In the aftermath of the horrific events that played out in Orlando last weekend as well as in mainstream and social media outlets in the days since, it’s not surprising that the airwaves this coming weekend are going to be stacked with talking heads seeking to offer guidance and direction in these turbulent times. One of the things that make America what it is as a nation is the freedom of access we have to opinions and information from a variety of perspectives. With that in mind it is difficult for me to sit here and encourage a national media outlet to censor one voice over another.
However, when that voice is being presented as a representation of a people group, it is crucial for those of us in that group to speak out against the rhetoric being offered on our behalf. More specifically, to sit idly while the name of Jesus Christ is being politicized to the extent that Christianity and conservative politics are barely distinguishable is, to me, unthinkable. Jesus did not come to win a popular vote. He is uninterested in polls, pundits or personalities that now dominate our cultural conversation. What he is interested in, by his own admission, is the Love by which his people are known and the unity experienced by those people.
There are organizations currently bearing the banner of Christ that stand in direct opposition to those principals; if not in word then certainly in deed. One such organization is the Family Research Council. Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the FRC has been on the front lines of divisive language and fear mongering specifically targeted at Gender, Sexual and Romantic Minorities (GSRM).
This weekend, ABC News is slated to host FRC’s president as a guest on This Week with George Stephonapaulous. In response to that pending appearance, I’m compelled to make this statement publicly:
Tony Perkins and The Family Research Council do not speak for all followers of Christ.
As I said, to suggest complete censorship seems un-American, but is it really? How tolerant would the national media be of a KKK leader speaking on a massacre of African Americans? What sort of outcry would we hear if anti-military pacifists were given center stage on Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day as we seek to honor our service men and women? In the wake of Orlando then, how accepting should we be of giving a platform to an organization that has repeatedly declared the LGBT community to represent all that is wrong with morality in America – even going as far as to blame the Sandy Hook massacre on the eventual decision in favor of marriage equality?
To ABC and Mr. Stephanopoulos, please reconsider you plans for this Sunday’s program.
Please step away for the party lines and religious stereotypes long enough to consider the implications of your actions and the responsibility you have over the platform with which you have been entrusted. But if you must press on and give the FRC airtime, by all means have the moral resolve to hold them accountable for their role in demonizing the LGBT community. Ask them to admit their complicity in giving a “green light” to the very actions that were carried out early last Sunday morning.
As a follower of Christ, I reject the false teachings of hate and fear propagated by the FRC and similar organizations and “Christian Leaders”.
As I wrote earlier this week, it’s time for these leaders to lay down the banner of Christ. There are many, many other voices that are coming to grips with the inevitable reality that comes from following the models and teaching that has characterized Christian faith communities for the last several decades. Teaching that is more in love with morality than spirituality, with conviction than compassion and with judgment than Jesus.
We are on the verge of a spiritual revolution. If you must give time to the likes of the FRC, then also give voice to the spiritually liberated followers of Jesus who have found great freedom both in following his teaching and in celebrating the great complexity and diversity of his creation.
I ask this with great hope for the future and great faith to press on.
Please take a moment and follow this link to sign a petition being circulated by Faithful America. Your silent support will not be of any value to us, or ultimately to you.