Terra Sigillata

Last week’s local independent rag had a number of articles on the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) individuals and the revived religious war against our fellow citizens. Featured therein is a brief from Pam Spaulding, who bloggers will recognize from Pandagon and Pam’s House Blend.

But what really caught my eye in the Indy was a new ad campaign from Faith In America:


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Powerful, isn’t it?

Faith In American is led by Executive Director, Rev. Jimmy Creech, a former United Methodist minister with biblical and divinity degrees from Duke University and the University of North Carolina (QuickTime and text bio here).

Faith In America presents the following argument and poses a question:

It is difficult to imagine that less than 30 years ago in over 15 states one of today’s leading conservative Supreme Court Justices, Clarence Thomas, a black man, could have been charged with a felony for marrying his current wife, a white woman.

For the vast majority of Americans, this kind of discrimination, often justified with misguided religious teachings, would be unthinkable today.

Faith In America asks a simple question:

Is using religious teachings to deny equal rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people any less wrong than using religious teaching to discriminate against people of color, against equality for women or against people of different cultures wanting to marry?

At a time when the US has serious issues of economic and health disparities, immigration reform, floundering military campaigns, and failed federal responses to natural disasters, the primary issue being debated among the executive and legislative branches of the US government is the denial of rights to some citizens by amending the most important document of freedom in recorded history.

In reflecting on his Southern upbringing, Rev. Creech has been a student of how religious teachings were used to justify a culture of fear and violence against people of color and of non-Christian faiths, even against women seeking the right to vote.

Today’s religious issues that permeate politics are no different than those that fueled divinely-justifed campaigns of hatred in the past. Do we as a nation have the strength to call our leaders to task and elect those dedicated to resolving real issues of human suffering such as poverty and war?

Would Jesus discriminate?

Comments

  1. #1 Robert P
    June 26, 2006

    As soon as I saw “local independent rag” I had a vision that it was the Indy. Does that make me a wacko??? ;)

    I’m RSSing, keep up the good posts.

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    June 26, 2006

    Robert – not wacko at all. I’ve lived in a few bigger places with their own indy rags, so I’m really impressed with the quality and scope of writing in ours.

  3. #3 Honeybee
    June 26, 2006

    This very viewpoint, that we should be tolerant of everyone, frequently put me at odds with my friends when I was involved in a Christian organization. Nice people in general, but I got tired of the idea that I was going to hell because I wasn’t allowed to marry my girlfriend. (We later broke up, and were not “out” to anyone.)

    Refreshing to see a large Christian group taking this stance.

  4. #4 Dan Dright
    June 26, 2006

    How cool is THAT! :)

  5. #5 Robert Peterson
    June 27, 2006

    I love the Indy. I have used its “best of” twice this week, although one (3Cups) was closed on Sunday. Feel free to email me this if you want (robertpATourspectrumDOTcom), but at which of the big three are you faculty (I’m not looking for a job!!!!).

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