Young Life LGBT

Critics Demand Young Life “Fully Affirm Queer Relationships”

on August 14, 2020

A prominent ecumenical Christian ministry is facing criticism from a group of former staff and volunteers who argue that the nearly 80-year-old organization should open leadership roles to those in same-sex relationships.

Young Life, the Colorado Springs-based parachurch ministry, operates camps and outreach to teens and young adults across more than 100 countries. It is unclear how extensive or organized the LGBT-affirming pressure campaign is. Religion News Service (RNS) reports this week that it took shape in July as a grassroots campaign that has become a “movement” – citing more than 6,700 signatures for a petition seeking for Young Life to repeal its sexual conduct policy.

It is unclear how many of the signatories have a connection with Young Life, which counts approximately 348,000 youth “involved weekly around the world.” The organization has a broad reach to students in middle school, high school and college. Further, special ministries seek to reach teen moms and teens with disabilities. Young Life counts “more than 80,000 staff and volunteers in 104 countries” and notes they minister to more than two million at any given time.

The petition makes several demands regarding claims to intersectional justice, but those regarding sexual identity and expression are the primary focal point. Petition organizers specifically state that Young Life must “Normalize asking for and using correct pronouns” and “Fully affirm queer relationships and queer sexuality.”

“For many former Young Life employees, their break with the organization led to a break with their faith,” RNS reports. Young Life describes its mission as introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.

It is a legitimate question to ask why former staff or volunteers who now disavow the Gospel at the center of Young Life’s mission want to continue in an organization whose primary purpose they have no interest in.

Young Life is not the first Christian ministry or parachurch organization to come under pressure from an organized campaign that seeks to open leadership roles to persons in same-sex relationships. In recent years, InterVarsity and Cru have both been critiqued by former staff and volunteers who separated from the ministries after publicly identifying as gay or lesbian and pursuing noncelibate relationships, or affirming such unions.

In the past, small LGBT interest groups or networks have had a public relations roll-out (in this case, using the hashtag #DoBetterYoungLife) and received coverage from RNS. Some have fizzled without further coverage, others have gained broader attention.

Officials in a handful of other Christian institutions, including relief and development organization World Vision USA and Azusa Pacific University, have made initial moves towards opening employment to those in same-sex partnerships, only to step back after stakeholders and donors disagreed.

Hopefully, this campaign will not lead to an Azusa or World Vision scenario in which leadership changes policies, then flips back because of stakeholder outrage. 

The RNS article leads with the story of Kent Thomas, a former mountain guide at a Young Life camp in British Columbia. Thomas, a man in a gay relationship, was told by Young Life that he could not continue in his role. Thomas tells RNS that almost six years later, that haunts him.

“I still have dreams about Young Life at least once a week,” said Thomas, now 30. Sometimes I’m being welcomed as a queer person, sometimes I’m being ostracized as a queer person.”

As my colleague Chelsen Vicari observed with surprise, Thomas is not facing dreams about global pandemics, economic crisis, or bear attacks. Instead, weekly nightmares are about rejection from a student ministry years ago.

Officials within Young Life have sought to respond with a conciliatory tone, while maintaining orthodox Christian teaching.

“We are deeply saddened to know that any individual would walk away from their experience with Young Life feeling hurt or shamed, and wish to apologize for instances where our sins of commission and omission have caused this pain,” read a Young Life statement provided to IRD. “These stories highlight the need to review how we train staff and volunteers to come alongside and love kids who identify as LGBTQ+ — without conditions, judgement or shame.”

In the statement, the parachurch group notes “Young Life welcomes and includes all young people as participants in our programs and activities, regardless of race, religion, ability, sexual orientation or identity, or other factors.”

Young Life has added that “stories now being shared by current and former members of the Young Life family represent a small fraction of the experiences across Young Life” but does not dismiss the claims. The statement shares that on July 17, Young Life announced the creation of a council “to review all of these stories and recommend the appropriate course of action in each case.”

The review council is to include both staff and non-staff.

“The formation of this council is a next step in what we expect will be a long process of review, reflection, repentance and reform,” the statement reads.

