[Photo by stephenmeszaros]
One of my favorite people in the world is, pastor and friend, Jan Edmiston [blog|twitter]. Unless she has a secret life – which could be entirely possible – I don’t believe that Jan has won any world championships, saved anyone from a burning building or beat out a bunch of other people on some reality show. What she has done and does that IS remarkable is to embody a beautiful version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in her living, breathing and in her writing.
Here is just a taste of her faith in her recent post, An Open Love Letter to My N.C. Kin.
It is in this family that I came to follow Christ. In this family, I learned how to study scripture and pray, and so did you. And yet one of the reasons we don’t talk politics at family gatherings is because we disagree. We vote differently in elections. We interpret scripture differently in terms of what we believe God is calling us to do and be.
With this in mind – and at the risk of offending people I love in North Carolina – I am prayerfully asking you to take the name of Jesus into the voting booth this Tuesday. Because it is already illegal for same-sex couples to marry, my prayer is that – no matter what you believe about gay people – you will, please, vote against Amendment 1. It is unnecessarily mean-spirited and it will hurt people we love.
I am not sure how much people minds can be changed on this issue these day, but this does not mean that we stop trying. I firmly believe that many religious folks in all states who are struggling with this kind of legislation must hear from religious leaders. This might not be a “you should vote this way” kind of conversation, but one that encourages folks to deeply examine how their faith informs their lives and actions around these important social and legislative happenings.
Too often, with good intentions, religious leaders remain silent around divisive issues in the church. I get it, I really do. Still, I would urge you to no longer stay silent, because as Jan shows us, speaking for what we believe can be done with integrity, conviction and love.