I Don’t Blame World Vision. I Blame Homophobia and Hate.

I don’t blame World Vision for reversing their decision to accept employees in same-sex marriages.

I don’t. They made the exact decision they had to, precisely for the people they serve in impoverished communities. They made the exact decision many writers and bloggers called for yesterday. Many asked folks to think of the children who would lose sponsorships, and that is exactly what World Vision did.

In the nonprofit world, money talks. Period.

But now, let’s talk about what we didn’t yesterday. Let’s talk about homophobia. Let’s talk about hate. Let’s talk about injustice. Let’s talk about how the vile theology spewed yesterday by far-right evangelicals is indicative of the kind of theology that gets gays and lesbians around the world killed, brutalized, and declared illegal. See Uganda’s anti-gay laws if you doubt me.

Evangelicals have a hate problem when it comes to homosexuality. Period. I know that’s extreme language. But it’s true. We can disagree over an issue and still find common ground in aiding the very poor and disenfranchised. We can work side-by-side in the work of Christ and not agree on every single marginal issue. And homosexuality, as it relates to the Bible’s message and meaning, is marginal. There are 31,000 verses. Only around 8 or 9 can really be said to have anything to do with homosexuality. (None are actually about homosexuality — monogamous, committed relations — as we understand it.)

That’s around 0.026% of Scripture.

And yet that fraction of Scripture has become central to the public identity of evangelicalism.

They have placed homophobia at the center of the Gospel.

The way evangelicals treat LGBTQ+ people is wrong. It is extreme. It is sinful. It is hateful.

And it is absolutely terrifying.

In the past 24 hours, we just witnessed the extent evangelicals will go to keep LGBTQ+ people marginalized, to keep an organization from the simple thing of recognizing their already legal marriages. They will starve children. They will deprive impoverished communities of aid and help.

So, no, I don’t blame World Vision. Its leaders did exactly what everyone urged them to do — both on the left and the right.They thought of how it would affect the children.

Rather, I blame the far-right evangelicals who held World Vision hostage to their homophobic agenda. These evangelicals held a gun to the head of World Vision. They forced an organization to choose between aiding hungry children and offering a small step towards equality for gay and lesbian people who work for them.

And no matter what World Vision chose, these evangelicals were always going to pull the trigger on one of the hostages.

Update: I was deeply moved by this blog post and, particularly this quote. Please read the whole article:

Though I understand that World Vision essentially had a gun to its head after evangelical leaders incited a mass backlash of dropped funds, it doesn’t make what they did right. Their reversal hurts more than anything I read from the evangelicals ranting.

Update: After 206 comments, I’ve closed the comment section. Thank you all for your feedback and your passion. 

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About David R. Henson

David Henson received his Master of Arts from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, after receiving a Lilly Grant for religious education for journalists. He is ordained in the Episcopal Church as a priest. He lives in North Carolina, is a father of two boys, and the husband of a medical resident.

Connect with David through his Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram.

  • http://www.edcyzewski.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    Thank you for this perspective David.

  • Bonnie

    That last sentence is so much the truth and so on spot that I got chills reading it, even though it exactly sums up this entire thing.

  • http://www.natalietrust.com/ Natalie Trust

    Thank you.

  • Alise

    This sums up my thoughts about this situation perfectly. Thank you.

  • BrotherRog

    One small step forward, one too darned big step back. This is a truly tragic development. Yesterday World Vision took one loving step forward, and today they took one tragic step backward. They made a decision based upon a worldly utilitarian metric – learning about the number of people who were contacting them to threaten to withdraw the continuation of their funding. This decision also based upon a worldly fear-based perspective. Like the ancient Hebrews wandering in the desert who longed to return to slavery in Egypt, they feared changing the unjust status quo. They doubted that God might have greater things in store for them in the promised land of civil rights and unconditional love and acceptance. Pity. Praying for less fear and for more faith.

    Roger Wolsey, author, Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

    See: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

    • Rob

      “They made a decision based upon a worldly utilitarian metric” Heh, you mean like their original decision to kowtow to intimidation by the LGBT activists? You are very selective in your reading of Scripture. Those ancient Hebrews were also given Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13. Their problem wasn’t a “fear based” perspective. Their problem was disobedience. Do you even know what the heck you’re talking about, or do you just have supreme confidence that the libprog robots who read your nonsense are as ignorant as you are?

      • Jordon Wright

        It amazes me that you just called him ignorant. Yet you ignorantly reference Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, which you read at face value, without interpreting them by looking at context or meaning. I find it interesting that you guys that quote Leviticus 20:13 rarely ever want the last part of the verse about gays being executed to be taken literally today. (Or maybe you do and aren’t willing to say so.)

        I find it interesting that well fed people, who hold a very narrow and historically inaccurate view of the Scriptures, used a debate over doctrine to hold under fed children hostage. If that’s what your theology demands, it’s time to take a second look at your theology. Because it certainly doesn’t resemble Jesus.

      • Corbett Haas

        More hypocritical hate and fear mongering by the lgbt community and it’s supporters. Why can’t Christians just be allowed to believe what we believe and live our lives and act accordingly? We are not out beating up gays and harassing them relentlessly, we simply disagree with their lifestyle. And everytime we act accordingly the true intolerance and hatred comes out trying to silence the lgbt opposition. It’s as if they don’t feel validated until Christians condone their lifestyle. It’s not going to happen and you just need to live with the fact that people are going to disagree with your lifestyle. Stop forcing your values on us!

      • Jordon Wright

        I wasn’t aware that I made my sexuality known in my comment? Sounds like you’re assuming. You’re also assuming that I think all Evangelical Christians against homosexuality are hateful and intolerant. Show me where I said that. (I didn’t.) I simply took issue with Rob’s hateful and intolerant tone and language. Certainly, I don’t believe Rob speaks for the whole Evangelical Christian community.

        I fail to see how I was “forcing my values” on you by telling Rob it’s ironic that he called Roger ignorant, while cherry picking Scriptures without context or their original meaning. I could easily cherry pick Scriptures about slavery, and say that it’s endorsed by God and the Scriptures. But of course it’s a lot trickier than that.

      • Corbett Haas

        I was speaking in general about the LGBT community and how it seems that they tend to bully anyone who disagrees with the lifestyle.
        In regards to your comment “holding fed children hostage”… its ridiculous. People have the right to start, change or end a sponsorship with any of these organizations for whatever reason they want. What if someone falls on hard times and has to withdraw sponsorship? Should they feel guilty about holding a fed child hostage because they have to pay their water bill? What about someone who doesn’t sponsor anyone at all… cough cough, (i wonder how many people on this blog sponsor…)? Should they be made to feel like they are holding children hostage? If the answer is no… then why is it okay to say it about someone who does the same because their fundamental beliefs will not allow them to support a company whose values are not shared by that individual? The basic fact is that the process that should be allowed to run its course did (people can decide to not support a company based on that companies values) and the LGBT community was on the losing end of it… so a big deal is being made about it.

      • Jordon Wright

        I’m sorry but canceling your sponsorship because you fall on hard times isn’t the same as being a well fed person who can’t handle the organization hiring gay people, so you cancel your sponsorship on an under fed child. Being “unable to pay your water bill” is NOT the same as canceling on a needy child because you can’t stand that a charity would hire LGBT individuals.

        Secular charities hire gay people all the time. Why? Because if they’re qualified, have a heart for the poor and the oppressed, who cares what their sexuality is? I understand that World Vision is a Christian organization, but they did NOT endorse homosexuality. They pointed out the obvious: That Christians have different views on the issue. Some denominations see the Bible and this issue one way, and others see it another way.

        If the only way you’ll help someone is if it’s through a charity that doesn’t hire gay people, you probably should check your theology. Will you donate through a charity that allows divorced people? Or obese (gluttony!) people? (Not that I believe homosexuality is a sin. I don’t. But you obviously believe that, so I’m making an example within your theological framework.)

        There are 2,000 verses in the Bible about poverty. 6-7 about homosexuality. (None about homosexual relationships as we know them. All of them cherry picked and quoted, often without serious digging into their original meaning and context.) As Benjamin Corey said in his blog: “Any time your theology causes you to leave hungry children with empty bellies or sick children without medicine, it has ceased to be orthodox theology.”

      • radiofreerome

        You call us bullies yet you worship a book that advocates our murder if we ever have sex and you personally spread that idea that all gays do have gay sex. So gays are attacked for what they are. What they do simply doesn’t matter. You treat them like untouchables, and you whine when they complain.

        You’re like a rapist who complains that his victim defended herself.

      • Sully

        Mr. Haas: Thank you. Thank you for turning people away from our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for making a mockery of his gospel. Thank you for making us Christians look like intolerant hypocrites. Thank you.

      • Corbett Haas

        That seems like a big stretch. Im not quite sure how you could make the argument that I have turned anyone away from Jesus. I have simply expressed the opinion that being accused of holding a child hostage because you want to stop supporting through a company that you disagree with is a bit extreme. Let me ask you this… As a christian, am I entitled to the opinion of believing that homosexuality is a sin? If so, how can I reconcile that belief with supporting a company that has recognized something that I think is sinful as otherwise. Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I remained in support of such a company?

      • TLanceB

        You are beating up gays and maybe real Christianity look like the Ku Klux Klan.

      • Corbett Haas

        David Hensen, how can anyone take you serious if you let comments like this remain but you delete others? This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said and is kind of a low blow.

      • Sully

        Why can’t Gay people disagree with your lifestyle? Why can’t gay people say that they have a right to live the way they want to live? Oh, right, I forgot, that doesn’t tie into your hypocritical universe. Whatever happened to this quote:
        “Love thine Neighbor.”
        -Jesus Christ, 0-33 A.D.

      • Corbett Haas

        I never said that gay people can’t disagree with my lifestyle. In fact, I never once said anything about the rights of gay people. I simply would like to be afforded the right of disagreeing with them without being labeled as hateful and intolerant.

      • writer

        He has a Masters from a theology school,,, so he MUST know what he is talking about. You can not deny a preist with an education.

      • Sully

        So? Even Ph. D’s still get it wrong sometimes.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        Those laws were part of the purity/holiness code and were designed to separate the ancient Israelites from their neighbors. Those laws also include things like not eating pork, shellfish or rare meat. And tons of other things we understand as cultural for the time designed to highlight how they were different from their neighbors.

      • http://leftcheek.wordpress.com/ Jasdye

        “kowtow to intimidation by the LGBT activists”?

        What part of LGBT People Are People is not clear?

      • toujoursdan

        Those two passages condemn one act only – male to male anal sex – no more and no less. It’s perfectly possible to be gay and not have male to male anal sex. Lesbians don’t do it and many gay men don’t either. Being gay and keeping frum (observant) are compatible. Conservative Jews welcome gay couples into their temples and bless same sex relationships while expecting men to abstain from that one act.

        Besides, Christians don’t have to observe Mosaic law.

      • tanyam

        “Kowtow to intimidation by LGBT activists.” Got any evidence that happened?

      • TapestryGarden

        Oh please…the head of Chik Fil A says he supports traditional marriage…nothing about gays or hating homosexuals and suddenly his restaurants are picketed, his employees harassed, politicians tell the company they are not welcome in their city. The activists are making their cause offensive. Most people are fine to live and let live. But the gay activists are determined that we who believe in traditional marriage (one man one woman) be treated as if we have no rights to our opinion. Look at the whole Duck Dynasty flap. The gay activists didn’t want to provide a rational argument, they demanded Phil be REMOVED from the show. In a number of states those who refused to provide services for gay weddings were sued into bankruptcy. I think it’s way past time for people who support traditional values to be allowed to speak without fear of reprisal.

