Think of the children?

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UPDATE: As of this afternoon, World Vision caved to their critics. I don’t blame them, I blame the people who forced them into the position where they had to choose between their projects continuing and keeping their policy change. What happened is shameful and tarnishes the name of Christ. I can’t emphasize just how unbelievably saddened I am about this turn of events and how the evangelical world demonstrated their willingness to use children, poor children, as leverage. It’s a dark day. My point below still stands.

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Matthew 25:31-40

It’s not really about the children, is it?

Ban same-sex marriage, fight against equal rights for LGBT people because protecting children is so important that it should supersede everything. That’s what they keep saying.

If there’s even the slightest theoretical chance that children might possibly be harmed, then we should stop everything. Children are the utmost importance.

Right?

That’s what they tell us.

The fight against gay rights is about the wellbeing of children.  

Not so fast.

Christian NGO World Vision announced yesterday that since it’s an area where Christians disagree and it has nothing to do with their mission, they will hire gay Christians in same-sex marriages. Basically, they’re treating it the same as any other issue where Christians disagree, just like they do with employees who are divorced and remarried, or any number of other issues that aren’t central to the gospel.

It’s a good step, it’s the right step. The culture wars have been going on too long, and it is high time that Christian organizations focus their time and effort on things that matter.

Things like helping the poor. The orphans. The least of these.

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” ~ Matthew 25:41-46

That’s how Jesus said the sheep would be separated from the goats. The righteous from the unrighteous.

Not based on the political party you vote for.

Not based on how hard you fight against same-sex marriage.

What you do to the least of these.

World Vision recognized that whatever else matters, wasting time and energy on squabbles that have nothing to do with the message of the gospel wasn’t going to do anything to help the least of these.

Naturally, the religious right has a problem with that.

I’m not going to dignify anyone by linking to their posts, but people are pitching fits. The Gospel Coalition, a site that has no problem with child abuse enabler C.J. Mahaney on their board, has run a piece attacking World Vision and treating it as altogether reasonable to withdraw financial support. American Family Association is calling for a boycott. I’ve been avoiding Facebook because I keep seeing the most horrible of articles making the rounds.

People are pulling sponsorship of children over this, over 2000 today by one count.

Let me repeat that.

People have stopped financially supporting poor children.

It’s not World Vision’s CEO who suffers because of this. It’s not World Vision’s employees who suffer because of this. People are taking food out of the mouths of children. People are taking away the school fees that children need to get an education.

And all because their hatred of gay people trumps everything.

Jesus did not say, “whatever you did to keep gay people from marrying, you did for me.”

It’s not about the children, not really. If it was, they wouldn’t be going against the direct teachings of Christ and hurting children out of spite.

“Whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” When you’re willing to let a child go hungry, to keep a child from an education, to hurt the least of these, all to make a stand against gay people, you’re doing it to Jesus. 

You’re not a believer, you’re a whitewashed tomb, a self-righteous Pharisee so wrapped up in your external religiosity that you don’t care that you’re doing the exact opposite of what Jesus would do. 

If this is what you think God wants, then I don’t know what god you worship, but it certainly isn’t the God who said over and over again in both testaments that His priority was to care for the widows, the orphans, the poor and the needy. 

And don’t ever tell me that you care about the children.