based. They're not sanctioned by the Mormon Church. But all the leadership are Mormon, and they're very secretive. And they're hard to get ahold of unless you know what you're looking for. I mean, if you go to their website, it's just pictures of beautiful families together. But when you dig in there into the papers, there's some destructive stuff, and even Family Research Council, the same thing, you can go and look at other countries that are opposing marriage equality. And you can look at the position papers that are supposedly put out by their local organizations. And it's the same points, it's the same footnotes as what Americans have tried an export it and used and has been successful. [00:06:11] So a plebiscite has just been announced in Australia and New you've been to Australia recently, what is the mood was the feeling over in Australia at the moment, [00:06:20] what I'm hearing, my friends say, and the media and other pastors, they're incredibly concerned about the effect of lifting this, this lid on the potential reality of hate speech from the Australian Christian lobby, and the effects that may have on LGBT youth in particular, unlike the United States, where we have the Trevor Project, which takes care of LGBT youth, so there's a hotline that's been set up for, I mean, I don't know the exact year, but it seems to me like they've been around for eight or nine years. And it is a is a dedicated hotline for LGBT youth. And so kids can call when they're suffering, mental health issues, or suicidal suicidal ideation. And Australia doesn't have that. I think there's this called lifeline. And but it's not set aside to understand the particular needs of LGBT youth. And when that lid comes off of what people can say, an objection, the Australian Christian lobby Family First, all those groups will start pumping out this information. That's not science based, it's not based. It doesn't have the support of mental health professionals, it doesn't have the support of medical health professionals, they'll just start speaking their lies. And it's an absolute, it's a level of ignorance that will be paid for by the public. And it's ignorance that can be easily said, if they would just listen to somebody else, but they don't. When I was in Australia, one of my friends offered to take me up to Canberra for the day. So I went up to Canada and I went to the offices of the Australian Christian lobby. And I've done this so many times in the United States, I'm pretty well known for it because I can pass us, you know, what I actually am evangelical Christian, I homeschool my children, I'm of that ilk. So I go in as this little bubble of energy and ask for information. And then we stood outside with protest signs. And so I got to go into their offices. And they're actually Oh, my goodness, the day before I had been in the offices of Australians for equality. And then the very next day I was in Australian Christian lobby, and just the vibe that's given off of the to go into Australian Christian lobby. And it's like going into a shop that used to make rubber stamps, you know, and they're trying define their way that we no longer use the paid and received stamps that used to be so prominent and offices, and they just seem to have that vibe of, they're just from 20 years ago, and they can't find their way. And they're trying to their banding together in this old nostalgia and not listening to the outside. And [00:09:26] I wish the politicians in Australia would just do the day job that they've been paid to do, and elected to do, and just vote their conscience, because over 70% of the country is for marriage equality. And when Americans got marriage equality, of course, it came through the Supreme Court. But it was slightly above 50% of Americans that supported a marriage equality when we got and Australia is so far ahead of us. In in numbers, and Australia is so much better at protection of sexual orientation and gender identity. That it to an outsider it It appears ridiculous that a small group of conservatives have controlled this human rights conversation. It doesn't make sense. But having done so much work on history and understanding how small groups of power can often dictate conversations I get that, but it shouldn't be. [00:10:38] So what being as the concern to have a plebiscite a referendum, if there is, say 70% in favor of marriage equality? What Why is that a concern to have a referendum rather than a vote? [00:10:51] Well, I know that the side that doesn't want the plebiscite is concerned because it's not binding, as because it's not binding, and there's an expensive money thrown at it. That will just give people another view of a public opinion, they've already got the public opinion. And the big negative is the words that are going to come out the posters, the billboards, you know, a kid riding down the street on the bus, looking up at the billboard day after day on his school route, seeing how disgusting he is and how he's an abomination to God and how he doesn't have access to equal equal protections and rights. And, you know, families don't look like they include him. And it's just that day to day destruction. [00:11:43] People that were supporting a plebiscite, even just a few months ago, they don't appear to be supporting the plebiscite. Now, money, expense, time, that's the other thing is, so they, they they find out the numbers, and it's still doesn't mandate that the politicians do anything immediately. [00:12:08] And they could just call for a vote. But you know, the way party politics work, it's probably people are saying not going to happen until the change in government. And it's, it's shocking that 21 countries can already have marriage equality, when I was coming over here from the States, and I said to my friends, I'm going over for a month to speak in Australia, basically, around the issue of marriage equality. There was not one person I spoke to that, that that new, Australia didn't have marriage equality, they all assumed