A paper cut to the heart is how I imagine it - the pain some of you feel when seeing yet another facebook post protesting the recent legislation signed into Indiana law, by your pastor no less. A cut you carry quietly, so as not to offend, reminding yourselves that you appreciate more about me than you don’t. And maybe it’s my own anxiety, that lurking desire to please all the people all of the time that pushes me to self defense. But here I stand nonetheless.
I’ll leave it to smarter people than me can explain why Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a bad law legally, socially and economically. I risk offending some of you because this law is so contrary to the nature of the gospel we preach that to keep silent is to to deny the calling upon me to be Christ’s hands and feet and voice in this world. To keep silent is to fail at the one thing I am positive God would have me do.
Have I failed before? Absolutely. Repeatedly. At this very moment I’m keeping silent about at least a hundred injustices around the world. Legal activity contrary to the gospel abounds in our country. Usury being the first that comes to mind.
But this particular legal injustice came to my house, friends. All the political backpedaling in the world does not fool me. This law’s original intent was to legalize discrimination against gay and lesbian people. Gay and lesbian people to whom God has called me to be shepherd. Lambs. Lambs with baby lambs. Baby lambs that I diapered and fed. Baby lambs that have heard me say over and again Jesus loves all the little children of the world. Lambs I can’t let them hear me silent now. Especially not now. They are too precious. What they do and don’t hear at church about themselves and their parents will ring in their hearts the rest of their lives.
Fifty years ago, when our black sisters and brothers struggled for justice, well meaning white Christians spoke too softly and said too little. We need not repeat such failures, especially when the stakes are so much lower. Hardly more than paper cuts really.
I am so grateful for you all.
~ peace & prayers, pastor annette