The test is easy enough - take a statement that someone makes about a group of individuals, and substitute either a group you're actually a member of or a group that's generally acknowledged as having been selected out to put up with truly egregious amounts of crap, historically.
For me, variants of the phrase "gay" work. For others, words like "christian, white, muslim, heterosexual, etc" may provide the needed sting to burn through cultural assumptions.
Fortunately, the folks over at the The Oregonian (PortlandLive.com) and members of the Portland LGBT community have been gracious enough to provide us with a good demonstration.
Ok, so far, pretty darned neutral. Mars Hill Church is, in fact, an evangelical set of congregations.
Again, the Oregonian and writer Steve Beaven are doing a great job reporting objectively. No meat here, yet.
Southeast Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood, one of the city’s most liberal districts, is bracing for a culture clash next week with the arrival of a conservative, evangelical church whose founder preaches against homosexuality and once said yoga is "demonic."
Last week, the Seattle-based Mars Hill Church bought a vacant, 106-year-old church building at 3210 S.E. Taylor St. for $1.25 million.
On Sept. 10, the congregation will meet its new neighbors, some of whom were trying to understand Thursday why an evangelical congregation would move into a neighborhood known more for its leftist politics than its devotion to church.
The man who sold the ornate stone building to Mars Hill doesn’t believe neighbors will warmly accept the new church. David Rinella, who previously lived in the basement of the church with his family, said Thursday that area residents never made him feel welcome.
“They do not want that to be a church,” said Rinella, who is the owner of Rinella Produce and hosted religious services at the church for years. “They would have been happy if that was a McMenamins (pub). I think there are a lot of hypocrites in that neighborhood.”
You wonder why Deumling would feel a need for a good neighbor agreement, but still no meat. The test has yet to show naughtiness.
Ok, so far we're still exploring the wonderful world of fact (and good reporting on the part of The Oregonian). Darn it, surely there's got to be some meat here SOMEPLACE.
A spokesman for Portland’s Q Center, which serves the LGBTQ community, said the organization would “extend an olive branch” to the Mars Hill congregation and invite them to the Q Center’s headquarters in North Portland.
“We’ll be respectful of them and try to make friends,” said the Q Center’s Logan Lynn.
Mars Hill Church was founded in 1996 by Pastor Mark Driscoll and operates nine campuses, mostly in Seattle, with three more on the way, including the one in Portland. Driscoll is a tech-savvy minister who preaches — often in jeans and baseball caps — against homosexuality and urges gays to turn from sin.
There we go!! Let's try the test...
Hmmm. The thud you hear is the lead balloon hitting the ground. No, that *fails* the bigotry test. But to be fair, let's keep trundling through and see what passes or fails, shall we?
“A inter-racial couple walks into your group, you’re supposed to tell them to repent,” Driscoll said in a sermon posted on the church website. “And if at any point you don’t tell them to repent, you’re not faithful to Biblical Christianity.”
Regarding the Mars Hill Church:
What, you mean like a Pride Parade?
The faces and costumes change, but bigotry is fairly evenly distributed across every demographic you'd care to name. Based not only in fear and unfamiliarity, it's based in laziness - it's EASIER to just lump folks into a group and stick them under a set of labels and expected behaviors.
The problem with bigotry isn't only that it's "not nice" in so very many ways, but that it lays a cornerstone for a delusional view of reality. Whoever you are, try the "test"...and if you catch yourself or others *failing*, then wake up and rejoin reality.
Now, go read the article and even browse through the paper. The way the writer handled this article actually eroded, a tiny bit, my cynicism regarding the journalistic profession.