When Gosford Anglican Church’s Father Rod Bower put up a gay affirming message on his church’s billboard he probably didn’t expect to make headlines as far away as the United States and Canada.
But when he posted a photo of the billboard on Facebook, which read, ‘Dear Christians, some people are gay – get over it – love God,’ on 24 July it quickly went viral, with over 7,200 people ‘liking’ the photo and over 3,700 sharing it.
It’s now estimated that over 200,000 have seen the original photo on Facebook, with potentially millions seeing it after it was shared across the media.
Bower told The Daily Telegraph that he had been overwhelmed by the response to the billboard.
‘Normally one of my posts might get a few thousand views, but nothing like this,’ Bower told the newspaper.
‘This has gone international now – there are people liking it all over the world and it is just a little sign in Gosford.
‘I think it shows that it’s an important issue and that a lot of people have spiritual questions that are not being met by traditional forms of Christianity.’
Bower said he had put the slogan on the billboard to show people that there was a diversity of views when it came to human sexuality within the church.
‘The conservative view is not the only view,’ Bower said.
‘Marriage equality is a hot issue at the moment and it seems the church is struggling to get over this issue.
‘I am reflecting on what the spirit of God might be saying in a modern world.’
The slogan, which borrows from UK LGBT rights group Stonewall’s ‘Some people are gay, get over it!’ campaign is just one of many controversial messages that Bower has erected on his church’s billboard including, ‘God is not a Christian,’ and ‘Just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s true, just because it is in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s right.’