Australia had it. But good on New Zealand, that you had it. I had breakfast the other day with Louisa wall and what a fabulous woman. And what I was very intrigued by was, [00:12:59] people say, of course, she proposed marriage equality because she's a lesbian and in a relationship, and would want to get married to her partner. But that was not her motivation. I pick up these things I can hear what people are saying. Her motivation came from her father, who taught her what justice and equality and fairness look like. And that's what she is motivated by. And people sometimes do things because of justice and fairness and equality. I mean, I'm a straight evangelical Christian, I have two children, who are 28 and 30. Adults, I would know, I'd be the easiest mother on the planet to come out to my kids are straight. But I do the work I do. Because it's right, my faith informs me and pushes me forward passionately. My faith doesn't stand in the way of me wanting to fight for equality for others. And Louisa had, has the same passion. She's in New Zealand, so fortunate to have this wonderful woman working on justice issues, and she's moving on to other justice issues, too. She's, she's not done. Great, great representative. She is [00:14:14] another group that you've met with in New Zealand, that has been the Salvation Army. Yes, Salvation Army and rainbow communities have not always kind of got on that well, [00:14:25] right. Like I didn't, I didn't know that history until I got here. My host that I've known for eight years through conferences in the United States is part of the Salvation Army leadership here. And so the first night that I came to Wellington, I did a three hour teaching to 50 Salvation Army officers and leaders that were selected, they were handpicked, to come to my presentation, because what I teach is I call it untangling the mess. And it looks at this timeline and foundation of human sexuality and roles between men and women of dominance and submission, politics, psychoanalysis, and religion. And once I placed this incredibly strong foundation, then I go back, and I look at the scriptures that have that's that refer to same sex behavior in context. So this group was specifically picked, because they are leaning towards inclusion. And the reception I got was spectacular, very appreciative, so appreciative that I was invited to come back to the headquarters The next day, and speak to four more leaders. And what I am hearing from them, and from my friend, is that the Salvation Army is trying to, I don't know if I want to say turn the ship, they want to be who they envision themselves to be as a place that's welcoming, and safe for all the problems from 1985 that the Salvation Army when they got involved in. I don't know if you call them the sodomy laws, the homosexuality laws, when they strongly worked against the LGBT community, going door to door that's had a long term effect, and they know it, and they're trying to recover. First of all, I think all of them would say that everyone is welcome. But sometimes that's code for saying You're welcome. But you have to keep a lid on it, or you have to change. What I'm hearing from the leadership is there really grappling with understanding sexual orientation and gender identity, and it's genuine. They're genuinely struggling to [00:16:49] repair the damage of the past. But they're also trying to, to work gently with their, their people, to educate and to have conversations, I see them as a group that wants to openly have these congressmen and maybe not openly it, but have these conversations of broader more gracious inclusion. And they're aware that they need education. So I applaud the fact that they invited me in, because I'm very well known as an activist in the United States, within Christian communities. It's pretty brave when people asked me to come in. And for someone that has the reputation of conservative and anti gay that Salvation Army has had, this was a good move on their part. And I also see that there could be a time and future where I know they're going to invite me back. But I would like them to invite me back in a broader conference context, so that I can teach, take the heat, take the weight of it, just have somebody say, let's just listen to her. Because when people hear the bigger teaching that I do, it's very compelling, because it's well researched. And I don't discount any scriptures. I just put them in context. So Salvation Army knows and as aware, when in a smaller conference in an outlying area, a kid in a youth group will ask a question about being gay. And when a youth leader of May, from the old context, their own understanding, slam down on that kid and say, homosexuality is a sin, Salvation Army Headquarters, leaders hear about that. And they go in, and they mediate, and they moderate, and they speak to those leaders, when they hear that stuff is going on, now. They deal with it. And that should be encouraging. [00:18:55] So what got you to this point? What got you to be touring the world being an agent facilitator? What What is your story? [00:19:03] So in 2001, I was going through a divorce, and I'm, I would have considered myself, Orthodox Christian, as I said, evangelical, but my marriage was falling apart. And that's very shaming for a conservative evangelical homeschooling mom, very shaming, and I don't mean to position myself, as some stay at home homeschool Mom, I helped run a business. I have an engineering degree, I'm very well educated. But it was it was just I was in that Christian bubble. And I had never had any gay person in my life. This is in my mid 40s, come out to me and say I am gay, which is, will you put it in context before 2000. That would be understandable, especially if you were hanging out in evangelical bubbles. So as my marriage started to fall apart, in order to deal with it appropriately, because my husband had committed adultery, and I didn't want to fall into that. I didn't want to do revenge adultery. I didn't want to do