The international organization PFLAG has made available online and free of charge an hour-long workshop by author and educator Dr. Robert N. Minor titled “How to Stop Arguing About Religion But Make Your Point.”
The description on the workshop’s page on the PFLAG website introduces it as follows:
Religious objections still interfere with the equality of LGBTQ people, and arguments from the Bible, tradition, and religious authorities, are cited by critics to justify discrimination and abuse. We’ve heard the arguments and responses for over 50 years yet they continue, producing more heat than light as well as frustration for the arguer. Few walk away from such discussions feeling good about their responses.
This workshop’s goal is to put religious arguments into perspective, not to argue about, for example “what the Bible really says,” but to explore strategies to defuse and redirect even the most difficult arguments effectively into the issues that lie beneath the religious arguments where the healing can begin.
The workshop is offered as part of PFLAG Academy Online, whose mission is to bring “free, monthly, PFLAG members-only learning sessions right to your computer screen. Benefit from PFLAG’s diverse learning options, informed staff, great guests, and input from other participants… all without leaving home. All you need is a computer (or mobile device) and the drive to move equality forward.”
Founded in 1973 by the mother of a gay son, PFLAG has grown to become “the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed.”
Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas where he taught for 33 years and was department chair for six years, Robert N. Minor, M.A., Ph.D is the author of eight books as well as numerous articles and contributions to edited volumes. He is an historian of religion with specialties in Biblical studies, Asian religions, religion and gender and religion and sexuality. His writing has been published in Whosoever since 2005 and he continues to speak and lead workshops around the country. In 1999 GLAAD awarded him its Leadership Award for Education, in 2012 the University of Kansas named him one of the University’s Men of Merit, in 2015 the American Men’s Studies Association gave him the Lifetime Membership Award, and in 2018 Missouri Jobs with Justice presented him with the Worker’s Rights Board Leadership Award. He resides in Kansas City, Missouri and is founder of The Fairness Project.
An adult convert to Christianity who grew up unchurched but has always been a spiritual seeker, Lance was baptized at age 28 in an Episcopal parish in New Hampshire, where he first encountered Whosoever as he was building that church’s first website. Sixteen years later he would meet Rev. Paul M. Turner, pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, where Whosoever founder Rev. Candace Chellew was ordained. Today he serves as Whosoever’s Director of Communications.