Earlier today, my friend Jonathan Merritt released an article at Religion News Service that criticized Evangelicals For Marriage Equality for “shaming” Christianity Today, Relevant, and WORLD Magazine for not carrying our organization’s advertisement. Though well intentioned, I think Jonathan fundamentally misunderstood why we referenced the rejections of our ad from these magazines.
We affirm the right of any and all publications to be able to decide whom they allow to advertise within their pages. That’s one of the beautiful benefits of a free press and a testimony to the diversity of belief and position within evangelical Christianity. Our use of the rejections was meant to support our already strong case that the work of EMEis both unique and necessary.
All three of these publications represent a particular mindset within evangelicalism, a mindset that is fundamentally opposed the conversation that we are trying to cultivate. Instead of participating in the conversation, the door is closed and people refuse to engage a different perspective on this very important issue.
In no way are we interested in shaming any of these publications for their rejection of our ad. Far from it! In fact, in the blog post on our website that Jonathan references, we make this crystal clear:
“It’s not our intention to shame these three magazines: All three serve and exist within an evangelical culture that’s not currently conducive to frank conversations about a hot button topic like marriage equality. It’s our intent to change that.”
Jonathan concludes his article by asking: “Have we finally arrived at a moment where Christians of mutual goodwill attack their brothers and sisters not only for disagreeing with their position on sexuality, but also for not advertising it for them?”
My answer is absolutely not. As an evangelical myself, I understand how sensitive these topics are and how much emotion and fear lie just beneath the surface of many evangelicals positions on same-sex marriage. Instead, we will seek to cultivate safe, respectful, and meaningful dialogue with all of those in the evangelical community, no matter what their position.
That has been our mission from the beginning and will continue to be our mission as we press forward in our work.
For more information about Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, visit our website here.