Taking a stand against discriminatory policies: a pastor’s perspective
by Rev. Clare Twomey, Pastor, Vista Grande Community Church
This morning I awoke to yet anther reckless policy offered by this administration: Transgender soldiers will not be allowed to serve in the US armed forces because of the ‘distraction’ and the “financial burden” that some politicians, have identified as the reason for dismissing these folks for service. (As a side bar , those involved in making these pin head decisions have never served in the US armed forces.) These particular voices of policy power have also imposed their fundamentalist ideology of exclusion on determining the policies, for our loyal, transgender soldiers.
I could use this forum to rant and rave about the outrageousness of this policy change, implemented by someone whose acts have been determined to be directed by whim and outright bullying. But my bigger concern is the impact that this random tweet will have on those who are waiting for further reason to express their hatred towards the queer community. The impulsive, inciting comments exhorted by this White House have been responsible for the incredible number of hate crimes in this country (Southern Poverty Law Center). It is my concern that this ‘policy’ change will further embolden those who wait for permission to act out their hatred and prejudice.
As a minister in this community, I want to ensure our LGBTQ friends and neighbors that we are a denomination of love and inclusion. In Colorado Springs, there are four United Church of Christ churches (Church in the Wildwood, First Congregational, Vista Grande Community Church, and Black Forest UCC) which hold that all of creation is loved by our creator and as such, all people, all LGBTQ folk, ALL, are welcome no matter who they are.
We do not foster an atmosphere of exclusion or judgement, nor do we stand in a place supporting hostile policies of any kind. As a community, we need to take a stand against any policy that seeks to further divide one another based on some toxic cocktail consisting of warped theological notions, and false political concerns (such as medical costs and a worry that our military will be distracted from its duties). At the end of the day we are talking about plain prejudice , injustice, and discrimination. Let’s not stand for this one minute more but rather commit to being on the side of justice and quality!