The organization also notes that it “has expectations for leadership that are consistent with the tenets of our faith and what we believe is God’s best for us. This includes an understanding that, at our foundation, we are all made in the image of a God who loves us. Young Life aligns with historical Christian theology in believing that sexuality is a gift from God and that God guides us in how to use this gift, including that intimate sexual activity should occur within a marriage covenant between a man and a woman.”

  1. Comment by Lee Cary on August 14, 2020 at 9:09 am

    “It is a legitimate question to ask why former staff or volunteers who now disavow the Gospel at the center of Young Life’s mission want to continue in an organization whose primary purpose they have no interest in.”

    And here is one answer to that question:

    Persons/Groups with gender-based, identity-driven agendas share a common DNA. When feeling disenfranchised, they move aggressively to insert their agenda into one that is not compatible. When, if not feeling fully welcomed in a way that requires the host to amend its’ agenda, they act to force their way in. They can be relentless in that pursuit.

    Ultimately, if unable to amend the host entity to align with their beliefs, deconstruction of the host becomes their default agenda. (See e.g., the Boy Scouts of America, the United Methodist Church). As amoebas split, so do organizations.

    “Hopefully, this campaign will not lead to an Azusa or World Vision scenario in which leadership changes policies, then flips back because of stakeholder outrage.” (Why hopefully?)

    It’s more likely that the original stakeholders will merely shrug, abandon the organization, and reconstitute their mission elsewhere anew. (Southern Baptist Church congregations, for example, have done this often.)

    As long as people are free to choose that which they will support, some will do so.
    And, Young Life becomes Young LGBTQ Life, and life goes on.

  2. Comment by Jeffrey Walton on August 14, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Hello Lee, it does not appear that Young Life is going to cave. Glancing at the petition, I’m not seeing a significant number of signatures added since publication of the RNS article. Young Life officials have the benefit of World Relief USA and Azusa’s negative examples to learn from. I disagree with the RNS characterization of this as a “movement” (hence my skeptical quote marks) — a true movement would launch an organization(s) of its own, and I’m not seeing a serious call for an LGBTQ-affirming alternative to Young Life.

  3. Comment by Lee Cary on August 14, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Jeffery, you may well be accurate re. the future of YL.

    But Progressives take the long view. Conservatives are limited to reacting.

    Post-birth abortion, euthanasia, multiple-partner marriages, youth-adult marriages – movements in those directions and others are well underway today.

    I don’t think there is necessarily a limit to the agenda of the Liberal Progressive movement. I’ve seen it advance on several fronts in my 70+ years. They never give up. Conservatives tend to tire from resisting.

  4. Comment by Mike on August 14, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Unfortunately, any organization has a tendency to go liberal, especially one that has been around as long as this one. It takes continual revival to keep a ministry on track and faithful to its original calling and beliefs. And while Jesus has promised to build His church and protect and provide for her, He did not say the same thing about schools, hospitals, and parachurch organizations.

  5. Comment by Gary Bebop on August 14, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    “Advocacy” should not replace traditional Christian witness. Many youths are looking for firm foundations, not merely what’s trending. Traditional organizations are often sought out as sanctuaries from today’s ubiquitous sexualized agendas. There need to be safe havens, trustworthy folds, not every organization transformed into an incubus of moral confusion and concupiscence to satisfy advocacy.

  6. Comment by Steven Vornov on August 14, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Speaking of the long view, in another generation or two most Protestant denominations will have been queered.

    I’m Catholic now. The Magisterium is the firewall Young Life doesn’t have.

  7. Comment by Mike Murphy on August 14, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    As a 25 year volunteer with YL, I certajnly hope they hold firm to the Gospel of Jesus. Politics has no business infecting ministey.

  8. Comment by Cody U Watson on August 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    What is the magisterium? Anyway I hope Young Life does not change its standards. I was not aware of Young Life until in my 20s but found it to be a creative organization like Youth Specialties. All groups needed to be rooted in the Scriptures. I think of Richard Niebuhr’s book Christ and Culture. It takes courage to stand against the flow of culture. May God in his mercy send revival.

