When evangelicals take hostages

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Now if you are unwilling to serve The Lord, choose this day whom you will serve….
….but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:15

This is Spandana. We consider her to be the newest member of our family. Mike and I made the choice to sponsor her yesterday as World Vision sponsorships were dropped by the thousands because World Vision had announced that they would no longer discriminate against married gay couples for employment. Many joined the call to stand by these children and care for them as evangelicals took them as hostages in a culture war. So vitriolic is the hatred for the LGBTQ community, they would rather let children, families, and communities starve and die before treating a gay person or couple as human beings.

Just a few hours ago, my heart sank once again as World Vision made another announcement. They have reversed their position on discriminating against gay individuals. In what I am sure is an attempt to slow or stop the bleeding, World Vision caved to hostage-takers. As much as it pains me to say it, I get it. They don’t want any more children to suffer because of bigotry in the name of God.

But… GODDAMMIT, EVANGELICALS! WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. What is wrong with you people? What is it about the LGBTQ community that scares you so much and stirs up so much vile hatred? I can only assume it’s ignorance, as ignorance breeds fear and hatred. Stop hiding behind what you think scripture says. (And seriously, it’s the Gospel of Jesus, not the gospel of Paul.) Start loving people. People! Not an “issue”. Not a “political platform”. People. People who are created in God’s image. People who have just as much right as you do to love and serve God. People who shouldn’t be prevented from caring for the poor and showing God’s love to others simply because who they are attracted to and love makes you go “eww”.
And if our God is really a God who would call what you have done righteous and holy, then I want nothing to do with that God. But I don’t think that is so. Jesus said that if we have seen Him, then we have seen the Father. In Jesus, this active hatred did (does) not live. So, as you call yourselves followers of Christ, why do you let it live in you?

I have to admit, like so many others, I felt betrayed when I heard news of World Vision’s reversal. The thing that gives me hope, though, are the number of people who have pledged to stand by their child(ren). As disheartened as Mike and I are by everything that has happened in the past two days, we would never dream of letting go of Spandana. She is not a pawn to be sacrificed. She is now a part of our family. We can’t wait to interact with her and watch her grow.

All of this brought to Mike’s mind the words for the service of Holy Baptism within the Lutheran church. I too, feel they are appropriate.

In Holy Baptism our gracious heavenly Father liberates us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; in the waters of Baptism we are reborn children of God and inheritors of eternal life. By water and the Holy Spirit we are made members of the Church which is the body of Christ. As we live with him and with his people, we grow in faith, love, and obedience to the will of God.

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A clouded vision

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Yesterday, Christianity Today published a story in which the President of World Vision, Richard Stearns, announced that they would now allow the hire of gay individuals who are single and abstinent, (the same applies to their straight counterparts) and married.

Right on cue, the evangelical community starting freaking out, as they so often do. Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, issued a response. It’s so laughable and insulting; I’m not going to waste my energy arguing against the statement. (Also, others, such as Justin Lee at the Gay Christian Network, have previously articulated much better responses in his blog and book than I ever could.)

Such diatribes seem rote by now; it’s honestly hard to summon the proper amount of rage. I mostly just want to pat them on the head and say, Oh, honey, (especially since stress and rage bring on the fibro flares.) But then THEN THEN, I see things like this.

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I am consumed by a flurry of emotions: rage; grief; indignation; embarrassment. It’s really hard to form the right words in response to this kind of asshattery. This morning I wept, grieving over the reality that there are those who would rather discontinue supporting a child/family/community in need because they don’t like the people who could possibly be providing that support. How dare they? You know what this tells me? It tells me that, to these people, these children and communities are disposable. They are casualties in a culture war over who people are attracted to and love. And to gay Christians who want to work within a Christian organization to help these children and communities, it says that their time, talents, compassion, and existence isn’t good enough to help these disposable children.

Now, I know that’s not what these donors will believe they are doing and conveying. As one of the commenters said, they don’t want a “false Gospel” spread to those who World Vision helps. I may be mistaken, but I don’t recall the Good News of Christ having anything to do with sexual orientation. The work of the Kingdom was feeding the poor, clothing the naked, healing the sick, taking care of widows and children. Jesus didn’t require a résumé of His disciples, which included a line item on sexual orientation, before calling them. He didn’t make sure that someone was worthy of help, and that those he called to help were worthy of giving it. He simply said, Follow me.

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