Many of us in North Carolina are dismayed by the passage of Amendment One in the May 8 primary election.
We are thinking especially of all the hard-working volunteers who raised money, canvassed neighborhoods, made phone calls and rallied our churches. News reports that say churches were responsible for the large turn-out of voters and the passage of the amendment assume that no churches were opposed to the amendment. Please know that there is another North Carolina that is unacknowledged by the media!
Churches across our state stood with those who would be harmed by this Amendment, including both Episcopal dioceses of North Carolina, both United Methodist bishops in North Carolina together with the NC Council of Churches and many UCC, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Unitarian, MCC and progressive Pentecostal pastors from across our state. We have been especially blessed by the Rev. William Barber, Chair of the NAACP of North Carolina, for his fearless opposition to the Amendment.
We are aware of the special pain that comes with reading quotes from people saying things like, "God's mercy prevailed." Not only is this hurtful to the LGBTQ community, but also to the integrity of God's Word and God's love!
Like our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, the communities of faith that fought with them against the amendment are virtually invisible. Be assured that we are here!
At these times, we are comforted by the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice." And by these words from Holy Scripture: "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers . . . nor powers . . . can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ" (Romans 8:38-39).
Please keep your LGBTQ brothers and sisters in North Carolina in your prayers together with their families and their faith communities.
Grace and peace,
Jill and Richard Edens are Co-Pastors of the United Church of Chapel Hill, UCC in Chapel Hill, N.C.