Monday, May 09, 2011

Tell Jim Wallis it's time to "walk the talk" -- Seriously!

Yep, I was pretty disgusted when I read on Religion Dispatches that Sojourners had rejected an ad from the "Believe Out Loud" folks encouraging churches to welcome families-with-two-moms on Mother's Day because "Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue."


Sojourners has a position on the "issue" of whether or not there's a place in a pew for a family on Mother's Day?


So I was gratified when Integrity stepped up with this statement -- released about an hour ago:
Integrity USA stands with those calling on Sojourners to re-evaluate their refusal to run the “Believe Out Loud” ad encouraging churches to welcome all mothers on Mother’s Day. We challenge Jim Wallis and Sojourners to live up to their own mission statement and to walk the talk of social justice they purport to embody.

The Sojourners mission is “to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world” and their Diversity Statement includes "Publicly advocate for civil rights and legal non-discrimination to protect the safety and dignity of all people" and the belief “ that unity in diversity is not only desirable, but essential to fulfilling God's ultimate desire for God's people, as expressed in scripture (Acts 2, Revelation 7:9), and thus an essential element of seeking God's will on earth as it is in heaven."

Given those articulated core values, it is incomprehensible to us that they would decline to run an ad that quite simply depicts a pastor modeling for his congregation that “all are welcome” as a lesbian couple and their son visit the church on Mother’s Day. The Sojourner spokesperson refusing the ad said their “position is to avoid taking sides on this issue” -- reducing a family seeking a spiritual community to “an issue” and needlessly politicizing the call for a pastoral response. It is deeply dehumanizing to gay and lesbian families and antithetical to protecting the safety and dignity of all people Sojourners claims to advocate.

"Integrity is proud of its long history of building bridges of collaboration across differences with allies in the struggle for justice, said Max Niedzwiecki, Executive Director of Integrity USA. "We have through the years stood with Jim Wallis and with Sojourners on issues of poverty and peace – most recently in reflections on the death of Osama bin Laden and what it means to follow the Prince of Peace in times of war and violence. Today, we call on that long relationship and urge Wallis and Sojourners to claim this opportunity to be part of the solution – not a perpetuator of the problem – of homophobia."
So won't you join them ... and me ... in shooting an email off to Jim Wallis and the Sojourners folks? Tell them it's time to "recalculate" their position ... to ask themselves "what WOULD Jesus do?" ... and to recognize that we do not have all agree on all the "issues" around LGBT justice to stand in solidarity against homophobia.

You're either part of the solution or part of the problem. Sojourners made the wrong decision on this one. Let's encourage them to make the right one.

Click here to email Sojourners ... click here to see a list of their Board of Directors and follow up with them ... and click here to thank Integrity for stepping up and speaking out. Because if we don't hold our justice allies accountable, who will? Seriously!

1 comment:

Sean Watkins said...


Thank you so much for blogging about this situation. I am currently an intern for Intersections International, the NGO that oversees Believe Out Loud, and am interested in talking more with you for our campaign. Please e-mail me at

Thanks so much!

Sean Watkins