(Photo: Catherine Swan)
Christians behind a pro-gay website meant to reach out to LGBT youth that is supported by Dan Savage are OK with the controversial gay activist being honored by an atheist organization.
People behind the NALT Christians Project (NALT short for "Not All Like That") site are supportive of Savage receiving the "Emperor Has No Clothes Award" from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
John Shore, author and NALT Christians Project cofounder, told The Christian Post that just because Savage was getting the award from the FFRF does not make him anti-religious.
"As Dan has said time and time again, he is not anti-religion. He is anti-hate; he is against religion being used as a tool of subjugation against gay people," said Shore.
"Everyone should feel the same way--and especially anyone who purports to follow the Prince of Peace."
Shore also told CP that he did not believe this would "compromise the NALT Christians Project."
"People understand the difference between being anti-religion and being anti-religious bigotry," said Shore.
Earlier this year, Shore, Savage, and several others launched the NALT Christians Project, which features video testimonies from Christians supporting gay rights.
The NALT website has described it as a "joint venture" between Truth Wins Out, Johnshore.com, and Savage's It Gets Better Project.
Supporters like Shore call the site a much needed way to witness to LGBT youth and the community at large. Critics of the site argue that it denigrates and misrepresents those who believe homosexuality is a sin.
Wayne Besen, executive director of the group Truth Wins Out, told The Christian Post that he saw no conflict between "Savage receiving this award and our project."
"In fact, it's a blessing. All Christians should support genuine liberty and oppose theocracy. America is a nation with a Christian majority. But it is not -- and never was -- a Christian nation," said Besen.
"Dan Savage is an emissary and a bridge between the two groups. He has the credibility to tell non-believers that there are many wonderful Christians who are pro-gay and we should give them a chance."
Last weekend Savage received an honor from the Wisconsin-based FFRF at the atheist organization's 36th annual convention held at the Concourse Hotel in Madison.
Scheduled happenings at the convention included honoring various figures for their expressions of nonbelief, a "Saturday Non-Prayer Breakfast" and a "Moment of Bedlam" rather than "Moment of Silence" wherein participants make noise for "freethought."
In the past, Savage has been criticized for being hypocritical regarding his anti-bullying efforts, with some arguing that the anti-bullying campaigner bullies those he disagrees with.
At a conference hosted by The National Scholastic Press Association, for example, Savage trashed the Bible and verbally attacked some Christian students, prompting them to walkout. The NSPA would dub the actions "inappropriate" and Savage later issued an apology.
Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for Policy Studies at the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, told The Christian Post that Savage is duping those involved in NALT.
"The fact that the radical atheist group the Freedom From Religion Foundation would give an award to Dan Savage simply illustrates the irony of his starting the 'Not All Like That' campaign of professed Christians who want to distance themselves from social conservatives," said Sprigg.
"Savage clearly has nothing but contempt for Christianity, and any Christians who participate in any initiative that involves him are simply allowing themselves to be used as dupes."