Not really sure how to feel about this one. On one end we are glad that churches are encouraging kids to become more accepting and welcoming of LGBT+ people. But on the other hand, we are wondering if this game is really the way to go.
Pink News and The Advocate reported this slightly bizarre event that occurred in America. The Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church which is located at Columbia University recently launched a new game for kids to play. And the app consists of six games for them to enjoy. One among which is an LGBTQ+ inclusive game.
Let’s talk about the LGBTQ+ inclusive game. In the game, the children are asked to pick out the avatars and style their avatars anyway they want to. One of the options to dress the avatar is a gender-nonconforming attire.
The children then can get their avatars married. The children can marry couples of different races, ethnicity and gender identity. And yes, this means homosexual marriages are possible too.
After the child is done picking the pair, the avatar couple is wed by a minister. The couple then goes onto greeting the public under a shower of petals. Also, fireworks explode in the background.
Pretty sweet of a game, isn’t it?
So what made a Church with millions of followers lean towards inclusivity and diversity? Why did they have to create it all?
Well, according to the press release sent to The Advocate, the aim was “a joyful experience to help engage and educate kids in the beauty of the accepting and welcoming the love of God,”. This was also to demonstrate the “radically welcoming inclusivity of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.”
The game could help children become more accepting of diversity and engage in inclusivity in their daily lives. The game could also help them create avatars to express themselves. But what is really great to witness is the complete support of the church. Even the Bishop is all for it!
MYNS Bishop is THRILLED!
The MNYS Bishop Paul Egensteiner stated that he felt “thrilled” to launch this app for the kids. His opinion about the app is nothing but positive. He says, “This new innovative app will aid the youth in expanding their Christian education and developing a humanly perspective of the Gospel,”.
The Metropolitan New York Synod’s Children’s App, allows kids to do more than just LGBTQ+, race, and ethnicity inclusive weddings. Among the six games, one of them allows the kids to paint a stained-glass window of Mary and the baby Jesus. The other game allows them to read animated versions of Bible stories. The kids also get to play the church piano through this app.
This seems like a smart way to get kids to engage with Church-related content.
The synod of the Church also gave a thumbs up to this! They released a statement that stated their approval, and believe that it can preach the importance of being welcoming.
“The new app will allow kids to participate in challenges that help them learn and understand the importance of being culturally, ethnically and LGBTQIA+ welcoming,”.
The statement had some more to say. “It is only within the last decades that this church has begun to understand in new ways the need of same-gender oriented individuals to seek relationships of lifelong companionship and commitment as well as public accountability and legal support for those commitments.”
But as much as we hoped this was supportedly whole-heartedly, it is not. Many people of the Church disapprove of the app.
“Although at this time this church lacks consensus on this matter, it encourages all people to live out their faith in the local and global community of the baptised with profound respect for the conscience-bound belief of the neighbour.
“This church calls for mutual respect and for guidance that seeks the good of all.”
Sticking to the brighter side of things, we are glad that the app will be available for the children to use. Religion and LGBTQ+ have often been on opposing sides. With a gesture like this, one can hope that religion and faith can be accepting of all its people. A good number of LGBTQ+ people become distant from religion and faith because they are not accepted by it.
The LGBTQ+ centric wedding game might seem a little strange but we are glad that the Churches are finally opening up to the LGBTQ+ community. And since the target audience of these apps is kids, there are fewer stereotypes and stringent beliefs to tackle. It will be easier to normalise diversity with the game’s increased interaction in comparison with upfront teaching, which is only an added bonus.
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