      • radiofreerome

        “Oh please…the head of Chik Fil A says he supports traditional marriage…nothing about gays or hating homosexuals”

        Bullshit. Chik Fil A funded the Family Research Council, a group that consistently libels gays as child molesters

        “The reality is, homosexuals have entered the Scouts in the past for predatory purposes.”
        – FRC vice president Rob Schwarzwalder, on radio’s “The Janet Mefferd Show,” Feb. 1, 2013.

        “[H]omosexual activists vehemently reject the evidencewhich suggests that homosexual men … are … relative to their numbers, more likely to engage in such actions [childhood sexual abuse] than are heterosexual men.”
        – Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at FRC, on why the Boy Scouts should not allow LGBT Scouts or leaders, FRC blog, February 1, 2013.

        “The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”
        — Tony Perkins, FRC fundraising letter, August 2011

        “We believe the evidence shows … that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men.”
        — Peter Sprigg, “Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views.” 2011.

        “While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
        — FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

        “Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
        — Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

        “[Homosexuality] … embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.”
        — Steven Schwalm, FRC senior writer and analyst, in “Desecrating Corpus Christi,” 1999

        “One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
        —1999 FRC publication, “Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia,” Robert Knight and Frank York

      • Tapestrygarden

        All of those sources are correct. Homosexuals have a statisically greater incidences of physical and mental heath issues, they have a higher incidence of promiscuity, STD, and predatory behavior. Your name invokes Rome. Predatory homosexuals created a disaster for the Catholic Church. The offending priests were preatory HOMOSEXUALS who focused on young men who had gone through puberty. They were not pedophiles.
        Regardless of the facts about a vey destructive lifestyle, simply defendng traditonal mariage makes one a target for the activists.
        Homosexuals claimed all they wanted was to live in peace. The acivists have a very destructive not a peaceful objective.
        Regardless of what FRC has done, the FRC was not subject to the unwarrented attacks. Most of us are simply tired of gays and Lesbians demading that we participate in their lifestyle. Live and let live, and keep your private life private.

      • Sully

        Live and let live, exactly! Let these people marry whom they want, and then you never have to hear from them again, until they invite you to the neighborhood barbecue, in which case you can just politely say no thank you.

      • TapestryGarden

        No one is preventing them from “marrying” so quit positing arguments that do not exist.

      • Sully

        Well, in thirty-three of the fifty states that make up the US, gay couples cannot marry. I’ld say that that qualifies as prevention.

      • tanyam

        I see. No, you aren’t aware that “the gay activists” had anything to do with the original World Vision change.

      • TapestryGarden

        Did they? Your response makes no sense. Regardless of how the WV change came about, as it was in conflict with the mission of the organization, wasting money to mollify a small but loud interest group is not going to get more children fed. Gay activists need to focus on REAL discrimination (if they can find it since most of the stories have proven to be hoaxes) and leave organizations to determine the best use of their resources….which is probably not worrying about gay “marriage” when children are starving.

      • tanyam

        The conversation began with Rob’s assertion that WV had made their original decision because they had “kotowed to intimidation by LGBTQ activists.” I asked if he had any evidence that was true. It seems equally likely to me that someone on their staff came out, or they wanted to hire someone and couldn’t because of their original policy. You replied something about Duck Dynasty, which seems irrelevant. This whole thing looks irrelevant now — activism clearly works both ways. And we still don’t know what prompted any of the decisions. This much we know: WV never claimed that because of a line of picketers or hate mail or threats of funding withdrawal — they were liberalizing their policies.

      • TapestryGarden

        Strawman alert! No one claimed that picketers forced WV to change their policy. So you are simply stating the obvious. The reality is that the gay activists have pounced upon support for traditional marriage as hate speech or homophobia. They have no argument so resort to slander. This is nothing new. The real mistake WV made was in taking their focus off their mission. It is not up to them to change public perceptions of homosexuals or gay “marriage.” Their focus should be on their mission. That they compromised their mission to mollify perhaps a handful of employees or as you suggest, one employee reduces their credibility. Donors wish to see their funds be focused on the mission and if the organization elevates a totally unrelated political cause over the objective of feeding children, I do not blame anyone for pulling their funding. The original writer of the piece was wrong in blaming the donors for taking food from the mouths of babies when it was the ill advised meddling in the political world that caused the problem.

        Further i think many of us are very tired of being held hostage to someone’s sexual practices. I truly do not care what you or anyone else does in bed. Keep your private life private and the world will be a far better place.

      • tanyam

        Sigh. I don’t get what fuels the animus. I truly don’t. Why can’t you as easily imagine that nobody held anybody hostage. That maybe a colleague who happens to be a card-carrying Episcoplian wants to marry the love of his life? But this would mean he could not serve as the effective translator or water engineer, or logistic manager he is — willing to go to the ends of the earth to do that work. How is he holding you hostage, and how is this about sex?

      • TapestryGarden

        No animus but simply pointing out that organizations get into trouble when they focus on some unrelated cause that interferes with the mission. You are speculating and using a sob story to try to make a point. It’s irrelevant. WV exists to feed hungry children. It hires people to implement the mission. The compensation, benefit and other issues related to employment are negotiated. If a company has a morals clause or other restrictions, the employee knows and accepts this at the outset. If the policy proves constrictive the employee can find another job and the employer can find another employee. It’s not as if the Heat is losing LeBron. One employee’s sex life is simply not relevant to implementing the mission. Too many organizations get buried in the weeds of individual sob stories and unrelated causes. The mission is feeding starving children. If Jim wants to marry Bob and that means he can’t work for WV…so what? Why should the mission be compromised for Bob”s sex practices?

      • tanyam

        But as we learned, the US military was affected by the dismissal of Arabic linguists under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” You really can’t know who is affected, or what skills they brought to the work.
        You’re saying it doesn’t matter if a person’s relationship has been recognized in their own church, just like my marriage. And it doesn’t matter how valued they are by their colleagues in the field. You are saying WV should be a conservative evangelical Christian organization, not merely a Christian organization. Okay.

      • TapestryGarden

        You really like strawmen don’t you? Whether a person’s relationship is recognized by their church is not relevant feeding children. I do not know whether or not WV is a conservative Christian organization but so what? I believe Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse is also a Conservative Christian organization. What matters is whether hungry people get food. You conflate your personal sex practices with something of importance to anyone other than you and your partner. It’s not.

        Once more, WV exists to feed children, not to get embroiled in political controversies. If you disagree with their policies, don’t work there, don’t donate to them. But don’t begrudge an organization that is helping people who need help making decisions about the best way to carry out their mission. If that means restricting their employees to those who are Christian or married or have college degrees, it’s THEIR decision. Quit second guessing their work because your ox has been gored.

      • tanyam

        In Washington State, you can be legally married to a partner of the same sex. But you can’t work at WV if you are in such a marriage. So I guess one’s marital status IS relevant to feeding children at WV.
        The only logic that lets that makes sense is that WV needs the money of conservative evangelicals. Who threatened to quit sending it if they changed their policy. Fine I said. Perfectly clear.

      • TapestryGarden

        So? There are probably other restrictions to employment at WV aside from homosexual activity. Individuals chose their employer and employers choose their employees based on specific criteria. Why do you think a private organization should not be able to choose employees that fit their criteria?

        Once more, WV has a mission of feeding children. If WV was able to document that the mission would be served to a greater population of hungry children if they expanded employment to a different profile then it would have been a positive decision. Instead it appears that the organization made the policy change without considering the ramifications of the decision. You are probably aware that the Boy Scouts were basically pummeled into accepting openly gay scouts although sexual activity is not part of scouting. Organizations also threatened to pull funding if BSA did NOT accept openly gay scouts. The organization had to decide whether their mission would be best served by accepting these scouts and maintaining the donor base or capitulating and continuing to prohibit openly gay scouts. I suspect you would applaud the threats and funding restrictions in this case but begrudge those who do not agree with homosexuality who would not want to fund WV if it allowed “married” homosexual employees.

        You know it’s all about whose ox is being gored. Gay activists are absolutely fine with threats, picketing, harassing, and funding pullback if it promotes the gay agenda. But let anyone else take the same stance in opposition to the gay agenda and they are obviously a bigot or a homophobe.

        It’s clear that the decision by WV was ill advised and did not further their mission and thus was reversed. I am all for people being able to “vote” with their feet or their dollars and the organizations impacted can respond accordingly.

      • tanyam

        Last time: why did WV change their mind a second time? Because this was a deal breaker for conservative evangelicals. People having a same sex partner — an absolute deal breaker for their support of a Christian hunger charity.
        I do think WV and the Boy Scouts are two very different cases. Different purposes, different constituencies. And I for one am taking two different approaches to the organizations.
        And we’re a long way from the original point.

      • TapestryGarden

        No, we’re not far from the original. The issue is whether an outside force can make a demand and use the power of the purse to enforce it. The BSA had to capitulate to its donor base and apparently WV capitulated to its donor base. Both were done to further the mission. You just disagree with the VW because you want to promote the gay agenda. Since the BSA decision DID promote the gay agenda, that’s fine. But if someone has a religious objection to funding an organization that promotes behavior outside of the religion’s teaching, well that’s not fair.

        Typical double standard from the Left. No surprise.

      • Sully

        They simply said that they would be hiring gay people. That doesn’t change their mission.

      • TapestryGarden

        They already have gay people working for them. Your post is irrelevant to the issue.

      • Sully

        Did you even read what this is about? They said that they would now be hiring people who were in a same-sex marriage, and then got slammed by people like you. Perfectly relevant to the issue at hand.

      • TapestryGarden

        No you claimed they were not hiring gay people. Gay people who are not “married” undoubtedly work for WV already.

      • Sully

        Did you read the article? Here’s an exert from the Huffington Post: “The organization previously required its some 1,100 employees at the American branch to abide by a policy that required fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage, and only recognized heterosexual marriages.”
        There, happy?

      • TapestryGarden

        Uh…did I say WV did not previously have that policy? Gosh no! I said that morals clauses are not that uncommon and those employees who wish to work there must abide by them. If you read the policy, note that heterosexuals are also restricted to remain chaste unless they are married. Thus were a WV employee be found to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage or if a married employee were to have an affair, they would also run afoul of this clause.

        So what?

        WV previously accepted chaste single people without making a determination of their sexual inclinations. I am sure homosexuals are part of their personnel. They are not saying no gay employees but that sexual relations are to be limited to a heterosexual marriage. If someone finds that unreasonable, then work somewhere else. Many companies, particularly those that are religiously based have such morals clauses. This is nothing unique to WV.

      • Sully

        Does that mean we should condone such anti-gay policy? Just because other people do it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do.

      • TapestryGarden

        Typical…you conflate support for traditional marriage to being “anti-gay.” It’s not. Do you think WV has not hired gays in the past? Are they harassed or persecuted because they are gay? That would be something to cause outrage. A morals clause is not. WV would also “discriminate” against a heterosexual who was engaged in sexual activity unless within a traditional marriage. So I guess you can say WV is against fornication, adultery, group sex, hook ups and bestiality. If someone engages in those activities they probably are not eligible for employment…regardless of whether or not they are gay.

      • Sully

        So, apparently every news article on this topic has gotten it wrong. So, what is this whole thing about then?
        Traditional marriage is not anti-gay? So, saying guys can’t marry guys and girls can’t marry girls isn’t anti-gay? What is it then?

