for those who use twitter, you’re likely familiar with the following series: type a tweet, delete it; type it a different way, delete it; repeat these steps until you finally just give up. sometimes, you just know that however you say something in 140 characters, you’re not gonna adequately convey your feelings and/or you’re gonna do little more than just anger or offend people.
so it goes lately with the annual swell of a vocal minority taking to their blogs and social media streams to let everyone know how bigoted and homophobic the bell-ringing salvation army is and subsequently, why we shouldn’t support their charity efforts.
in a nutshell, much like—for better or for worse, depending on how you see it—the majority of other christian denominations, the salvation army’s official stance on homosexuality is that people who are attracted to the same sex should “embrace celibacy as a way of life”. in short, they view homosexuality as incompatible with god’s sexual/relational design.
which brings us to brandi carlile.
not only is she one of my all-time favorite musicians, but she’s a lesbian who was recently married to her longtime girlfriend. even more, she’s a longtime supporter of the salvation army. a few days ago, she announced her latest partnership with the salvation army in which she’ll be collecting toys at her upcoming christmas shows.
and then the aforementioned vocal minority weighed in.
and she replied.
and she did so in such a way that i could never quite capture when i typed and deleted those tweets over and over.
instead of offering any additional commentary, i’m just going to post her reply in full (which you can find here, on facebook).
Well I’m thinking that the issue surrounding the Salvation Army is such a worthy discussion that I’d love to be involved.
First of all, let me thank you all for the articulate and thoughtful comments about this. I can’t see one that’s out of line and it makes me proud that this is the kind of community we attract.
While I’ll admit that I was not aware of Salvation Army’s reputation amongst my LGBTQ peers, I have known it to literally save lives and certainly touch mine (and I’m super gay). So today I’ve “done my homework” and the conclusion I keep coming back to is that these are the mind and heart changing opportunities we should be looking for…all of us.
If it is true that the Salvation Army discriminates against LGBTQ families and employees, then this is our chance! Not to exert our power over them by exercising our right to deprive Salvation Army kids simply because they are associated, but to show our power under them by coming to them in service and offering our gift without condition. This is what changes minds, which inevitably changes laws.
Ref 74 passed because of this reason, minds were changed. Sure fights were won but minds change from love! Thanks for hearing me out and calling me out!
sacrificial giving? subversive power? influence from the oppressed? strength through powerless servanthood? life change from love, rather than fighting?
sounds like the perfect jesus story for this christmas season.