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:
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?