      • TapestryGarden

        One may be gay or Lesbian regardless of state laws regarding marriage. Our state does not allow gay marriage but we have a very “loud and proud” gay/Lesbian population. No one is stopping gays from being gay, prohibiting their free association with others, restricting their employment or housing. There are no signs in restaurants saying “gays not allowed.” Marriage is restricted to a man and a woman. It is also restricted to people of a certain age, mental capacity and genetic relationship to the potential spouse. It is restricted to two people of opposite gender. So that means that it’s “against” everyone else? Restricting marriage to those over 18 means they are “against” young people? Restricting marriage between siblings means we are “against” having a sister or brother?

        Your claim has no logical basis.

      • Sully

        No, it means that it’s against gay people! Why should they not get to marry their lover? What can I say – I’m a sucker for romance.
        I don’t understand why you say gay people shouldn’t get married. By your own reasoning, why not have heterosexual marriages banned? I’ll tell you why: Society has better standards then that. There are certain moral standards to adhere to in society, and gayness is not immoral. Comparing it to child marriage is just plain ludicrously. Saying it’s the same as brother-sister marriage is no better. Gay marriage is about two, mature adults who love each other being able to get together – which, in my opinion, is what marriage is all about. It is about mutual love between two people who are able to make firm decisions about themselves. It shouldn’t be about what gender they are. As I have said before, let them get married, and then you won’t ever have to hear from them again, until they invite you to the neighborhood barbecue. Then, as I have previously said, you simply need to decline to come.

      • TapestryGarden

        You continue to conflate an individual organization’s policy regarding employment and a legal statute. WV isn’t stopping anyone from getting “married.’ It simply has a policy of employing people who adhere to a particular behavioral standard that limits sexual activity to traditional marriage.

        Further you also conflate your opinion, and you admit this is your opinion, with what is determined through biology, tradition, history and sociology. If “marriage” is about “love” then there is absolutely no reason to limit “marriage” to two people. Who says you can’t love three people or four? There are a number of societies where plural marriage is common. Yet gays who claim it’s about “love” begrudge this same state for someone who has a different definition.

        If you actually look at history, marriage has been about promoting a stable society that produces offspring so as to maintain and continue into the future. Marriage has only been about “love” in recent years and further if you actually look at the LAW, there is not ONE reference to love in any marriage statutes. That’s because if the state is to recognize, give rights and require responsibilities of certain relationships, it must be based on something tangible and “love” is not tangible.

        We have NO statutes in any states that prevent gays or straights or any variation thereof from being in a relationship…of “getting together” as you call it. But you can’t demand that everyone recognize *YOUR* definition when it has no basis other than your opinion. I suspect you are gay and thus you feel somehow that all must see your same sex relationships as do you.

        I truly do not care what you do in bed or with whom. If you can find a judge or minister to “marry” you to another dude. good for you. I don’t really care. What I do care is that gay activists demand that everyone accept their relationships as equivalent to male female marriage when it is in reality quite different. Further I object to private organizations, private individuals, churches, charities, or anyone else being forced to participate in gay activities. Live and let live. I will not be saddened if I am not invited to your “wedding” and I hope you will not be insulted that I wouldn’t come if I were.

      • Sully

        OK, first of all, I did not mean,”getting together” in that way. Too far, dude. Secondly, I am not gay. I do, however, have freinds who are gay, and while I could not immagine going out with any of them, I wish them well and hope that they are able to marry whom they choose. So, you are saying that marriage should not be about, “love,” as love is not tangible?
        This is getting too philosophical.
        So, what’s the alternative? In Texas, a law prevents gay couples from having sex, even though the supreme court ordered them to repeal it. I believe that marriage should be about love, and nothing else. Why not? People should be able to marry whom they love. What’s the alternative? Arranged marriages, in which the two spouses can have no affection for one another whatsoever? Because that’s where you’re headed with the history argument. Besides, even if you claim that society is about promoting the birth of children, I doubt that gay people will want to, ahem, in order to increase the population. They just won’t get married, and that’s all you’ll get. They are, however, more than happy to participate in the act of child-rearing – I happen to have a friend who was raised by two lesbians, and guess what?
        She dates guys! What a surprise!

      • TapestryGarden

        So once again you infer marriage is nothing more than a ‘choice’ of whomever you want to chose, when ever and for whatever reason. This makes marriage meaningless. Traditional marriage in which children are born and raised has always been the building block of civilization and too important to be left to vague feelings alone. You need only look at the chaos that results when people do not get married to understand there is more at stake for society than who wants to do what with whom. The purpose of marriage is to tie children to their biological parents and make for a stable society. Nothing really to do with love or lust or whatever it is you feel. Marriage has been morphed into whatever people want it to be and thus has become meaningless for much of society. Thus it’s particularly ironic that having devalued marriage, gays and Lesbians still demand to be called “married” as if somehow that changes the components of their chromosomes.

        But back to the actual subject of the discussion. WV has done nothing to prevent gays from being gay, from associating with whomever they wish to associate, nor has it treated gays with cruelty or hatred. It is a private organization with a specific mission to feed children. Whether or not WV supports or does not support gay “marriage” is irrelevant to the mission. Getting involved in this debate has been detrimental to its objective of helping more children. Hopefully the administrative departments will think twice before wading into political waters in the future.

        Organizations that do not focus on their mission fail.

      • Sully

        So, let me get this straight: You claim you don’t care about wether or not gay people hook up with one another, while at the same time claiming that it is simply wrong for them to get married? What WV has done is made a policy that prevents them from hiring people in a gay marriage. They wanted to change the policy, and were punished for it. So, now you claim that it’s WV’s fault? I don’t recall the LGBT community being the ones that made a big point about this. BTW, in this modern day and age, we have a stable society, and so children are less important to secure it’s stability. Not that children aren’t needed, but they (as a factor in stabilizing society) matter less. In other words, wake up and smell the coffee! We no longer live in the nineteenth century!

      • TapestryGarden

        You really have a difficult time interpreting what I think are very clear comments. I do not personally care who does what with whom in bed. I do not want to participate in their activity however, so if I am invited to a gay “wedding” I decline. WV had a policy of not employing people who were engaged in a sexual relationship outside of traditional marriage. For whatever reason they announced a change to this policy. Those who had supported WV, probably because of its religiously based mission of “feeding the hungry” did not want to participate in supporting a behavior they considered unacceptable to Christian understanding of marriage. Thus some cohort withdrew support for WV. The organization, perhaps seeing that supporting homosexual activity (realize there is a difference between employing those with SSA and supporting homosexual activity) was in opposition to their religious beliefs and stated purpose. Thus the changed policy was reversed. That is their right as a private organization and your right is to not support them if you did in the past. There is no reason to demonize the organization or those with whom you disagree.

        You are absolutely dead wrong that we have a stable society. With high out of wedlock births, increased poverty and crime resulting therefrom, it is important that society support the familial structure that best creates prosperity and stability. The state has a vested interest in stable families as broken families require far more state resources. Marriage and family are the best anti crime, anti poverty programs ever created.

        You also have it completely bass-ackwards. Children are not needed to keep society stable. Adults are needed to raise children who will become future adults that keep society stable. There is no structure for raising children that is superior to the traditional man/woman marriage. In societies with stable man/woman marriages, there is less crime, less poverty, and more prosperity. Compare inner city Chicago with Salt Lake and tell me marriage and family do not make a difference.

        You need to look beyond bumper stickers and rainbow flags. Traditional marriage is a societal good. All other social experiments have proven to be detrimental.

      • Sully

        Also, I never said that marriage was a choice of “whomever you want to choose, whenever and for whatever reason.” I said that I define it as a consensual relationship between two spouses who are married because they love each other. This does not make marriage meaningless: It makes it a way for two loving spouses to be together. I am sorry that you do not believe in love: You must lead a very lonely life.

      • TapestryGarden

        Whoo boy do you have an active imagination. YOU define marriage as a consensual relationship between two spouses who are married because they love each other? Huh? That makes absolutely no sense. “Love” is an emotion. Marriage is a religious or state contract that confers certain rights and demands certain responsibilities from the parties. It is about “love” but not all about love, nor is love a requirement of any marriage in any state in the union. Read the statutes and the term is defined by the parties, their age, their relationship to each other, and their capacity to contract. Nothing about love.

        Two people who love each other can be together with or without marriage. But when you claim that marriage is only about a feeling you make it meaningless. Feelings come and go. Marriage is a contract. For religious people it is a sacrament and a covenant. Presumably the people love each other at the time they marry but again, it’s not simply a feeling which can come and go. Marriage confers rights and responsibilities that are completely separate from love.

        I do have to laugh though, just read an article about two gay guys who married in 2012 and are already getting a divorce. They are fighting over finances and who gets the dog…God help us if this is what “marriage” has become. Both “spouses” are fighting it out on Twitter….talk about demeaning marriage. But I guess they must have “loved” each other at some point so that makes it real.

      • Sully

        Well, fifty four percent of Americans believe that gay marriage should be legal. I’ld hardly call that small. Real discrimination? You read the news, so you know about all the bills that have come up which authorize you to fire a gay person.

      • TapestryGarden

        Do tell me about all the bills that allow you to fire a gay person due to his/her sexual orientation?

        That’s right, they don’t exist.

        What some percentage of people believe about a personal decision is irrelevant to WVs mission. It’s a waste of time to put time, energy and resources into unrelated political causes. WV should focus on feeding children.

      • Sully

        They don’t exist because rational people who believe that it’s wrong to discriminate got rid of them.
        http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/26/politics/arizona-brewer-bill/

      • Sully

        The only resources they used were their breath when they said that they would be hiring gays. Then, they got slammed by the media, and had to waste unnecessary time and effort reversing their decision and getting their sponsors back, all thanks to people like you.

      • TapestryGarden

        Fascinating..it’s my fault. Are you sure George Bush wasn’t involved? The whole thing was started by a misguided and irrelevant policy change that did not promote the mission of WV. They need to worry less about irrelevant issues like gay marriage and more about their objective of feeding children. Gay marriage is not relevant to that objective.

      • Sully

        I agree: The policy change was irrelevant. WV made an announcement that this was happening. But then, people like you had to make a big deal about it, and people pulled sponsorships, which forced WV to spend resources on pulling people back in and recanting their decision. Now, because people like you had to cry that gayness was a sin, a child will go without food.

      • TapestryGarden

        This is just laughable…people like me? Huh? What do I have to do with WV’s decision? Yes because of people like me, children will starve….right. Really I hoped you could do better than that.

      • Sully

        Did you read the article? People pulled sponsorships because they hated gay people so much, and you stoked their fire by saying that it was a sin against God. Who was that guy that said, “Love thine neighbor” and preached forgiveness? Oh, right. I think his name was Jesus. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

      • TapestryGarden

        You are not reading very carefully. I have not mentioned sin or God in any of my posts. I have stated repeatedly that WV is a private organization and has a mission to feed children. It was an unfortunate mistake to become embroiled in a political cause that is not relevant to the mission. Since WV is apparently a religious based charity, their philosophy probably aligns with the teaching of that religion. If that restriction is unacceptable to specific employees they are free to work somewhere else.

        Yes Jesus did say Love your neighbor as yourself. No one is saying gay people should be hated, persecuted, or abused are they? No one has suggested gay people be treated cruelly. That you apparently have some sort of vested interest in promoting homosexuals “marrying” indicates that you cannot distinguish between thwarting a personal desire and an organizational policy.

