|Standing up for justice
In my job for the Student Christian Movement, I’m involved with enabling and encouraging students to make a positive difference in the world. On Saturday 13th Feb we organised a day of action and theological reflection as part of our refugee campaign. Students came and heard the stories of asylum seekers who have been in the system and for far too long, treated like irritating statistics rather than human beings, dependent on the goodwill of charities and faith organisations for their basic needs.
It strikes me, when I reflect on the recent events at the Anglican Primates Meeting, that there are many different people who are treated as scapegoats and as less than human by different sections of our society both in the UK and worldwide. The media and the governments often portray asylum seekers as people who want to take our jobs and who are a threat to our way of life, rather than as fellow human beings fleeing oppressive and violent situations and seeking a safe place to begin again. Similarly, the Anglican Communion has for too long portrayed LGBT+ people as people who want to hurt the church and who are a threat to marriage and tradition, rather than as fellow human beings who have been hurt by the church and who are simply seeking to be treated with humanity, justice and respect by fellow Christians.
It is now the time for all people who care about equality and justice for LGBT+ people in the church to stand up and be counted. For too long, allies and sympathisers have avoided speaking out and standing up for us because they are afraid of rocking the boat or being ‘political’. In the last month, the LGBTI Mission has been launched. The Mission is led by Stonewall and gathers together all the groups who campaign for change in the church, including Changing Attitude. It has a structured, achievable, and comprehensive plan to seek justice and make a positive difference for LGBT+ people in the church. At the same time, Changing Attitude are launching a new postcard campaign and we have produced lanyards and pins for supporters to wear with pride. Please check our website and see below for how you can obtain any or all of these for your own use.
I urge you all to stand up for justice, and to support and promote both Changing Attitude and the LGBTI Mission in any way you can.
Thanks and blessings,
Ruth Wilde (Trustee)
‘Changing Attitude’ (U.K.) – together with other Christian groups around the world – is committed to the encouragement of a climate of loving acceptance of the LGBT community in both the Church and the World.
As a Trustee of ‘Changing Attitude, and also a full-time worker with the Student Christian Movement in England, Ruth Wilde is able to ancourage students to work for social justice and equal opportunies, not only in the U.K. but around the world. This is quite consonant with her membership of the Anglican Church, and a welcome sign of involvement with the youth sector, whose future is bound up with the enablement of justice and equity.
Ruth mentions the new organisation now operative in the U.K., called the LGBTI Mission, dedicated to the furtherance of justice for members in this category of human beings in the Church of England. One of its Founding Members is Simon Sarmiento, a leading light in the blog-site ‘Thinking Anglicans’.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand