For once, being late to the blogging party has actually worked in my favor. I really thought about jumping on the bandwagon and writing something about World Vision’s announcement that it would no longer discriminate against LGBTQ people in its hiring policies. But there was another piece that had a claim on my attention, which is pretty much the way I wanted it. Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of having a cow every time some evangelical group decides to do the right thing and join us in the 21st century. Because of my delay, I thought I’d missed out on this one, that the time to write about it was past. But, the fine folks at World Vision fixed all that Wednesday by changing their mind. That’s right, they decided they’re not going to hire LGBTQ folks. Take a wild guess as to why.
If you guessed that evangelicals lost their minds and threatened to pull their contributions, you’d be right. Of course, the folks in the pews didn’t come up with this rather ugly slice of hate; they got their marching orders from people like Al Mohler, Denny Burk and Franklin Graham, who said on the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio show “It’s obvious World Vision doesn’t believe in the Bible…I am sickened and heartbroken.” Surprisingly, I actually agree with Graham…, sort of. There is someone in this equation who doesn’t believe in the Bible, but I don’t think it’s World Vision. Graham and all the other evangelicals who got their panties in such a wad are another story.
In a post on his Edges of Faith blog, David Henson said “Evangelicals have a hate problem when it comes to homosexuality. Period. I know that’s extreme language. But it’s true. We can disagree over an issue and still find common ground in aiding the very poor and disenfranchised. We can work side-by-side in the work of Christ and not agree on every single marginal issue. And homosexuality, as it relates to the Bible’s message and meaning, is marginal. There are 31,000 verses. Only around 8 or 9 can really be said to have anything to do with homosexuality. (None are actually about homosexuality — monogamous, committed relations — as we understand it.)” I couldn’t agree more.
While homosexuality may be a marginal issue, feeding hungry people isn’t. In fact,working for justice (i.e. feeding the hungry, caring for the poor, etc) is the central is the central theme of the Bible and can be found everywhere from the Old Testament law to the New Testament Epistles. The truth is, if Graham and company truly believed the Bible, they wouldn’t hold a gun to the head of folks who are doing exactly what Jesus commanded, forcing them to exclude whole groups of people (something Jesus never commanded) based on a few misinterpreted scriptures.