Friday, June 24, 2016

Not about you...

It's not about you, really, with all due respect. 

This was about the people who sacrificed and made your journeys possible out of a time of harsh and extended mistreatment in the history of the church. 

This is about the people who were charged, denied employment, had their families, lives and careers disrupted, abruptly halted, terminated. 

This is not about the committee either. 

This was about those outside the church, the youth, the coming-out, the questioning who longed for a welcome in the church but could only find a public witness that filled the air with contempt, argument, hatred and the use of the bible in ways that no Christian should ever consider doing. 

The admission of harms and apology was always about an institution, never about targeting individuals or individual groups. About an institution that turned people away - caving, reverting to the lowest of common denominators. 

It's happened again. 

No family, this was not about compromise, either - or finding an easier softer way. It was about being prophetic in a world that knows other prophets, about an acknowledgment of the harms that our beliefs caused as we used them in argument and witness to debate others. 

This was and is about the people who were the victims of the self-loathing gunman in Orlando as well as self-loathing in other places that has been taught by what the church has said or not. 

This was not yours to negotiate, frankly, but to affirm. Had you been better informed, had more time been taken to make sure you knew that there is no equal balance or fairness or justice in assigning regret and sorrow to oppressor equally as to the oppressed - when you may, in fact be neither - perhaps then your heart and studies would have reminded the deliberative body that this was not about what you all believe the church could live with but what God has called us to do in this broken world we all wish to serve, while honoring those who served before you, bringing meaning to their sacrifice. 

This was never about you. Not this time, except for the willingness to take a risk.

We should have done better in helping you to know.