Auburn Seminary calls on faith leaders to condemn anti-LGBTQ bigotry

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2017
Contact: Aimee Thunberg, athunberg@auburnseminary.org

Auburn Seminary calls on faith leaders to condemn anti-LGBTQ bigotry
Statement of Auburn Seminary Senior Vice President the Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

NEW YORK — Yesterday, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released “The Nashville Statement,” condemning LGBTQ people. In response, Auburn Seminary Senior Vice President, the Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush issued the following statement:

“Yesterday’s ‘Nashville Statement’ weaponizes Christianity to attack the rights and lives of LGBTQ people.  By perpetuating an arbitrary and increasingly refuted theology, those responsible for the statement are inflicting spiritual harm on LGBTQ people attempting to live authentic lives of dignity.  The ‘Nashville Statement’ provides religious sanction for anti-LGBTQ bigotry and the results will invite increased social alienation, humiliation, suicide, and physical attacks on LGBTQ people.

As a Christian pastor, I have ministered to the very people targeted by ‘The Nashville Statement,’ offering healing and hope to LGBTQ people who have suffered in their churches, listening to these hurtful ideas that deny who they are and the people they love. As a gay man, I know how harmful and painful it is to be targeted and branded ‘sinful’ and ‘the other’ and how liberating and joyful it is to embrace my full identity, and to truly experience the love of both my husband and of the God who created me.

“Jesus, in embodying God’s love, especially reached out to those whom society and the ‘righteous’ often rejected. He preached good news and liberation to all those oppressed socially, economically and religiously. His greatest commandment was to love one another as God has first loved us. God’s love must and will prevail over prejudice and fear.

We call on faith leaders across religious traditions to condemn ‘The Nashville Statement’ and confront the signers for taking part in a divisive action in a critical moment when America needs to come together.  

At a time when we are facing a national disaster in Houston unlike anything we’ve seen since Katrina, the rise of White Nationalist extremists evident in Charlottesville and the deep racism inherent within the pardon of Arpaio, religious leaders of all traditions need to stop targeting and dividing people as the Nashville Statement clearly does; and instead  focus on caring for those most in need as is our most sacred duty. We ask that all leaders of faith and moral courage embrace and build an inclusive loving worldview, united in one belief: We are all God’s children, each deserving dignity and love.”

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Auburn Seminary identifies and strengthens leaders — from the pulpit to the public square — to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice and heal the world.

The Nashville Statement has already evoked responses such as The Denver Statement the Christians United Statement and the Liturgists Statement which people can sign or otherwise affirm as an alternative.

 

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