So, this happened. World Vision is now allowing married gay Christians (and unmarried gay Christians willing to agree to WV’s policy of abstinence until marriage) to serve in the organization.
As you can probably guess, I’m behind this as a step forward. Is it perfect? No. I’m not a champion of abstinence until marriage (and really, are they so sure their employees are all waiting anyway?). I also understand that this prevents couples in any state not recognizing legal same-sex marriages from employment, since that’s the specific parameter. I understand the implications that WV appears to be endorsing a heteronormative view of relationships (that’s a whole other discussion). But in the Christian world, this is huge.
Which, of course, means that the backlash has been huge. And that’s what I was thinking about when I woke up this morning to see that my friends had linked to several articles, tweets, and blog posts in which WV has been accused of deception, “empowering the darkness,” embracing “the world” (Christianese for “stuff the church considers wrong in society”), presenting a false gospel, and more. People have questioned whether they should withdraw support or discontinue sponsoring a child through WV. Lots and lots of people have expressed being “sad” about WV’s change in policy.
To which I say: Wow, people have messed up priorities.
Nothing reveals the true values of people more than asking them how they feel about anything related to same-sex marriage. Almost no one says, “I don’t really care; whatever.” The vast majority of people have one view or the other–that it ought to be legal universally or it ought to be banned or called something else so as not to mess with the “official” definition of marriage.
It would be awfully nice if it were a non-issue, but it isn’t, certainly not when people are expressing horror and outrage at WV’s comparatively innocuous change in policy. I mean, come on, people. WV did not suddenly announce that they have adopted a policy of beating small children or setting forest fires or shooting sub-par employees or drowning puppies. All they did was say they’re going to hire gay people.
How about we get back to protesting something that actually matters for a change? Because honestly, the only reason it makes a difference whether WV hires gay people is if you think being gay and/or being in a same-sex marriage is worse than acts of harm and violence. It only matters if you think same-sex relationships are more terrible social ills than poverty.
Yesterday, I posted a link on Facebook to a good review of the movie Frozen. (I promise, this is related.) A family member joked that I must not be worried that watching it will turn my kids gay. I replied that I wasn’t, but even if it did, I didn’t care. I suspect that’s the real fear—that gay missionaries are going to somehow turn the world gay.
I suppose my question, then, is this: Who cares? Which is more important—telling people about God’s love and providing people with food and clean water, or making sure no one is threatened by the presence of gay people? I guess maybe my own priorities are messed up because I sure prefer the former.
And if my kids somehow turn gay* because they’ve been around gay people or watched “gay” (by that I mean “things people accuse of being gay”) movies, so what? That just means both the church and the gay community get two more awesome members, ’cause everyone knows my kids are the best and anyone would be lucky to have ’em.
Let go of the warped idea that a small subset of the population is looking to colonize the world and plant their rainbow flag in the dirt of impoverished villages everywhere. Instead, let’s take seriously WV’s call to come together in Christian unity for the good of all.
*I truly do not believe it works that way; I’m just saying I wouldn’t care if it did. For real, I could write a whole blog post on why we need to stop saying “But it’s not going to turn them gay!” as a defense regarding gender pigeon-holing.