  9. Comment by Mark on August 14, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    I think Lee provides valuable insight. I think the goal of modern liberalism/progressivism is constantly shifting. There will always be dissatisfaction that sexuality has not gone libertine enough. There is a level of narcissistic self-gratification that most rational Christians cannot relate to. The ultimate consequence is self-immolation or self-destruction as described in Huxley’s “Brave New World” or Crichton’s “Terminal Man.”

  10. Comment by Diane on August 15, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Members and former members of YL describe it as a “second family,” and a lifestyle. Many young people who join its non-discriminatory ranks seek to remain as volunteer leaders and paid staff. The website for the YL group in my community makes absolutely no mention of their discriminatory, anti-lgbtq policies. That’s dishonest. They prey on unsuspecting children and then turn on them once they’re hooked on being part of the YL family. The betrayal experienced when gay participants learn – only when they seek to be volunteer leaders or staff – that they aren’t welcomed to remain in the family is nothing short of spiritual abuse. There are lgbtq former Young Life folks who are in counseling/therapy to deal with the pain of being ousted from the faith family that groomed them years earlier in their school years. I use the word “groom” because this is no different from adults who intentionally mess with kids bodies – whether it’s sexual, emotional or spiritual. Young Life knows exactly what it’s doing. Their deception in luring unsuspecting kids into what becomes a nightmare is immoral. It’s called manipulation of the vulnerable – kids, by definition, are vulnerable and are easily preyed upon by manipulative adults. The organization is reprehensibly calloused. The grooming and recruitment of vulnerable lgbtq kids is sadistic. It needs to stop. Every Young Life website needs to boldly and explicitly state that it discriminates against lgbtq people. They need to be held accountable. They are ruthlessly deceptive.

  11. Comment by Douglas E Ehrhardt on August 15, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Yes Diane God discriminates against sinful behavior. Is victimism your way of life?

  12. Comment by Diane on August 16, 2020 at 2:13 am

    Even traditional United Methodists have enough sense to not engage in proselytizing methods adopted by Young Life. Young Life is a parachurch organization. It does not exist to support any denomination (though they’d like you to think otherwise). Unlike Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons who take their proselytizing door-to-door, Young Life volunteers and staff intentionally lurk where kids are to be found. They volunteer in your kid’s school, show up at sports events. They seek out the most popular kids and lure them to Young Life “Club” meetings. In turn, they encourage those kids to bring their friends. No parent permission is sought. Young Life volunteers enter your kids’ lives without parental knowledge or permission. No reputable United Methodist or any other denomination preys on kids like this. Young Life’s marketing makes a point of leaving out any mention of Jesus, Christ, or God in its name. It’s websites explicitly promise each and every kid – no matter who they are – a place where they can be themselves, a place to belong. That’s candy, along with game-filled club nights, to teens desperately wanting to belong, to be included. My sister got hooked on the Moonies back in the 1970s in much the same way. Young Life has absolutely no mention of discriminatory policies on their websites. Additionally, Young Life depends on financial backing from businesses and communities, telling folks that they’re trying to reach high risk kids. The kids in my community that belong to Young Life come from affluent, White families. There’s a Young Life group at the local, 99% White, prestigious private school.

    The issue is not unlike consumer fraud. Young Life is basically a bait-and-switch operation that uses deceit to swindle $$$ that could be going into church youth programs in the community. One community awarded Young Life a $15K grant. My community just gave Young Life a $5K grant. On Young Life’s website in my town is the listing of a jewelry business as a Young Life supporter. The same business just posted a congratulatory message on their Facebook page to a same sex couple that bought matching engagement and wedding rings. The business owners are Presbyterians and are totally unaware that they’re supporting an anti-gay organization.

