I thinks about this from time to time because of Chris Pratt so in case anyone cares here’s a breakdown of what kind of church he goes to, and his (apparent) ignorance of that church’s teaching.
(Before I start I’m using QUILTBAG instead of any other LGBT+ variation because it’s the most inclusive and also an acronym which makes it inherently superior 😎)
There are 3 essential positions when it comes to churches/religions when it comes to QUILTBAG issues. I’ll focus on western churches.
1- Not welcome. This ones pretty clear: QUILTBAG peoples are not welcome. Period. At least this one is clear.
2- Welcoming and Affirming. Also pretty clear: QUILTBAG peoples are not only welcome but affirmed as being valid expressions of the diversity of creation, not living in inherent sinfulness, not excluded from the Church in any way.
3- Welcoming but NOT affirming. This one is definitely not as clear as the other two. This is also the kind of church Pratt attends so I’ll spend more time on it.
The idea here is that the church does not exclude anyone from attendance, so QUILTBAG peoples are welcomed as Pratt has said multiple times. But to some degree QUILTBAG peoples are not allowed to participate fully in the life of the church. They may be allowed to lead a class or Bible group but prohibited from elected or ordained leadership. They may be allowed to volunteer but not take a paid position. They may be able to have a civil Union blessed but not actually have a marriage ceremony performed. The church Pratt attends is a welcoming but NOT affirming church.
Pratt goes to a Hillsong Church (as far as I know, people switch churches all the time). Hillsong is an international mega church with campuses across the globe that was founded in and is headquartered in Australia. It’s been involved controversies including sexual misconduct (shocking) and ongoing doctrinal issues like propounding the Prosperity Gospel (which rich people shockingly love).
Regardless of how you feel about all that their senior pastor Brian Houston has made his position on QUILTBAG issues clear:
“Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid”
Even this statement has gotten Houston in hot water because people on opposite ends of the spectrum on QUILTBAG issues both distain this kind of opaque middle ground.
Now what does Pratt think? He’s made a point to defend Hillsong as being SO welcoming!
Does he understand that they do not affirm? Does he know that the welcome stops at the pulpit, at any position of authority whatsoever?
I haven’t seen him address that question but maybe I just didn’t Google deep enough. And honestly I think he might just be ignorant of the reality of this position from his church leadership. I’ve discovered over my team studying and understanding religion ( and last 5 years for SURE) that many adherents have no clue what their institution believes. Some of them don’t care and make no bones about that fact. If you want to be cheritable or maintain a robust Pratt fanship I guess you can toss some thoughts and prayers in the direction of him just being ignorant.
As a post script, I will also say that there are TONS of welcoming and affirming congregations across the US and world in general. So it is also worth considering that people have the choice to leave a non-welcoming or welcoming but not affirming church and go to a welcoming and affirming one. Even the welcoming but not affirming position that the Catholic Church has been slowly lurching towards is not absolute and there are some relatively small but notable figures/groups that are welcoming and affirming. As an individual you could even make clear that you wish to influence the direction of your own church by stating your own welcoming and affirming position on QUILTBAG issues publicly and explicitly. Pratt has not done so. His statements have been notably vague and leave room for either position
There’s my breakdown. Take it or leave it.