anything inappropriate. I wanted to do the right stuff. My kids were 14 and 15. And I decided to expand my mental energy by taking an Italian class and my physical energy by hiking every day. And in my Italian class, I was paired up with the only gay man in the class for the semester. And then hiking, I there was a woman that was hiking just as much as me in the same paces. And you knows it would be she's a lesbian. So she's totally unlike me. At the time, she was agnostic, Hispanic last name, woman of color, dark color, and Native American. She's coached Tangier, so couldn't be any more different than me. And just relationship with her. My ideas of what KPN with Tom to that's her name is Neto, and with Tom, my ideas of what it meant to be gay, were broken down, because I could see people for the first time, and two major thoughts had to be destroyed. [00:21:15] They were experiencing love in their relationships, not lust, as I had been told. And they knew they were gay or different, or something from a very early age, which was not what I was told. So in just shutting my mouth. And because at that time, since my marriage was falling apart, I didn't have this big, great thing to export to them that this is, you know, this is what's going to change and improve your life because my life was falling apart, and never lost faith. But how can you export this great model of something when it's not even working for you. So in relationship, I got to be around lots of gay people. And suddenly, my, my circles were gay people, but still, for five years, didn't meet any people that said, they were both gay and Christian. So I didn't have to engage my own theology. And about five years later, just through a series of events, reading an article on the front page of the New York Times about the gay Christian network, I saw that there was an organization that existed, that was gay and Christian. And those were two words I'd never put together. So I went to their conference as the first straight attendee in 2007. And in the beginning, I was a listener and a here and observing and trying to figure this out, so that I could speak back to my tribe. And then the next few years, I was the encouraging mother, because parents weren't showing up. And then trying to engage my community, I realized that there were breakdowns in communication over scriptural passages, because people would ended by saying, well, that's your interpretation. That's my interpretation. So I had to try to find another way of communicating it, which ended up with the book. So for three years, I sat and research this book. And and now I go and teach. So my, my role has greatly changed. But I see what I'm doing as very productive because I'm seeing both LGBT people looking at this and saying, Wait a minute, this was never the intention of the Bible. I see LGBT people learning their own history, which is kind of funny, because I must, evangelical straight person, and I'm teaching history and or LGBT history. And then I'm also helping to inform, educate, open the minds of undermine the myth of straight people that haven't had no consideration of equality within the church. And I work with pastors, behind the scenes, a lot behind the scenes, because of a pastor comes out as affirming even in the United States, right now, evangelical pastor comes out as affirming, fully inclusive, no difference between heterosexual and homosexual members of their congregation, they are still the it's a shocking number between 20 and 80% of their congregation within two to four months. So education has to happen. So it's not, we're not going to get there, churches are not going to become more safer and more inclusive. With simply talking about Bible verses, it's going to take number one, relationships, and education. And what has started to happen in the last four years that has had a great amount of impact our parents standing up for their children, this wouldn't was not seen for years ago in churches, we've always had p flag, I imagine you have a version of the flag. But p flag, even in 2010 p flag wouldn't engage the religious community. When I went and spoke with their national conference in 2010. I was their first speaker faith. So they, they were not trying to engage the people that have done so much damage either. But now p flag is very does a welcome Christian parents of LGBT youth, but there's they're getting motivated by organizations like the gay Christian network, the conference last year, which was about 1500 people in Houston. About 10% of those people are parents. So parents are in every denomination, you know, most congregations, every state, and they're speaking up for their children. And this is a dynamic that's adding to this organic movement within grassroots movement within churches. So, you know, just imagine all of this stuff happening once LGBT Christians standing firm and saying, No, we want to have this conversation, parents doing the same education coming from really excellent resources, outside the church, people coming into the church to have private conversations, pastors, knowing that they have to engage this conversation on some level, and they're seeking out information. And as cultural acceptance of LGBT people, all these things are working together to create [00:26:14] an imperative for pastors to, to risk looking at a different interpretation, another point of view, and it although it's a huge risk, I also believe that most of the people that are called to be pastors, have the heart of a pastor, and want to do what's right by people. But it is still a huge risk for pastors to say, I am going to welcome all there's a financial risk, which some people wait may discount. But if you're a pastor of a church, that has a mortgage, and maybe five other pastors on staff, and you're responsible for those pastors livelihoods, and maybe you're there and they're not your other, your other leaders are not there. It's a big risk. So what I'm seeing that's working, and we don't have a model yet, so