    Christians with integrity don’t prey on kids in a dishonest fashion. Adults expect their money back and demand an accounting when they’re scammed with false promises of a product. Young Life is no different. Their marketing needs to be held accountable. It’s important to note that those protesting Young Life’s recruitment tactics are both gay and straight. They realize too late they’ve been deceived with the false promise of inclusion. Because many Christians reject the use of scripture to damn whole classes of people, whether it be based on religious belief, sexuality, race or gender, the Young Life straight folks protesting are just as betrayed to learn Young Life does in fact discriminate (remember, Young Life markets itself to kids as non-discriminatory). The organization is, in fact, exclusive. I’m surprised that traditional United Methodists on this site are supporting Young Life. The United Methodist church has been clear on its doctrines and the division that’s resulted. The only deception practiced by United Methodists was the ad campaign of “open hearts, open doors, open minds”. Like Young Life’s message of inclusiveness “ no matter who you are”, the Open Doors campaign in the United Methodist church lacked the same integrity. It was dishonest. I think traditional United Methodists might agree with me on this. It’s no different with Young Life. Those protesting want Young Life to change and be inclusive, as it says it is – but if anyone has followed their conversations on social media for the last year, they simply want You g Life to be honest. Of course, if Young Life chooses honesty, it knows it’ll lose financial support. The majority of Americans don’t believe lgbtq people should be discriminated against. It’s all about money when it boils down to it. The root of all evil.

  13. Comment by William on August 16, 2020 at 11:46 am

    No matter how many volumes are written on this, it all always circles back to the same basic question. Where is it written in Scripture that sexual relations outside those of a man and woman in marriage is permissible and not sinful?

  14. Comment by Gary Bebop on August 16, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    A malicious caricature of Young Life has been posted in the comments. I trust that we recognize the hideous nature of the smear.

  15. Comment by Thomas Brown on August 16, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Diane really needs a Snickers.

  16. Comment by Diane on August 16, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I am reminded that circuit rider preachers held Scripture in high esteem, so much so that sermons preached to enslaved people on southern plantations were meant to demonize those that dared to disobey their master. God’s wrath would be visited upon them on judgement day should they disobey this very clear reading of scripture, they were told. Disobeying one’s master was big time sin that would send Black folks to an eternity in hell. That’s what was preached by sincere, Christian people of the book. They were wrong.

    Christians have long used “the very clear reading of scripture” to exert power and control over everyone but straight, white, Christian males. You are simply playing a worn out song. It’s recognizable. You have no reason to change your tune because to do so means you lose power over others. Like the circuit rider preachers on the plantations, power is a thrill. You think you’re serving God just as surely as those circuit rider preachers did. God was on their side because scripture was absolutely clear and infallible. And scripture hasn’t changed. Its interpretation has. Your interpretation is increasingly obsolete…you are losing power to exercise control. You thrash about, beating down those who disagree. You claim it’s the devil misleading anyone who no longer believes as you do. But the devil could be in you, as much so as the devil was in those circuit rider preachers.

  17. Comment by Tom on August 16, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    As has been noted, the Bible is awfully clear about sexual relationships outside of marriage between one man and one woman.

    “Christian” organizations that have ignored this have not experienced good outcomes. Think the PCUSA, the ECUSA, the ELCA, et al.

  18. Comment by Rebecca on August 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    This is to Diane, can you give a source for your circuit rider comment regarding preaching to slaves on southern plantations? I would like to see where I could look it up. Thanks.

  19. Comment by Rebecca on August 17, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    I sort of answered my own question. Although I haven’t found any references to circuit riders preaching to slaves that they need to accept slavery, every state in the South has something on the history of the Methodist Church in southern states. So, a search such as “Methodists in Mississippi,” or “Methodists in Texas,” should bring a more balanced view of Methodism than that expressed above in the comment section. I’ve even seen examples of revisionist history on Methodism by Methodists on the web, so actual state history would be a better choice to learn something on the subject. The Methodists as a whole have nothing to be ashamed of as far as their distant past in America. Following the Bible as written is the only way to do things.

  20. Comment by William on August 19, 2020 at 7:12 am

    Have been waiting for 50+ years for a single “liberal Christian” to answer this very simple question:

    Where is it written in Scripture that sexual relations outside those of a man and woman in marriage is permissible and not sinful?

    Instead, they ALWAYS dodge the question by either changing the subject or use all sorts of tactics in order to discredit the actual clear and unequivocal Scripture as written.

  21. Comment by Diane on August 20, 2020 at 12:31 am

    The biblical understanding of marriage is not simply “one man and one woman”. Anyone who reads the Bible knows that Christian marriage is established through an exchange of property between men. A father (male) gives his daughter to another male (daughter’s intended husband) in marriage. In biblical marriage, a woman is subject to and the property of her husband. The sexual relationship in Christian marriage is that of a male partner-owner who not only seeks a help-mate, but who implants a seed in his female-property’s flowerpot or womb. The flower pot’s soil might be fertile or barren. Shame on the woman who is barren. That, too, is a biblical understanding of a woman’s role in marriage. Notably, men are not referred to as barren in the Bible unless they’re eunuchs.

