Tomorrow is Human Rights Day. Politically, there hasn’t been a great deal of difference between the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama on that front. The language has changed, but the actions are sadly much the same. One might argue that the security state apparatus has become even more comprehensive since Obama took office.
Still, words do matter. And so, I was happy about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech last Tuesday in Geneva. In affirming gay rights, LGBT rights, as human rights, she elevated it as an issue that the entire world needs to responsibly address.
Ecclesiastically, my church denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), earlier this year removed the barrier to the ordination to ministry of gay men and women. When our presbytery voted on the measure in March, I was happy that we had taken this small step. But I am aware that there are many who fear that this represents a surrendering of faith. (I spoke a little about that in the post.)
I believe that many of our problems stem from the ways we deal with fear. Fear of “the other” causes us to accuse, to hate, to torture. It takes love and courage to continue with the small steps.