A Tennessee church is making headlines because it allegedly ousted Detective Kat Cooper’s family after learning that Ms. Cooper was gay. In response, an online activist has taken over a Facebook account created in the church’s name, posting biblical verses and images that promote tolerance to the page’s followers.
The Ridgedale Church of Christ, of Chattanooga, Tenn., reportedly expelled the family because they stood by their daughter as she fought for benefits to be extended to same-sex partners within the city where she works, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. Betabeat has contacted the church and is awaiting a call back.
The Facebook user–who didn’t want to reveal his or her gender so we’re going with she–saw that the page had been created in 2010 and had no followers. She clicked “claim as administrator,” and began posting away. The page is now gaining some followers who support the activist and some who are pretty pissed about it, making for some spirited debate.
For example, she posted an infographic displaying all the ways the Bible defines marriage–between a man and a woman; between a man, his wives and his concubines; between a rapist and his victim; and so on. One Facebook follower wrote underneath, “Whoever is doing this you really need to be careful. Just saying. Will pray for your soul”, to which the activist responded, “You’d better pray hard, homie.”
The activist is happy to see such discussion–”I did it because I knew that people who supported the church’s actions would flock to their aid online in social media and I wanted to make sure to give voice to dissenting viewpoints,” she said.
She has “a legitimate background in academic biblical studies,” she said, and is trying to advocate “accuracy when it comes to the way the Bible is portrayed.” When asked why she took interest in this case, the activist said, “All of these kinds of cases (i.e., cases where churches do not outwardly live the nature of the very Gospel they preach) are interesting to me. The rampant cognitive dissonance that they justify within themselves is mind boggling.”
The activist claims the Bible “does not address our modern understanding of human relationships–sexual and non-sexual alike,” and says the church’s supporters are ignorant of what’s actually in the Bible. “They are usually blinded by nostalgia (largely from Sunday school/Christian upbringings) and myopia,” she says.
She isn’t sure if Ridgedale knows about the Facebook page, and she hasn’t heard from them. Whether or not her hijinks are attracting notice from church higher-ups, the biblical bandit is “having a lot fun,” she said. “I enjoy a good game of ‘shock the Evangelical.’”