Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), read Isaiah 55:6-11 at President Obama’s Interfaith Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral on Tuesday following the Inauguration. The National Cathedral recently announced plans to marry same gender couples.
GLAAD writes: “The prayer services dates back to President George Washington. It is a significant sign of progress that LGBT and affirming faith leaders will be included in this year’s inauguration.”
Prior to the Interfaith Prayer Service, Wilson expressed that she would read from the Hebrew Bible “for the millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who have longed for a safe place to call home. Whether spiritual or physical, we need safe homes…We need churches of all traditions to be safe for us to walk in with our families and be respected.”
As international moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), I know our congregations have been safe spiritual homes for LGBT people and our families for more than 40 years. We read scripture together each Sunday. I will remember this as I calm my nerves to stand and read the Hebrew Scriptures before our country’s leaders—and indeed, the world. I will read with the story of the first creation in mind when God looked at our fantastically diverse creation and declared, “It is good!”
Some Christians read the creation story and tell us we are not included. Some go so far as to blame us for natural disasters. As absurd as that is, it causes real pain. We know these Christians have families, and their children are being taught to reject God’s diversity in themselves or others. It is painful to hear the level of cruelty that people are willing to promote. We need safe spiritual and physical homes.
Today, denominations are opening their hearts to God’s diversity, but we have such a long way to go. When the Associated Press interviewed MCC leaders, the headline read, “Do gays need a church of their own anymore?“
Frankly, no, we don’t need a church of our own; we need churches of all traditions to be safe for us to walk in with our families and be respected…
Not only do we need safe churches and homes, we need safe nations.
MCC’s Global Justice leaders are standing shoulder to shoulder with LGBT faith leaders in Eastern Europe, Uganda, Kenya, Pakistan, China, and many other parts of the world. While MCC churches in Brazil are thriving, many MCC members throughout the world are struggling just to survive.
Where are the other Protestant voices who should be challenging these gross violations of basic human dignity? Where are the Roman Catholic Church leaders who declared in 2007 that criminalization of homosexuality was wrong? Have they changed their minds? Every denomination has a human rights statement on their books. Even if they are ambivalent about the place of LGBT people in leadership of their churches, why is there such deafening silence when it comes to our lives when we are in danger?
Do you hold a stone in your hand…or an olive branch?
It is time for the silence to end in a mighty halleluiah chorus and shouts of “Amen!” for God’s incredible diversity.
Read the full article at Believe Out Loud.