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employment with the American branch of World Vision, the global humanitarian services program announced that it had rescinded the vision under pressure from conservative Evangelical Christians.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 [@edrescherphd] is the author, with Keith Anderson, of Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (Morehouse, 2012). She teaches religion and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University. She is currently at work on Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of Religious Nones, a project funded in part through a grant from the Social Science Research Council’s “New Directions in the Study of Prayer” project through the Templeton Foundation. Her website is www.elizabethdrescher.com  

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