    Given this biblical understanding of male-female sexual relationships within a marriage, the Bible of course does not affirm same sex marital relations. One wouldn’t expect biblical writers with such antiquated ideas to affirm same-sex marriage. Most Americans, including most Christians, don’t regard women as property of their husbands or husbands as owners of their wives. The biblical understanding of marriage with gender roles defined as male owner-woman-property are now considered antiquated and abusive to women. Once this property/owner form of biblical marriage was abandoned, it’s not hard to understand why the biblical mandate for opposite sex marriage has now been abandoned.

  22. Comment by Steve on August 20, 2020 at 8:12 am

    The primary purpose of traditional heterosexual marriage was and is to provide for the perpetuation of the species, and to protect and provide for spouses and children. Demographics is destiny; if a society doesn’t reproduce, it goes extinct. I understand marriage has had partriarchal aspects in the past, but those aspects have been systematically removed over time. The primary purpose remains valid, important and necessary. Two parent families are well known to have better outcomes than single. All things being equal, boys do better if they have a male role model and girls if they have a female role model. Life might be simpler and easier if we only took care of #1 but that’s selfish, anti social and destructive. Part of growing up in a functional family is learning how to care about and for others. There is inherent dignity and worth in committing to care for your spouse and progeny as long as you shall live. Those who don’t understand this may not have experienced this in their own lives. Even so, we do hear of people who, despite never had this in their lives, commit to provide it for their own children, a hopeful development. Its essential that other responsible caring parents serve as role models: if not during one’s childhood, as an adult, as part of an extended community. Because raising children well isn’t simple, easy or self evident.

  23. Comment by William on August 20, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Ephesians 5:21-33

    Instructions for Christian Households

    21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

  24. Comment by Diane on August 22, 2020 at 1:20 am

    With birth control, the primary purpose of marriage has ceased to be reproductive for many couples. I would agree that two-parent homes generally offer greater stability than single parent homes. Plenty of men and women have been raised in homes where the adults are of the same sex (grandmother, mother) and they turn out just fine. Children thrive in homes with routines, responsibility, love, care, and generous amounts of quality time by the adults in their lives. It’s interesting to ask a class of kindergartners about their evening bedtime routines. Almost to a child, those who have an established routine are more successful than those who don’t. Doesn’t mean those who don’t aren’t loved. Good parenting offers children security within a structured, loving environment with expectations, responsibility, praise, listening, reflection and encouragement.

    What makes one happy in life and marriage may not be a recipe for happiness for another. To each their own.

  25. Comment by Steve on August 22, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Yes, for many people, marriage is non-reproductive. This is only new thing about it is how prevalent it has become. I heard a new term recently: “breeders”, meant to be an insult to people that are in reproductive relationships. One can say to each their own, but there are consequences to a non-reproductive approach, namely, a species, society or country not being perpetuated. After fighting WWII, our country turned to replenishing the population, resulting in the baby boom. Large families well in excess of two children were common. These children were valued as being our future, a precious resource. Now, the powers that be seem to see the world as overpopulated and needing pruning. Oddly enough it is the developed west that has ended up getting pruned through the encouragement of non-reproductive relationships. As a result, those countries have relied upon immigration to maintain their populations. Of course, immigrants, assuming they absorb their host country’s culture, will presumably also adopt a non-reproductive lifestyle. In this way America has become a kind of cultural black hole, where cultures arrive only to be extinguished even as they achieve more material success. One place where we don’t see this dynamic: China, which is a rapidly rising powerhouse in large part because of its cohesive and huge population of (if I’m not mistaken) 1.6 billion. I note that China recently got rid of its one child per family rule.

