Businesses (and Churches) That Discriminate Should Say So Up Front by Emily Swan

Indiana needs a prophet.

I may live in Michigan, but I’m a Hoosier in my heart. I grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Butler University. I am also gay.

So it was with sadness, and (if I’m honest) a little fear, that I read about their new state law that would allow businesses to deny services to people simply because they’re gay. You can read the law here:

Earlier this year, the state of Oklahoma considered a similar bill. However, they were forced to consider that bill with a mirror held up to their faces, thanks to the prophetic act of state Representative Emily Virgin. The job of a prophet is to expose injustice, and Rep. Virgin’s amendment to the bill did just that. The amendment said businesses who wished to deny services to gay or interracial couples would be required to publicly post notice of this in their establishment, as well as on their web site.

The bill did not pass.

Rep. Virgin later wrote on her Facebook profile, “This would save same-sex couples the trouble and embarrassment of going into that business just to be turned away.’”

Which is what I’ve been thinking churches should do. Continue reading

When One Group is Excluded, You Wonder “Am I Next?”

What do we do when a key aspect of our identity is rejected or stigmatized by the faith communities in which we are involved? This can be a challenge with any social identity that may not be embraced or accepted by our communities, whether that identity be our sexual orientation, race, gender, or even mental health status. Caroline Kittle shares from personal experience and argues that the Third Way is a biblical way for embracing all marginalized groups and creating unity within faith communities. Continue reading

Third Way: Staying Together Despite Sharp Disagreements by Emily Swan

There will always be sharp disagreements among followers of Jesus, because we have different traditions, different cultural lenses and narratives, and different ways of interpreting Scripture. The Third Way allows us to continue in community together, trusting that Jesus alone is our judge and is the one to whom every one of us will answer. But it’s an opt-in approach and works only when all involved are able to lay down their right to be right for the sake of the gospel. Continue reading