Heartland Clergy for Inclusion: Acceptance from the Heart

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It can be hard to do some­thing pub­licly when you know not all peo­ple will agree. But I have come to such con­vic­tion about the mat­ter addressed in this procla­ma­tion that I can­not authen­ti­cally do any­thing else. I have added my name to the procla­ma­tion below (it may take a cou­ple days for those adding names to catch up with all their emails). If that causes me to lose friends or fol­low­ers or clients or poten­tial clients, so shall it be. I believe I am doing not only what Jesus “would” do but what he DOES do: includ­ing those soci­ety has too often treated as unclean. Time and time again, Jesus touched, ate with, served, and showed love for peo­ple deemed unclean by sec­u­lar and reli­gious lead­ers and oth­ers. I strive to walk in the foot­steps of Jesus — in this and in all else — so help me, God.

P.S. I’m happy to explain in pri­vate con­ver­sa­tion with any­one inter­ested how I arrived at and why I believe in this posi­tion, but I’m not inter­ested in debat­ing about the mat­ter. I agree with the Procla­ma­tion where it states that “the debate is over.” I’m weary of it.

 

(The for­mat­ting copied imper­fectly below from the web­page where this is posted. I’m not going to try to edit it here. I encour­age you to visit www​.Heart​land​Procla​ma​tion​.org to see the doc­u­ment as posted and to view a full list of signers.)

The Heart­land Proclamation

by the Heart­land Clergy for Inclusion

As Chris­t­ian clergy

we pro­claim the Good News con­cern­ing Les­bian, Gay, Bisex­ual and Trans­gen­der (LGBT) per­sons and pub­licly apol­o­gize where we have been silent. As dis­ci­ples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we rec­og­nize that the debate is over. The ver­dict is in. Homo­sex­u­al­ity is not a sick­ness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no ratio­nal bib­li­cal or the­o­log­i­cal basis to con­demn or deny the rights of any per­son based on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. Silence by many has allowed polit­i­cal and reli­gious rhetoric to monop­o­lize pub­lic per­cep­tion, cre­at­ing the impres­sion that there is only one Chris­t­ian per­spec­tive on this issue. Yet we rec­og­nize and cel­e­brate that we are far from alone, as Chris­tians, in affirm­ing that LGBT per­sons are dis­tinc­tive, holy, and pre­cious gifts to all who strug­gle to become the fam­ily of God.

In repen­tance and obe­di­ence to the Holy Spirit, we stand in sol­i­dar­ity as those who are com­mit­ted to work and pray for full accep­tance and inclu­sion of LGBT per­sons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT per­sons are con­demned and excluded by indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions, polit­i­cal and reli­gious, who claim to be speak­ing the truth of Chris­t­ian teach­ing. This leads directly and indi­rectly to intol­er­ance, dis­crim­i­na­tion, suf­fer­ing, and even death. The Holy Spirit com­pels us:

to affirm that the essence of Chris­t­ian life is not focused on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, but how one lives by grace in rela­tion­ship with God, with com­pas­sion toward humanity;

to embrace the full inclu­sion of our LGBT broth­ers and sis­ters in all areas of church life, includ­ing leadership;

to declare that the vio­lence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the heal­ing of wounded souls who are vic­tims of abuse often prop­a­gated in the name of Christ;

to cel­e­brate the prophetic wit­ness of all peo­ple who have refused to let the voice of intol­er­ance and vio­lence speak for Chris­tian­ity, espe­cially LGBT per­sons, who have met hatred with love;

There­fore we call for an end to all reli­gious and civil dis­crim­i­na­tion against any per­son based on sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity and expres­sion. All laws must include and pro­tect the free­doms, rights, and equal legal stand­ing of all per­sons, in and out­side the church.

One Response

  1. Heidi Mann Says:

    I wish to acknowl­edge that I have received one com­ment on this post, but that I trashed it — not because it was from some­one who opposes every­thing I wrote about, but because it was writ­ten in a nasty tone. I don’t allow such neg­a­tiv­ity on this blog. If you would like to share your thoughts on this mat­ter, please do so in a cour­te­ous way and I will be glad to post your com­ment. There is no need for hate speech — espe­cially from some­one who’s dis­play name indi­cates he is clergy.

    Report this com­ment

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