To my people of faith: this is a CALL TO ACTION! We have to clean up the mess in our kitchen. This is a call to action to those of us who live in the U.S.—to Church Folk and College Students, to Proud PFLAG Mamas and all y'all's people también— to come in, and talk together about how our legal and cultural wins for queer justice and gender justice here often push Christian fundamentalists to export their violent ideologies onto those who are vulnerable in the Global South… and what we need to do about it.
Our LGBTQI people in the Global South* have been telling us again and again that when U.S. fundamentalists from the Religious Right come to their country, they do not come alone. They come with financial and political resources in tow, and when they come, death comes. The response to evangelists and mission groups teaching hate is a spike in direct physical violence, political violence, and spiritual violence against LGBTQI people.
Those of us who are Church Folk based in the U.S.—with the capital letters right where they are—are implicated in this death-dealing gospel, and we have to grapple with our individual and collective responsibility to change it. Those of us who are called to social justice work by our faith have got to claim the God that’s ours and respond to those who use Christian fundamentalism, subsidized and exported from this country to visit violence and death on communities that are financially and politically vulnerable. We have to drag those theologies right back home where they can be dealt with as the hazardous waste that they are.
We know these people, and we know this fight. But can we keep them here in the U.S. where they were born, and keep them accountable for their dangerous theology and politics?
Can you feel us being hollered for?
Our first action will be targeting the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) as they convene in Nashville, TN, in late February for their annual expo. NRB is an international network of fundamentalist Christian communicators with a great amount of cultural and political influence; their code of ethics explicitly forbids any one of their 1,400+ global affiliates from broadcasting any messaging that affirms the LGBTQI community. In other words, they have a requirement to condemn the lives of LGBTQI people in order to have access. Both here and abroad, theirs are some of the only theological and spiritual resources that small-town faith leaders can access in under-resourced areas.
You can join us in several ways: Come on over! If you will be in the Nashville area, come to our trainings or direct actions! If not, we invite you to engage other ways: start the hard conversations about power and citizenship; watch the Religious Right carefully and look for strategic points for demanding accountability; share these ideas widely with our fellow Church
Folks; uplift the voices and support the capacity of marginalized people in the Global South to create their own affirming and life-saving ministries. All to the work we are called to do in a divine shout from the South up!
The 2016 NRB gathering, Proclaim16, will take place February 23-26 in Nashville, and is expected to attract thousands of attendees along with some of the Christian Right’s most influential leaders. This is a unique and important opportunity to interrupt NRB’s harmful ideologies.
Please visit www.kynship.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can get involved.
*The term “Global South” refers to developing countries, which are located primarily in the southern hemisphere.