Ever since Jeremy Roloff's use of gay slurs and perceived mocking of gay people, a spotlight has been put on the Roloffs and their attitude towards gay people. Another event that drew more attention to this subject, was the fact that Amy Roloff on her official website, included a link to the controversial Christian organization "Focus on the Family" - which is arguably most famous for their anti-gay stance and the millions of dollars they spent campaigning against issues such as gay people's right to marry. However, a couple of months ago when Amy's website was updated, the Focus on the Family link disappeared and replaced by her newly formed Charity Foundation website link.
Some people previously assumed that given the Roloffs message of inclusion portrayed on the show and statements from Matt such as "I wasn't put on this earth to hide in a closet and be ashamed of who I am" -obviously very relatable to gay people or family/friends of gay people -- some figured the Roloffs were not "anti-gay". Some Christian fans of the Roloffs, embrace the Roloffs perceived opposition to homosexually and are surprised there is any debate about it - after all the Bible says it is an abomination in the eyes of God.
This issue is compounded by the fact that the Roloffs are public speakers regarding diversity and inclusion. They are invited and paid to speak about those topics. Amy has spoken at "Social Justice" seminars where the message is one of acceptance and equality, and included another speaker who was gay or lesbian.
It's a very heated topic that surfaces in many discussions about the Roloffs when their fans get together to discuss them. About a month ago, in the comments to one of our items, some people claimed that the Roloffs church advocates that gay people can and should be cured. That is a rather controversial stance.
We received several emails from readers of the blog. Some were upset that it was said. Some fellow Christians were unhappy that it was even in question. Others were simply curious if it was true? Do the Roloffs believe that gay people should be "de-gayed"?
We always aim to clear up fact from rumor so here goes:
If the question is: In the past, has the Church that the Roloffs attend, invited speakers to their Church who teach that gay people can and should be 'de-gayed'? The answer is yes.
Two things that are the connection are the Harvest Community Church and Sy Rogers.
Viewers know the Harvest Community Church from the show, it was where they held the memorial for Mike Detjen (and for readers of the blog, it was also the church of the Glencoe High School student who committed suicide last month).
The Harvest Community Church has a public fan page on Facebook.
Amy is a "fan" of HCC. Well, it used to be visible, at one time Amy had her real Facebook page not really public, but at least visible. Now it is hidden. Anyhow, you can see that the Harvest Community Church held their summer picnic at Roloff Farms. They have a link to these photos, although I believe this was when the Roloffs themselves were on their vacation through Europe.
The Christian speaker welcomed by the Harvest Community Church is the controversial Sy Rogers. He has the Sy Rogers Christian ministries. He says he is an "ex-gay" who teaches that gay people can be cured with the help of Jesus.
"Ex-residents claim that to help in Hillsong's endeavour to rid themselves of homosexuals, Hillsong has gone so far as to enlist the services of Sy Rogers, an American 'ex-gay' (now reformed) married Christian who spoke at their MegaChurch last year. Hillsong uses Roger's Youtube show Turnaround, in which he claims "Happily, homosexuality can be turned around. Homosexuality is out of tune with religion; it is not what God planned for human sexuality."
You can see by this schedule listing in the past, Sy Rogers is popular with Portland area Churches and Harvest Community Church.
Sy Rogers returns to Portland
On April 3, Sy will be delivering the Sunday
morning message at Harvest Community Church in Hillsboro
When this issue was first mentioned, the blog heard from some of the fellow members of Harvest Community Church who claimed they attended Mr. Rogers' seminar with the Roloffs when he was invited to their Church and sang his praises.
I hope that clears up some fact from fiction on this issue.
To give you an idea of what Sy Rogers is all about and what the Roloffs church embrace in speakers they invite to their church, you can check out this video. I have to say...this is NOT a Saturday Night Live sketch. It might seem that way, but it is not. It is the speaker the Roloffs have seen speak and their church welcomes.
To be fair, that video was some time ago, and this a more recent Sy Rogers seminar. He seems to have become a little smoother...perhaps this is more along the lines of what the Roloffs were treated to when they saw him speak in their Church?
If you want to hear a different perspective on Christianity and homosexuality from someone who has been seen on Little People, Big World, watch Jen Montzingo's very recent video blog and find out why she says sometimes she doesn't want to tell people that she is a Christian. (Jen comes into the video at 1:48, she starts with a clip from the TV show Grey's Anatomy).