UPDATE 08.09 PM: Wow you all, the 100 response limit was reached in just a few hours after the polling began. Now of course, I realize that this is not scientific nor conclusive. I also realize that if this same poll were put on, say a blog of someone who REALLY disagrees with me, would get very different results. With that said, I appreciate the comments and notes that have been coming my way from both friends and others.
Below is a video of my speech last week during the Proposition 8 Verdict Rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. I was invited to speak by the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion and Ministry, I decide to accept the invitation and was given three minutes to speak. While I am sure that there are many who are supportive of my words and find my position as no surprise, I have also received a bunch of emails and comments with words of “elitism and judgementalism,” “hate speech,” “inconsistency” and other criticisms.
Now I realize that the best response to criticism is often NOT to engage – now THAT would be inconsistent – but I do try to take even the harshest criticism personally enough to open up possibilities for change, but not so much that I let it define my understanding of who God calls me to be and become.
So not really looking for some kind of “defense” of my actions, but rather some feedback and conversation about the issue, role of clergy, discourse, etc.
- Was this hate speech?
- Did I cross some kind of line?
- Is this an appropriate way for church leadership to engage in the public square?
- Any other things that may jump into your head . . .
Would love to see some blogging commentary on this, so be sure to send a trackback or drop me a note and I’ll try to share the link love.
One preemptory comment – For you Presbyterians who think I am talking about you in this clip . . . I am actually NOT. My context for ministry and understanding of my own call to engage in the world goes beyond the Presbyterian Church (USA). Love ya deeply and am commmitted to our life together, but if you have read much of what I have said about denominations for the past two years, you really should know better. I was actually speaking about people who, in the name of Jesus Christ, verbally and physically assault members of my congregation, residents of the city I call home and claim a truth of God with which I vehemently disagree. And while I do think those folks undoubtedly exist in the PC(USA), most Presbyterian folks with whom I disagree are faithful servants through whom God’s reality unfolds even for me.
So with that, please take listen, read and then vote!
PS: You are also invited to attend a special interfaith worship service in celebration of the verdict on Tuesday, August 19 at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. [Facebook Event].
Text . . .
I also know that many of my people have influenced this particular journey in non-positive ways.
- I stand before you also confessing for the Christian church for too many times in our words and actions have created pain and violence.
- I stand before you confessing for those who have proclaimed a message of Biblical literalism and cultural narrow-mindedness that has oppressed rather than liberated.
- I stand before you at this time to confess for far too many of us well meaning straight allys who have not spoken out for justice that we need to step out now more than ever [applause].
This is a time of great celebration.
- This is a time when Christians around the world who will continue to push for justice must come out and stand, stand long and advocate the message of God to those Biblical literalists who have poisoned our understanding of marriage, sexuality and love.
- We will no long stand and allow the message of hope, compassion, justice and love to be drowned out by the screams of hatred, oppression and injustice [applause].
- We will no long stand and see our friends, our family, our congregations members and strangers be denied the same civil rights that so many of us have been granted for a life time.
There is a time that we must each embrace our call to speak out, act out of our place of privilege, risk our power, our authority, our comfort and assure that justice, compassion and love prevail.
This is such a time. This is now.
Thank you and God bless.