we no longer stone now we stonewall

we no longer stone now we stonewall September 21, 2013
gay rights cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Taking Away the Rights” (drawing by nakedpastor David Hayward)

This cartoon today was inspired by my friend Kimberly Knight, a woman in ministry who is a lesbian. She wrote an articulate Facebook update yesterday:

“I am tired of being petulantly asked by conservative and moderate folks ‘where is the inclusiveness?’ and ‘where is the tolerance?’ when I am standing up for my own inclusion and what I will no longer tolerate is the degradation of my humanity… Those are the straw men of the privileged the when their right to be exclusive and intolerant is being challenged by those they’d keep silent.”

It has been said, “Faith without works is dead.” I suggest that the modern translation should be, “Words without works are dead.”

Love is not just a feeling. It’s an action. If good intentions don’t translate into good policies then they are just pavement on the road to Hell.

I am saddened but not surprised that a church not far from me has dismissed a volunteer with its children’s ministries because he’s gay. Colin can still attend the church. He just can’t serve it. Why? The pastor responded: “Having an openly gay male working in the children’s ministry may cause some parents to feel uncomfortable.” Yes! Comfort above all.

Colin can be. He just can’t do.

I like the new pope. His words and actions are refreshing. However, I’m aware, as many are, that he is leading and serving a system notorious for its inability and unwillingness to change its historic stand on key issues such as the rights of reproduction, of the LGBTQs, and of women in church leadership. Millions like me wait to witness the loving words manifest into loving ways.

Some might challenge my cartoon by saying, “Isn’t that kind of brutal? We’re not killing gay people!” But I volley the challenge back. Where does murder begin? In the mind! The person is dead to you in your mind before he becomes dead to you in your hands. The murder that begins with a social separation must end with a physical one.

I used to think that the way to achieve true equality for all begins in the mind, then socially, then politically. Now I’m beginning to believe that it must also work the other way around. Establish a policy of equality that creates social equality that in turn may inspire the changing of minds.

Either way, I’m tired of posturing. It’s time for policies.

(*** An invite: Are you looking for a safe place to come out sexually or spiritually? Come join all of us over at The Lasting Supper.)

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  • Pat68

    I knew a church that wouldn’t even consider a straight woman for membership because she couldn’t agree with the stance that homosexuality is sin. I remember even some bringing up the issue of what if she wanted to work with the children. She didn’t; she just wanted to be a member of a church that she really enjoyed coming to. She and her husband even drove long distances to come to this church. The crazy part about it is if they had polled their membership, they would undoubtedly found people at various places on the spectrum of belief regarding homosexuality, but because it was written into the book of Faith and Practice, they wouldn’t budge.

  • I agree that “stoning” in the mind is a real problem that leads to stonewalling at the ballot box and other places to keep rights away from certain people. And also sometimes to change certain minds, you almost have to force certain good actions on people. For example, in the United States, forcing integration on an unwilling public probably helped reduce racism.

    The image of stoning someone to death for the sin of being different is indeed brutal and disgusting and thank goodness we don’t actually do that physical act any more in most civilized societies. Although, at the same time, a large subset of current Christians still belief something like that happens (except the “stoning” lasts for eternity) in an afterlife. I have yet to understand how fundamentalists can worship a god concept that includes the notion of an eternal hell in an afterlife.

  • Hello David, this is quite a provocative and inspiring post!

    Actually all those conservative Christians opposing gay marriage should also propose laws for putting all homosexuals to death since this stands in the parts of the inerrant Bible they keep worshiping day and night.

    “Love is not just a feeling. It’s an action. If good intentions don’t
    translate into good policies then they are just pavement on the road to

    That’s very well said. Militant Atheists keep telling that liberal and progressive religious people are dangerous because they do nothing against fundamentalists and legitimize them.

    I am very glad this is not the case, that there are many progressives and liberals out there who strongly speak out against theologically motivated injustices. We don’t only need to do that out of love for our fellow humans but also for God’s sake.

    Kimberly has kindly accepted to be interviewed by me in less than two hours, and I will certainly go into a serious difficulty we are facing: how can we combat these hateful doctrines without hating their defenders and becoming self-righteous?

    In other words, how can we hate the sin (homophoby) while loving the sinner (the homophobist himself)?

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son


  • Cecilia Davidson

    Then again, they can’t legalize murder- -remembers Stand Your Ground laws-

  • Hello, there are no consistent fundamentalists since the Bible is full of contradictions.
    They ironically have to pick and chose texts they like in the Bible while distorting the meaning of other texts.

    Fundamentalist chosing to believe in the original meaning of Leviticus OUGHT to kill homosexuals, disobedient children and even women having not dared to scream as they were being raped.

    My hope is that these fundamentalists will realize it’s completely insane and give up the dogma of Biblical inerrancy for God’s sake.

    Lovely greetings in Christ.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son


  • Shade Ardent

    when does murder start? it starts in the soul. being allowed to ‘be’ without doing is murder of the soul.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Someone once said that our thoughts are often worse than we are. I can’t seem to find who exactly said it and where, but I think it’s relevant here.

  • klhayes

    I wanna know when did discrimination become the Christian thing to do? Being kind to someone who does not live like you is not going to cause you to sin-that’s the challenge. If it does, your faith is weak.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    i’d guess around the time it became a state thing.

  • ChuckQueen101

    Great piece. I heard that argument time and again in our effort to
    get a Fairness Ordinance passed in Frankfort, Ky that bans discrimination
    against the LGBT community. The conservative Christians kept crying its reverse
    discrimination. http://www.afreshperspective-chuck.blogspot.com/2013/07/there-are-limits-to-religious-freedom.html

  • Livin

    We need to be kind to everyone, love everyone, give all sinners a place in the church without distinction as we are all sinners. But….the standard to strive to,to teach is Sober, non-lying, pacifistic, loving, rebuking when necessary, chaste or one marriage not remarried.
    I have no problem with people teaching against homosexuality as long as they also teach against remarriage while doing both in a loving manner.

  • You should have stopped just before “But…”

  • Livin

    If I were to become a Hare Krishna I would strive to be a vegitarian. I would not go in proclaiming that they need to become meat eaters or they are intolerant.

  • Tom Estes

    Every person over 18 has the right to get married.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    not the point.

  • Gary

    sigh…go away troll.

  • Tom Estes

    Not trolling at all. Every man has the right to marry any woman who will have him, and every woman has the right to marry any man who will have her.

    We have equal marriage rights in this country.

  • Gary

    Even as you post this…you know it is deliberately evasive.

  • Tom Estes

    With respect, you’re wrong. You cannot deny that we currently have equal marriage rights in this country. There are those that want special protections that are given to married couples, even though their relationship doesn’t qualify as a marriage. And just because they want it, and I don’t think they should have it, doesn’t mean I’m taking their rights away. I just don’t believe in giving them special privileges.

  • Gary

    So easy to be bigoted when you are straight. We used to say we had equal marriage for blacks in this country because they could legally marry any black person who would have them. It is the qualifier which makes it bigotry.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    David should outright have you banned from Patheos.