This statement is not to be confused with the recent statement by the CBF Governing Board on the mass shooting in Orlando (read here: http://bit.ly/28XgCp6).
We sign this statement with myriad emotions - love, pain, grief, impatience and yes, hope. Please note, this is not a moment. It's the movement.
STATEMENT:Together we are members, ministers, mothers, husbands, daughters and sons. We are Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Non-Gender Conforming and Straight. We all maintain, in varying degrees, affiliation with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and we are united in support of the entire LGBTQ community.
We condemn the horrific attack on those gathered at PULSE nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We recognize that for many, these nightclubs provide sanctuary--a sacred space where one can fully know themselves as a child of God. For the desecration of this sacred space, we grieve.
We repent of our complicity in systems -- even and especially our own-- that perpetuate bias and discrimination against LGBTQ persons, and covenant to work and witness for full inclusion of all people at every level of religious life.
We recognize that for many in the LGBTQ community prayer has too often been weaponized as a tool for oppression, subjugation and spiritual abuse. We call this ministerial malpractice, and covenant only to pray when our prayer motivates us to act.
We confess that our humanity is both simple and complex and that our identities, while varied in experience and intersection, are united insofar as each bear the Divine Imprint that is the image of God. We commit to see that in every individual and to respect and honor that image as an act of devotion and love for both Creator and creation.
We raise our voice in full support and recognition that the LGBTQ community has too often suffered the stinging vitriol of religious discrimination and more regularly the staggering silence of the majority. To be silent at this time is to betray our beloved LGBTQ friends, members and ministers who, as the Psalmist, “face death all day long.”
We cannot be silent.
We cannot merely pray.
We cannot help but love.
We will no longer be complicit.
We stand together, full citizens in the Beloved Community of God.
We will esteem no one as anything less than Beloved.
We are Allies.
We are the Community.
We are heralds of God’s love and justice for all.
And we shall not be moved.