I'm hoping we can come up with the you know, several of the leaders, people that are working in this can come up with a model that works better. So there's not so many radical losses within communities, but we know that it includes a pastor, first laying a foundation of teaching grace and welcome this to all people in his congregation, then creating safe spaces for LGBT people within faith communities to start interacting with other people in the faith community, and educating pastors and LGBT Christians within those communities of ever expanding circles of people that want to be in the conversation. So that instead of someone walking out of a church, not just with their money, but that's the reality, but people staying in a church to possibly learn and change themselves. So it's a big thing to shift. But I think within three years in the United States, this will be a dominant motion, and the tipping point will start to hit I mean, it all it takes for something to tip is 20% for and I can see those numbers ever increasing. Since 2004. And 2004, 13% [00:28:30] of white evangelical Protestants were for same sex marriage, marriage equality. And a study done just last month, in [00:28:40] September of 2016, 34% [00:28:45] of white evangelical Protestants, which are the most conservative people we have in the United States, are supportive of same sex marriage. that's a that's a big shift for the most conservative people you have. So much marriage equality has added to that. And all those other dynamics I just talked about. So it's a ball that rolls and once it goes, you know, sorry, Australian Christian lobby, like you can't recapture this one. This one's this. It's it's moving, and it's a seesaw, it's going to tip and there's no going back to the destructive, not traditional views of this for 45 years of dialogue and saying that the Bible says certain things, does not a tradition make. I'd like to look at the 2000 years of history of love and acceptance and equality and [00:29:40] inclusion before those last nasty 45 years. [00:29:46] Being a straight person, does that allow you different access to two churches to two congregations? Yes, yes. What kind of difference? [00:29:56] So once it's done LGBT Christians, I work closely with a young man named Matthew vines, Matthew and I are very close friends, I'm on the board of his his group called the Reformation project. He's the author of God and the gay Christian, some people, he has great access. But there are those that think that Matthew only wants to have this conversation because he is indeed himself a gay Christian. So of course, the fact that he's a gay Christian would not let him they imagine, be open to what God says about issues. So people almost expect LGBT Christians to be able to end want to fight for themselves. But when something disrupts the norm, so when someone comes along, that disrupts what you expect in the normal pattern. So here, I am straight. I'm 60. So I'm the age of most of the people I'm trying to communicate with, and the fact that my kids are, are straight also. [00:31:01] If people get curious as to, you know, why do you care? Why is this an important issue to you. And when I talk about biblical justice, they start to understand that but what I'm really finding interesting and I have found interesting of over the years is, this is still at the core, this non acceptance of LGBT people in faith communities at the core, is an issue of male female dominance, male female roles in human sexuality. That's what it's all about the difference that people want to persist and keep strong walls between genders. Because if the gender paradigm falls down, if the gender differences, the gender, the gender identities fall away, then the paradigm of white, heterosexual, male dominance, patriarchy, gender hierarchy, and churches fall apart. And if that falls apart, then women are going to have to be included, because in conservative churches, women are still not allowed to be teachers, preachers and leaders. So when someone like me comes along, and has better research, then certainly a huge majority of the people, I'm trying to talk to it and I'm straight, and I apparently have no reason to do this. It's compelling in that Why does she care? Why does she keep going? So I do get audience. And then there's this also interesting dynamic that people imagine that will people say I should talk to her. And I'm going to let her in because she's just a woman. What damage or what harm could she possibly do? I'll listen to her to say that I've listened to her, and then I'll just move on. And people don't imagine that I could be as challenging as I am. I mean, I smile a lot. I'm pretty nice. And so it would be easy to let me in the door. And then once I get in the door, I asked, I think the the quality that I have is, I asked I can hear where people's [00:33:23] difficult points are the push points. And because I'm well educated on this, and I've had thousands of conversations, I've gotten to a point where I can ask really good questions. And I can ask questions that I know challenged someone to the core, and then let them sit with it. And not aggressive. I'm not. I mean, I'm, I drive forward. I'm not certainly not a pushover, but I'm not an angry, aggressive mess. And it's just a way of challenging pastors. And it works. It definitely works. And I'm seeing to changes as fun to be part of it. [00:34:04] Because I see changes, but I also at the core of me, I am a Christian. And I think there's a lot of good. If people want access to faith, I want people to have that access. I'm not a person that pushes my faith on anyone. But if people want access, I don't want any walls to that access anymore. I want just the level table to sit at. And I work to break down those walls. [00:34:31] Do you find that it's kind of tie some of you getting the same arguments time and time again, in terms of these are the six passages that refer to same six behavior? These are the answers, you know, or that whole thing