by Jim Smith, Associate Director, DignityUSA
“Bullshit.” Now that we’ve got your attention, a bit of context. This was the word used by a former Dignity member in the comment section of a DignityUSA Facebook post featuring statistics with regard to same-sex adoptive parents. The “BS” responder was very upset with the direction he sees Dignity moving. Why all this attention to issues of equality and justice? Why not return to the good old days of our “gay community”?
Though I don’t have a long history with Dignity, I do know that Dignity communities have a long history of being thorns in the side of injustice toward LGBT persons. Advocacy, activism, and dialogue, sometimes even agitation, have been explicit in our mission from day one.
These days are no different.
We remain committed to working for justice in the church and society. Marriage equality, adoption, Catholic LGBT worker protection, trans and gender-diverse identity education and justice, international LGBT protection, dialogue with hierarchical leaders, conversations with pew-sitting Catholics, all this and more remain at the center of our Gospel radar.
Certainly, good church is about member-nurturance. Good church is about internally strong relationships, vital prayer and community-building activities. If we lose those things, then our BS responder deserves a hard listen. But if we see ourselves as only about protecting and nurturing the welfare of our own members, then we lose our soul. Good church is ultimately outward-reaching, connected to the larger church and world as friend, agitator, and as agent of transformation.
Call that outward impulse bullshit if you want. For our part, we will remain bull-headed in living our mission to work for full equality and justice for LGBT persons and their families.