Despite my frequent rant that more balanced journalism comes with the luxury of time, I wanted to quickly document some of the early reaction to World Vision’s reversal of their hiring policy change before suppertime on Wednesday night. Okay, let’s be honest, I just wanted to be one of the first out with the story. So you ended up with this quick post, which was frequently updated, not the least of which updates were to include my wife’s observation that this was, within 48 hours, a microcosm of the “New Coke” story. I do believe that this is the religious news story of the month, and will certainly end up in the top five for the year.
Bene D. went down the same paths as I did and took the time to copy some extracts that give you a more readable story. But a quick note from Bene this morning alerted me to the excellent piece at Internet Monk by Michael Bell (which includes an excellent David Hayward cartoon).
Without overly dumbing down what Michael wrote, I want to give you Cliff’s Notes version so you don’t miss this. Here are the bullet points:
- The issue for Evangelicals here is homosexuality.
- A discussion of homosexuality invariably leads to the use of the term sodomy.
- Many Bible commentators would have it that the sin of Sodom was neglect of its poor.
- On Monday, some Evangelicals withdrew their support from World Vision over the issue in (1) above, and thereby were guilty of (3) above.
If nothing else, it’s interesting to think that (again, according to many interpreters) if you pulled your child support between Monday and Wednesday night, you were guilty of sodomy. I don’t however recommend you actually telling that to anyone who withdrew their support.
(Of course, this take doesn’t eliminate other Bible passages on the subject that cannot be so interpreted.)
Then, Michael goes on to note the interesting timing on this vis-a-vis another recent religious news story:
Do you know how much these young people are repulsed by Fred Phelps sign “God hates Fags”? Well, in the minds of many you have just held up another two thousand signs. Fred Phelps died last week, and many said “good riddance”. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that so many would step up so quickly to take his place.
If the shoe fits…
…Let me hasten to add here something that I placed in a comment on Wednesday. It was because of the very high percentage of donor money that World Vision spends on fundraising that I/we never sponsored a child. But a few years ago, my oldest son decided to sponsor a child through Compassion.
Seeing the relationship he has through the mail with someone on the other side of the world has made me realize what we missed out on. We’ve already sent two donations to Compassion’s unsponsored children fund and I do encourage people to consider sponsorships through Compassion, Gospel for Asia, Partners International, etc. Most of these agencies place a high, or perhaps higher priority on the proclamation of the good news about Jesus alongside their humanitarian relief and development efforts.