How do you answer "Well, it says so in the Bible"?
By mreyf
November 02, 2012

"Well, it says so in the Bible." "It's God's will."

You've probably heard someone say this during a conversation and had a hard time coming up with a reply.

When someone relies on dogma to defend an idea, it sometimes feels easier to turn the other way and give up.

They'll never change their mind, right?

Actually, research shows the #1 way to open hearts and minds to different perspectives on important issues is relationships and conversations!

You've got the relationship part down, but what about the conversation?

To share the best strategies we've found for having a conversation to open someone's heart and mind to the idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are people too and deserve to be treated fairly and with respect, we've developed the Friends & Family Plan Web site: www.friendsandfamilyplan.org/

The Friends & Family Plan is a new online tool for you to use to help someone who is conflicted about supporting LGBT equality because of their Christian convictions. It includes the best research, strategies, messages, and resources to help you prepare. While its focus is Christian messages, we believe all faiths can learn from the frames and insights in the tool.

Below is a quick peek at the Web site. I used my mom as an example. How it works: you provide basic info about you and the person you plan to speak with, and you get a personalized plan to help you have the talk.

You also provide the person's age, where they're from, and their ethnicity to get a fully customized plan to help you open their heart and mind.

Then, out comes your plan! It includes:

  • - Helpful tips for preparation
  • - Common points of view the person you're talking to may have
  • - Suggested strategies to help them come around as Christians to LGBT equality
  • - Links to the original research if you want to dig in further

The Friends & Family Plan is currently built around Christian-specific research on supporting LGBT equality. But we think you'll find the underlying strategies relevant for a broad range of conversations. We're also excited for possibilities of expanding to other faiths and justice issues in the future.

With the election deciding our future just days away, it couldn't be a more important time to talked to a friend or relative today about an inclusive vision for our country.

 

PPS: If you hit a hitch using the Friends & Family Plan site, refreshing the page usually does the trick. We launched early in order to equip people before Election Day. So if you have any feedback, we'd love for you to become a part of the family that brings the tool up to speed! Leave us a comment below or email us at info@auburnseminary.org.