of I hear what you're saying, but I just disagree with it. So getting beyond the agree, disagree? [00:34:53] Yes, I hear the same objections all the time. I read the same objections all the time. And so what I do is I try challenge people's thoughts behind those objections. Because the theology that support so they think support those objections, the theology and the history, and the lack of putting those objections into context. It is so non academic, and so sloppy. I was when I was in Sydney, a week and a half ago, I went to us Sydney Anglican churches are known as the most conservative churches in Australia. And I went to I've actually went to two different Sydney Anglican churches. And just happened the night I went there, that the pastor was speaking about marriage and hat. And then of course, he had to talk about gender, because marriage is, he says, you know, God says, From the beginning, only a man and a woman and the way he supported that was slow, this is my best word for it sloppy and non academic. Because if, when people try to engage marriage as posed by God, you know, 2000 years ago, and when it was written about in Genesis 3400 years ago, it was written about [00:36:13] all of those cultures where those words were written into were cultures, ancient cultures of gender hierarchy, and patriarchy, there was no other way to imagine it, there was no other way to look at that. And they, when they talk about it when they stand in 2016, and they read those verses, written 3400, written about 3400 years ago, or 2000 years ago. They are not engaging any of the social history and understanding of human sexuality, human sexuality. This mostly happened in the last hundred years. But the social history of even marriage that's been happening since the beginning of the 1800s. I have yet to read a book, supporting traditional marriage from the other side, where the bibliography or the footnotes ever engage any books on the social history of marriage at all. The it's like these years of the difference, the roles between men and women, and gender hierarchy and patriarchy have never happened. And I want to say to them, so if your spouse has cancer, do you go back to first century Acts where they just said, when someone is sick, the elders of the church, lay hands on them and pray for them? At know, you've let what we've learned in formula of how to deal with your spouse and prolong their life. Now, let's forget all of that. Let's just go and let's get the people of the church and I'm not discounting prayer, let's just get the elders of the church, put some oil on your spouse's head and pray for healing and walk away. No, we we let what we've learned and form us it about we've let what we learned about the difference in races and foremost, and we no longer have slavery in the United States. We have slavery around the world still. And we've let them as much as our society is let we're still not as equal as you are in New Zealand. But we've let women rise above the restrictions that women supposedly are restricted by in the Bible. And we're in the same struggle that we've been with those were the Bible has been interpreted through the eyes of patriarchy, and gender hierarchy and white supremacy. And this is just just the next issue, where we have to say, wait a minute, it's been written through those lenses. And we've been interpreting through those lenses, but we're more pluralistic society where equality has happened. And even the Bible will tell us that in the end, there are no differences between genders. There are no differences between races. And Jesus said it himself, he said, Pray the kingdom of God come to heaven to earth. So we're supposed to pray for the things that we know will be. And there's no difference between genders. And in the end, and in in Revelations in the in the Book of Revelations. But yet Christians are still trying to hold on to this patriarchal view, that should be in church. So they'll use terms like complementarity and procreation. And these are new arguments against same sex marriage against anything other than a male female relationship. For instance, Sydney pastors speak about complimentary aneurysm, as if it's been a tradition enshrined in Christianity for since the beginning of time. And it was created in the late 1980s as a reaction to Biblical feminism, because when feminism hit worldwide in the 60s and 70s, well, now worldwide, in the 60s and 70s, there were in at first trying to control women. So they couldn't say patriarch anymore. So they made up this lovely new word called compliment Tyrion ism, so that all these pastors talk about it, as if it's always been. And it's really only been talking about anatomical differences since the early 1990s. That is not traditional Christianity that is new, politically, religious, power motivated interpretation that keeps the people in control, or the people that want to be in control and control. [00:40:36] How do [00:40:36] you think your faith has changed since the marriage breakup in the early 2000s? In your journey now, with with the kind of LGBT communities, [00:40:48] I think I'm a better representation of Jesus. If you had asked me, if I was a good Christian, then I would have said absolutely, that I understood, you know, a lot of words in Greek and Hebrew, and I lead women's Bible studies, and I went to church every Sunday. And I would have told you that I was, you know, the top of the class. But now 15 years later, I know, my Christianity is not about how I perform according to this imaginary checklist I had of what a Christian was because it was imaginary. It was what I was given. Now my Christianity is what I tried to do is to be a representative of who I read Jesus is, and once that, that relationship between me and God is established, and in my view, in my theology, I have that relationship established through Jesus to God, the next practicing of my Christianity is supposed to be a horizontal expression of my Christianity. So it is how do I treat others? Can