Only two days after announcing that they would hire gay employees only if they were in same-sex marriages, World Vision U.S. has caved under pressure from evangelical leaders and backpedaled on the decision.
Funded in 1950 by an Evangelical Christian, World Vision International is one of the largest relief organizations in the world, and does work with impoverished communities and areas ravaged by disaster all over the world.
On Tuesday, President of World Vision U.S. Richard Stearns announced the company’s decision to hire Christian employees in same-sex marriages in a self-congratulatory interview with Christianity Today:
“Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues. It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.”
Apparently it wasn’t too important to Stearns or World Vision U.S. to keep the policy consistent, because today he released another statement reversing the decision and pretty much throwing the nameless and faceless “Christian leaders” who opposed the move under the bus.
There’s a lot of tap dancing going on in the official statement from World Vision U.S., but one quote stands out to us:
“While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.”
If 48 hours is all it took for them to reverse course, the “dignity and respect” they speak of can’t possibly extend to the gay Christians they’re now refusing to hire. Were they not aware that there was the possibility for a backlash of biblical proportions from the move?
Christianity Today has a much longer and more insightful piece on the initial decision, delving into complicated issues with the acceptance of same-sex marriage in some denominations and not others, as well as the growing realization within high level Christian leadership that marriage equality is pretty much inevitable.
We’re sure having openly gay Christian employees working for an organization like this is inevitable as well, but we do hope that they’ll stick with the decision next time it comes up.