Hilary Clinton Challenges the Lutheran Church of Australia

a post by Neil Hart on homosexuality, lgbt, and gay stuff and the Lutheran Church of Australia.

It feels to me that something important has just happened. Hilary Clinton has announced that the American Government will defend the human rights of LGBT people around the world. The 1948 UN charter declares that all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights. At this time in history the spotlight falls on the rights of gays and on those who oppose them. Clinton says:”Be on the right side of History!

America the brave are BACK, baby!

I have edited the 30 minute speech down to 14 minutes. Really couldnt get ti any shorter.

Here is the edited version.

And here is the full speech for those who want it.

The speech talks about nations that imprison and kill LGBT people but it would be a mistake to think that she is not also addressing the violation of human rights that occurs in the Lutheran Church of Australia. She says:

Human rights are violated when people are forced to hide in shadows for fear of harm, or when they are not granted equal access to justice simply because they are gay.

In the Lutheran Church, teachers, pastors and other church workers who are gay are presently hiding in shadows. If they were to be public about their sexuality it would be to the detriment of their career paths. Their human rights are violated. If they were to choose to enter into a life long union with the one they love they could not, at present, continue in their employment. Their human rights are violated.

Some claim that there is no violation of human rights in this country. They say that gay couples have all the legal protection of a married couple. That is simply not true. Because they are prohibited from the formal union of marriage they are not treated the same as other couples. In the military, when it comes to family effects of deployments etc,. they are not given the same consideration as other married couples. There remains discrimination in the immigration practices in Australia. An austrslian citizen who marries a same sex partner overseas is not treated in the same way as a straight couple when it comes to bringing them into the country. The denial of marriage to gay couples is a denial of their human rights. The Lutheran Church in Australia is not complicit in this denial of rights by their usual indifference and silence. This time our church is  complicit by actively campaigning against gay marriage.

Clinton states:

“religious belief is a vital source of meaning and identity and fundamental to who we are. The bonds of love and family that we forge are vital sources of meaning and identity and caring for others is a vital expression of what it means to be fully human.”

Our church’s stand denies our LGBT community the basic right to express their love and form a family with the blessing of their faith community. Our church denies them the right to publicly enjoy and celebrate what it means to be fully human.

Clinton identifies 3 straight forward lies. She states

There are people who say that Homosexual people are peadophiles.

That Homosexuality can be caught or cured

That Gays recruit others to become gays.

These notions are simply not true!

In the past 2 weeks i have heard all three of these opinions expressed by pastors and theological leaders in our church. It is a sad sgn of where we are as a church in this matter.

But i am both encouraged and challenged by Hillary. She points out that “progress starts with honest discusson. She says,  It takes a “costellation of conversations, big and small” to effect change and that stark differences as exists in our church at the moment demand greater discussion, not avoidance.

So, in our congregations and schools and family dinner tables, its time to start talking. its time to shine the light into the shadows.

And here is the discussion question that hillary Clinton callenges us to take up:

What is happening in our church, congregations and schools that denies the Lutheran LGBT community that which was stated as fundamental by the UN in 1948: That all LGBT people are free and equal in dignity and rights?.

We dragged our feet when it came to the rights of the poor. We fought with guns and cannons against the rights of the slaves. We continue to be embarrassingly out of step when it comes to the rights of women…Hillary says, this time, please, for once,

 “Be on the right side of history”