Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . Elie Wiesel famously wrote “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” While I understand Sojourners unwillingness to “take sides” on the issue of LGBT inclusion, they should also understand that there are soul-shattering repercussions to such decisions. [Jim] Wallis and [Shane] Claiborne are very well aware that there are countless gays and lesbians doing the work of justice, feeding the hungry, giving shelter to the homeless, ministering in refugee camps, protecting victims of all kinds of violence. They know these LGBT people, love them, and, at least privately, support them.

But I’m not sure they realize the spiritually damaging results of their unwillingness to be more forthright and prophetic about their support of gays and lesbians. So many religious gays and lesbians have to operate “under the radar,” and keep silent about their personal lives in order to answer God’s calling. (Check out the list of bloggers on Wallis’ “God’s Politics” blog. Can you find an out gay person among them?) By refusing to take sides, men like Wallis and Claiborne only reinforce the need to hide for the sake of serving the kingdom of God.

While it is commendable that Sojourners seeks to defend gay people against physical or legal harm, their unwillingness to fight for their spiritual protection fails to get at the root of most gay and lesbian discrimination. Most homophobic and homo-hating attitudes in society have their root in the religious belief that same-sex relationships do not have the same potential for goodness and holiness as heterosexuality. One need only look at Uganda to realize the violent, if not deadly, effects that anti-gay evangelical efforts can have on the safety and peace of LGBT persons. . . .

– Jamie L. Manson
"Tainted Love: The Cost of Sojourners’ Refusal
to Take Sides on LGBT Issues
Religion Dispatches
May 14, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
John Shore Responds to Jim Wallis of Sojourners
The Same Premise
The Same People

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