      • Sully

        What, the gay people don’t have rights to their opinions? They can’t believe that they have a right to marry? So, if you say it’s good, it’s good, but if they say it’s good, it’s bad?

      • Sully

        BTW, you define traditional marriage in your post anyways, and since that’s the standard definition, it’s safe to assume he was talking about gay people. I wish, however, that that was not the standard definition.

      • TLanceB

        You’re a terrible person.

      • R Vogel

        Hope you enjoy your ride on the Titanic. I hear it’s unsinkable…..oh, by the way, there’s an event on the Lido Deck at 6, “Punching children in the face for Jesus” – I’m sure you won’t want to miss it…

  • Rebecca Erwin

    Perfectly said. Thank you.

  • Jenn Baerg

    Just for the record Rob, World Vision Canada follows a policy of equality so technically the change isn’t really a change either way. Although really that being said, who is “wicked?” The last time I checked we all are, sin isn’t a sliding scale of the things I like, as not really sins, and the things I don’t like as horrible, evil sins.

    While it is not the point at, but since you’re claiming that we’re not interested in helping, I am an unemployed graduate student who budgets from my student loan to maintain a sponsorship I had before I started my MDiv, so on that note, I care a lot.

  • Just Another Jugemnental AHole

    Thank you, for once again using the word Evangelicals as a slur and painting us all with the same brush… Woulda killed you to use the words “some” or “those who would call themselves…” or…”a lot of”?
    Part of the problem FROM ALL SIDES are sweeping statements.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      If you’ll notice, I both open and close the piece with the framing descriptor “far-right evangelicals.” I was intentional in doing this because I know not all evangelicals ascribe to this. But statistics and research from Pew and others say that *most* do.

      • JenellYB

        All of them that I know, which s a lot of them, do think and feel that way. They are very heartless and cruel toward LGBTQ, among others.

  • Jordon Wright

    “When large organizations are co-opted by wicked people, they need to be abandoned, starved.”

    1. The fact that you would call LGBT individuals wicked says more about you, and your poor theology, than them.

    2. Those being abandoned and starved would be the children that World Vision helps. Children that you guys seem more than willing to hold hostage to ‘get your way’.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      I deleted Rob’s comment.

  • Tom Asdell

    Why don’t people that use scripture (often twisted) to justify their position against the homosexuals take a stand against divorce, overeating, gossiping, not taking care of the poor, not showing the love of Christ…which the bible dedicates a lot more space too? If the stance is that hiring homosexuals is wrong because of what they find in scripture, then where is the out cry about having a person that falls short in so many areas that the scriptures address as sin – you know the areas that so may of us, if we are honest admit that we fall short in. You know the little white lie, the gossip that is served up as a prayer request, the prideful attitude that “I am a good Christian”…

    • Chris

      Because its a lifestyle. Homosexuality is a lifestyle. If you are continually committing the same sin, whether it is overeating, gossiping, (insert whatever you want), then it is no different. The problem with your post is you are grouping everything in the same category. I agree that it is all sin, but those that are homosexual are ‘practicing” the same sin everyday, with no regard to change. Most Christians I know do not wake up everyday and say, “I am going to overeat today at lunch and talk about my co-workers.” On the other hand, a homosexual wakes up and says ” I am going to be a homosexual today, as well as tomorrow, with no intent to change”!!

      • olyar

        How many overweight Christians are there? How many Christians are there living in divorced relationships? They are daily “choosing their lifestyle” too!

      • Mike

        I would guess that most gay people wake up and say “I am going to be a homosexual today, as well as tomorrow, with no intent to change” about as often as I wake up and say “I am going to be a heterosexual today, as well as tomorrow, with no intent to change.” At nearly 48 years of existence now, I can remember no day that I did so, and don’t expect that I ever will wake up with such a pronouncement, no matter how many more years of existence I’m granted.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        “On the other hand, a homosexual wakes up and says ” I am going to be a homosexual today, as well as tomorrow, with no intent to change”!! <– This is really quite silly and disingenuous, ignoring the research and work about sexual identity and how it forms.

      • Diana Dermit McCarthy

        Basically because they CAN’T change how they are going to wake up!! A heterosexual doesn’t wake up and say I intend to be heterosexual today. A person simple IS who they are!! And so what if the Christian who wakes up and doesn’t think about over eating at lunch or gossiping if they still end up doing it.

        And a divorced person DOES wake up every day intending to be divorced. It is so ridiculous to have to continually point out to people that just the very fact these people breath makes you “sin”. If God doesn’t want gay people he should stop creating them!!!

      • Ann

        Chris–so your sins are better than what you perceive someone else’s to be? What business is it of yours to judge others? When did you choose the heterosexual lifestyle? I believe the Bible says we are ALL made in His image. Not some of us, not most of us, not the ones you want to like. So, so sad.

      • Eric Boersma

        Hey Chris, can you fill me in on the day that you decided to be a heterosexual? Should be hard, considering it’s a choice and all.

      • radiofreerome

        You hypocritical whores who call yourselves Christian assume the guilt of everyone who is born gay. You treat them like untouchables regardless of how they behave. You merit a special place in Hell.

      • Sully

        Newsflash! These people don’t have a “gay” switch that they can flip on and off.

    • thatbrian

      Falling short is not the same thing as wallowing in and celebrating S I N.

      • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

        Which heterosexual Christians do as well.

  • John Thomas

    How many people will be fired because they came out at WorldVision yesterday?

    • Eric Boersma

      I’m really hoping zero. :(

    • I-have-something-to-say

      None – gay people are welcome to work at World Vision, as long as they are willing to adhere to the conduct policy.

      • Sully

        Which is?

  • elephantix

    “The way evangelicals treat LGBTQ+ people is wrong. It is extreme. It is sinful. It is hateful.”

    So intriguing that both sides of this argument (within Christian circles only) use the same arguments. And both appeal to scripture. And both intend to be doing the right thing. And yet one side is right and one is wrong?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      I did not say their perspective was wrong. In fact, I said we could and should work together in spite of a marginal difference. I said their actions are wrong, of holding hostage an organization, LGBTQ+ persons, and impoverished communities helped by WV.

      • elephantix

        I don’t disagree with your point, but since you brought it up, the quote I referenced isn’t clear about what you are referring to when you say “the way evangelicals treat LGBTQ+ people….” Only later in your closing paragraphs do you make the argument above about holding hostage an organization.

        But to your point, if you are desiring to find a middle ground, you would do well to avoid using words like “homophobic agenda” which sounds a little too much like the secular world’s labeling/hijacking of this sensitive topic over this past decade. Chances are the other side is thinking themselves to be Bible believers, just like you.

  • CBC runner

    You shouldn’t blame evangelical Christians you should blame God and what he has put in the Bible. Evangelicals don’t hate gays it is simply a sin in the eyes of God. No different if I had a relationship outside my marriage. We don’t hate the sinner we just hate the sin. If we hate the sinner we might as well hate ourselves because we all sin.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      Those select, cherry-picked passages are read more faithfully, in my opinion, when placed in their historical and cultural context. When this is done, homosexuality is not a sin. I linked to an article in the text expounding on this.

    • anonymous

      If homosexuality is just a sin, then why aren’t we banning overeaters or those that masturbate from getting hired in Christian organizations? It is easy to point out the differences in others and claiming them as “sins.” Since homosexuality seems to affect a minority of believers, it is generally the one targeted.

      Most people in the LGBT community want the same thing as heterosexuals, a monogamous, committed, life-long relationship. They can’t choose who they love, or how they feel. By targeting the LGBT community with hateful and unequal treatment only reinforces the negative stereotypes of Christianity.

      • CBC runner

        They are not picking on LBGT community. They would not hire me if I lived with someone of the opposite sex even if I told them we were in a life long committed relationship. This not a hate issue this is a doctrinal issue. I have friends that are having sex outside of marriage the bible says it is a sin but I still love them. Should they have a leadership roll in my church, no. I have gay friends that are having sex but I still love them. Should they have a leadership roll in my church, no. If they want to work for World Vision they would need to stop.

        This is a faith based organization they are just following what the Bible says.

        Love you

      • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

        The Bible also says that divorce for reasons other than infidelity and remarriage are a sin. Yet, where is the outcry when World Vision employs people in their second and third marriages? Where is the command that they stop their adultery and either reconcile with their first spouse or embrace lifetime celibacy as St Paul says (1 Cor 7:10-11). Evangelical churches even hold marriages for divorcées.

        I’m not buying it. Of course you and they are picking on the gay community. The hypocrisy is stunning.

  • Mateo Bergland

    Both Homophobia and hating people in the LGBTQ community are both sins but what is worse is lowing yourself to there standard which are both not very Christ like. Christ would say go and sin no more but he would also heal them internally (spiritual and mental) and externally (physical). I’m no Liberal Christian but I believe that Christ is the ultimate to all these problems. Pray, pray, pray. Amen in Jesus Christ’s precious name. Amen

    • Tracy

      yeah.. both those words bug the heck out of me. Homophobia, haters, and don’t forget Islamaphobia…. it’s all rubbish. Its called a difference of opinion. That’s all. And its perfectly ok to have one that differs to the next person.

  • Tracy

    Everyone needs to take a deep breath, and not rush around firing insults at the ‘other side’. I am a Christian, and wasn’t bothered by WV decision. At the end of the day, my concern is with the children, and caring for them. This is what Jesus told us to do. Not squabble over whose right and who wrong, and have people starving in the meantime. Another thing is… they are not allowing gay people in a postion of authority or teaching. They are allowing them to work there. Big deal. Since when do we deprive someone from working based on their sexuality? And as someone pointed out… how many fat people work there? Are they all going to get put off due to gluttony issues? Of course not. I don’t think the pro gay group or who wrote this realise they are actually attacking Christians straight across the board and calling us all narrowminded bigots and homophobes. They do what they accuse us Christians of doing to them. But with more vehemency. Christians dont hate gays ( well some might, but not the ones I know) . They have a belief that says homosexuality is wrong, and they stand by that. You believe being gay is right and stand by that.. so what’s the difference? Are people not allowed different opinions without being called haters? maybe its different in America…

    • thapack45

      Tracy,

      I appreciate your point but I would like to explain why I disagreed with WV’s initial decision.

      You see, I don’t care one bit if World Vision wants to let gay people work for them. Just a hint, if you listen to how the “liberals” depict people in my position, they just flat out get our position wrong.

      I has nothing to do with homosexuals. I mean, they didn’t even do *anything* in this instance! It has to do with the fact that *World Vision took a stance which said that someone can be a faithful Christian and live in an openly homosexual relationship.* That’s the problem. They’re a Christian organization. If they were Wal-Mart, I couldn’t care less. *But they are claiming to represent Jesus Christ.* It undermines the gospel…it gives a false picture of who God is…it’s not a secondary and unimportant matter like others are trying *really really hard* to get us to think it is.

      As for your point about insulting each other: I agree. I don’t understand it. I especially don’t understand those who disagree with me. They talk virtually exclusively about the wide grace and mercy of God and all of His boundless love…but the second you disagree with them you’re condemned and a pharisee. Hmmmm,…. claiming tolerance..but then…

      • tanyam

        No, wv never said, “someone can be a faithful Christian and live in an open . . . ” in fact, the original statement said clearly, “this is not what this means–we are not stating a position on this issue.” What they said is that they would no longer discriminate in hiring. They would hire married gay Christians. To feed people. To translate if they had the appropriate language skills, to employ their engineering skills or medical training if they were the most qualified for the job.
        And today, they said they won’t. They won’t hire a gay, married Christian. Even if they are more qualified, better trained, and more experienced than another candidate.
        I’m sure it smarts to be called a Pharisee. And its not right. Its useless. But I’m sorry, today I can’t help but think that one wing of the Christian church went to the canyon where the Good Smaritan had been, and hung signs saying, “if you’re a Samaritan, leave people in ditches. We don’t want your help.”

