Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Shallow Understanding, Lukewarm Acceptance

Tolerance and diversity: as I read the news today, I think I'd like a moratorium on those words, especially from church folks.

I'll take justice instead. I'll take breaking silence and speaking out when people are being killed. I'll take doing in remembrance that is really doing in memory of Jesus.

The Towleroad blog today ( links to a Huffington Post article by Sara Whitman in which she states,

"In my LGBT community, we argue about who is more pro LGBT rights, Obama or Clinton. It's been days since Lawrence King was shot dead. Neither candidate has issued a statement or said a word. The national media has done a complete pass on the story. Both candidates make me sick...Don't worry. I get the message, loud and clear. Just one more dead faggot."

Give me Fred Phelps any day, Fred Phelps who actually speaks out, who articulates his distaste for gay people honestly, rather than the church people who mouth little driblets of mumbling pity for the pain that the poor gays suffer. Give me Phelps's God hates fags signs over the Social Principles of the United Methodist church, which profess to deplore violence against gay people--in a church that will not even ordain an openly LGBT person, in a church whose annual meetings discuss the fate of gay believers without even allowing gay people to speak for themselves, and in a church whose institutions often have no policies prohibiting discrimination and in which openly gay employees can still be fired simply for being gay.

As Martin Luther King, Jr., once said,

"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Shameful, the silence from the media. Shameful, the closed mouths of the presidential candidates.

But far more shameful the silence--or worse, the faint maundering sympathy--of a church that is right at the center of this social problem, right at the engendering center of violence against LGBT youth, and which will not break silence to speak unambiguously against such violence, or to admit that its own hands are bloody with complicity in this crime.


colkoch said...

Hooray, I finally got in. Powerful last paragraph Bill. Didn't Jesus say something about spitting the lukewarm from his mouth. If that's true then Fred and company have a higher place in heaven than most of our clerics. Integrity seems to be a lost virtue in most of our diocesan headquarters and mansions.

William D. Lindsey said...

Colleen, I'm sorry you've had trouble getting onto the blog to comment. I hope this is not happening to other readers.

I like your fantasy that the Rev. Phelps may have a higher place in the saints go marching in line than some of us who are lukewarm. Reminds me a bit of Flannery O'Connor's short story "Revelation."

You can see that I take your feedback seriously, when you read my next blog entry....