World Vision, known for sponsoring desperately poor children in dozens of countries revised its hiring policy, opening the door for employment to legally married homosexuals…
Then they revised their hiring policies again…back to their original status.
The entire process took about 48 hours, give or take.
And in between the beginning and end was a whole lot of yelling (virtually speaking). A lot of people lashing out at World Vision, heaping on condemnation, so much so that apparently World Vision could not ignore the protests.
This would probably have been an event that I would have been able to ignore entirely if it wasn’t for the collective outcry that drew so much attention to it.
And in retrospect, I have come to an inescapable conclusion, that this event says more about all of us than it does about World Vision.
What World Vision Did Not Count On
To be honest, I’m a little surprised.
I would have thought that a major organization, known throughout the country, with what I assume are tens of thousands of sponsors, would have carefully considered the consequences of such a momentous decision.
I would have thought that World Vision would know that the mighty hammer of American Evangelical justice would fall swiftly and surely upon their heads, crashing into them with a deafening force.
I would have thought that history would tell the leadership of World Vision such things. And I thought that with such a momentous decision, they would have prepared themselves to stand up to the backlash, no matter how severe it became.
Right or wrong, what this decision actually reveals about World Vision is that the mighty hammer of righteous indignation, wielded by American Christians is much mightier than they assumed.
How Many Bible Verses Are We Willing to Ignore
So, you are sponsoring a child through World Vision. And suddenly, they make a decision about how their organization will run that you vehemently disagree with.
What is your recourse?
Apparently, an acceptable course of action is to pull out support for World Vision by canceling your sponsorship of a hungry little child. Apparently, it’s much easier to care about the orientation of someone you will never meet than it is to care about the emptiness of a child’s stomach. It is easier to care about sin than about sickness. It is easier to care about wrong than about widows and orphans.
I hope everyone who made a fuss about this has made sure the child they are sponsoring isn’t gay either, because feeding a hungry gay child would be an abomination.
We have made it very clear what our priorities are. If we make children to be pawns in our everlasting arguments, there is no going back. Our zeal is unquenchable. We have proven how many Bible verses we are willing to ignore to enforce what we believe about a few Bible verses.
When Are We Going to Tire of This?
See, we talk in this country about “compassion fatigue,” the sensation that we have given enough, we are “tapped out,” our compassion and our wallets have been sapped and we just can’t care anymore. I wonder if starving children get “starvation fatigue.” I wonder if they get “my-mom-and-dad-are-both-dead-from-war-and-I’m-a-refugee-in-a-camp-with-no-clean-water fatigue.” My guess is they are just as tired of inconveniencing us by being poor as we are.
It seems we so easily become fatigued with the problems of the world (didn’t Jesus say that the poor will always be with us?) But we never tire, never become weary of this never-ending, ever-escalating fist-fight we are collectively having over this one issue that warps and destroys everything else we might stand united for.
Friends, I am becoming weary. I am fatigued.
We Can Be Motivated…If We Want To Be
Yes, American Christianity, we can yell. That is what this episode illustrates about us.
Apparently, we can yell loudly and with great force when our fury is awakened.
We can unite in a mass movement, to eat chicken sandwiches, to stand up for a multi-million dollar corporation.
We can stand up for millionaires on television who parrot your values back to you.
And we can shout down a humanitarian organization, until they backtrack, if not by conviction, then by their will to save children from being abandoned by their sponsors.
I wonder if World Vision has ever seen such a mass uprising of Christians who actually care about what they do. I wonder if World Vision has ever had to deal with such an enormous amount of attention. My guess is they have not.
I wish the motivation that Leviticus 18:22 seems to elicit could be matched by our zeal for James 1:27.
Christianity, if you are comfortable saying to future generations “This is our top priority and everything else be damned,” then go for it.
But I am fatigued.
What do you think? Was the outpouring of rage at the expense of children justified?