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        If your gospel is undermined by a gay couple, let me suggest you have a very small gospel that has little to do with Jesus.

      • Tracy

        Well i hear what you are trying to say, but it doesn’t work that way. Yes you can be openly gay and be a Christian, as salvation is not based on behaviour, but faith in Christ’s atoning work. And that REALLY bugs most Christians who think the more they ‘do’ the better God approves of them. I am NOT saying that I agree with homosexuality only that it is possible to be one and a Christian. You only see the part of their journey in the now, God sees the journey as a whole life of growing and changing, and its the work of the HS in them that will change them. Not us making them feel bad about a small part of who they are. No representatives of Jesus do a perfect job. Not even you or me.

      • tanyam

        You do realize that not all Christians agree with you. And you do realize that gay people are not a third entity — they are Christians too. A “Christian organization” may or may not include people who are gay, or who think being gay is fine. You can’t own the copyright on the word “Christian.”
        WV’s original statement insisted they were NOT making a statement about gay marriage. They were recognizing that differences already exist among Christians, and they were not going to take a stand. Period. Neither would they discriminate against gay people in their hiring. A great Christian engineer, a terrific Christian translator, or physician, or refugee expert — best person for the job? –they’d take them, gay or not.
        But now: no. That’s what just happened here. And that is deeply upsetting to many of us.
        And I agree, its inappropriate to call one another Pharisees.

  • Former Employee

    Not that WV’s programs actually accomplish what they claim to accomplish, but regardless, a gutless decision taken by an organization that showed its true values today – $$$$

    • thapack45

      So this decision was about $$ but it somehow wasn’t about $$ in the first place?

  • Katzenbooks

    So, what if evangelicals insisted that they would withdraw their support unless World Vision only hired white people? Would World Vision cave to those demands because they want to help starving children? WV could have done the right thing and campaigned gorgeous new donors instead of buckling under to the Evangelithugs.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      I don’t disagree. But this is the reality of the nonprofit world. They are beholden to their fundraisers, much as corporations are to their shareholders. I’m not excusing or defending their behavior, but I can intellectually understand why they did it.

  • thapack45

    Good job misrepresenting virtually everyone on the other side of the issue.

    • Eric Boersma

      If you want figurative charity in how people see your viewpoints, when something happens that you don’t like, the first thing you do shouldn’t be putting literal charity on the chopping block.

      • HRGuru

        What a false choice. WV is the only group to feed children is it?

      • Eric Boersma

        World Vision is the only group that’s feeding the children who are now going without because those sponsorships were cut. There are kids this week who aren’t going to get enough food, aren’t going to get to go to school, aren’t going to get medical care because of the decisions of people who were pissed off that WV finally told the truth about gay people working for them.

      • HRGuru

        What would you have done if WV decided suddenly to only hire white people?

      • Eric Boersma

        Oh I get it, because creating bigoted arbitrary rules to keep everyone but a certain kind of person is exactly the same as relaxing those arbitrary rules to let more than one kind of person in.

        You should be ashamed of yourself. Hiring gay people is literally nothing like refusing to hire anyone but white people. In fact, the same people who argue for limiting Christianity to straight people are the same people who only hired white people.

        “Evangelical Christianity: so horrible, the only things we can think to compare it to are the things that other Evangelicals have done.”

  • Momof4js

    David, you spoke the truth…”Evangelicals were always going to pull the trigger on one of the hostages”. Finally though someone called it correctly and publicly. For me, I have left the evangelical community because of their hate filled behavior and actions and chose to join the Episcopilians. More should do the same. Leave, dont walk, but run to your nearest Episcopal church! The denomination uses reason, tradition and scripture in their teachings and worship. Did you catch the “reason” part? I thank God for this denomination and that I am no longer affiliated with an evangelical church.

    • Sully

      My denomination (Presbyterians) accepts gay people into the congregation, and will probably accept gay marriage within the next few years (fingers crossed).

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

    Please don’t compare gay and lesbian people to pedophiles. It’s derailing and offensive.

    • toujoursdan

      Pedophiles abuse children who can’t give consent. Gay marriages are not exploitative. Secondly, not all Christians agree that gay marriages are sexually immoral according to scripture. Several major denominations perform gay marriages. All Christians do agree that paedophilia is (as well as it being illegal.)

      • toujoursdan

        No it is not (especially in the original languages.)

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        Technically, Jesus is the Word of God (John 1), not the Bible. Jesus is silent on homosexuality.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I have deleted Elgin’s comments, after repeated requests to end comparisons of homosexuality to pedophilia. I do not want this space to perpetuate harmful assumptions and stereotypes.

      • tq

        It’s too late. You’ve already done that in your original post.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      Again, second reminder. Stop derailing and making false comparisons. Thanks

  • toujoursdan

    Of course it is about homophobia or hate. WV has employed sinners for years. Have evangelicals withdrawn support because they employ heterosexuals in second marriages, even though Jesus calls them adulterous? Of course not.

    • dave

      Earth to Dan: At least there is biblical grounds for divorce. Can you show us the biblical grounds for same sex marriage?

  • HRGuru

    The hate I am seeing here is not from evangelicals. What a graceless diatribe.

  • Benjaminscholten

    It’s not quite accurate to call Christians with theology not supporting homosexuality ‘far-right’ as they take up most of the church going spectrum.

    • Eric Boersma

      They make up most of the evangelical protestant church-going spectrum. The majority of mainline protestants are in favor of legalizing SSM (at about a 70% rate) as are a majority or near-majority of Catholics.

      At least in the United States. It’s considered a settled issue basically everywhere else.

      • HRGuru

        Truth has a majority of one.

      • Eric Boersma

        This looks like a fun game: let’s see how many statements we can make that sound profound but don’t actually mean anything. I’ll go next.

        Cats bounce on the trampoline after midnight.

        Ok, your turn again!

    • Yeb Bebe

      Talk to younger people about that, including younger Christians. 74% of which (18-30 year olds) are fully in favor of gay marriage. Good luck competing with those stats right wing evangelicals.

  • tanyam

    Honestly, I think the word “hate” is a sledgehammer. And, as many of your commenters say, that is not what their beliefs feel like to them, so they shut down as soon as they’re accused of “hate.” They genuinely think that homosexuality is wrong, and they aren’t completely incoherent. That Jesus never mentioned it seems a weak argument He didn’t directly address a lot of things. There are better arguments. Piles of scriptural commentary, even by evangelicals, (Jack Rogers, Paul Achtemeir) who take each one of those texts and the history of their interpretation seriously, and come out on the side of acceptance.
    Still, this is a bitter pill. WV was clear when they issued the new policy statement, they weren’t making a theological case “for” gay marriage, that wasn’t their job they said. They insisted on that very point. They were changing their hiring practices, recognizing that Christians are of different minds about this, they weren’t going to take a position. They were going to hire Christians –who are married or single. Period. Presumably the best water engineer, the best refugee expert, the best medical worker with language competency they can find.
    And two days later — they issued a statement –insisting they take the Bible serioiusly. Was that ever in doubt? Does that mean they do, and those of us who don’t see homosexuality as sin must not? Suddently, they do seem to want to take theological positions.
    It appears that WV wants to be known as a conservative evangelical charity, not merely a Christian charity. That, in my mind, is disappointing enough.

  • Jaron

    Actually, it’s not homophobia at all. It’s God’s holiness and following His ways. It’s the fact God has a wise design. It’s not about keeping people back from something good. It’s about doing our best to not push people into something bad. God isn’t trying to deter people from something good. He’s doing His best to warn people about something that is bad/destructive.

    Job 35:7-8 ASV
    (7) If thou be righteous, what givest thou Him? Or what receiveth He of thy hand?
    (8) Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; And thy righteousness may profit a son of man.

    1Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV (Please view the whole passage. It has some Good News to it.)
    (9) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,
    (10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    (11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    In other words, God mentions that certain things are sins because they are destructive to the person practicing it and to those around them. If we are stuck in a sin, there is a way out! That’s Good News for all!

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      The Greek in I Corinthians is poorly translated. Paul uses a word basically found nowhere else among writers contemporary to him. The words likely reference male prostitutes. Whatever the case, he’s not referencing homosexuality as we understand it today in terms of sexual identity, orientation, and within committed, monogamous relationships. Follow the link provided in the post for a more in-depth study.

      • HRGuru

        2000 years of church history undone by some people in the last 30 years no doubt because we are so much wiser than the ancients.

    • Sully

      Let’s see, that was written down two thousand years ago. People change their minds every ten minutes.
      I think it’s possible that God changed his opinions.
      By the way, the new testament was passed down orally for almost a hundred years before being written down. Someone could very easily have just slid homosexuality in there.

  • Bob Mueller

    David, you and Rachel Held Evans have eloquently spoken my thoughts on the fiasco. I am beyond disappointed and reaching disgust that people would withdraw support for a child like this. I wonder how many of them would write a letter to that child explaining why they’re doing it?

    My question is: how is WV’s policy not a violation of Washington’s laws on marital status discrimination? There doesn’t seem to be a religious exemption. See WAC 162-16-250. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=162-16-250

  • Raymond Watchman

    I don’t live in the US, so can someone please clarify: Is it legal in your country for an employer to discriminate against a person who is legally married on the grounds they “disapprove” of that person’s marriage?
    And can someone explain to me how any person who would, as a means of protest and coercion, withdraw life-giving sponsorship from an innocent child, claim to be a follower of Jesus?
    And can someone explain to me how it is that churches who demonize gay people and decry same-sex marriages are quite happy to turn a blind eye to – and even celebrate – marriages involving people divorced for other than adultery, in blatant defiance of Jesus’ unambiguous teaching? (The same Jesus who said nothing about homosexuality and same-sex relationships.)
    What a tragedy World Vision lost its righteous courage and reneged on its Gospel-inspired stand for social justice. Had it stood firm, the hatesayers and hypocrites would have been further exposed for what they are for once and for all, thus helping Christianity to rid itself of an albatross around its neck.

    • Jenn Baerg

      I’m not sure what the US (individual state policies are) but in Canada, World Vision follows the Ontario hiring equality rules which indicate that they are not permitted to deny employment on the grounds discussed re: World Vision USA.

      • Raymond Watchman

        Thanks Jenn. Depending on what the law stipulates in the individual US states, it could be helpful for someone to bring a class action employment equality case against World Vision USA in the light of its policy reversal. Not as retribution against WV, but in the hope of further disempowering hate and prejudice, particularly when it comes in the guise of ‘Christianity’.

      • Jenn Baerg

        Per Tony Jones post today it seems that this change to policy originally was rooted in that very issue. They were trying to reflect the current employment climate in Washington state which has legally supported SSM since 2012. Per his article this was not a recent change, but rather a change they revealed because of Christianity Today. (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2014/03/27/lets-talk-about-what-happened-yesterday-at-world-vision/)

        And while I agree, I also feel stuck wanting to fully support LGBTQ persons wherever they may be, married or single, but at the same time I also am not interested in getting into a hostage stand off where as David has noted, it seems the hostages are the ones being intentionally shot or even more so sacrificed on the altar of (US) evangelical “piety”

      • Raymond Watchman

        Yes, I understand. This situation exposes the evil underlying “evangelical piety” for what it is. I hope Christians of good faith can see this, and set about driving these latter-day money changers from the temple.

