Sojourners, a "progressive" faith-based magazine and web site based out of Washington, D.C., has refused an advertisement from Believe Out Loud, a trans-denominational initiative that seeks to support LGBT people of faith and calls for their inclusion in the church. Believe Out Loud's latest ad campaign is an attempt to get pastors and churches talking about the need to embrace full LGBT equality in our churches and society at large.
In refusing to publish the ad from Believe Out Loud, a representative from Sojourners said: "I’m afraid we’ll have to decline. Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue."
Sojourners says that it operates under a mission of fostering "social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world." Apparently this work doesn't include LGBT people and their families. What a shame that when it came time for Sojourners to weigh in on whether there's a place for LGBT people in the church, their response was to decline to answer.
That's not progressive, and it's certainly not a sign of a commitment ot social justice. Send Sojourners a message expressing your disappointment in their decision to silence LGBT people of faith, and urge them to reconsider their decision not to run this advertisement from Believe Out Loud.
Yet instead of allowing their message to be heard via an advertisement with Sojourners, your organization refused the ad, issuing a pithy statement: "Sojourners position is to avoid taking sides on this issue." What a disappointing sentiment, and hardly one I would expect from a group that believes in the principle of social justice and equality.
Your decision to "avoid taking sides" has essentially given credence to those who silence LGBT people of faith by ignoring them, or even worse, bullying them from the pulpit. There is nothing offensive in any of the advertisements from Believe Out Loud. They instead offer a simple message: churches shouldn't be harbingers of discrimination, but should instead recognize the dignity and equality of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
What a shame that Sojourners has decided to take a stand like this. Your position is not progressive, is not steeped in the principle of "social justice," and does not help us build toward a world where all are equal. Instead, you are telling LGBT people of faith that they shouldn't be seen by your readership. What an offensive message to send, and one I hope your other advertisers will notice.
Please reconsider your decision on this, and live up to your mission to build hope and inspire the world. Thank you for your time.