other people see something good within me? But it's not even that motivation of can you see within me so that you can be like me? It's not the motivation at all the motivation is, how do I effectively represent what my belief system is inside by treating others fairly, and equally, and I think, my faith, my faith, my relationship with God is much stronger than it ever was, in the days when I was doing the checklist. Because working in justice, working in a faith movement, is it's this cement, that puts all of your beliefs into alignment, and it's always challenged and ever challenged. Other people get challenged and their, their justice work, I think justice work is Christian work should be justice work. And mine happens to be inclusion of LGBT people, other people, other Christians work within poverty or desperately needed in the United States, right now, racism, pastors need to be rising up in the United States, in particular, over the issue of racism, and faith communities. And people have, I don't wanna say real faith, because that's a judgment. But people have faith it closely resembles what we would hope Jesus would be in terms of loving and embracing all that kind of faith can change dialogues, and social situations, when people of faith who are driven and sometimes there's driven so hard that they don't back down when it gets difficult. When those people are driven to good justice actions, changes can be made. So I think [00:44:03] I'm a much better person I [00:44:08] can, I can be in relationships with people that I probably could have never before because all of those barriers are down of putting, you know, assessing them according to a checklist to and then having a goal of doing something with them. Now I just try to treat people lovingly and and fairly and, and how I know that God is in it and let it's good is I I experienced joy and peace. So I really do live a life of like this internal joy and peace. I know I'm in alignment with however people would call that higher power. I'm in a pretty controversial area. But that joy and peace are really solidly in alignment with me and I [00:45:00] feel good and I'm calm, and I just keep moving forward. [00:45:04] In your work, do you get harassed or threatened? Because I imagined it would be quite, quite challenging. [00:45:12] Yeah. When I first so I don't call myself a blogger anymore. But in 2009, I think in and seven or eight, I started blogging and I blogged under Can you walk or can it Oh, I right. And blog under Canyon Walker connections. com. But now it's turned into a resource site. But when I first started blogging, so in 2000, and 2008, even in the United States, people were straight people, we're not having this conversation. evangelicals, we're not supposed to have this conversation. straight people were evangelicals we're not supposed to. And they were almost no role or all models, there was one role model that was sitting on the fence. And I knew that wasn't a role model I wanted to follow. So in the beginning, I would get my mail would be about forever. [00:46:02] 10 letters, know out of 20 letters, emails I would get, one would be way to go. And 19 would be you know, you're going to hell, you're a harlot. And because I'm a woman, that would be all anatomical body parts thrown in those comments to pretty mean stuff. And they would typically be from somebody with an authoritarian background, because you can find who people are pretty easily, at least where they posts are their interests, you can figure them out. Most of those were people with police, or military backgrounds. And then the second group that I was getting was black women that were objecting to what I was doing. And then the the and I told people in Australia this which is pretty surprising, but not [00:46:47] the the number one we don't like Kathy letters that were coming from outside the United States were from Australia, men, bar none. So those are my groups of people, Australia, men, and they would throw body parts in the conversation all the time. And then it started shifting about seven or eight knows, five or six years ago, it started semi balancing. And now. Now it's 25 to one positive, but I have gotten a death threat on the phone. So I protect myself now, a lot. I have had pastors treat me dismissively in a way that they would never treat a man I've been physically thrown out of a church for standing up. And I was just going to make a one minute 22nd statement on the dangers of repetitive therapy on LGBT youth, you know, in terms of suicide, depression, alcohol and drug use STDs. And I had all the stats. And that's all I was planning on saying, but somebody took them off that I was there. And they even knew exactly what was saying, which is not offensive. It was just research. [00:47:56] And I had to church, three church security guards and to plainclothes policeman positioned waiting for me to stand up. And they dragged me out. I've been pursued online incessantly by it. A deranged man who made 20 videos about me and 26 days and it sounds harmless until you realize how destructive this person was. And I just kept getting his YouTube station shut down. And then a year later, I found out who he was through a series of circumstances found out he was an assembly of God's pastor in Texas. And I tried to talk to his pastor about appropriate reconciliation. Like I wanted this guy to see what he had done to a real human being pastor wouldn't wouldn't listen to me he actually gave me the You're being too emotional Missy statement. That's a button pusher for me and trying to talk to him about it for three months, he wouldn't talk to me. So I happen to be in Texas for I live in Nevada. And Texas is a 27 hour drive to give you you know, a distance. And I went in on a Sunday morning when I knew this assistant pastor would be on the stage practicing his music, and walked in at 1015 on a Sunday morning and confronted this guy right on the stage. And that blew that little church up on that lovely Sunday