      • HRGuru

        That will really help the poor children.

    • Sully

      Well, it almost became legal to discriminate against gays in some states, but it is not legal anywhere in America to the best of my knowledge.

      • Alex

        There are 29 states in which a person can be fired solely for being gay.

  • Pastor Dave

    So sad that you actually have bought into the lie that to disagree with someone is the same as hating someone. I know this may be hard for you to comprehend but people actually have a the ability to disagree and to love at the same time. They are not one and the same. I totally disagree with you and the homosexual community and yet I do still love you.

    • Eric Boersma

      If you are willing to let an innocent person starve and die in order to make a point about not knowingly working with a particular person with a particular sexual orientation, you’re not loving. World Vision had gay employees working for them last Friday, they have gay employees working for them today, they will have gay employees working for them until they day they close their doors.

      For two days, World Vision was, for the first time, honest about that fact. Nothing actually changed at World Vision, other than the fact that they dared to not lie to you. The response to that truth, that honesty, was the severing of thousands of sponsorships, immediately and with a vengeance. So no. You don’t get to claim love but disagreement any more. That ship sailed when you decided that starving kids were less important than telling the truth about gay people. That’s hate. That’s evil. There’s no love there.

      • Paul

        And yet how many people have potentially starved and died because people chose not to support World Vision due to their stance on this issue? An emotional response like this tends to blind the emotional person from the big picture. The big picture here is that the argument can go both ways.

        You only place the burden of responsibility on the supporters because you agreed with World Vision’s initial decision. If this had been a humanitarian organization in agreement with LGBT values and had changed its stance to believing LGBT values are wrong, it would put you in a moral quandary. You wouldn’t necessarily want to withdraw financial support because it is supporting people who are in need, but you also wouldn’t feel right supporting an organization whose core values are in opposition to what you believe.

        People chose to support the ministry of World Vision based on the core values and policies that it had previously expressed. World Vision changed a policy that also fundamentally changed the values that the organization adhered to such that they became very different than what many of its supporters hold. Because of the nature of its ministry, World Vision’s change in policy put its supporters in a very difficult moral quandary, and I can assure you that while you may only focus on those who chose to end their support upon hearing the news, there were many seriously wrestling over what to do. I imagine that most decisions to withdraw support were not made lightly.

        It’s also worth noting that there are other humanitarian organizations aside from World Vision, and that a decision to withdraw support does not automatically reflect a lack of compassion. Because of the difficulty of such a decision due to the moral quandary that people were put in by this sudden policy change, I cannot fault any World Vision supporter either for withdrawing their support or maintaining it, and you simply don’t have grounds to do that either.

        Also, if World Vision had openly gay employees previously, then those employees were not forthcoming about their lifestyle knowing full well that it is against the policy of the organization, and they should be held accountable for that. If by “gay” you mean people who experience same-sex attraction, that’s another issue entirely.

        There is a lot more to this issue than you are willing to see, and you can choose to believe that people who disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle are hateful and evil, but you will be doing so in error and will only be perpetuating a stereotype that will drive yourself and others further into your own brand of bigotry.

      • Eric Boersma

        And yet how many people have potentially starved and died because people chose not to support World Vision due to their stance on this issue?

        None. There have, in fact, been dozens of high profile affirming Christian leaders who have explicitly stated that they would be continuing supporting World Vision in spite of the change and have urged their readers to do the same. Not a single one has called for a boycott.

        You wouldn’t necessarily want to withdraw financial support because it is supporting people who are in need, but you also wouldn’t feel right supporting an organization whose core values are in opposition to what you believe.

        I’ve supported and continue to support organizations that don’t affirm LGBT rights because I believe that it’s possible to work with people who have different ideologies than I do when the work we’re doing is more important than those ideologies. In other words, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

        People chose to support the ministry of World Vision based on the core values and policies that it had previously expressed.

        This is the problem. One should not support World Vision because of “core values and policies”. One should support World Vision because one believes helping children is important.

        World Vision changed a policy that also fundamentally changed the values that the organization adhered to

        Bullshit. World Vision’s fundamental value has always been putting the helping of starving children above theological disputes.

        I imagine that most decisions to withdraw support were not made lightly.

        Taking a while to think about doing something evil before doing it doesn’t make the action not evil. I have no sympathy for those who were emotionally conflicted before acting like inhuman monsters.

        Also, if World Vision had openly gay employees previously, then those employees were not forthcoming about their lifestyle knowing full well that it is against the policy of the organization, and they should be held accountable for that.

        They should be held accountable for wanting to help starving kids so badly that they have to actively lie about who they are in order to get in the door? Awesome world you’re building here. Hope you never get to see it.

        you can choose to believe that people who disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle are hateful and evil,

        I don’t believe that people who disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle (whatever that even means) are evil, I know that people who “disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle” so strongly that they are willing to let innocent children starve are evil. If that is not evil, then the word has no meaning.

      • Guest

        “This is the problem. One should not support World Vision because of “core values and policies”. One should support World Vision because one believes helping children is important.”

        Of course that’s why people support World Vision, however World Vision’s core values and policies are the reason people support World Vision and not other humanitarian organizations.

        “Bullshit. World Vision’s fundamental value has always been putting the helping of starving children above theological disputes.”

        Visit World Vision’s website and you will find that it has four core values. One of those is “We Are Committed to the Poor,” however there are also three others, including “We Are Christian.” Its adherence to Christianity is part of its core values, and as a parachurch organization it has sought to remain neutral on issues of debate within Christianity.

        “Taking a while to think about doing something evil before doing it doesn’t make the action not evil. I have no sympathy for those who were emotionally conflicted before acting like inhuman monsters.”

        This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding and it’s unfortunate. Whether you’d like to believe it or not, the reality is that World Vision as an organization betrayed its supporters by changing its policy to reflect a position that would have caused supporters to take their donations elsewhere. The burden of responsibility was on World Vision in this case for putting not only its supporters, but the people it helps in such a compromising position.

        “They should be held accountable for wanting to help starving kids so badly that they have to actively lie about who they are in order to get in the door? Awesome world you’re building here. Hope you never get to see it.”

        This is why it’s nearly impossible to have a reasonable conversation about issues like this. The tone changes to biting sarcasm. Also unfortunate. If there are openly practicing homosexual staff at World Vision, they are acting in violation of the organization’s policies, and that is wrong. That is not the organization’s fault as they are clear regarding their policies. But it’s not as though World Vision is the only organization that offers humanitarian aid to others even though you and others talk as if it is. So no, this is not the “world I’m building.”

        “I don’t believe that people who disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle (whatever that even means) are evil, I know that people who “disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle” so strongly that they are willing to let innocent children starve are evil. If that is not evil, then the word has no meaning.”

        It is evil based on what? What is your standard for determining what is evil and what is not?

        Also, by your assessment, anyone who will not support World Vision because of its stance in opposition to homosexuality is also “evil.” Like I told you before, this rolls both ways. In fact, there are people out there who are willing to let starving children die for worse reasons like ignorance. So while you’re at condemning people who actually take their faith and beliefs seriously, let’s make sure we go after everyone who, for unacceptable reasons by your estimation, does not give financially to provide for the needy.

      • Eric Boersma

        Its adherence to Christianity is part of its core values, and as a parachurch organization it has sought to remain neutral on issues of debate within Christianity.

        WV isn’t currently neutral on issues of debate within Christianity: there are many Christians which support SSM and there are denominations which recognize and perform Same Sex Marriages. Recognizing those duly performed marriages is the only way to stay neutral. They were neutral for two days. They no longer are.

        This is why it’s nearly impossible to have a reasonable conversation about issues like this. The tone changes to biting sarcasm.

        The tone changes to biting sarcasm because that’s literally the only possible way to engage with someone who just suggested that it is morally reprehensible that someone would violate an arbitrary clause in a code of ethics so that they could feed starving children. The alternative is bawling my eyes out that the name Christianity claims people who would say things like that.

        It is evil based on what? What is your standard for determining what is evil and what is not?

        What kind of Christianity do you practice where letting starving kids die when you could (and previously were) do something about it is not evil? I’m a post modernist and I think your moral relativism is repulsive. But here, I’ll say it straight out: letting someone starve when you could do something about it but choose not to in order to serve some sort of petty vendetta against another group of people is evil. Full stop.

        let’s make sure we go after everyone who, for unacceptable reasons by your estimation, does not give financially to provide for the needy.

        Can we? Bread for the World is a faith based non-profit which advocates for the huge force multiplier that national governments can bring to bear on the hunger problem. We’ve got enough food in the world to feed everyone but because we need our charities to have “the right policies” before we’ll do anything about it, people continue to starve. Screw that. We could change the world by leveraging the US Government. Let’s get started.

      • Raymond Watchman

        If denying basic human rights to people on the grounds of sexual orientation is now a “Christian value” then Christianity has derailed itself entirely. We all make “lifestyle” choices according to our sexual orientations, so homophobes can stop hiding behind that argument. What in reality you are saying is that you, and others like you, will “accept” gay people if they pretend to live a lifestyle other than that which is natural to them. I wonder if I, as a heterosexual married man, was to walk into a gay church, whether the pastor and congregation would expect me to pretend and act as if I was gay and single? Surely, if Christianity has become all about wearing a false mask to win the approval of the tribe, then it has lost whatever understanding of the Gospel it might once have had. Sorry about the generalization, but I’m employing it only to make a point. I suspect the issue you are trying to address is promiscuity, not sexual orientation, and that is an issue which embraces the entire spectrum of human sexual orientations, not just that of homosexual people. To say otherwise is nothing more than blatant hypocrisy. There are promiscuous gay people, just as there are promiscuous straight people. There are morally upright gay people, just as there are morally upright straight people. Why then, the scapegoating of gay people? Answer: homophobia. And no amount of self-righteous hand-wringing and mouthing of cherry-picked, decontextualised scripture is going to disguise that ugly fact. Homophobia is a sin as every bit as vile and destructive as promiscuity, be it homosexual or heterosexual promiscuity. Not either or, but both, equally. Curious, isn’t it, how those who stand in the marketplace screaming out for gay people to “repent” seem so blind to and so silent on their own need for repentance. Little wonder the world shrugs its shoulders in disgust and moves on by, leaving the church to hang out its ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on Sunday mornings.

  • Ron Gilbert

    A ridiculous article based on a false assertion. The holiness of God and the authority of his Word are the root issues here.

  • Mike Young

    World Vision is an organization that I believe does extremely great work with poor people around the world and that has found itself thrown into the arena due to it’s stance on and then reversal of a policy about hiring persons in same sex marriages. While I have a strong opinion about that, it grieves me to no end that the vast majority of the people who will be commenting about World Vision in the coming weeks have little to no idea what they actually do. I think David Henson has said exactly what needed to be said here. (I’ll head over to Rachel Held Evans site and check that out as well (thanks Bob Mueller).

