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Summerside Community Church in Prince Edward Island, Canada is rightly being criticized for promoting an anti-LGBTQ event designed to help “protect” kids during Pride Month, implying that there’s something those children need protection from.

In a now-deleted post on their social media accounts, the evangelical Christian church advertised a webinar between Pastor Kevin Cavanaugh and “former lesbian” and conversion torture advocate Wilna Van Beek. Giving her a platform would be bad enough, but the church went even further by promising attendees they would learn how to “protect their children from what’s happening during pride month.”

What’s happening during Pride Month? What do children need protection from? Those things weren’t stated, but the implication was something very, very evil. It shouldn’t escape anyone’s attention that the flyer said “Be Better.” The church isn’t taking its own advice.

But the people running this church are so cowardly that they are still refusing to elaborate on the record about what they meant to say. They think their Jesus-approved wink wink campaign is the only message they need to send.

“We understand that, you know, people come from different different views of life. We understand that,” said [Pastor Tracy] Linkletter. “But we do also understand that, like, we’re Christian, so we trust God’s design for sexuality and gender. And that’s what we stand on, is his design. But we welcome everyone to hear Jesus’s life-saving and life-changing message.”

Linkletter wouldn’t specify what she means by “God’s design on sexuality and gender,” or share her church’s views on conversion therapy.

“There’s just so much around the issue of conversion therapy that I’d prefer not to comment any further on that,” said Linkletter. 

I can help her out. Christians like her think gay people in same-sex relationships are sexual predators who are destined for an eternity of torture. They believe LGBTQ people are coming after their children. They believe transgender people don’t exist. They believe every piece of bigoted anti-LGBTQ propaganda, none of which has a basis in science or reality. And because no one at this church has any sense of decency, they provide platforms for people who have objective made the lives of other gay people worse. How much worse? “Conversion therapy” was literally banned in P.E.I. in 2019 and deemed illegal across the country in 2021.

“We’re a loving community,” the lying Linkletter later added.

The truth is children are in far more danger inside that church than they ever would be at a Pride event. Just listen to any of the exvangelicals who have spent years speaking out about how much harm they endured because they were raised with traditional evangelical beliefs about sex, identity, and gender.

This church only wants to listen to bigots, not the people whose lives they’re ruining. They can try to delete the flyer from social media, but refusing to address anything they did wrong tells you a lot more about the utter lack of compassion exhibited by this church’s leaders.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.