Saturday, October 18, 2008


When is a job “just a job?” When does working for an organization mean that you may be, intentionally or not, supporting ideals with which you don’t personally agree?

One of my friends called me out on this yesterday:

"Hey Jeremy, ... I came across the site for the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, which credits you for the website design.  I was just kind of surprised to see your name there, because I have heard of this group and they are...well...kind of anti-gay.  Just wondering what was up there."

A few years ago, after completing a new site design for Minnehaha, I was approached by a coworker asking if I’d help create a new website for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC). As a college student in need of money and resumé-building website experience, this seemed like a great opportunity.

As I posted news articles for LCMC, though, I was bothered, as my friend noted, at just how anti-homosexual some of the writings were. At the time, I decided this would simply need to fall into the category of being “just another job.” After all, I’d never attended a church service there, and had no connection other than maintaining their website. Regardless of my disagreement with the published material, LCMC was still 100% within their First Amendment rights to say what they said.

This concern came to my mind again this summer after posting another such article, and I strongly considered whether I should drop support for the site. Life got busy, and rather than taking time to ponder, I chose not to choose, maintained my status quo, and ignored the problem.

Several weeks ago, LCMC approached me asking if I would be willing to create a website for an individual congregation. I’m incredibly busy right now, and the very last thing I need in my life is “one more thing to do.” That said, as an immediate post-college graduate whose student loans are about to come due, the potential supplemental income was enough to make me consider, and eventually offer a hesitant “yes.” However, I felt uneasy, partly because, well, it’s “one more thing to do,” but also because of my concerns about supporting an organization that, while not their main objective, spreads something I consider to be much less than the love that Christianity is supposed to be about.

After my friend’s message yesterday, I realized that, unfortunately, I can’t distance myself and say “it’s just a job” - the choices I make have very real ramifications, and the groups I associate myself with can bear heavily on how others see my character. LCMC is not an organization that I can continue to support.

I’ve never been to an LCMC church, I only know my one or two contacts from doing the web work. They aren’t bad people, they’re no “better” nor “worse” sinners than the rest of us. But I do not believe following Christ ought to include an attitude of hostility and discrimination against our brothers and sisters in Christ who just happen to be homosexual, particularly since two of my closest friends are.


Gallimaufry Girl said...

I agree, wholeheartedly. Regardless of opinions, we are called to love. If it is a sin - which I'm not saying it is - it's no worse than any other sin, and we are all sinners. We are called above all things, to love. So, good on you for leaving their payroll.

Anonymous said...

I'm on the verge of leaving my church based on this garbage. I'm so disgusted with my congregation's decision to leave the ELCA and drag women & gays back to the dark ages that I can't deal with it any more. We've been ELCA forever til this anti-gay, anti-woman agenda popped up when the ELCA made a decision on the homosexuality issue. I'm tired of feeling like a second-class citizen who can't sit on a council just because I'm female, because our council--which we've ALWAYS had--was replaced by "elders", i.e. old white chauvinist, homophobic men. We didn't even take a VOTE on this change--all of a sudden, one day, POOF! We have the "elders", not a council. "Elders" even sounds like an old, creepy boys club.

I have been at this church since I was three years old. I was one of 2 people in the congregation who voted against leaving the ELCA, and it's getting more & more conservative every day. Half of another congregation from another church joined our church, and since they had all the money to build our new facility, they got to make all the decisions, including forcing the "elders" on us as they were from a Missouri Synod church. Missouri Synod won't even let women VOTE in some congregations. FORGET THAT. The new members made some sort of deal with the pastor that, if they donated all this money, we'd have "elders" in place of the council. We've been sold down the river without even realizing it. I feel like an outsider and am disgusted with this anti-woman/anti-gay attitude they have.

I can't believe how brainwashed the majority of women there are, and what a bunch of sheep the rest of the congregation is for going along with everything. Plus our pastor is leaving to be a pastor at a college campus, and there's just no reason for me to continue going somewhere that I feel has become SO backwards and SO hardline conservative. I'm gonna' look for an ELCA church--I feel disgusted that the church I've been at for my entire life has turned into this. It's not the church I grew up in, for sure. Really sad. :(