  • Ben

    Jesus did not hate the sinners, just the sin. A sin is a sin, doesn’t matter how you reverse it, look at it, etc. It is true that many Christians hate homosexuals and that is wrong. They should love them, but hate the act of homosexuality (two men or two women getting engaged in same sex marriage or sexual acts). Also, the Bible clearly says that the marriage should be between a man and a woman .. God made a man and a woman … not a man and a man, nor a woman and a woman.
    However, in everything we do, we portray things we believe in. For example, what message does society give children or others when you allow same sex marriages to be recognized (as one example)? If we are Christian nation (which I doubt we are at the present but claim to be), then we have to live like Christ.

    Christians have to call it by name … Homosexuality is a sin ! If you live it, you sin. However, it is just like any other sin ! Hate is a sin ! Drunkenness is a sin, killing is a sin, stealing is a sin , etc … One can’t just pick and choose what sin to accept and what not to accept.

    Christians, wake up !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you hate sin, stop sinning (or do your best to live by the good book). I am a Christian too. I do believe what the Bible says about homosexuality and I believe it is a sin; just like any other sin in the Bible. I hate sin, I don’t hate people. However, the Bible also say to stay away from those who commit those sins (meaning not accepting the lifestyle) but minister to them the Love of God and the Salvation.

  • David Popham

    I concur with the author of this post, but would point out that in doing it “for the children” we must realize they did it for the straight children. LGBTQIA children and youth are hearing a very different message and it is not one of support and love. Yet, we wonder why we are driving people out of the church…

    • Corbett Haas

      Kids aren’t allowed to drive until they are at least 16. They are not allowed to vote until they are 18. They are not allowed to drink alcohol until they are 21. Most college kids have no clue what they want to do with their lives or what to major in. What makes you think a child has the maturity, reason and ability to rationalize the fact that they may have a different sexual orientation/gender assignment or what have you?
      I whole heartedly disagree with the fact that you are born with a certain sexual orientation… where is the evolutionary advantage to being homosexual? If homosexuality is truely something you have no control over… then why do so many homosexuals want to have or adopt children? Homosexuality by definition precludes you from having children.

      • Guest

        Corbett – good observations and my answers will fail. If you truly believe LGBTQIA issues are psychological in nature and not organic then there is nothing I can say to preclude that decision. I’m not sure why evolution has produced the queer orientation. It has been documented to exist in all mammals so it does seem that evolution had a hand in it. Since I am a person of faith, I would say God loves diversity and this is part of the diversity of the human experiment. As for adoption the queer experience is about an expression of romantic love, not a statement on whether or not someone would like to be a parent. I myself am gay and am the father of two beautiful daughters why that happened we can debate till Jesus returns, but I know my life would be less without them in it. As for your primary thesis that children lack the maturity to discern sexual orientation on that I must respectfully disagree. Straight children and adults never know what it is to feel different from the majority, to wonder why the interest our friends express in the opposite gender never takes roots in us, to ponder why our skin reacts very excitedly when in close proximity to someone of our own gender. That is always with us, we don’t invent it, we may (as in my case) run from it, be it is always with us. Finally, the suicide statics suggest just the opposite of your thesis as kids who self-identify as LGBTQIA are more likely to commit suicide at a rate of 20% higher than do those kids who identify as straight. If they have not reached a maturity to “choose” being gay then why are we killing ourselves in such high numbers? It is because it is not a choice and every time we hear from someone who has not taken the time to think beyond “you’re not born that way” we feel a bit more weight of the world on our shoulders: some unfortunately, to the point of choosing death over life. World’s Vision decision, while admirable, just adds a bit more to that weight. Peace my friend and remember Christ call is to love each other and to leave the judging to God.

      • David Popham

        Corbett – I’m pretty sure that any answer I share will fail. If you truly believe that LGBTQIA dynamics are psychological in nature and not organic to being then what follows will not persuade you. Like you I’m not sure why evolution would produce a queer orientation. Still, surveys of the animal world has indicated that queer relations tend to pop up through out. Since I am a person of faith I tend to believe that God takes great joy in the diversity of creation and LGBTQIA dynamics are a part of that great diversity experiment. Queer orientation is about romantic feelings and relationships not about whether or not one wants to be a parent. I myself am gay and celebrate two beautiful daughters that fill my life with joy. That has not precluded me from being gay. As to your primary thesis that children are not mature enough to rationalize about sexual orientation I must respectfully disagree. It is hard for straight kids and adults to understand the ways that “gayness” shapes within LGBTQIA children. You have never had to wonder why you feel different from you friends, or question why your friends interest in the opposite gender hasn’t taken root in you, or wonder why you get excited when near someone of the same sex. We do not invite this dynamic into our lives, but it is always there. We can even run from it (as I did), yet it remains. The statistics on suicide suggest just the opposite of your thesis. Kids who self-identify as queer commit suicide at a rate that is 20% higher than kids you self-identify as straight. If sexuality is a choice then why are we killing ourselves at such high rates? Why not just choose to be straight? It is because sexual orientation is not a choice. And those of us who have grown up with “queer” being a threat and stigma feel the weight of the world every time we are told “the problem is you.” Unfortunately World’s Vision decision adds to that weight. Peace my friend and let us recall that Christ’s calling is to love the world and leave the judging to God.

      • Yeb Bebe

        Hah now you bible thumpers want to interject evolution? Scientific stand point: gay is found in hundreds of species throughtout the animal kingdom (which we are a part of) homophobia is only found in humans who believe in man made religion

      • Corbett Haas

        I haven’t even mentioned the gospel and yet I am labeled as a bible thumper. This gives so much credibility to the people who use this term… clearly meant to be used as a closed minded insult by people who claim be experts in tolerance and love.
        Also, you assume that because I am a christian that I cannot believe in evolution, or some form there of. Given that I am not the mindless pawn of religion that you think I am I do think for myself and have come up with a logical reckoning between my scientific background and my faith. With that, evolution is summed up by the following… “survival of the fittest.” (Not claiming homosexuals are weak, it is just Darwin’s term). The underlying notion is that those individuals in a species who breed, have their genes continued on. The gay animals in the other species that you speak of do not spread their genes. There is no in vitro fertilization for them, no adoption, no surrogate parent… nothing. Those individuals die and then nothing further. Thus the species, if it survives time, remains heterosexual. In the wild kindgom (of which we are a part of), a homosexual species cannot move on. As stated before, there is no evolutionary advantage to being homosexual. Please don’t turn this around and start saying that I hate gay people and am homophobic because that is not what I said.

      • Sully

        Homosexuality simply means that guys like guys and girls like girls. It has nothing to do with children. And, by your own reasoning, how do you know that you’re heterosexual as a child? I know that I am heterosexual, and being in favor of gay marriage has done nothing to change my opinions on my own sexuality. I could care less who you want to marry.

  • Corbett Haas

    Willing to “starve children” ???!!! That’s a bold jump just to further your anti right wing evangelical christian agenda. Just because you pull your support for a company because you no longer allign with their beliefs… Doesn’t mean you are willing to starve children. Most people would just transfer to a different organization such as compassion international. Furthermore the children being supported by world vision aren’t starving. They are being educated and having their overall well being enhanced. They are not going to die without support.

    • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

      Of course it does mean you’re willing to harm children. Those sponsorships are given to individual kids with specific names, locations and interests who are aided by one organization. You can’t just transfer funds to another organization and expect them to help the same kid.

      • dave

        And that’s exactly why World Vision should have thought of that first. It wasn’t rocket science.

      • Corbett Haas

        Anyone who has the motivation to sponsor a child in the first place will likely just easily transfer their sponsorship to a different child through a different organization… such as is their right. No the same child isn’t sponsored in the end, but the notion that I am harming a child just because I withdraw my voluntary support is asinine.
        I don’t hear you guys accusing those who end sponsorship for other personal reasons to be harming children… why is it the case here? Because it sounds more evil and helps further your point that anyone who disagrees with homosexuality is the same.

    • Yeb Bebe

      Actually seeing how you evangelicals won’t feed children in Africa until they promise to be brain washed into your religion and I’d say everything this writer wrote is spot on.

      • Corbett Haas

        Jesus came, healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate meals with sinners. All without condition. WV and other christian organizations offer the physical support regardless of the recipient’s faith. Evangelicals are perfectly comfortable providing physical needs without reaping spiritual benefits as it is commanded in the bible. However, the recipients are going to naturally be curious about what compels the givers to do such a thing. Do you expect them to stay silent? The bible says to let your light shine before all men. Contrary to your belief, we don’t make children profess the Lord’s prayer before they recieve their meal.

  • Paul

    David, this blog post seems very emotionally charged, and usually when that’s the case, the writer has no ear to hear any other opinion. That’s exactly what you demonstrate when you call all who disagree with World Vision’s policy change “homophobic.” You join a large number of people who wrongly label those who are trying to be as faithful to Scripture as they can be. You attempt to silence other opinions by claiming them to be hateful and thus not worth listening to, and that is wrong. I believe you to be sincere and simply angered by World Vision’s decision to reverse its policy. I understand what it’s like to feel that way. But I hope that you will not join the many others who shut out dissenting opinions and cut off discussion about this important issue.

    I do not hate, nor have I ever hated, homosexuals or homosexuality, yet I believe you cannot read the Bible end-to-end paying particular attention to this subject and, if you’re being honest, not come away with the conclusion that God is for monogamous heterosexual marriage and nothing else, and that a lifestyle of homosexuality is sinful. This belief of mine doesn’t come only out of 7 or 8 verses out of the 31,000+, but it also comes implicitly from the many verses in Scripture that address marriage.

    I wanted to also address what you said about evangelicals placing homosexuality at the center of the Gospel (I changed the word “homophobia” here because I don’t believe it is fairly used). Really two thoughts about this come to mind. The first is that the reason this issue comes up over and over again is because it’s a hot-button issue in the U.S. right now. Laws are being passed and changed every week it seems and it’s on the news all the time, and from an evangelical perspective this particular issue will have an impact on one of the very central cornerstones of human society, which is marriage and the family. It is a big deal for that reason, but not only for that reason, which brings me to my second thought. If evangelicals are right that living a homosexual lifestyle is indeed sinful, then a lot of people are going to hell who previously did not think that was the case. If everyone else is right, then that won’t happen obviously. But when you boil it down, this is an issue that directly impacts salvation, which is why I personally don’t take it lightly, and that is why this is very much a gospel issue. People’s salvation is at stake here.

    The last thing I wanted to address is your comments regarding World Vision being held hostage. I agree with you here to a degree. I do think that Richard Stearns had to have known that people were going to withdraw financial support upon this decision being made, which is why I did not personally believe it was worth it, and it’s likely that World Vision didn’t want to lose the financial support it was going to lose. The thing is, though, World Vision isn’t the only humanitarian parachurch organization out there. Previous financial supporters of World Vision would have found another organization to support. I don’t believe this was a hostage situation with quite the degree of drama that you make it out to have. Also, it is worth noting that World Vision’s initial decision was not as much about equality (which is not a good direction to go when discussing this subject) as it was about remaining neutral on a debated issue within the church. It was when they realized that their decision, by its very nature, lacked neutrality and that it placed them on the side of the issue that they didn’t want to be on that they chose to reverse their original decision.

    It is entirely true that there are those out there who do act hatefully and in homophobia towards homosexuals, and some people just don’t know how to sit down and have a civil and understanding conversation, but that does not encompass the whole of evangelical Christianity or its leaders, and I would be careful about pegging everyone that way even as they seek to be faithful to what Scripture teaches. I do appreciate your voice and this particular post on the subject, David, and I hope that you do remain open to conversing with dissenting viewpoints in the future as opposed to shutting them down with strongly-worded and emotion-induced labels.

