Targeting Homos or Shaming Heteros? Christian Group’s Ad Misses the Mark

Here’s an odd story out of Toronto.  It involves a Christian group called “Bus Stop Bible Studies” that regularly advertises on Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) buses and streetcars.  One of their 40 ads poses the question “Does God Care If I’m Gay?” then refers viewers to the organization’s website to find the answer, which says in part “We know from passages throughout Scripture that God hates homosexual acts BUT no more than any other sinful act. Some individuals seem to place homosexual acts in a special class – God does not. Sin is sin.  Homosexual activity is no better or worse than heterosexuals engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. The Bible refers to these people as fornicators.”  Apparently, enough people came forward to complain about the ad, because TTC asked Bus Stop Bible Studies to remove it from their ad mix, and the group complied.

Two questions/observations:

  1. Who is Bus Stop Bible Studies targeting with this ad?  Is it gay people?  If so, they certainly missed the mark.  If they are trying to attract gays to their ministries, condemning them and calling them “fornicators” is not the way to do it.  If the group had done any research, they would know that homosexuals respond much better to ads that foster a sense of inclusion.  I suspect the goal of this ad is not to draw in wayward gays but rather to shame fornicating heterosexuals by equating them to lecherous homos.
  2. How does Bus Stop Studies feel about gay sex between two legally married gay people?  Gay marriage is legal in Canada.  Would they still be considered “fornicators” if they are legally married?  My guess is the group defines gay marriage in the biblical sense – between a man and a woman – regardless of how its progressive government defines marriage.
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