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Saturday, December 10, 2016

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

As Dan Savage tells it, it began years ago when he’d go on CNN or MSNBC to discuss LGBT issues opposite the likes of Tony Perkins. Perkins heads the Family Research Council, a leading purveyor of the fiction that homophobia and Christianity are synonymous and inextricable.

“And invariably, after I would have an argument with Tony Perkins,” says Savage, “I would get emails from Christians and calls reassuring me that, in these exact words, ‘We’re not all like that. We’re not all like Tony Perkins. We’re not all anti-gay, all of us Christians.’ And I would write them back and say, ‘I know you’re not all like that. My mom is a Christian. I have really great friends who are Christians… You need to tell Tony Perkins you’re not all like that. He’s the one out there claiming to speak for all Christians. Get in his face. Don’t get in my face.'”

Savage, a gay blogger and author, coined an acronym for those people. He called them NALT — Not All Like That — Christians.

John Shore, a heterosexual author, blogger and Christian from San Diego who has known Savage for years, took that as a challenge. He and co-founder Evan Hurst went live last week with a new website, The Not All Like That Christians Project (notalllikethat.org). It’s modeled after a site Savage and his partner founded in 2010.

Their It Gets Better Project (itgetsbetter.org) solicits videos telling bullied and harassed gay and lesbian kids that they’re not alone and encouraging them to hold on through the torment. The videos now number in the tens of thousands.

Not All Like That aims to replicate that success. It solicits videos from Christians tired of seeing their faith used as a club to batter gay and lesbian people. The site went online last week with a few dozen inaugural videos.