An Open Letter to Sojourners

I fully intended to write something about Harold Camping and his followers that, while it had a serious point, had it’s fair share of snark and humor.  I laid that aside after watching a video posted by Matthew Paul Turner titled The Power of Words.  I strongly recommend that you take a few minutes, click the link and watch that video.  Go ahead, I’ll wait…,

See my dilemma?  Who can be a total smart-ass after watching that?  Okay, so the picture of the thinking chimp means I’m recovering, but still.

Dear Sojourners;

I love you guys, I really do.  You’ve given me fodder for my blog, and I’ve cited your articles in quite a few.  I really respect the work you’ve done for the poor, for peace, for the environment.  Whenever you guys posted a link, I’ve always gone to it, knowing that, even if I don’t agree with it, it’ll still be worth reading.  I truly believe in the work you’re doing.  All of which makes your decision on the Believe Out Loud campaign that much harder to stomach.

 I understand that you have to walk a fine line when it comes to anything dealing with LBGT issues.  I realize that you have several, rather shaky coalitions that could broken if you came out boldly for full inclusion of gay people.  I get that I really do.  I understand that you have to operate in the real world, that you have people depending on you for their livelihood; that there are people who, without your assistance, would be devastated.  I know you have projects across the world that do much good, projects that require funding and that you feel the need to protect that funding.  Knowing all that, I have to say declining to run the ad was a dick move.  Your protestations that you want to promote dialogue on this subject, that accepting advertising equals supporting the cause and that taking a side in this issue would subvert everything you’ve tried to do on it come off as chicken shit.  You may have protected your funding and ensured the continuing existence of those shaky coalitions, but you damaged something else: the support of us who believe in the full, uncompromised inclusion of the LGBT community.

Mr. Wallis, I read your response “A Statement on Sojourners’ Mission and LGBTQ Issues” and, to be honest, I expected better of the man who went head-to-head with Glenn Beck.  I found it mealy-mouthed and evasive.  As I said earlier, I realize that you have to operate in the real world and that requires certain compromises; compromises that make you sick to your stomach, but are required for the greater good.  I’d have respected your position much more if you’d just come out and said that was the case.  There are quite a few of us who question your personal stance (and, by extension, that of Sojourners) on homosexuality.  Maybe you see as a choice they make, rather than an identity thing and, for you, it’s not a social justice issue.  Again, if that’s the case, come out and say so.  Right now, it looks like you’re riding the fence, working hard not to offend anyone.  But, remember this: “The enemies you make by taking a decided stand generally have more respect for you than the friends you make by being on the fence” (supposedly, Henry Kissinger said that, but I can’t be sure).

In closing, I have to say I’m so disappointed in the course you took on this issue.  As I said at the beginning of this letter, I love you guys.  I love what you do and why you do it.  But, right now, the words you say ring hollow to me.  Lately, I’ve tried to read several articles you’ve posted and, frankly, they fall flat.  Maybe that will change with time, I don’t know.  I certainly hope so.  I just know that, for now, I won’t be following what you have to say.  At least, not like I used to.