Here's the statement posted over on God's Politics yesterday in response to President Obama's Evolution on Marriage Equality:
"Sojourners supports equal protection under the law and full legal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation. We affirm the right of faith communities, congregations, and religious organizations to define marriage in accordance with their own traditions and interpretation of Scripture.
"We hope that the president will work to find common ground with those who do not agree with his position on same-sex marriage and believe that open, respectful, and civil discourse on these issues is very important. For all of us, our relationships with friends and family, and our faith convictions will influence our views on these matters. We believe the best path forward is a legal system that respects the rights and responsibilities of all couples, gay or straight, and also respects the religious liberty of faith communities to define marriage consistent with their theology and scriptural understanding."Seriously? After years of bobbing and weaving around the issue of marriage equality, Sojourners' official position is:
We believe the best path forward is a legal system that respects the rights and responsibilities of all couples, gay or straight, and also respects the religious liberty of faith communities to define marriage consistent with their theology and scriptural understanding.As I commented over on their blog:
So if I'm reading this correctly, so long as the First Amendment continues to protect the free exercise of religious conscience, you guys are good with civil marriage equality? Or am I missing something? Because I'd be real happy to be happy about that!Because here's a news flash: "The legal system" already respects the religious liberty of faith communities to define marriage consistent with their theology and scriptural understanding. It's called The First Amendment and it works just swell. Nobody's making Roman Catholic priests marry divorced couples -- or Orthodox Rabbis marry interfaith couples. And nobody is going to make anybody marry same-sex couples. We've got that covered.
So if Sojourners actually "supports equal protection under the law and full legal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation" then I'm having a hard time imagining how equal protection equally protects same-sex couples unless we dump DOMA and their marriages are equally protected by the 1138 federally protected rights now guaranteed to opposite-sex couples but denied to same-sex couples.
Seriously ... am I missing something here? Or is this kind of breaking news from Sojourners? Inquiring minds would LOVE to know!
PS -- for the commenter unfamiliar with SOJOURNERS. From their website:
Sojourners ministries grew out of the Sojourners Community, located in Southern Columbia Heights, an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The community began in the early 1970s when a handful of students began meeting to discuss the relationship between their faith and political issues, particularly the Vietnam War. In 1971, the group decided to create a publication that would express their convictions and test whether other people of faith had similar beliefs. What emerged was a publication committed to social justice and peace: The Post-American.
In the fall of 1975, the fledgling community moved to Washington, D.C., where both the community and the magazine took the name Sojourners. The biblical metaphor "sojourners" identifies God's people as pilgrims—fully present in the world but committed to a different order. The community lived together in common households, had a common purse, formed a worshipping community, got involved in neighborhood issues, organized national events on behalf of peace and justice.Suffice to say, Sojourners -- and spokesperson Jim Wallis -- have provided an influential and prophetic voice on a whole variety of issues of peace and justice through the years. Sadly, for many of us, LGBT equality has not been one of them. I believe they, too, have been "evolving" ... and my hope is that the President's willingness to "come out' for equality is going to give Sojourners -- and many other -- the "nudge" they need to crack open that closet door and put themselves on the right side of history.