Are the poor more important than GLBTQ folks? Is it ok to throw the rights of one group under the bus so that another group’s rights might be upheld? I wish there were really clear back and white answers here but the fact is that we live in a much more ambiguous world than that. As a Lutheran I confess to living in the tension of being simultaneously sinner and saint and living in a world filed with the paradox of such.
If I were to boil down messy contemporary reality to an equation, here’s what it would be:
- You can’t lead a coalition of progressive Christians without being an outspoken leader on LGBTQ issues.
- You can’t lead a coalition that includes mainstream Evangelical and conservative Catholic Christians if you are an outspoken leader on LGBTQ issues.
That leaves Sojo in a precarious position, and it seems to leave Jim Wallis with a choice to make: Does Sojo want to build a mainline-progressive coalition or an evangelical coalition. I don’t think he can do both. Sadly, that’s the reality of the church in America these days.
On Facebook, Mike Clawson challenged my argument yesterday that evangelicals have already abandoned Sojo. Not so, he says, based on the advertising in recent issues of Sojourners Magazine:
Mike makes a good point. He also says that Jim Wallis is still asked to speak at places that Brian McLaren and I are not, particularly evangelical college chapel services. I can’t confirm this since Jim’s speaking schedule at sojo.net doesn’t list many speaking gigs.
It does, however, list the Wild Goose Festival, where Jim and Nadia and Brian and I and many others will be. Let’s hope that we can have a public conversation there about the role of GLBT Allies and coalition building in the church. In fact, let’s hope that conversation can be public.