  26. Comment by Diane on August 23, 2020 at 12:32 am

    People choose to have children – or not – for personal reasons. I married a Type 1 diabetic, a genetic condition that ran in his family. He died at the age of 45. He definitely did not want biological children and we talked about that before marriage, agreeing to adopt. We eventually had to choose not having children through adoption, as I was diagnosed with a chronic condition during the first few years of marriage. I suffered with tremendous fatigue, yet needed to continue teaching. My job came with good health insurance for both of us, his didn’t. He was also a melanoma cancer survivor, having had major surgery at age 19, before I met him. Would I have liked to have had children? Yes – but it just wasn’t possible.

    On the other hand, I have a dear friend who wanted a life companion and a family. He envied seeing couples walking hand in hand. He happened to be gay. He yearned for what others had and explored the possibility of marrying a woman – knowingly lying to her (he was absolutely not in the least attracted to women) to do so. He’d been raised by wonderful parents and loved being part of his church family that he was brought up in. He could not bring himself to be dishonest (some gay folks do conceal their identity, marrying someone of the opposite sex. Many such marriages end in divorce, leaving children and an unsuspecting straight spouse hurting (many such couples work at remaining supportive friends and loving parents, but still, there’s pain). So my friend finally met someone he loved and married – another man. They adopted four children, all siblings from a family where the kids’ heterosexual parents lost custody because they neglected and abused the children. Extended family members were not financially able to take the children. So my friend and his husband are raising them, but weekly take the kids for visits and family time with their biological family. They recognize the importance of maintaining family ties, the need for these kids to have stability, to be cared for and loved as a unit rather than split up in foster or separate adoptive homes. So, my friend and his husband aren’t reproducing (with a surrogate, they could do so, however) – they took in four kids from straight parents. So, I’m not worried about a dismissing population due to reproductive choices. Most folks want children, but not all. Economics probably keeps people from having children – we need to, as a country, to be more supportive of families with children. Costs a lot to raise a child and in this day and age, I don’t know how parents do it.

    This discussion started out about Young Life. As a teacher, now retired, I was fiercely protective of my students. Their parents entrusted them to my care. I don’t like Young Life’s proselytizing strategy of targeting schools, becoming familiar with school kids without parents’ knowledge or permission. Young Life volunteers may have the best of intentions while they volunteer in schools, show up at sports events, etc, but parents have a need to know their kids are not going to be intruded upon by adults with a religious or any other agenda. while their children are at school. There are other ways to proselytize that allow parents to responsibly have both knowledge and a say in their childrens’ extracurricular activities. Just my two cents (btw, my students’ parents knew my open door classroom policy – they could observe at any time without an appointment. Parents are rightfully concerned about teaching methods, classroom environment and making sure the teacher is teaching the state-prescribed curriculum and not something else).

  27. Comment by Steve on August 23, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Sounds you’ve have had your challenges and done the best you could do. I respect your willingness to share these aspects of your life. Given the amount of posting you do, I’ve often wondered if there wasn’t an interesting origin story (like they say in the comics).

    We’ll have to disagree on being concerned about birthrates. There are many possible reasons the mainlines are dying, but a common reason given is low birthrates. In fact an Episcopal bishop (Schori) famously approved of the low birthrates in an interview, saying that Episcopalians don’t take “more than their portion”. One recent sarcastic article had Bishop Curry saying that having children was the worst thing an Episcopalian could do.

    As regards Young Life personally, high school was a long time ago for me, but I remember there being flyers; if I was personally solicited I don’t remember it. (Somebody would leave Chick comics around too.) It was obvious to me that it was a Christian group, and I knew what Christianity was, having been raised Episcopalian. I didn’t look into it further; having attended church for all my childhood, I was ready for a break.

  28. Comment by Diane on August 23, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder if birthrates might go up if we gave more support to families. While I don’t have children, I don’t mind paying taxes to offer that support. Faith communities can’t do it all. I was once a kid, too.

  29. Comment by Ron Stephens on January 17, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    I’m not nearly so interested in Young Life having same-sex partners in staff positions as I am in Young Life affirming the lives and the presence of Gay teens or young adults who are attracted to their programs. Young Life is active in our part of Mexico with young, wonderfully active staff members, and I have no idea whether they actively promote the program to Gay youth. It’s my hope that they will “actively” affirm those Gay or Lesbian youth that show up at their program.

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