This is a post I prepared for Reconciling Ministries Blog. I wanted to get it up today since Rachel Held Evans posted a link to my Evolving in Monkey Town review.
If you're new- Hi! Leave a comment & share your thoughts.
"The Friendly Atheist" has some words for Christians who support LGBTQ equality- DO something, or you're part of the problem. Popular blogger & author, Hemant Mehta, issued his challenge in response to the internet buzz surrounding Christians who attended a Gay Pride Parade with the message: I'm Sorry!
Last month The Marin Foundation went to Chicago Pride to apologize for the harm done to LGBTQs by Christians. Their signs and shirts made an impact. One beautiful story describing the reconciliation unfolding between a marcher & an "apologist" made the rounds on facebook & the blogs, often soliciting the comment,"brought tears to my eyes."
While many saw this as an encouraging step, some people weren't buying it.
Mehta, in particular, was skeptical. His impression is that Christians are not supportive of The Gays; words are cheap, let's see action. Reactions in his comment section were all over the board. Some challenged his take on this, others agreed with him, & many added their unique perspective.
Last week, when Hawaii's Governor vetoed Civil Unions at the last minute, he used it as a springboard for this challenge:
"I want to see any Christian who finds this despicable to say so. Blog about it. Tell your Facebook friends. Tell your church members. Call out anyone who disagrees. If you don’t, you’re part of the problem."
He has a point.
Christians who are for The Gays but hide their support under a bushel, aren't really helping. They're maintaining the status quo. Which is harming people.
The crazy thing is, there is a lot of support out there for LGBTQs among Christians. We just (mostly) don't hear about it. Many speak up, but not enough.
If you are Christian and you are LGBTQ-affirming, I believe God has a plan for you. There are people who would like to be more supportive, but don't know how to square that desire with what they've been taught. There are hurting individuals who feel hated & abandoned by the "Church Family" that raised them. They need to hear from you. They WANT to hear from you.
Are they hearing from you?
(If not, your silence is speaking volumes.)
Take this opportunity. Accept The Friendly Atheist's Challenge!
Make your voice heard. Start a conversation. Involve your friends. Talk with your fellow church-goers & clergy. Reach out to your "virtual village" online. Repost support. Leave a comment here, there, everywhere.
Don't let your silence speak for you.
Tina Ciampa is a life-long UMCer who believes The Church will be one step closer to living out "on Earth as it is in Heaven" when it fully realizes the dignity and worth of all people. She relishes the irony that we will get there even faster thanks to the prodding of an atheist.
She blogs at www.hillsideslide.blogspot.com & would love to hear from you on facebook.
So, what are you doing? Is it hard to speak up on this issue in particular? What other issues come to mind? Do they share commonalities? If so, what? What can you do today? (feel free to post a link or share this!)