morning. But yeah, but but I think, I hope I put off an air of your come talk to me. But I think I also now to people they see, I am strong. I'm, I'm, I'm approachable, but I'm strong. And the way I sometimes say to people is I was born in New York City, I cannot help this. And so although people can want to now come and try to give me their barrage of hatred, because as I said, there's so much misogyny mixed up in this conversation. I don't allow it. So when it starts to come at me, if a person can driving towards me, I walk away from conversations all the time. And then I get pegged as stupid, or she can't handle the questions or she doesn't know the answers. But I would rather preserve my own integrity, integrity than to engage in in silly conversations. But I think once people start with me that massage and he doesn't work. And but yeah, it's, it's been an interesting walk as a woman. But I think I really do think my age is an asset in this because I came of age. In the 1970s, I turned 1970, I turned 14 and went to high school and college in the 1970s, which in the United States was the decade of feminism. And we've never hit it again. It just has not been equal to parallels 1982 in the United States, the religious right was already in place, trying to imagine unimaginably not allow the Equal Rights Amendment to pass and it never passed is still to this day has not passed. And so I said, people I stood up when I was 14, and I never sat down. So although Yes, this stuff comes at me, I've just got these pieces in place that I can only say God knew the pieces of the puzzle to put in place so that I could stand against the hatred. I've gotten way better at it. And it's gotten way less too. So Oh, my goodness, it's getting, its getting good. [00:51:37] And you're saying that one of those groups was black woman? Oh, yeah. Where does that come from? [00:51:43] So I think well, and so because there's part of this conversation, the United States that people use, and I don't use it as a lead a lead conversation, but it will be that it's just the next civil rights movement, like black civil rights was the last civil rights movement. And this is the next civil rights movement. So people have objected to a correlation between LGBT rights and the rights of people of color. And there's also a denial within the black community, that there's any kind of same sex interaction there. The the percentage of men on the down low, you know, being in heterosexual relationships, and then having gay relationships on the side, the percentage of men in the black community is far higher than in the white community. Because in the black community, it's less acceptable for a man to, you know, an air quote, strongly act like a woman, take the position of a woman be penetrated like a woman penetrate another man like a woman, all of that those channels roles are strongly more strongly and entrenched in not just the black community. [00:53:09] The black community, the women have spoken up strongly. But those same dynamics are entrenched in the Asian Pacific Island cultures, cultures that are honor shame cultures, those cultures really struggle with same sex relationships. But people in the Asian Pacific Island cultures are polite. And they don't speak up with the vehemence that some other cultures speak up with. So yeah, so it's, it's interesting. But those are my three top ones, authoritarian authoritarians, black women, and then Australian men. [00:53:48] You know, I could go on a show and say, What do these three groups people have in common? And probably nobody could ever guess it. [00:53:58] You briefly [00:53:58] mentioned repair to therapy. Never heard of that? What is that? [00:54:03] Oh, [00:54:07] it's still going on in the United States. So started in the mid 70s. In the United States. So we are the the the creators and exporters of all things bright and beautiful, and not. And so in the 1970s, as, as the the designation of mental illness came off of homosexuality in the United States in the American Psychological and medical associations in 1973. And the gay people in the in, in the gay community were starting to organize for civil rights, all of this thing would have just organically moved, it would have just people would have come into their civil rights. But political parties were starting to understand that they could use this hatred that I need a Brian I mean, check the history created about gay people recruiting and recruiting her children. All of this was starting to happen in the 70s. And what the conservative Christians and conservative politicians that we're trying to get republicans are conservatives back into power, saw that this whole thing about the dirty filthy gays, the child recruiting gays was starting to work. And so when we started to get this issue into the church, then the church realize we can't really have gay people are in our churches. So surely, we must be able to fix them. And it was also during a movement of what was called name it and claim it blabbing and grab it, you know, prosperity, doctrine, Word of Faith movement, so that all you would really have to say, as I give this up, I'm no longer gay, I'm straight. And then those people could be merged into the church. So organization started, the first one being Exodus, it started as a church prayer group, actually, in 1973. And by 1976, sex, it had had had morphed into an organization that said, we can change your sexual orientation, they were grabbing back to information from the 60s, from medical information from the 60s that was never based in research. And they were grabbing it forward now slapping Bible verses on to it mostly, First Corinthians 611, which which said, you know, some of you were this, this, this, this, and homosexuals, and such were some of you. So they would go on to that verse. And I'd say, say, look, see, Paul knew homosexuals. And he said, it and it says he knew some that were homosexuals, and they no longer are. So you must be able to not be a homosexual anymore