Sojourners is a web magazine that supposedly touts “progressive Christian commentary on faith, politics and culture”, seeks to “build a movement of spirituality and social change,” and promotes “unity in diversity” as desirable and “essential to fulfilling God’s ultimate desire.” So why did they reject Believe Out Loud’s Mother’s Day video of a pastor welcoming a lesbian couple to his church? Because it’s too political; this coming from a group that started in response to the Vietnam War.
Rev. Robert Chase, Founding Director of Intersections International the organization behind Believe Out Loud explained Sojourners’ slippery rationale:
Sojourners said, “I’m afraid we’ll have to decline. Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue. In that care [sic], the decision to accept advertising may give the appearance of taking sides.”…
I called the folks at Sojourners and asked what the problem was, what the “sides” in question might be. The first response was that Sojourners has not taken a stance on gay marriage (the ad is not about gay marriage); or on ordination of homosexuals (the ad is about welcome, not ordination); that the decision, made by “the folks in executive” (why such a high level decision?) was made quickly because of the Mother’s Day deadline. The rationale kept shifting. The reasoning made no sense.
Believe Out Loud’s ultimate goal is to get more local churches and denominations to embrace LGBT individuals. While Sojourners could have lived up to their self-proclaimed progressive values by running the video and beginning a conversation about BOL’s goal, they chickened out and lost a golden opportunity to stand at the forefront of an issue already past its time.
The idea that churches shouldn’t take stances on political issues is horse crap—churches do it all the time. What Sojourners really means is that they’re only willing to take stands on social issues that already have widespread popular support, which isn’t really “taking a stand” at all, but merely going along with the flock.