Lifestyle?

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In the ongoing debate in the United Methodist Church about how we will include or exclude our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, over and over again I hear the voices of exclusion refer to LGBTQ persons as a “lifestyle” that needs to be rejected instead of simply recognizing their sacred worth as persons and accepting them fully into the life and work of the church.

One’s sexual or gender orientation is not a “lifestyle.”

One’s loving and committed relationship with another person is not a “lifestyle,” it is a loving and committed relationship.

A loving and committed relationship that is celebrated and recognized as a legal union among two adults is not a “lifestyle,” it is a marriage.

Married persons choosing to have, care for, and raise children is not a “lifestyle,” it is a family.

Choosing to be greedy…

Choosing to be hateful…

Choosing to live unsustainably beyond the carrying capacity of the planet…

Choosing not only to ignore the reality of climate change but to also fight any efforts to address it…

Choosing to dismantle environmental regulations and protections…

Choosing to contribute to the ongoing sixth great extinction on the planet and the only one ever caused by a single species…

Choosing to not care for the poor and vulnerable…

Choosing to perpetuate the inequality of women…

Choosing to have a healthcare system that impoverishes and bankrupts families…

Choosing to underfund public education and school teachers thus creating one education system for the wealthy and one for the rest…

Choosing to cut the safety net for poor while enriching the wealthy with tax cuts…

Choosing to base international relations on twisted interpretations of First Century apocalyptic literature that seek the end of the world as we know it in our lifetimes…

Choosing to spend far more money on militarism than any other country in the world…

Choosing to enable unfettered and unregulated access to assault rifles while our children and youth are frightened for their lives…

Choosing to separate children from their parents when families are attempting to come into the United States…

Choosing to deport persons who came to the United States as small children and have never known any other country as their own…

And choosing to discriminate against persons who do no harm but are simply different than we are…

These are the lifestyles and life choices that we should reject and from which all just, loving, and decent persons ought to repent.

Sexual or gender orientation is not a sin, but being horrible to each other and the planet is.

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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. He is the Executive Director of the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEaD) Hub North America of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church and an Oklahoma Humanities State Scholar. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University or the United Methodist Church.
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