|Why Sojourners is against the tide of justice|
Now that Brian McLaren, the foremost progressive, has wade into the debate on Sojourners response to the Ad, it must be an issue that is causing much tension about how progressive and how far one go whilst maintaining what was gained. However, this issue will not go away rather intensify over the next few years.
Mclaren's reply can be summarized as:-
McLaren was indirectly stating that the focus on poverty should come first, and let others be the lead. However, nobody was calling Sojourners to be "outspoken" but to simply recognize that Gay people should be welcome. An Ad placed in the magazine should not be indicative of the position of Sojourners, and by banning a rather mild Ad calling for the church to permit gays to sit at the pew, is tantamount to the rejection of gay people by Sojourners.
Gays can't be so blatantly sacrificed by Sojourners for political expediency as to hold absolute and worship the god of the coalition with the evangelicals and catholics built up over the decades.
The article "A Statement on Sojourners’ Mission and LGBTQ Issues" by Jim Wallis also seem to argue that the GLBT issue is one of the many wedge issues that Sojourners should not be in. However, this issue was created by the Christian Right as a wedge issue to stir up the Christian community with gays as a scapegoat. Hence, this issue goes to the very heart of Christianity, how it can be an agent of harm, injustice, and cruelty to millions. However good the coalition of evangelicals, and catholics one may have, you can't be seen as "moral" or people with a valid faith beliefs if your hands are full of innocent blood.
The Christian faith are the main villains and the gay community has becoming a sin for the Christians. There is no point in fostering a "honest, fair, and loving dialogue among Christians" as Sojourners wanted to in this issue because too much blood has been spilled, to many people have died, lives destroyed, and love denied. It is not about dialogogue, it is about the law of recompense, that justice against those who perpetrated these crimes of inhumanity against the GLBT people. It has lasted for a 1000 years, sanctified by the church no less, and the time for discussion is perhaps over.
"LGBTQ issues may not be our primary calling as our work against poverty and hunger, and for peace" said Jim Wallis which is not mindfull of the fact that these issues are on two separate planes, and should never be grouped together, for rejecting gays is just like rejecting a person simply because he was born a certain race, colour, religion, and sex. All whether straight or gay, male or female, Christians or Muslims suffers from poverty, hunger and long for peace. If we do not include the GLBT people then we are denying their basic humanity and worth, let alone considering that they too especially suffer from poverty, hunger and need peace after being rejected by society and hunted down/persecuted in some countries by Christians.
Sojourners was vary of issues such as Gay marriage etc dividing the church, which is not insightful because the church is at the forefront of persecuting gays! It is like the leven in the bread, and once hyprocrisy sets in, the sin against the GLBT community will birth death and destruction in the church and will divide it whether Sojourners like it or not.
Sojourners wanted to concentrate on "moral budget, the urgent need to end the war in Afghanistan, and the leadership we are offering on commitments like immigration reform" but failed to understand that these issues has roots in the rise of the Christian Right. The budget explosion started with President Bush who was put there by the Christian Right, the wars in Iraq and Afganistan was iniated by him. They had used Gays as the scapegoat in the 1990s and 2000s as a wedge issue to built up support and political activism amongst christians. Therefore, without addressing the GLBT issue, we are forgetting history nor addressing the real cause.
The bible calls us not to stop justice flowing down the river, and GLBT rights is such a major issue and a road block because gays have been suffering for a thousand years, as a people group ill treated. Just because Sojourners are trying to avoid the issue doesn't mean much because the flood and weight of history and the march for social justice is in the side of history. Women have their rights, the Black community had theirs, and the march of history is now moving forward.
There is no choice for Sojourners because the rising waters will come and they either float on top of it and go with the flow of where God is taking us, or decide to stay where they are, bold down for the storm, and be drowned by it.
Its not that "Change is coming even for the Progressives" but because the Progressives has not been changing fast enough that the storm waters are now lapping at their door step.
In the Christian Faith, sometimes, we must "die" and loose all, as to gain everything, just as Christ laid down His life for us. What Sojourners may loose in this issue, will over time be a great blessing for it if it decides to step forth boldly into the unknown by faith and hope in the love of God.
Jesus is coming back, He is coming back for Gays too.....