Response to Transgender Military Ban
I am deeply disturbed and distressed by the current governmental assault on LGBTQ people. First, a ban on transgender people serving in the military, despite the presence of about 2,500 active transgender service people and about 1,500 in the reserves who are serving their country honorably and courageously. Second, the Department of Justice has just argued (in a case in New York) that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
As a Christian, it is my deeply held belief that all people, all people, are created in the image of God. There are no exceptions to that statement. And that the baptized are to “seek and serve Christ in all people” and to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Both of these actions by our government do the exact opposite; they seek to marginalize and dehumanize LGBTQ people, to assert that they do not possess the same inherent worth and dignity of straight people and can therefore be discriminated against. And they seek to divide us into separate groups and drive us apart.
This is morally wrong and profoundly unChristian. We who claim to follow Jesus are called to imitate him in standing with the outcast, the lost, the lonely—to advocate for justice and dignity for all. In Jesus’ day that was (among others) the leper, the woman, the tax collector. In our day, in this country, it is (among others) the immigrant, the Muslim, the black person, and the LGBTQ person. This is not a nice addition to our faith if we have the time and energy and it is not a liberal agenda. It is the core of the Gospel.
And so I ask you to pray. Pray for our nation, that our deep divisions heal, that we find and live into a deep compassion for all people and a passion for God’s justice. Pray for all LGBTQ people who are experiencing fear, anger, and distress. Pray for yourself, that you may be a vessel for God’s healing and justice—and then have the courage to respond to whatever it is God calls you to do.
And I ask you to join me in raising your voice to your elected representative. Let them know that you are a Christian and that you respect the dignity, the worth, the humanity of LGBTQ people and that you demand equal treatment, equal justice for them.
And, as hard as all of this is, do not lose heart. Remember that God is faithful and just. Remember that with God nothing is impossible. Remember that all of time, space, and life is held in God, and that God always has the last word.
August 16, 2017
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May 25, 2017