Once again, I would rather be blogging about the latest updates we’ve made to our Net Zero home, which this week are the new grape vines we just planted behind our new retaining wall. The vines will eventually shade the south windows to keep us cooler on the 100 degree days we’ve just experienced. But today, as the soul of our community is severely tested once again by the mass murder in Orlando, I can’t keep quiet. And I need to share my thoughts with all of you out there that we must be using our voices in protest against this insanity lest it become our new normal. I have to speak out to my communities of influence and I think we all have a deep moral obligation to do so.

I am a human being and today I have to make it clear that murder is inhuman.

I am also a Christian leader of the United Methodist persuasion and today I must make it clear that killing is wrong.

Because the violence appears to be motivated by hatred and fear of persons of LBGT orientations and because my denomination is still on record with the words “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” I must make it clear, once again: that stance, that understanding is just wrong. My church is wrong. My denomination is incompatible with Christian teaching.

That’s important to say, because so many of us Christians and United Methodist Christians know our church is wrong. And we will continue in our disobedience to church law as we do ministry with people of all orientations and offer all people equal access to the blessings and sacraments of our communities of faith, including ordination and marriage.  And we will keep calling all the institutions responsible for lawmaking across this country to shape laws that embody justice and love.

It’s important to say, because a lot of folks these days just expect anyone called Christian to be judgmental, hypocritical and homophobic. There are so-called Christians who are that. But there are Christians who are not that. And we are them. We never have been and never will be that. And, no matter what path you follow to discern the truth, it’s time once again to be clear about right and wrong.

And this, of course, includes all whose faith story and practice is Islam. In churches we have served, we’ve been privileged to connect our congregations with Muslim congregations. We have tried to stand with our Muslim neighbors through Quran burnings and hate crimes and accusations against them. We have sat with them and shared our beliefs and tried to understand theirs. At all times, our Muslim neighbors have been irrepressible in their condemnation of violence perpetrated in the name of Allah. But today’s violence prompts another conversation. American Muslims must be clear about what they believe about and where they stand with the LBGT community. In our church conversations we have asked people of the local mosque to share their beliefs about diverse orientations. On more than one occasion, local Muslims have told us homosexuals should be taken to the rooftop and pushed over. Although, I’m not sure all the Muslims in the room agreed, none of them stood up to contradict. Today’s violence in a gay bar changes the national conversation a little bit and we need to hear a clear voice from the followers of Mohammed in our midst.

Finally, as a faithful blogger on Net Zero Living, I have to be clear today, that our bottom line is living in ways that reduce the violence we do to our Earth and those who live most on the margins. It means generating a difference kind of energy. Net Zero Living = Zero Hate. Period.

So please!!! All you people of blog and instagram, twitter, Facebook and post, take a stand on your piece of the web. Take a stand in print. As whatever you call yourself, say what you believe is contrary. Nobody speaks for you but you. And your friends and family need to hear it straight from you. Today and in the coming days, be unequivocal in your posts that this is not what you believe, if this is indeed true. That it is not who we are. That humanity is better than this.

We pray for all in Orlando, we pray for our culture and our children’s future. And we stand ready to act in every moment for compassion, healing, justice and love.

John-Pitney-Main-blue

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