to so let's do these programs where, and these these are true. Let's teach men, there's place in Marin County, let's teach men to throw footballs and work on their engines. And the lesbians may have to teach them that. But in the other side of the room, let's teach lesbian had to put dresses on and do their hair and do their makeup and walk a certain way. So part of it was behavioral modification. And a lot of those people they were getting in the, in the beginning years, were coming out of that, you know, hippie movement, Jesus movement, a lot of free stuff, everything going on. And, and because of the stigma of being gay, even, they may have been into drugs and alcohol. So maybe Christianity, faith, help them not be drug addicts and alcoholics anymore. But that was a behavior modification. They thought, well, let's also tack on this sexual orientation. So in the beginning, it was just, let's modify all this stuff, and people thought it was working. And in the 80s, it grew. And in the 90s, it became politicized under a man named Alan chambers in the 90s, it became politicized. And it was very much in churches, and there were all kinds of ministries all over the United States, that promised pastors that you send your, you know, you outsource your game people to me, and we can change them from homosexual, heterosexual and they also So not only did they push repair to therapy, so changing from Gay Straight, and they said that it was highly successful, not. But we can also, the other part of this is not only can we help them not be gay anymore, but if you're not quite there yet, the last thing you need to do as a step of obedience to God, is to marry a person of the opposite sex in absolute faith, knowing that God will bring you those passions and emotions. So that's called mixed orientation marriage. And there's an age of people kind of a morphic lines. But in that mid 40s, and above, that had been exposed to repair to therapy, there will also told to get married. And there's this [00:58:54] horrible number of Christian people that have been in these mixed orientations, marriages. And now they're sort of at the ages. On the end of those ages, the kids get out of the house, and the husband and wife looked to each other, and there's never been anything there. And it's I'm watching people go through it late in life late in their 60s and 70s. And I know hundreds of people who have been married to the opposite sex person. And it never was right. And so others will say, well, they created great families. And what about those families, and you say, well, same sex couples can create great families to. And what I see is a lot of my friends, adopting children out of the foster care system, and being incredible parents. There's these kids that heterosexuals don't want, [00:59:46] that gay couples are taking, and they're doing a great job. So repair to therapy, it's still going on. And it's still going on Australia. And so it's Christian based groups with broken, discarded medical information, wrapping that around misinterpreted verses of the Bible, and selling a promise that will never happen. [01:00:14] We certainly had groups in the I think in the 70s and 80s, here that we're doing that, and I just hadn't heard it called Apparently, [01:00:22] there were people [01:00:24] thinking right back to the start of the interview, we were talking about kind of exporting hatred and exporting kind of ideas from the with to places like Australia or New Zealand, you were saying that not only had it happened in Australia, but also things had been exported from the US and come to New Zealand, can you? Do you have examples of it? [01:00:43] I don't have I haven't, I haven't done the research here yet. But I'm fairly sure I'm going to find those same examples. I don't have specifics on New Zealand. Because I didn't know I was going to be working at MIT, thought it was good to come here and hike your beautiful mountains. And that didn't happen. But what I plan on doing is I plan on taking my book. And I think in in the end of November, through December, and part of some some slower times for me in two 720 17, [01:01:19] I'm looking at three people I want to work with in Australia. And I'm going to try to find someone in New Zealand that can help me research and adapt my book to these markets, mostly though, to Australia, because the marriage problem is going to even when they vote for marriage equality, the problem is so entrenched in the churches, that they're there right now about where we were 10 years ago, but they're going to zip right up to where we are currently, it's going to happen very quickly. So I'm trying to adapt my work, because the foundation is so solid, just take all these things and interact, put them on the timeline that I've already created, and make it work for Australia. And last night, I was talking to someone, I've got to also make this work for New Zealand. And you know, I said to my friend in the Salvation Army, and the Salvation Army is going to be part of that, you know, part of that history and work with writers and editors in Australia, New Zealand to make it current and accessible to these cultures and get it out as soon as I can. So that I can help impact the conversation. Because it's all the same history, all the same stigma, all the same differences between men and women. But it's it's really into I studied the Australian part, I understand the Australian part with a working conversation. But it's really interesting to watch that they are pivotal people in countries that either do good things or bad things that the the conversation moves forward, but at what paces are going to move forward. Is it going to be knocked off track by 20 years by this group? Is it going to be pushed forward 15 years by this person, there are people that that impact that progression, but the progression does move forward. So I don't understand the New Zealand part yet, but within three months, I will

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.