As if on cue, welcoming Christians across the U.S. reacted to the homophobic “Strong Ad” produced by Governor Rick Perry’s Presidential campaign. The controversial ad alienated many Christians and allies who support LGBT equality and human rights around the world. It even divided leadership amongst the candidate’s top staff.
I added my own voice to the conversation emphasizing that everyone is entitled to basic human dignity. The issue fueled a heartfelt response from welcoming and affirming Christian voices from coast to coast who spoke out for their faith and belief in LGBT equality.
The Rev. Susan Russell, from All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA, spoke out for The First Amendment rights of all Americans to believe whatever they choose about what God blesses or doesn’t bless; sanctions or doesn’t sanction; intends or does not intend. The First Amendment “does NOT protect anybody’s right to impose those beliefs on other Americans,” she said.
Jay Foxworthy, a gay Christian veteran, spoke out to the Advocate’s Lucas Grindley saying “my family goes to church every Sunday, and there is something wrong in this country when conservative Christians want to use God to attack [them].” He added, “It’s so easy to only think of these issues as ideas or concepts that you agree or disagree with … it turns into something else when you know these are matters of life and love for real people who have names.”
The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, spoke out in the Washington Post stating “the blood of gay and lesbian soldiers flows as readily and as redly as that of other young Americans fighting in Afghanistan … In an attempt to garner conservative Christian votes, [Governor Perry] would stigmatize these brave young men and women who are, as we speak, risking their lives on our behalf.” He continued, “Christians everywhere should be alarmed that a candidate for our nation’s highest office would play fast and loose with both the Constitution and our men and women in uniform.”
We as Christians are a powerful voice to combat homophobia in society and our best weapon to do so is by putting our faith into action and believing out loud. I close lifting up the voices of two young ladies new to the Believe Out Loud community who courageously spoke out on YouTube against the homophobic ad. “We’re waiting for a president who doesn’t use religion merely to influence a political constituency,” they said, “but instead embraces it as a powerful way to bridge the gap of vast difference among our fellow Americans … We’re gay, we’re straight … we’re black, we’re white … we’re Christian, we’re not … and Jesus loves the little children of the world.” If you didn’t catch their remarkable ad, you can watch it below.
Image Flickr mararie