  • Hans Lawton McIntosh

    People aren’t perfect. Period. I agree with the fact that people cannot choose their sexual orientation, BUT they can choose whether or not to live in that. More people than would admit struggle with same sex attraction and many choose, through God, to not succumb to temptation. In the same way that I have to fight the temptation to over eat and lust. I don’t think that people who are habitually living in ANY sin should be allowed to hold a job in a church or Christian organization, but I do believe that we are offered grace and power to fight sin and anyone who owns up to their struggles and is actively running from them should be allowed to hold a job in the church (whether it be anything from porn addicts, slanderers, former alcoholics, or homosexuals). This in reply to the ongoing debate about the difference of sins and those calling out hypocrisy. The fact of the matter is that whether there is 8 verses or 1000 verses about a topic in the bible, it should be held as important. God shows no partiality.

  • Kristn

    I blame Christophobia and hate for this article. It’s not merely an incapacity to tolerate everyone who holds to the traditional view of Holy matrimony as defined by Jesus Christ. It’s a finger-pointing, name-calling, rock-throwing act of cyber bullying wrapped up in hyperbole and self-righteous glee.

    • Yeb Bebe

      Awww your poor christians. You’re responsible for murdering and killing many people all throughout the world for being different than you but how dare we call you out on your blatant bigotry.

  • TVK

    World Vision took their initial stance in the name of unity for the sake of the Church and its mission. It seems like Christians who supported their initial decision, and are now angered by the retraction, should be careful not to totally anathematize believers on the other side of the issue, further increasing the division. Homophobia is a cause of division within the church – but so is writing off another part of the church as “= hatred”. In MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, he writes of how his great disappointment with the Church as a whole sprung from his great love for it – even those who were opposing his efforts. (http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html). As passionate as he was for justice and social change, King reached out to his critics in pursuit of understanding rather than slandering them and considering them a lost cause – it was his hope that the change could include them. I understand the strong anger of the author of this article, but I think that by so strongly targeting the broad opponent of “evangelicals”, and implying that ALL evangelicals “place homophobia at the heart of the gospel”, he is giving a bad name to many Christians who, in fact, do not, and working counter to the unity of the Church.

  • http://standupforthetruth.com/ SUFTT

    No “hate.” This isn’t about loving gay people. It’s about a leadership policy decision to go against God’s Word.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      Taking actions to harm and kill gay people isn’t hate?

  • jeffnkr

    First, let’s see ourselves before God, CORRECTLY. We’ve ALL sinned, and not just in one or two ways. Let’s look at the first 5 Commandments. How many of us have loved God with 100% of our heart, soul, mind, and strength? How many of us have given more importance to someone or something, and given God a less-important place? How many of us have said His Name, in cursing? How many of us have kept the Sabbath, perfectly? How many of us have NEVER sassed our parents? If we’ve broken one Law, we’re guilty of breaking them all.
    I don’t understand why 2 men or 2 women who love each other, and want to live together, and build a life together, cannot express that love physically. Most gays and lesbians are compassionate people, remembering their own struggles and heartaches, and doing what EVERYONE who has experienced sorrow and heartache does: they reach out to others with empathy and concern, to help others minimize the pain. However, God said we are not to act out sexually with another person of our gender. That’s what Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 say. For those of you who would say, “What about what the Bible says about not eating pork or shellfish!” and, “The Bible also says to not wear clothes of mixed fabric!” – please refer back to my opening paragraph. Most of us have already enjoyed bacon, pork chops, clams, and shrimp. What has been eaten, digested, and gone out the other end, cannot come back up the opposite way, and be uneaten. Most of us have already worn polyester clothing. EVERYONE has failed to honor their parents, even if they never said anything out loud, or acted out their feelings and desires. NO ONE has ever kept the Sabbath, 100% perfectly, 100% of the time. ALL OF US have failed to love God, and serve Him, as we are commanded. If something in our lives is more important to us, than God, we’ve built an idol. The point is that even if one could keep one or two particular laws, or by an even greater miracle, ALL the laws, from now, until the end of their lives, we would still have records of past failures.
    We will all stand before God, and give an account of our lives. None of us has kept the Law 100% perfectly, 100% of the time from our birth, to our present age. The ONLY way we can be declared righteous before God, is to cry out to Him, through Jesus Christ, and ask Him to do in us, that which only He can do, and very much WANTS to do. Our works are filthiness before God, if Jesus Christ is not our LORD and Savior.
    Our inability to be perfect before God, on our own strengths and resources, is not license to do whatever we desire, whenever we choose.
    The author of this article demonstrates that the hatred he condemns in others is present in his heart, also.
    The administrative board at World Vision made a huge mistake. They’ve now corrected it. It is not hatred, as claimed by those who try to justify their sins. It is not hatred to warn someone to not do something God says to not do.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      A much better point to make would be that condemning pork, shellfish, and mixed fabric is idiotic and makes it clear that the Bible is certainly not the word of God. Because I would like to believe that God is a more intelligent being than that.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    The Bible also says that divorce for reasons other than infidelity and remarriage is a sin – adultery, which unlike homosexuality forms one of the Ten Commandments. Yet, where is the outcry when World Vision and other evangelical Christian organizations employ people in their second and third marriages? Where is the command from any evangelical church that remarried people stop their ongoing adultery and either reconcile with their first spouse or embrace lifetime celibacy as St Paul says (1 Cor 7:10-11). Heck, Evangelical churches even hold marriages for divorcées. This is just stunning hypocrisy.

    I’m not buying it. Conservative evangelical Christians aren’t doing this out of a consistent Biblical ethic or to preserve the sanctity of marriage. Of course they are picking on the gay community. And it’s not the first time. Watching this type of cruel hypocrisy played out over and over again led me to leave evangelicalism years ago and never look back. There simply is no Christ in it.

    I’m used to seeing gay people objectified by evangelical Christians. Our humanity, including the basic need for human companionship, is constantly stripped away and we are constantly reduced to nothing more than walking immoral sexual acts. But harming poor third world kids by stopping sponsorships objectifies them as well. Their humanity is also stripped away and they become nothing more than pawns in ego-driven culture wars. These sponsorships benefit individual kids with specific names, locations and interests. One can’t just transfer their contributions to other charities without pulling the rug from under them.

    So, thanks to those evangelicals who put doctrine before people, ideology before humanity and your own purity above the needs of others. You’ve proven that for all the Bible quoting you do, you haven’t internalized anything Jesus had to say.

    • dave

      There are, at the very least, biblical grounds for divorce. There is no biblical ground for same sex marriage.

  • Robert

    COMMENTERS BEWARE: David will delete your comments if you a) don’t agree with him and b) make a convincing argument of the sin of homosexuality.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      Because he’s not discussing the “sin of homosexuality” in this article, he’s discussing how evangelicals have taken actions to harm and kill gay people. He’s discussing how evangelicals have turned their backs on God and made him into an instrument of murder.

  • Jack Dannigan

    I really love how this author made his points without making any huge leaps or assumptions. I mean hey, look at me: I’m a conservative evangelical, I believe in what the Bible says about homosexuality being sinful, and i HATE gay people. I totally support Uganda’s death penalty for gay people. I applaud hate crimes against gay people. I would totally starve the heck out of children to voice my hatred for the gays. I mean, it’s not like there are any other non-profits I could fund that care for the poor and impoverished, so obviously if I stop supporting World Vision I am condemning everyone dying of curable diseases to a slow death. Because honestly, how could I possibly disagree with someone’s lifestyle WITHOUT spewing such hatred in my inner being? It’s not like Jesus ever loved someone whose sin He condemned! Spot on, Mr. Henson, spot on!

  • dave

    As a Jew, let me tell you: This wasn’t hate. This was a principled stand for traditional marriage in the culture wars. That’s it. Just because your side lost doesn’t mean there isn’t compassion on the other side of the fence.

    You children who want to brand this as hate and homophobia need to get a grip. You have no idea what real hate is, because you’ve never experienced it.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      Hate is what evangelicals have done in Uganda and Russia. Hate is when you so despise another group of people that you take actions to harm them, to kill them. That is real hate and I fear it is in your heart too.

      I hope you someday conquer it.

    • Yeb Bebe

      Our side (those of us for gay marriage) haven’t lost. Your side has badly lost. Gay marriage won. Case closed. That’s not even up for debate. Silly you if you think it is.

  • kerouac

    “Uganda Dyslexia” is a collage for the stage of various dramatic personae touched by the anti gay laws..in NYC rwm playwrights lab will present Dr Larry Myers new objective work

  • Kimo

    The fact is God is crystal-clear in saying engaging in homosexual sex is wrong. And He said that marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t make the rules, He does. And from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is clear and unvarying on this. And I am going to abide by what God says, not what those trying to justify this sin say.

    • Sterling Ericsson

      God did not say that whatsoever. Paul said that. And considering how misogynistic and racist Paul is in the rest of his writings, his opinion is worthless to me.

      • HRGuru

        Along with the gospel to the gentiles no doubt.

    • Yeb Bebe

      He never mentioned anything. In fact he never mentioned homosexuality or anything written in that man made bible written by a few old men. Also, let’s chat about how overweight so many of you christians in this country are, shall we? Uh oh… Too uncomfortable for you?

    • The Thinking Commenter

      You don’t know what God said. You don’t know if God said anything at all. It’s your belief. So you’re lying by representing your beliefs as though you know what you are talking about. You have no idea if there is a God or not.

      The fact is that I believe that God is crystal-clear in saying, blah blah blah…

      There, fixed it…

      Yeah it would look stupid if you said “this is what I believe, but can’t possibly know for sure” in front of every sentence you type. Yeah it sure would.

    • Sully

      Ok, that was two thousand years ago. People have, as demonstrated by this article, change their minds in less than two days.
      Is it possible that God changed his mind?
      Is it possible that, during the many years that the Bible was passed down orally, someone slipped homosexuality in there?

  • http://www.afracturedlife.com/ Ashleigh

    I blame World Vision. This whole thing is evidence of hate, homophobia, and injustice. World Vision isn’t some tiny company in the face of big bad evangelicals, they are PART of that machine, and it blows my mind they didn’t know it. They 1. made a VERY poor PR choice after taking years to make a decision. 2. did not give other people in the Christian community the chance to come to their aid, 3. they did not make the right decision for the gay people they serve in impoverished communities and 4. they continued a culture of evangelicalism that spreads danger into other countries that criminalize gay people. If this isn’t an example of hate they could have stood up to, I don’t know what is.

  • Alan Chambers

    Very well said, David.

  • R Vogel

    Why would you want to provide cover for moral cowardice in the face of despicable evil? Not only did they cave to the Baal-worshipers who were willing to toss children into the furnace for their idol, they had the unmitigated gall to apologize to that evil for the terrible sin of allowing it not to oppress Jesus following committed brothers and sisters for almost an entire day!

    If people pledged already, they should could keep their pledge to that child they agreed to support. Because they, unlike the evangelical christian menace, are not evil. If you did not pledge, then you should take your dollars elsewhere. The last thing this world needs is another weak, cowardly organization that allies itself with evil.

  • http://www.traffickingnews.org/ Jason Wert

    I hope some day you actually meet Jesus and not just promote the parts of Jesus that you and the world doesn’t have a problem with.

  • silicon28

    How many times are you going to copy and paste the same thing? Learn to use the edit function if you want to change your post. What you are doing is simply making yourself look like an ignorant troll…

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

    I deleted Rayburne’s comments for copying and pasting the same comment repeatedly.


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