If you listen to OPB you’ve heard the recent promos for the upcoming visit from Ira Glass, my beloved host of This American Life to Portland, Oregon. But the really weird thing is WHERE he’s reading. New Hope Community Church? Say what?
I know who New Hope Community Church is. I listened to their pastor speak out in favor of Measure 36, eventually succeeding in making my marriage void as he and his church believed—and worked hard so that others would too—marriage was only between one man and one woman. And it’s New Hope Community Church who is one of many churches right now actively seeking signatures against Oregon’s newly passed laws of civil unions and protections against discrimination.
So what’s wrong with this picture? I love Oregon Public Broadcasting, and I love Ira Glass, but there’s no way I’m walking into a church that doesn’t accept me for who I am, and who works against me, to hear him. I just can’t do that. And Oregon Public Broadcasting? They evidently can do that no problem, and are paying a pretty penny for the use of the venue. Yep, they’re paying New Hope, a place that is actively and monetarily working to encourage discrimination, for the use of their venue for the wonderfully inclusive and pro-LGBT Ira Glass to speak.
Come on. This is Portland, Oregon, home to a plethora of colleges, theaters, and even welcoming congregations, and you’re telling me there’s nothing else available? Yes, that’s exactly what they’re saying. According to John Bell, OPB’s Associate Director of Membership, New Hope was the only space available. I really don’t buy that one bit. Word is there are plenty of other places available that night. SSsshhh, no one will mind. Well, I do mind, and I won’t support it. And do you think Ira Glass would really support that if he knew?
I say we find out. Perhaps we should all give his booking agent a call and let him know what you think about Ira Glass speaking at an active anti-LGBT church in Portland, Oregon. That’s (e-mail removed: they've changed the venue!). Or perhaps This American Life’s home at Chicago Public Broadcasting: (phone number removed: they've changed the venue!)
While OPB seems to think this is no big deal, I hope their speaker, the wonderfully inclusive and affirming Ira Glass, may just well disagree with them.
About New Hope -New Hope Church gave $5,000 to get Measure 36 on the ballot (thanks to public records via the Secretary of State’s office), and Pastor Cotton preached from the pulpit in support of this measure that wrote discrimination into our state constitution;
-New Hope is currently actively recruiting signatures to petitions to get on the ballot referendums to oppose our recently passed anti-discrimination and civil union initiatives. This is a church organizing against the basic human rights of Oregon’s LGBTQ community: places to live and work, and protections regardless of sexual orientation.
About This American Life and Ira Glass
-This American Life started in 1995 in Chicago. It went national in early 1996 and in the years since, it's won a lot of awards—the Peabody, the duPont-Columbia, the Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club, to name a few. Ira Glass, the host of the show, was named best radio host in the country by Time Magazine. And the American Journalism Review declared that the show is at "the vanguard of a journalistic revolution."
The program is on more than 500 public radio stations across the country. They say 1.7 million people listen to us on the radio each week, which sometimes is hard to imagine. It's probably airing this weekend on a station near you.
The show has featured many GLBTQ voices, including two of my favorite writers, David Sedaris and Dan Savage.
- Ira Glass started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at National Public Radio's Washington headquarters. Over the course of the next 17 years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: he was a tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing every week or two for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in November of 1995.
About the Event -As a supporting and contribution event, OPB is proudly presenting Ira Glass, Sunday, October 7, 2007, 7pm. $28. Ira will talk about the new season of his Showtime series, his public radio show and the release of his new book, The New Kings of Non-Fiction.Welcome to all of the visitors from LiveJournal today!
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For more in-depth info and juicy e-mails about the topic, visit the awesome work Amy has done over at The Portland Mercury.