One of the largest Christian charity organizations announced on Monday that it will now hire LGBT Christians provided they are married, a decision that has angered many fundamentalist Christians.
The Seattle Times‘ Today File blog reported that World Vision’s president Richard Stearns said that the international humanitarian group’s board has prayed for years for an answer as different worldwide denominations have taken different stands on the issue of same-sex marriage.
Stearns made the announcement in a letter to employees in which he said, “I want to reassure you that we are not sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work. We are the same World Vision you have always believed in.”
Stridently anti-LGBT pastor Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association took to Twitter to decry the decision, writing, “World Vision president said board prayed a lot about whether to embrace sodomy. And they want us to believe God said yes??”
Activist Linda Harvey of Mission:America — a group that says on its “About” page that “(h)omosexuality is not normal and natural, not inborn for anyone and is totally contradictory to Christian principles and the plain message of Scripture — tweeted, “World Division says yes to sin-based ‘marriage.’ Time to donate elsewhere.”
Peter LaBarbera — the man LGBT activists call “Porno Pete” for his reportedly massive trove of gay male pornography, which he claims to have assembled for “research” — said that World Vision has chosen to “throw up white flag of moral surrendr [sic].”
“Shame on World Vision,” LaBarbera tweeted. “But don’t add insult to injury by claiming this does not compromise Truth of Scripture.”
Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel — a group dedicated to ramming pro-Christian legislation through the nation’s courts — lamented to Christian radio show OneNewsNow that World Vision has “destroyed their credibility as a Christian organization with one fell swoop — and it’s heart-wrenching.”
World Vision was founded as an interdenominational service organization and now has an operating budget of more than a billion dollars per year. The group receives 18 percent of its annual budget from the federal government, under which the organization is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
“The board and I wanted to prevent this divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of living and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ,” Stearns wrote on Monday.
Stearns specified that the employees must be married because “Abstinence outside of marriage remains a rule” for the group.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.