Note: we are republishing this story, which originally made the news in July 2021, amid record high levels of political division in America. According to Pew surveys, the US ranks among the highest in the world according to how many people feel more divided than before the pandemic. More on this here: https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2021-10-15/us-most-divided-nation-in-worldwide-survey-essential-politics
In the /r/HuntsvilleAlabama subreddit, a user posted a picture of the message placed on the welcome sign of Carters Grove Baptist Church in Hazel Green.
“Pride month sounds about right,” the sign reads, adding the scripture from Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction.”
The user who posted the picture pointed out that the sign could offend members of the LQBT+ community, particularly those who are hesitant about coming out.
One person commented: “Look at it from another perspective. At least you know what to expect from that congregation, and you can make a decision based on the advertising they provide on the marquee. I had a hard time staying in the denomination I grew up in for the same reason, but none of the churches I attended were as blatant about their stance.”
However, others didn’t think there was anything wrong with the sign.
One person commented: “It makes me feel like the community is coming together and people are seeing different points of view from everybody else, and I feel like the church is being very supportive towards the pride and LQBTQ+ community.”
Pastor Jim Weaver of Carter’s Grove Baptist Church stated that he stood by the decision to put up the sign, adding that he wanted to discourage people from living “an unhealthy lifestyle.”
“I believe, scripturally speaking, promoting a lifestyle that the bible calls sinful will bring a country down. It’s not bigotry, its actually loving a person to tell them that things are not right in their life,” he stated.
He put up the sign in June in response to Pride month because he doesn’t believe that there should be a month-long celebration of what the church calls an “unscriptural lifestyle.”
David Cleland, a member of the board of directors for Rocket City Pride, stated: “I can definitely see both sides. So, the way I first read it was honestly, thinking that they were in support of pride.”
Cleland has encouraged those looking for support with their journey to visit Rocket City Rainbow Pages for LGBT+ friendly resources.