Viewpoint – Nashville Statement ignores Jesus’ message

By Kathryn Kelman/editor-in-chief

Recently, 150 conservative evangelical leaders signed the Nashville Statement, laying out their beliefs on human sexuality, including same-sex marriage and gender fluidity.

They call it a Christian manifesto.

I’m calling it rubbish.

The statement is supposedly a collective response to an “increasingly post-Christian, Western culture that thinks it can change God’s design for humans.”

However, in reality, the Nashville Statement is a declaration of bigotry and condemnation, both of which are a far cry from faith, hope, love and acceptance, which are hallmarks of the teaching of Jesus — you know, the guy they’re supposedly doing this all in the name of.

It’s not like the LGBTQ community is questioning the church’s stance on human sexuality and gender. We’ve been clobbered with the biblical texts of Leviticus and Timothy and the handful of others that have been translated and interpreted to be used against LGBTQ people for the majority of our lives.

It didn’t take me 23 years to find a faith community that I, a queer woman, genuinely felt welcome in because Christian churches are so open to LGBTQ people.

What continues to baffle me, though, is how much more scripture exists telling people not to judge or condemn others, but so many Christian communities preach the opposite.

Why are they so adamant about being the self-appointed gatekeepers of heaven? Isn’t one of the pillars of Christianity evangelizing? Bringing others to the cross so they too can be saved?

So many more pressing moral crises are happening. These faith leaders should have gathered together and written a statement denouncing white supremacy and racism, called Christians to help those suffering following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey or called for a renewal of their peacemaking commitments.

Instead, these men felt the need to draw a larger line in the sand, so they sat down and wrote a 14-article document condemning something a lot of Christians already condemn and telling straight allies of the LGBTQ community that they’re bad Christians for supporting people’s desire to love who they love and be who they are.

Contrary to the rhetoric of the Nashville Statement, one can be both a Christian and transgender, gay and/or a straight ally that celebrates their LGBTQ friends.

As it states in Galatians 3:28, we are all one in Jesus Christ.