His mothers are teaching him to treat everyone the same. Just like Jesus did. His church should too.
Determined to give voice to the millions of Christians who believe in equal rights for all, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community, Believe Out Loud, a project of Intersections International, is today launching a campaign to get one million Christians to break the silence and join the burgeoning chorus for full LGBT equality in the church.
Progressive Christians across numerous denominations believe that Jesus' message of justice, compassion and love compels them to be fully welcoming of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Now is the time to speak up and remind the world that it is possible to be Christian AND believe in LGBT inclusion. This Mother's Day, Believe Out Loud is inviting mothers and children everywhere to break the silence.
"To celebrate the diversity of all families, we chose Mother's Day to kick-off this campaign," said Sung Park, Program Director of Believe Out Loud. "Mothers teach us to value everyone equally, to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Jesus also taught us that. What better day than Mother's Day to remind people of this universal value."
To help get the word out, Believe Out Loud is releasing a video that is both heart-warming and thought-provoking, demonstrating why Christians cannot remain silent on the issue of LGBT inclusion. "Our hope is to encourage people to break the silence and show their support for LGBT persons by opening their church doors to embrace everyone," said Rev. Robert Chase, Founding Director of Intersections International. "This video is an effective tool to start a conversation among those who may need encouragement in 'coming out' with their beliefs that LGBT persons deserve equality in the church and wider society."
The release of the video comes at a critical time in the debate regarding LGBT inclusion in the church. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is just weeks away from ratifying a resolution for LGBT ordination. This will be a huge milestone in realizing LGBT equality in the Christian community.
Rev. Susan Sparks, who was raised as a Southern Baptist and is now Senior Pastor at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York, strongly believes in the mission of Believe Out Loud. "As Christians," she said, "we have a moral obligation to follow the teachings of Christ who welcomed everyone to the banquet table. Believe Out Loud is helping us live that mandate."
Believe Out Loud is an unprecedented coalition of the nation's leading religious and secular LGBT organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC); Gays & Lesbians Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Progressive Christians Uniting; Christian Community Inc.; The Religious Institute; Many Voices; The Association for Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (American Baptist Church USA); Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance (Christian Church/Disciples of Christ); Integrity USA (Episcopal Church); Lutherans Concerned (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America); More Light Presbyterians (Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)); The Coalition for LGBT Concerns (United Church of Christ); and The Reconciling Ministries Network (United Methodist Church).
Intersections International is a multi-cultural, multi-faith, global initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, the oldest corporation in North America dating back to 1628. Dedicated to building respectful relationships among diverse individuals and communities, Intersections works to forge common ground and develop strategies that promote justice, reconciliation, and peace.
For more information, please visit www.believeoutloud.com or www.facebook.com/believeoutloud.