World Vision Rescinds Decision to Employ LGBT Marrieds

Two days after the bold announcement that married lesbian and gay couples would not be prohibited from employment with the American branch of World Vision, the global humanitarian services program announced that it had rescinded the vision under pressure from conservative Evangelical Christians.

In a statement released yesterday, the World Vision president Richard Stearns followed the well-worn Evangelical tradition and offered a weepy apology to conservatives who were outraged by the earlier decision to allow compassion to trump conservative correctness in its employment policies:

We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

It’s hard to imagine that the organization will be reaching out to Mainline Protestant denominations whose full inclusion of LGBT people was part of the rationale for the policy change in the first place. And, it seems certain that many of those tweeting, posting, pinning, and blogging support for the initial decision will be lost, not to the cause of addressing poverty and other global challenges, but to an organization that remains clearly in the sway of conservative ideologues:

Elizabeth Drescher, PhD is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Pastoral Ministry at Santa Clara University. Her forthcoming book, Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of American Nones will be released by Oxford University Press later this year, and her writing on religion has appeared in The Atlantic Wire, AlterNet, The Washington Post, and other national publications. She is a consulting scholar at TheBTSCenter, where she edits the Bearings blog and, with Keith Anderson, is developing The Narthex.

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