“The Way of Openness” is a short documentary on a conversation series featuring a range of Los Angeles ministers including Hollywood Adventist pastor Ryan J. Bell. The conversations allowed these ministers to reflect on and share stories with each other in the aftermath of California’s Proposition 8 initiative. Prop 8 is under review at the Supreme Court this month via the case Hollingsworth v. Perry.
While we often hear institutional statements from churches and denominations about sexuality, we haven’t heard much from the point of view of ministers who had and still have active congregations in LA. I appreciated hearing from people across the spectrum on how damaging the acrimonious environment was, pre- and post-vote, and what the city’s way forward might be.
Dr. Neil Thomas, Founders Metropolitan Community Church, Los Angeles: Most of us go into a conversation wanting to win. And when you come to the dawning that you don’t need to win, that there’s nothing to win… When you and I rub shoulders with each other, we realize that we have so much more in common that we could actually work together on that would change the face of this world.
Fr. Alexei Smith, Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese: And the opportunity for us is to realize that, and work to set aside certain dogmatic differences… and to work together for the common good. Think of what a marvelous effect it would have on the city of Los Angeles alone.
The dialogue and documentary were both sponsored by Los Angeles’ Human Relations Commission and the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.