Bil Browning

130 clergy members mad as hell over SJR-7

Filed By Bil Browning | March 29, 2007 4:19 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: constitutional amendment, Dan Funk, ICON, Indiana, Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination, marriage, SJR-7

Yesterday's e-mail brought a welcome press release from the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination (ICON) announcing a letter the organization just sent to the General Assembly. The letter, signed by 130 "Indiana clergy, leaders of faith communities, and other religious professionals," opposes SJR-7. The beginning of the letter reads:

"Our backgrounds and those of the people we serve vary widely. Our views on marriage differ. But we speak with one voice to oppose amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage."

It is absolutely spectacular to read about religious professionals coming down squarely on the side of Christ-like principles such as tolerance, honesty, love, and compassion. With Eric Miller (who is not a member of the clergy) and his ilk trying to speak on behalf of all Hoosier christians, some people could be swayed by these Pharisees.

After all, Christ saved his harshest rebukes for the Pharisees and openly accused them of hypocrisy, corruption, using the law for their own political gains, and general evil ways. He condemned them for worrying more about outward appearances of piety rather than their own twisted internal hate and narrow thinking...

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Dan Funk, Executive Director of ICON, puts everything into perspective when he identifies the role of the organization, "People are growing tired of religious and political leaders using religious teaching to justify discrimination. ICON is identifying, uniting and giving voice to people of faith who believe that religious-based bigotry has no place in the Indiana Constitution." The coalition represents 26 different faith traditions.

ICON is a membership organization concerned about the consequences of intolerance against sexual and gender minorities. It is particularly concerned about religious intolerance and lack of acceptance of God's diversity. Its purpose is to create positive change through education and social action, so that gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersexed, and transgender people will be able to live in peace and equality.

Now this is a religious organization that we can support! *grins* I know Dan personally and he's an asset to our community. I've worked beside him several times and I'm sure I will again. He's done a great job of identifying LGBT welcoming congregations in our state and then reaching out to them. My hat is off to ICON.

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bill groth | March 29, 2007 6:20 PM

This is a huge blow to Eric Miller. It's also why I am proud to be a member of the United Methodist Church and in particular North United Methodist Church, a welcoming and affirming congregation. Advocacy can never be decoupled from moral sources. One of the important lessons from the abolitionist, civil rights and labor movements is that such movements can never sink to the level of mere interest group politics, but must be grounded in values and moral foundations that are derived in significant part from the Bible, the Koran, and the holy books of the world's great religions. The fight against SJR-7 is now itself part of a larger movement against hatred and bigotry, and it is imperative that all progressive groups in Indiana and beyond join that movement and send SJR-7 to its richly deserved demise. William Groth, President, American Values Alliance,

Happy sigh. I've been needing a good reminder that not all religious people are nutjobs (such reminders are increasingly few and far between). Excellent comparison to the Pharisees, you've hit the nail on the head there.